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Archive for December, 2015

One Semester to Go

I’m pretty excited that I only have one semester remaining before obtaining my bachelor’s degree in psychology. I’m almost there!

Here are just a few of the obstacles I’ve overcome since my academic journey began 5 years ago:

  • Dropped out due to chest pains and stress- 2010
  • Asked for $1,200 school debt to be forgiven so I could return (It was.)
  • Had a breakdown and had to temporarily withdraw 2011
  • House’s foundation crumbled/flooded due to freak thunderstorm/flood- causing my children and I to be homeless- 2012
  • Car accident which caused me to have to drop 1/2 my classes- 2013
  • Filed appeal to have balance deferred so I could complete AA degree
  • Filed (full) refund appeal for math course-2014 (won the appeal)
  • Filed another appeal to have 6 classes (erroneously added) removed from remaining course load (won the appeal)

It’s definitely been an uphill battle, and what should have taken me many more years to complete, I was able to complete in just 3 years. (Associates degree in Behavioral Sciences and a CPC/Certification in Substance Abuse.)

I’ve worked so hard and have fought through hell and back to be able to get to this point- relentlessly– and can finally see the finish line just ahead. My final semester begins in two weeks; and my last 5 courses are:

  • Marine Biology (Bio. elective)
  • Psychology of Personality (Psych)
  • Sensation and Perception (Psych)
  • Senior Seminar/Capstone Project
  • And that damn Statistics class

After I graduate in May (2016), I’ll have the summer off before beginning my Master’s in Forensic Psychology. Things are looking pretty good. 🙂 I received all A’s last semester so this next semester, it will be extremely important to make mostly A’s as well so that I can get into my Master’s program.

The years are flying by! Another year is gone. This year was the hardest year of my life. I have no doubt that 2016 will be a much better year on many levels.

I’m coming for you Bipolar Barbie-Q!

Early edit from 2009, from my Photoshopping days (friend’s daughter)

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Divided States of America

I remember when I was in the 4th grade; my teacher, Mrs. Ledford, would read from the Bible (KJV/ King James Version) out loud, every day. I didn’t go to a private Christian school; this was the public school system back in the ’70’s. She would read to the classroom- out loud- one chapter a day from the Bible. It was part of our daily learning, and it was not uncommon at the time.

Before we ate our daily lunches in the cafeteria, our teachers would instruct us to bow our heads at the table as we all joined together to pray over our food. Back then, the Iranian hostage crisis was still gaining momentum, and so we all wore cloths tied around our arms in support of our American hostages that were being held, and sometimes beaten, daily. I was too young to really understand the situation much; but I wasn’t unfamiliar with prayer- having been raised in a Pentecostal family. Prayer was, and still is, a very important part of my life. We stood with our hands over our hearts in the auditorium, pledging allegiance to our flag-  and our country. I had a reason to feel proud of my country back then. Now, I’m filled with shame and disgust that our country has virtually banned God (and Jesus) from the classroom. I’m no longer proud of my country.

At W.R. Castle Elementary school, in Johnson County Kentucky, students are participating in the traditional “A Charlie Brown Christmas” play. What makes this particular Christmas program so important and so special, is that its creator, Charles Schultz, realized that few programs during the time of its creation were focusing on what Christmas is truly about- the miraculous birth and celebration of Jesus Christ- the Son of God.

Mr. Schultz stated that he purposely included a passage from the Bible that explains just exactly what Christmas is really about. Not Santa Claus. Not toys. Not the commercialism and hubbub of what it’s become over the years- but rather, the moving Christmas story that accompanies Jesus’ Holy birth at the manger, among lowly farm animals, and the 3 Magi who were guided to the manger by following the bright star in the night sky.

The telling of this story has been a Christmas tradition for many years and I remember my teachers telling this story to me every year in my classrooms at school. There was a feeling of charity and warmth in the air as we all learned about Jesus’ birth, as several teachers discussed the precious oils (Frankincense and Myrrh) and other gifts that the Magi/Wise men brought with them to give to Jesus.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the ever-driven “politically correct” God-banners are having none of this. They petitioned the school board at W.R. Castle Elementary school and are fighting to have the Bible passages- and all references pertaining to Jesus– removed from this Christmas play.

