Surrealism and Detachment

I talk to my mother on the phone.

Even that’s surreal, after several years of no contact.  She’s changed.  All my life, she expected me and my sisters to meet all her emotional needs.  Now she’s married, and she has someone age-appropriate to meet her needs.  She’s not as crazy anymore, not in the harmful ways she used to be, and I can talk to her without getting sucked into the crazy demands.  I still don’t trust her.  I know she’ll never acknowledge the harm she did to me for most of my life, but I also like feeling like I finally have a mother.  She hasn’t said anything cruel or manipulative in the year or so since we started talking again.  But it’s like she’s both my mother and not my mother simultaneously, on a number of levels, and that’s surreal.

She tells me my uncle, her brother, just sold his computer security company to Raytheon for $420 million.  I literally had to write that down because my brain couldn’t translate how many zeroes that was.  I can’t relate to that amount on money.  Right now, I have $7 to last me the rest of the month.  I only bought four rolls of toilet paper because I couldn’t afford any more than that.  I don’t think I’ll have enough money to pay December’s rent, and my power and heat bills are overdue.

But my uncle just sold his company for $420 million.  That’s $420,000,000, in case any of you also can’t conceptualize that many zeroes without seeing it.

He worked hard, and I don’t begrudge him his success.  But certainly the law of diminishing returns kicks in at some point, right?  I can’t even comprehend what you would do with that much money.  To put it in perspective, that’s more than three times the annual budget for the National Endowment for the Arts.  It’s surreal.  I don’t even really know him anymore, but even if I did, I don’t think I could ask him for it.  But it’s bizarre, realizing that a man with whom I share 21.9% of my DNA (yes, that’s an exact and oddly specific figure) has $420,000,000 and I don’t know how I’m going to pay $400 in rent.  How can that even be real?

My mother keeps saying how much she’s looking forward to seeing me for Christmas.  I tell her I’m excited about the trip too, but I’m detached.  I really don’t believe I’m going to live that long.  Three weeks, but I don’t think I can make it.  I think I will probably kill myself when I can’t pay my rent.  But I tell her I’m looking forward to it because I can’t exactly tell my mother I’m probably going to be dead before then.

Everything feels surreal, and I feel like I have no attachment to anyone or anything, like a helium balloon floating away.

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “Surrealism and Detachment

  1. Yea the difference between those who have and those who do not is mind blowing. I am far more comfortable money wise than my siblings. It eats at me some times but I am also aware that they need far more than I could give them. They both out earned me and enjoyed a better life style early in their adulthood. But the disparity between you and your uncle and grandparents makes me appreciate how much your poverty weighs on you. Please remember our financial status really has little relation to true worth.

  2. It seems cruel to read and like this post without addressing your flirtation with suicide. Please don’t kill yourself. You deserve better and you won’t be around to receive it if you’re dead. Find an anchor and hold on tight.

  3. I feel the financial pressure you seem to be under a lot of the time. I am pretty secure right now but I worry incessantly about my older years. I am always thinking I will choose to die when I cannot afford to have a roof over my head. Too much danger to entertain when you have no money. So I feel your pain and I understand why you equate not enough money and suicide. There is a lot of issues of powerlessness that come up when you do not have financial security. Having said that, my hope is that you will be able to find safety and security in other ways right now. That might give you reasons for continuing to choose life despite the hardship. You are in my thoughts.

  4. Just Another Pixie

    Please write to your uncle and/or ask your mum, tell the truth about your finances – it’s not your fault you’ve been sick and they could help!!
    Maybe your mum will actually wish to help this time – she wants to see you ALIVE for Christmas, no?
    Maybe you could ask uncle if you could work for him or something? What are his plans? Does he want to start a foundation or some meaningful projects and maybe he could use some help with that? Even if he wants to start another biz, maybe you could help with that?
    Please please please contact them!

  5. Hi Kyra,
    I found you via some comments you left on Pamela Wagner’s blog. After reading several of your blog posts just now, I think it is safe to say that you and I have a lot in common, complex PTSD being chief among them.

    I understand only too well the pain and hopelessness you describe, feeling like everything is surreal, feeling unattached from everything and everyone and having the terrifying sensation that you are floating away. After one of my worst nightmares I woke up with the very real feeling that I was nothing but a thin vapor of steam, dissipating into the atmosphere. It sounds stupid now but it was very real and terrifying at the time.

