OCD Christmas

Every year I look forward to Christmas and every year I become overwhelmed by the number of preparations involved, so naturally I was happy to see this card, painted by my grand-daughter, Rachel, who is 10. I love the simplicity of the tree and the bright colors.

Rachel's Tree large

If only decorating the tree was as easy as this simple painting. The first thing I do is assemble my large imitation tree. I help my husband as he places the color-coded branches in their respective spaces on the pole, which eventually becomes an evergreen-shaped plastic object. Once the branches are in place, I go around the tree spreading out the small boughs like lettuce leaves, so they are available to hang ornaments.

Next I go for the lights! This year I am using the larger colored bulbs for a more old-fashioned look. As I struggle unwinding the cords, my husband says:

“Do you want some help?”

“No,” I answer, “Then I’ll just have to change them.” What? Can’t I accept help with this humdrum job?

No, because I am OCD. (Doctors say this means Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but I say it means Overly Concerned Dunce). I can’t accept help because I need to have all the lights spaced evenly around the tree with no two lights of the same color next to each other. No one else seems to have the patience or concern to do that. And if they do, they always make a mistake and I have to do it over. And if you are a mental health practitioner, yes I am in therapy!

Unfortunately, I am that way with the ornaments too, so the next day I drag out the old foot-locker that has held our Christmas decorations for the last 20 years. It is always fun to open it, because years ago I glued a giant picture of Santa’s face on the inside, and he greets me with a big smile. I can’t help it. I always smile back and giggle.

I begin routing around for ornaments, pulling out the larger glass balls first, then the medium and small. I put them on the tree carefully, according to color, spacing and size until I am satisfied that it looks perfect. Then I add the special ones, including angels of different sizes, a snowman, a glass elephant and a Madonna and child ornament.

At last the tree is beginning to look done. I fall exhausted onto the sofa, while my husband tries to revive me, patting me softly and saying “it looks beautiful.” But I don’t hear him, I’m asleep.

 

 

A Time-saver for the Thanksgiving Hostess

Why does Thanksgiving seem like such a warm fuzzy holiday until it actually arrives? You picture yourself around a big table of smiling relatives and friends before a huge, perfectly browned turkey and five or six sumptuous side dishes.

Unfortunately, if you are the hostess, one by one these ideal fantasies disappear as the actual day approaches, and the reality of bringing this feast into fruition begins to weigh on your mind. The first bubble pops when you enter the grocery store to purchase the last few items you’ve forgotten. Suddenly the list seems very long and you begin to feel like a blind sardine pushing a half ton truck through a crowded stream.

When you get to the checkout, the second bubble pops when you faint as the checkout girl tells you the bill is over $100. A kind older man who is not fixing thanksgiving dinner helps you to your feet so you can put the groceries on your credit card. As you leave the store you notice other shoppers who are audibly crying in the check out aisles.

After you get home and put away all the groceries and sundries, you are exhausted and fall onto the sofa in relief. As you are resting the third bubble pops when you realize you don’t have enough chairs, so you quickly phone your nearest relative who has some folding chairs they can bring when they come TOMORROW!!!

Suddenly you are back on your feet beginning your preparation for two pies. Now the remaining bubbles are popping simultaneously, as you realize you will be spending the entire day tomorrow baking the turkey and making the stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce. What in the world are you going to do?

My tip for the exhausted hostess: Do thanksgiving backwards. PUT THE TURKEY IN THE DISHWASHER!

Heavy Purse Syndrome

As a hippie at 30 years of age, I hitchhiked for months carrying only a backpack. I went with two young men and we hitched from LA up the West coast to Vancouver, and crossed over into Newfoundland, a trip of more than 4,000 miles.  I did it without a purse.

How is it that as an older woman, I can’t go anywhere without my huge purse? It measures 15”W X 9”D X 5”H and weighs 4 – 5 pounds? At what point in life did I decide to carry a purse? I know the answer to that. I was 31 and I got a job. In other words, I went straight.

Believe me, it’s not the money that makes it heavy. It’s everything else that has found its way into my handbag. Apparently as I got older I needed more stuff, and I have inadvertently become a victim of heavy purse syndrome. By the way, punching a whole in the bottom doesn’t work. Even though the weight of the purse hurts my arm and my back, as soon as I take the smallest thing out, I need it within the first hour of leaving the house.

If I take out my comb, the wind comes along and tangles my hairstyle beyond hope.

If I take out my compact, my nose suddenly looks like a traffic signal.

If I take out my cuticle cutters or my Band aids, I get a hangnail that bleeds on my white sweater.

If I take out my day planner (which is the smallest one available) I am late for everything and miss my appointments.

If I take out my Kleenex, my nose begins running like a faucet.

ARE THERE OTHER WOMEN WITH THIS PROBLEM?

I know I’m complaining, but I don’t know what else to do but tell the world about my heavy purse dilemma. Maybe someone has a solution. I know African women carry things on their heads. Has anyone else tried that?

The worst part of it is that the older I get, the more stuff I need with me to stay reasonably alive until I return home. Of course I need to carry my cell phone, my keys and my wallet, and I’m just not comfortable without my hand lotion, a nail file, and lip balm. I mean they are necessities. Call it stuff ad infinitum (stuff that multiplies infinitely).

And now for the final admission of guilt. I am continually thirsty and I usually carry a bottle of Aquafina in my purse! All I need now is a sandwich, and … but hey, I have to draw the line somewhere!