FYI, to whom it may concern, Jesus isn’t merely part of a Christmas story– Jesus IS the Christmas story. In the Charlie Brown Christmas story, Linus explains the meaning of Christmas to Charlie Brown, who is under the impression that Christmas is about a tree and other synonymous symbols. Charles Schultz went on to create this necessary and important conversation between Linus and Charlie Brown:

Charlie Brown: “I guess you were right, Linus. I shouldn’t have picked this little tree. Everything I do turns into a disaster. I guess I really don’t know what Christmas is all about. Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

Linus: “Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.”

(Linus) Taken from the Bible/Luke 8: 2-14: “And there were (in the same country) shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Linus: “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

I can understand disallowing students (or school officials) from forcefully pushing an agenda onto other students–who may not be interested in that agenda–but this is not the case. We’re talking about elementary school children who have a right to learn about the birth of Jesus Christ in an educational and historical context. They have a right to know and learn this information!

Since when did it become “o.k.” to alter historical content in such a way? It is altogether evil to ban “the story of Jesus’ birth”- from a Christmas play during Christmas time.

We’ve reached a new low in this country.

Taken from an interview with Charlie Brown creator, Charles. M. Schultz:

Mr. Schultz: “We cannot do this show without including the famous passage from Saint Luke. And that had never been done before either. No one would put Biblical passages in an animated show, and we did it. That was the highlight of the show,” he said.

I agree, Mr. Schultz.

More on this here.

 


Are you Addicted to your Own Chaos?

Lying here in the muted candle light, the sound of Josh writing a song on our electric stage piano has a tranquil, sedating effect. I feel mildly euphoric, despite having a wicked migraine. It’s noteworthy to add that I haven’t had a migraine in many weeks. I became my own lab rat when I experimented with a variety of medicinal, herbal, natural pain modifiers and thankfully, discovered something that worked for me. It’s such an effective medicine, that it not only eliminated my 3 day migraines altogether, but doubled as natural Adderall; increasing my ability to focus and concentrate by more than 60%. As a result, my grades shot up and I became an honor roll student virtually overnight. And, as a result of the medicine, I’ve been able to eliminate my doctor visits 100%. No need for pharmaceutical pain medication, no need for nerve pills, no need for Ambien to help me sleep. It’s been my panacea and it works. (Unfortunately, I’ve been without that medicine for 3 weeks now.)

I realize finding a cure-all on this level is slim to none. Even doctors and therapists are unable to “fix” people for the most part. Why else do people continue seeing a therapist after 20 years and so on? You’d think that there’d be nothing left to discuss. Ahh…but what they don’t and won’t tell you, is that they will help you to perpetuate your own disorder; it’s called job security.

You would think that I, of all people– a psychologist-in-training– would be hesitant to talk openly about this seldom-disclosed medical deception, but I’m not. Because it’s disgusting how Big Pharma and (many) doctors and therapists are all in bed together, and they work incessantly to keep people sick- year after year- and benefit from it.

Disclaimer: there are people who genuinely need therapy and benefit from it, and absolutely should continue on with it and take the proper medications. I’m not talking about those people.

I’m talking more about people that really don’t need medication or therapy at all…like children who are excitable, and are simply being children. They wiggle in their seats with anticipation and raw energy. But do you know what the teachers are doing in most all schools now? They’re being conditioned and programmed–like militants–to report ANY children who exhibit signs of “excitability”, and they’re mandated to report these “excitable children” to school officials, CPS workers, CASA workers (who are merely average Joes and Janes who volunteer to work with children, despite their lack of any kind of training whatsoever- scary), and a plethora of other workers.

What happens next is nothing short of societal rape. They then tell the parents that their child needs to be medicated, because he or she is exhibiting signs of ADHD- which is a “catch-all disorder” for a child simply being a child! Big Pharma has created this disorder in the last 20 years or so, and has pimped it out to society at large, and the whole world has swallowed it up- tail and all- because they’re told it’s true.

This is scary crap. For real.

School teachers- who have absolutely no psychological training whatsoever, are reporting children to case workers, who then report those children to “other officials”- who in turn, report them to CPS- the baby snatchers and the family destroyers. Why? Why would they do such a thing?