    You talk a lot about wanting to die. I don’t even know you, and yet it scares me to read that. I am very familiar with that feeling too, the feeling that life is unbearable and I just want to escape it, to go to sleep and never have to wake up again. I hung myself once, a long time ago. I was that desperate to escape what I believed was a hopeless and unbearaable situation.

    But as it turned out, my situation wasn’t hopeless, after all. I am so glad I survived hanging myself!

    Through my struggles in life I have found a number of ways to get past the unbearable, hopeless feelings. My help did not come through medications or through psychotherapists. Although I have gotten some help from therapists, overall, psychotropic drugs and most shrinks have caused me a lot more harm than good. My biggest help has come from bibliotherapy, that is, reading good self-help books. I have read dozens and dozens of therapeutic books. And I am still reading.

    The book I currently recommend the most is: Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving, a Guide and Map for Recovering from Childhood Trauma, by Pete Walker, MA. Mr. Walker is a licensed therapist with over thirty years of experience, plus he also has complex PTSD. His book is right on target, in my opinion.

    With your current financial difficulties (which I have been through, too), I realize that the purchase of a book is probably not within your means at this time. So I want to buy this book for you. All I need is your email address, and I can order the kindle ebook to be delivered to your email. If you don’t have a kindle reader, you can download a free kindle reader app from Amazon, which will enable you to read kindle books right on your computer. You can also get a free kindle app to read books on your smart phone if you have one.

    If you will send me your email address, I will order Mr. Walker’s book to be delivered to that address. You may reach me via my email: ladyquixote (at) live (dot) com.

    After you read this message, I would appreciate it if you would delete my email address from it. If you have no way of doing that, then please delete my comment altogether.

    I hope to hear from you soon. I will be checking my email throughout the day. Please put “Kyra” in the subject line so I will know it’s you.

    HUGS ~ Alaina, aka Lady Quixote

    • Oh, I just realized (thanks for your comment referring to this comment!) that I totally missed this one in my moderation queue. I have a bunch in there that I haven’t gotten around to deleting, and sometimes I don’t notice when the number goes up. (Or, to be honest, I don’t remember what the number was before, so I don’t notice when it goes up–the joys of having a crappy memory!)

      I’ve actually read Pete Walker’s book, as well as many others on PTSD and childhood trauma. (Judith Herman’s work is a person favorite of mine.) Books are helpful to an extent, I think, in making me feel like I’m not alone and/or crazy, but for me that’s pretty much the limit of their usefulness.

      For me, historically, therapy has been the most helpful thing, as long as I’m working with a skilled therapist who understands trauma stuff. I need that sense of connection and being heard about even the worst stuff in my head. I can get that here, to some extent, but I need it face-to-face, too. But that doesn’t appear to be a possibility right now, so I just muddle through the best I can, usually gracelessly.

      • Judith Lewis Herman’s landmark TRAUMA AND RECOVERY book is awesome.

        I agree that books have their limit. But like you, it helps me a lot to know I’m not the only one and that my mental/emotional problems are “normal,” all things considered. PTSD is a normal reaction to overwhelming trauma, just as bleeding is a normal reaction to being stabbed. Most of my life I thought I was just inherently “crazy” and “bad.” Figuring out that I’m not is a huge relief.

  6. cougarblogger

    Here’s the deal. Anyone who speaks of sucide as casually as you have here, is in need of some serious help — like someone who has just gotten in a car accident and needs the jaws of life to get them out of the car. I am not saying that you are sick just because you are considering taking your life but that if you reach out for help, you just might find some hope. It’s your call of course. You are a highly intelligent woman with much to offer others and the world. That much is crystal clear. You are brave and smart and a beautiful soul.

    If I were you, I would leave your uncle alone for now. I see some others have recommended that you call and ask him for financial help. Yes, but at some time in the very near future. He must be inundated with friends and relatives asking him for money. You do not want to be one in a long line of parasites.

    Here’s the thing about that kind of money. Whomever bought his company did not just write him a check. That’s not how it works. Mostly when that kind of money is exchanged, it is in interest in another company, stocks, mutual funds, etc. and the taxes on a sale of this kind are enormous. He is wealthy no doubt but he is not able to just hand out money like Scrooge on Christmas morning. You can even commiserate with him on the tax burden after congratulating him for his success. (“Congratulations on the sale of the Raytheon, you deserve it after all your hard work. The taxes must be enormous on this. I hope Uncle Sam doesn’t take too much of it away from you.”). You may very well be the only person who acknowledges his burdens that come with this kind of success.

    If you do call him, which is fine whether you have a relationship with him or not, call him to acknowledge his success and congratulate him only. Do not ask for help yet. Also, your mom could be grossly exaggerating the amount of money he sold the company for. He would probably appreciate someone calling just to congratulate him rather than being one of the parasites he has most likely been hearing from. Call on Thanksgiving to wish him well and congratulate him and get off the phone.

    Ask your mom for help with the rent and immediate needs. There is nothing wrong with asking for help but do it in a way that allows her to say no. A request is only a request if ‘no’ is just as viable an answer as ‘yes.’ Call her on Thanksgiving, let her know how happy you are that she is your mom and that her emotional needs are being met appropriately. Let her know that even though you two have had your troubles in the past, you are thankful for her in your life and happy that she is happy. Then let her know that you need financial help.

    Killing yourself is a direct result of your feelings of being amotionalky raped by your mom. She knows full well that she was a piss poor mother but knows not how to fix it. Bring up how you are happy that you are talking again and then ask her for help. If she says no, stay calm, thank her for considering it, let her know that you cannot afford to visit her at Christmas and get off the phone. If she is not willing to help you financially, you do not have to spend Christmas with her.

    Think of other people around you that you can request temporary financial help and call them.

    Also, you have so much to offer the world and if you take yourself out, you will never see the other side of this. Just as Kitty said, your ‘worth’ is far more than your financial portfolio.

    Set a timer for 10 minutes. Sit in your favorite chair or lie down. VISUALIZE your life with all the emotional and financial abundance you desire. It may sound stupid ( or feel strange) but do it anyway. Visualize it all. What it looks like, feels like, and let your mind go to the place you strive to be. Smile and see yourself doing all the things, with no worry of money, with a smile on your face and a happy heart. Just do it everyday.

    I wish you well. You are in trouble but so what. Steve Jobs was fired from his own company. What did he do? He brought another company (pixar) back to life. The company that fired him (Apple, of course) sank into debt without him and begged him to come back.

    We humans can do anything and have anything we want in our lives. When you were a kid, what did you dream of doing? Work towards doing that now. Even if it was say, being a dancer, look for a meetup group of dancers and hook up with them. i don’t know If you have ever volunteered before but it can change your life. Find a group you want to help and volunteer your time. You’ll be surprised what will come from this.

    Every time you talk to your mom on the phone, set a timer for 5 minutes. When that timer goes off, get off the phone. Always be the one who has better things to do with your time that yack in the phone. Your mom sucked you dry of your freedom. Take it back right now. Right. Now.

    • Okay, no, you don’t get to come here and tell me how to run my life. You are not my boss, therapist, or minister, and I didn’t ask for advice.

      Here’s the deal. Anyone who speaks of sucide as casually as you have here, is in need of some serious help — like someone who has just gotten in a car accident and needs the jaws of life to get them out of the car. I am not saying that you are sick just because you are considering taking your life but that if you reach out for help, you just might find some hope.

      I know I need help. I’ve tried to get help. Help is inaccessible to me. It’s a combination of factors: DMH refusing me therapy, private therapists not taking my insurance, mobility impairment, and inadequate public transit. It’s not that I haven’t tried. What I need just isn’t available to me. You can’t get water from stones.

      He must be inundated with friends and relatives asking him for money. You do not want to be one in a long line of parasites.
      Well, I’m so glad to know you think needy people are parasites. That makes me feel so much better about myself.

      As for my uncle, I don’t even know his phone number or any contact information, even if I did want to call him (which I don’t, because no matter how badly I might need it, I can’t bring myself to ask people for money). I haven’t seen or talked to him since 2008, and like most of the rest of my family, he’s shown no interest in keeping in touch.

      Also, your mom could be grossly exaggerating the amount of money he sold the company for.
      Nope. I verified it.