I’ll tell you why. Because every child in the public school system who is put on some type of behavioral disorder medicine receives bonus money for that school. For every kid that’s diagnosed–by a freakin’ teacher–and reported- the school’s bankroll gets fatter. And now that school district has a sweet chunk o’ change rolling in, no matter where that kid goes (as long as he’s medicated and the “problem” persists- and oh believe me, it will) and that kid becomes a “lifer” most of the time. Meaning, that child will be told it needs medicine year after year, for many years, and sometimes it lasts for the rest of their lives. Because after 10- 20 years of pharmaceutical medications, a host of side effects and other disorders have now been created (and are real), because of that one prescribed medication during the child’s most formidable, impressionable years.

Look it up. Knowledge is power, they say. Kids are being altogether destroyed at an alarming rate in the U.S.  and parents are frightened into obeying, because they’e told that their child has “a disorder”. They’re threatened if they don’t take their kid to a therapist and worse, they’e threatened if they refuse to medicate their child.

This is a sick, twisted business. It’s absolutely horrific and yet it continues on, year after year.

I watched this documentary called The Drugging of Our Children and it blew my head off. Seriously. It scared the crap out of me. I could not believe that our system is that perverted. Well, yes I can, but don’t get me started on that.

Alas. I really didn’t want to rant on about all of that. This is just free association.

I really wanted to write about something else entirely. My migraine, and pain in general. I’ve noticed that when I’m in extreme pain, especially for 72 hours relentlessly, that any little comfort feels reeeeeeeeeally good. Way better than normal. Take for example, stretching my muscles. By nature, I really can’t stand to work out. It’s boring and repetitive and sort of pointless to me. I can think of many fun ways to get exercise, rather than spin around on a wheel like a sad hamster.

But a few moments ago, I noticed that when I stretched my leg muscle, it felt incredibly good. More so than if I didn’t have a migraine and it got me thinking: What’s the correlation between pain and good feelings? Is it possible that pain actually releases endorphins? 

And then I found this article that stated that not only pain releases feely-good endorphins, but so does stress. Hold on- let that sink in a minute.

Stress (chaos, worry, contention, strife, bad traffic, an ugly altercation, hard donuts, etc.) releases endorphins. A while back, I wrote a post about a theory that I posited, called The Chaos Theory.  There’s already a chaos theory in math, but not in psychology. Well, now there is. 🙂

My theory is this: In childhood and adolescence, some of us are thrown into derision and pain, or, chaos, and not unlike adaptation, we get used to crazy crap happening to us all of the time. (Sorry, I get tired of writing academic research sometimes and my rebellion is being able to dumb it down- teetering dangerously on the edge of slang.)  In short, if the chaos ceases for any length of time outside of what we’re familiar with, we’ll create our own chaos, because then, at least we know what to expect.

In this way, we condone and accept self-induced chaos more readily than foreign peace.

Heavy words, but not untrue. As with anything else, each person’s experience will vary, and this hypothetical scenario is individuated and subjective. In other words, it’s not the same for everybody.

In the article I pointed out up there, it states that our stress and pain activate our opioid receptors; very much like drugs do. However, it stated that we do not become addicted to pain and stress as we would with drugs.

I beg to differ.

And I bring your attention back to my Chaos Theory. I believe some of us seek out chaos, not because we like it, but because we’re trying to alter our brain chemistry. Stress produces endorphins! When we experience prolonged stress, our brain dispatches the EMT/ambulance  (little neurotransmitters- endorphins) to patch up the damage. This is likened to taking a hit off of an opium pipe. Not enough to knock you down, no, and maybe not enough to even notice- on a conscious level.

But what’s happening behind the scenes is that as the stress is increasing, and the sympathetic nervous system throws the body into “fight or flight” mode, our endorphins are being pumped out from the pituitary gland and are circulated throughout the body via the bloodstream, certain neural pathways in our brain are being rewarded with those feely-good hormones. It’s very much like biological classical conditioning.

This is bad though, because it teaches the person that “heightened stress” is rewarded.

[Another “let that sink in” moment.]

In this way, we absolutely can, and sometimes do become addicted to stress, and our own chaos- because it’s what we’ve learned to do in order to “fix ourselves”- not unlike a junkie.

I’d like to conduct a few research studies in the future in this area. But for now, I’m going to get my own fix; listening to Josh play and sing, as I lay here in the candle’s warm glow with the smell of pumpkin spice filling up the room sweetly.

Interestingly enough, my migraine has dissipated almost entirely.