      Killing yourself is a direct result of your feelings of being amotionalky raped by your mom. She knows full well that she was a piss poor mother but knows not how to fix it.
      No, my suicidality is a direct result of disability and poverty. Do I have years of emotional trauma? Absolutely. But before the illness and disability and poverty, I was dealing with it. I was building a life that worked for me. Then I got knocked completely to the ground by illness, which resulted in disability, which resulted in poverty, which resulted in utter hopelessness. If my life hadn’t been completely hijacked by those things, I’d be able to deal with the trauma and depression stuff. My relationship and history with my mother is nowhere near my biggest problem, and I can’t help but think you must be projecting some of your own stuff on to me here.

      let her know that you cannot afford to visit her at Christmas and get off the phone. If she is not willing to help you financially, you do not have to spend Christmas with her.
      You act as though I’m unable to make my own choices. I’m an adult, and I’m perfectly capable of making rational decisions about my life. I’m CHOOSING to spend Christmas with my mother. We’re rebuilding a relationship, and that feels good. I want to spend time with her, especially for the holidays. That’s not easy, since we live 1300 miles apart, but my round-trip plane ticket is her Christmas gift to me–one I asked for, by the way.

      Think of other people around you that you can request temporary financial help and call them.
      Do you really think I haven’t considered this already? There’s no one to ask, even if I could. I don’t have many friends, and the few I do have don’t have enough money to support me. Also, this isn’t a temporary problem–it’s just going to keep happening again and again and again, unless the government finally realizes that people with disabilities shouldn’t be forced to live below the poverty line.

      Also, you have so much to offer the world and if you take yourself out, you will never see the other side of this.
      This may come as a shock, but I do actually know what death is. I don’t want to see the other side because the other side is just more of the same. In the US, few people living in poverty ever get out of it, despite the cultural mythos that tells us we can if we just work hard enough.

      We humans can do anything and have anything we want in our lives. When you were a kid, what did you dream of doing? Work towards doing that now.
      That’s a gross oversimplification of the way the world actually works. There are tons of circumstances that prevent people from doing anything they can dream of. What I want to do with my life would require college and grad school. To do that, I’d need money and health that I don’t have. I’d need transportation that isn’t accessible to me. Closing my eyes and playing pretend every day isn’t going to help that. Imaginary solutions don’t solve real problems. I’m limited by more than just myself–there are structural, institutional inequities that keep me and other people like me from achieving what we might want to, and to ignore those structural deficits turns it into a big game of blame-the-victim.

      i don’t know If you have ever volunteered before but it can change your life. Find a group you want to help and volunteer your time. You’ll be surprised what will come from this.
      You know, maybe before you tell me how I should fix my life, you might want to actually read my blog. If you had, you’d see that I’ve spent inordinate amounts of time volunteering. Most recently, I spent nearly a year working on two political campaigns, the third in command of a region that covered about a third of the state of Massachusetts. Of course, that affects my health–I landed in the ER four times during the campaign, but hey, it’ll fix my life, so I guess it’s worth it, right? In the past, I’ve also helped repair homes for low-income families, worked in an alternative juvenile justice program, coached two Special Olympics teams, worked with kids with profound physical and developmental disabilities, worked at a hand-on science center, and helped build a school in Costa Rica. But clearly I just need to volunteer more and all my problems will get better, right?

      Every time you talk to your mom on the phone, set a timer for 5 minutes. When that timer goes off, get off the phone. Always be the one who has better things to do with your time that yack in the phone. Your mom sucked you dry of your freedom. Take it back right now. Right. Now.
      Um, no. I don’t take orders from you or anyone else, and believe me, plenty of people have tried. It’s never worked. As I said before, I’m an adult capable of making my own decisions about my relationships (and everything else in my life), and I don’t need some random stranger on the internet telling me what to do. I’m CHOOSING to rebuild my relationship with my mother. I WANT to talk to her, and to be honest I don’t have anything better to do with my time. I have plenty of freedom, and the freedoms I do lack have nothing to do with my mother.

      • cougarblogger

        And by the way, why on earth would you approve a comment on your blog that you perceive so negatively? Your defensiveness is just outright rude and your perceptions are so skewed it is difficult to understand why you would approve these comments at all. You like to correct people who only have compassion for you. Now, my compassion has turned to indifference and shock. Fuck you.

        If you take random quotes from a comment and blow them up into negatives, that is your problem. I am shocked at your negative assumptions here. Let’s see — why would you approve comments you find so offensive when they were meant with only care and concern? To correct people with your wild misperceptions. You’re being a fucking bitch when others are just trying to help out.

        You like to take everything personally. No one is trying to ‘tell you how to live your life” or your wild perception that anyone thinks that people in need are “parasites.’ Your perceptions are so far out of whack, it is amusing at best and very sad at worst.

        I am only clearing this up since you COMPLETELY misunderstand and are choosing to personalize (NEGATIVELY) the comments meant to help and not to tell you what to do. For fucks sake.

        Just for clarity — I am not calling you a parasite but when someone comes into a lot of money, they are inundated with people asking for handouts. Not everything is about you.

        I never said anything of the sort ‘all my problems will get better’ around volunteering. Again, a fucked up perception based on who the fuck knows.

        No one is blaming you but you. YOU are blaming anyone who attempts, with the very best of intentions, to help you out by choosing to perceive them as telling you what to do. Fuck you. I reject your hate and blame outright.

        I am not ‘giving orders.’ You are dead set on taking everything that is meant to help as somehow a ‘projection’ or ‘taking orders’ assuming that someone is treating you as somehow less than an adult who can make their own choices. I no longer give a shit.

        Do whatever the fuck you want to do. My interest ends here. Jeez. What a fucking bitch. As for you and your mom, good luck.

        And for those (few) following along, visualizations work. But certainly not if you discount them outright and attack someone who is recommending them … or anything else.

        Why do you even have this blog? You know what, I don’t give a shit. And to think I was going to actually follow your blog. Thank you for saving me the time and heartache.

        As I said, my interest ends here.

  7. cougarblogger

    Ooakey dokey. Your perceptions are completely the opposite of my intentions. I wish you peace.

    • Whew. Cougarblogger. I, too, was deeply concerned when I read Kyra’s suicidal post. And like you, I posted a fairly lengthy comment here with suggestions of things that I thought might help Kyra, because these were things that had helped me when I was so low that I wanted to die.

      Kyra chose not to post my “helpful” comment, which is her right. This is her blog, after all, and — hello — it is her life. I fully accept her right to do with her blog and her life as she sees fit.

      I clicked back here just now to see if she had chosen to post my “helpful suggestions” comment, because she has since posted some of my other comments on her later posts, But my comment here still shows as being in moderation. Which is fine. Her blog, her life, her choice.

      Then I read YOUR comment and…. whew.

      Kyra’s response to you. Cougarblogger, was absolutely 100% RIGHT ON, in my opinion. I’m sure you meant well, just as I know that I meant well in my long “helpful suggestions” comment that Kyra has chosen not to post. However, we can mean well with all of our hearts and still end up, as Kyra so brillitantly said in a more recent post, accidentally jabbing someone in the ribs with our elbow or stepping on their toes.

      Here’s a suggestion-meant-to-be-helpful for you, dear Cougarblogger. I think you would be really great doing volunteer work with abused and abandoned animals. Running a no-kill animal shelter, for example. That kind of thing should be right up your alley. You can pretty much totally control animals. The more stubborn animals you can declaw and muzzle, or lock in a cage.

      For their own good, of course.

      • Oh, and about the $420 million sale… I don’t know Kyra from anywhere other than her blog, and I have no idea who her uncle is. But several days ago, right after I left my long “helpful suggestions” comment to Kyra which she has chosen not to post, I told my chaplain husband about her situation and asked him to pray for her. My faith is not strong and I have no idea if prayer really does anything but my husband believes and I figure it can’t hurt.

        So anyway, after I shared this post of Kyra’s with my husband and he prayed, he did a quick search on the mind-boggling $420 million number and he found this, which was posted online by Etrade:

        Raytheon acquires special operations and cybersecurity firm Blackbird Technologies
        Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) today announced that it has acquired Blackbird Technologies, a leading provider of persistent surveillance, secure tactical communications and cybersecurity solutions to the Intelligence Community (IC) and special operations market. The purchase price is approximately $420 million, subject to post-closing adjustments. The transaction will not materially impact
        PR Newswire | Nov 05,2014 10:00 AM EST

        My late uncle was President Emeritus of a college. He retired to a condo on the beach. He wasn’t rich, but he certainly was not poor. He gave me $20 once. Nice of him… 🙂

      • Yep, that would be the company. Your husband must be really good at Google. 🙂 You can find that same press release on a number of different websites, including Raytheon’s.

        I don’t have a strong belief system either, but I never scoff at prayers. If there is a supreme being (or many of them), then it could be helpful. Even if there’s not, it’s good thoughts for other people, and I think that can only ever make the world a better place, you know? So thank you for that.

      • cougarblogger

        Bullshit. She decided not to approve your comment and attack you but to approve mine and attack it. End of story. She could have decided to simply not approve my comments as she did yours. This is how I know her rant is not personal. Because you have communicated before, you are not anonymous as I am and therefore, your comments were not approved and attacked. Logical fallacies are all over this.

        If you read my initial post, I compliment her. That she then proceeds to approve and take everything that was said as somehow negative is her problem and not mine. Then, rather than address it directly after I called her out on her misperceptions and taking everything out of context — she passive aggressively writes her next blog entitled “I Don’t Have To Be Good.” That is cowardly. Don’t approve that which you chose to find so offensive. Don’t then write a separate blog post for support from people who really don’t know what you’re talking about.

        I have wasted enough time here. Cowards and liars and drama queens. What a waste of life. Blech. Notifications — OFF. Good riddance.

  8. PS Just wanted to clarify about my President Emeritus Beach Condo Uncle and Aunt: I only asked them for money one time. After years of poverty-level living, sometimes selling my blood plasma to buy groceries and pay the electric bill, I asked them for a loan of a couple of hundred dollars so I could afford the gas to drive from New Mexico to Pennsylvania for my grandson’s funeral. A loan. A couple of hundred dollars. The email reply I got was they did not have any money to spare.

    We got to my grandson’s funeral because my husband told his Combat Veteran PTSD support group that he felt terrible that he could not come up with the money to get me to my precious baby grandson’s funeral. He knew they were all struggling with their disabilities as bad as we were with ours and he did not expect them to give us the money, he was just saying. These awesome guys took up a collection on the spot. Not a loan, they refused to be paid back. So now that we are in a much better place financially, we pay it forward.

    And here’s the thing: if we offer someone something that we think may help them — if they don’t want it — we do not call them a bitch and kick them in the teeth for spurning our offer of help. Just because you think that what you have to offer someone is exactly what they did to get all better, you are not them, you have not walked in their shoes. You may have survived going down a very hard road, but your road is not their road. Also, remember that even the sweetest animal, when it is badly injured, will probably bite you when you are trying to help it. That is normal reaction. It does not make them bad, it means they are in a hell of a fucking lot of PAIN.

    When you offer “help” to a suicidal person, and they spurn it — it does not help that suicidal person if you then turn around and call them names and tell them how horrible they are for not falling all over you in gratitude. Because, COUGAR, who the heck are you REALLY trying to help here? Kyra, to want to LIVE — or YOURSELF, so you can pat yourself on the back and sing your own praises because “OH what an AWESOME HELPFUL WISE ALL-KNOWING KICK-ASS GURU I AM!!!!”

    • Like you, I’ve often found that the people with the fewest resources are the most likely to share with others in need. There are even studies that bear out that lower- and middle-class Americans give a greater portion of their income to charity than upper-class people. I think we’re just closer to need than the people at the top of the pyramid, and our proximity gives us more empathy. Something like that.

      I think in trying to help anybody, suicidal or not, people need to realize that just because something saved their life, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will work as well–or at all–for any other person. A lot of times, people in distress who say “That didn’t work for me” or “That’s not a useful solution for me because there are these other factors” or anything along those lines get treated like they’re rejecting help and just not trying. That makes them feel even more alone and hopeless.

      How suggestions are presented makes a huge difference as well. Your suggestion was presented as, “Here’s something that worked for me, and I want to share it with you.” People (including me) are likely to respond pretty well to stuff like that, even if the particular thing being offered is something they’ve already tried. What I have a problem with is the approach that comes across as, “THIS is definitely what your problem is and you HAVE TO do X, Y, and Z to fix it because I DAMN WELL SAID SO.” I’ve never been one for authoritarianism and following orders, much to my ex-drill instructor grandfather’s frustration. Part of me is still that stubborn, smart-ass kid who’s going to refuse to do something on principle when she’s ordered to do it, even if I might’ve done it under other circumstances.

      Also, most of the time, when I blog, I’m not looking for people to fix me or my problems. I just want to connect with other people, and there’s a way in problem-solving interferes with the ability to connect. It creates a dynamic where one person is seen as broken or as a problem, and the other person sets themselves up as the fixer with the answers. The vast majority of the time, that’s unintentional, but it sets up an imbalance of power, and that makes the relationship unequal. The truth, I think, is that we all have broken places and we all have answers, and only by acknowledging both can we really help each other.

      • Oh my God, I hope you plan to turn your amazing writings into a book. If you want to, I mean! 🙂 I don’t know how old you are and it’s none of my business to know. My guess is you are probably younger than my “kids” who are now in their 40s. But regardless of your age, you are so wise and articulate, it blows my mind.

        When I was in my 20s I took a Mensa-proctored IQ test and scored just 4 points below Einstein. All that really means is I do really well on IQ tests. In the test of life, though — not so much. Anyway, since then I have had one mini-stroke (Transient Ischemic Attack) which seemed to knock out most of my ability to do math, plus I’ve had a couple of bad concussions due to domestic abuse, one of which left me temporarily unable to remember my home address. So I’m (Politically Incorrect Alert!) more of an Idiot Savant than a “genius,” these days.

        Even so, I think I can still recognize true genius when I see it and you, Kyra, are just… amazing.

        The world seems to come down extra hard on mega-smart people, I’ve noticed. At least, it seems that way to me.

        OK, I’ve got to get off of here and finish my NaNoWriMo challenge by the end of November — tomorrow! — or BUST.

      • I don’t think I’m coherent enough for a book…there’s no unifying story or purpose or anything. Mostly I just rant about things, and somehow it comes out articulately. I assure you that’s completely by accident. 🙂

        I’m 28.

        I’ve been IQ tested several times, but I don’t remember any of my scores. (Heh.) I’ve had brain surgery and a lot of ECT, which caused permanent cognitive and memory issues. I had neuropsych testing done a few years ago, and it turns out I have terrible working memory (almost certainly due to ECT) and a visual spatial disorder, which I probably had all my life but never got diagnosed because I was smart, so everyone assumed I didn’t have any learning disorders.

        Good luck Nanoing! I have great admiration for people who do that.

  9. PS: I just tweeted something you wrote in your last comment, along with your blog address, on my @LadyQuixote Twitter page. This is all I could get in of your quote:
    ..we all have broken places & we all have answers, & only by acknowledging both can we really help each other.~Kyra https://anotherhopeentirely.wordpress.com/

  10. You’re 28??? Kyra, you are BRILLIANT. Super-amazingly, unbe-freaking-lievably brilliant.

    I also have a visual-spatial disorder. I know another survivor of multiple childhood abuses who does, as well. She believes hers was caused by multiple traumas disrupting the spatial/balance learning we need to acquire when we are very young. Makes sense to me.

    Last night, I finished NaNoWriMo with 53,523 words!! I was so happy I cried. Couldn’t even stand up, I was so overwhelmed. I hit the floor on my knees and put my face in my hands and bawled like a baby. I first tried to write this story in 1975 when I was 22, the same age my eldest granddaughter is now. I’ve tried countless times over the past four decades to put my story down on paper, but I could never get past the first few pages until now.

    I think I’m really going to do this, by golly! Write my memoir and get it published. There’s still a lot more writing and rewriting and editing and proofing I have to do, though. But YAY I am on my way!

    • Congrats on finishing your NaNo project! That’s awesome, and I know it takes a hell of a lot of work.

      Interesting that your friend links her visual-spatial disorder to childhood trauma–that’s a link I’ve never considered. I just chalked it up to another example of my brain being screwy. My mother (a special ed teacher who works with autistic kids, many of whom have various sensory processing disorders) was telling me there’s some research showing that at least some learning disorders might be genetic. My mother has severe dyslexia, which is linked to visual-spatial disorders, so that might be part of what caused mine, too.

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