 

The Wedding Beefcake and the Beef

Women love weddings. We plan for years for the perfect wedding for ourselves and our daughters and spend large fortunes on dresses, food, cake, flowers, reception halls, a band, and invitations. Why do we do this?

Because we love it! It’s our dream day, the one day in our lives when we can let it all out and do exactly what we want. That is, of course unless the groom disagrees. The groom should be told from the get-go that he has no say whatsoever on anything that happens at the wedding, except when he finally says “I do” at the right time.

I think all women love weddings, even those who aren’t related to the people getting married. We get all sweet and gushy when we see a man who is finally giving up his freedom to take care of a woman because he loves her. Unfortunately, to witness this event, we really need to be accompanied by a man.

Have you ever noticed that more women attend weddings as guests than men? Think about it. When was the last time you saw a group of men telling jokes, drinking beer and throwing peanut shells in the back row of the church during a wedding? Honestly now, never! Men would much rather stay home dressed in their sweats than actually sweat it out in a suit in a church. I know there are exceptions to playing wedding hooky, such as pastors who must be in suits in church every week and don’t seem to mind. But in general, I believe men like to avoid getting dressed up and going to weddings.

What we women need to do is begin early in the season to prepare our man for his eventual attendance at a wedding. That’s why the invitations have those little cards you return, telling the bride who will be attending. Once your man has stood by and agreed to attend, and you have sent back your acceptance card, there is no wedding hooky permitted. It’s now compulsory.

At night while he is sleeping speak to his subconscious about it.

“How wonderful it’s going to be to see Megan walk down the aisle in June.”

He manages to wake up enough to mumble, “Who’s Megan?”

“You know the beautiful blond daughter of Jim and Carol.” During this nightly brainwashing be sure to stress how beautiful the bride will be. You know how men like to see pretty women.

A few nights later, tell his subconscious about the food.

“I hear they’re serving filet mignon at Megan and Chad’s wedding in June.”

“Who’s Megan?”

“You know, the beautiful blond daughter of Jim and Carol. She’s marrying Chad.”

“Who’s Chad?”

“Your friend, the groom, who is very fond of cocktails and steak.” In this case use beef and alcohol as the subconscious prize for attending the wedding.

During the pre-wedding brainwashing be sure to stress the beefcake and the beef! Subconsciously you are implanting the idea that the wedding will be a very gratuitous experience for your husband. Finally when the day of the wedding comes and your husband begins his pre-wedding whining you can remain firm in the thought that he will not be playing wedding hooky. Jim and Carol are counting on him to be there for the beef and the beefcake, and he witnessed you filling out the acceptance card.

This subconscious brainwashing should work unless your married to a man like my husband, who simply says, “I ain’t goin,” and tells you to go by yourself.

I’d love your opinion on this issue. Do women love weddings, while men try to avoid them?

Reblogged from June, 2012

 

Reading ‘The Yard Gnome’

I wrote a very comical series called The Yard Gnome. I should not have divided it into parts because it made it too hard to read.

If you would like to read it, you have to go to my blog and start on the blog from May 24th, My Neighbor the Yard Gnome, which is the first section of the series. Then you would read the blog from May 26th, Yard Gnome II.  If your not laughing by that time, you can read the blog from May 27th, Yard Gnome III. I hope you can still laugh after all this confusion.

Sorry about that.  D.I.D. I do that? Nancy

Yard Gnome III

gnomeThe Yard Gnome Part III

I didn’t think things could get any worse, when Jessie devised a plan for catching her husband. She had found an old dolly in the shed. It wasn’t a baby doll, it was one of those gizmos men use to move heavy items. She thought we could pick up the gnome and move him back to the house on the dolly. It wasn’t a bad idea, considering the problem.

I wish you could have seen us trying to move that stupid gnome. We had a terrible time getting it onto the dolly, and when we did, neither of us had to strength to push it over the grass. We were groaning and moaning.

“Paul’s fallen off the dolly!” Jessie screamed after the gnome slipped and crashed onto the grass.

“How will we ever get him to the house?”

It was a predicament. The gnome was the heaviest thing I had ever tried to lift and even together we could hardly get him right side up. He was at a weird angle and pretty far away from the bird bath.

“He’s leaning over too much,” Jessie whined. “I hope he doesn’t notice.”

After our dolly folly, neither Jessie nor I could figure out what to do. Since I didn’t really believe Paul had turned into a yard gnome, I decided I needed to spy on him at night. I didn’t mention to Jessie that I thought he was seeing another woman, but she thought he must be moving around at night, doing the yard work by the light of the moon.

The next night we hid outside behind the bushes near the bird bath and watched the gnome. It was back in its original place, with the hose in its hand. Nothing happened for awhile and I almost feel asleep, when we heard a funny noise and something whizzed past us into the woods. The yard gnome had moved!

“Did you see something whiz past us?” Jessie whispered.

“Yes I did, and I heard it too. Do you think it was………could it have been…..Paul?” I couldn’t believe it. How could he move that fast. I must have been asleep.

I couldn’t see Jessie’s face, but I knew she was excited. We began calling out Paul’s name into the darkness, sneaking through the yard quietly. Jessie handed me a flashlight and I lead the way, as we walked round and round the bird bath and through the yard. She was calling Paul in a plaintive voice.

“Paul……Paul, please come in….Here Paul…..I’m sorry I made you do all the housework…” She repeated it like a mantra for awhile. Finally she screamed “Come here you idiot.”

The situation was getting scary. Was Paul a ghost? Suddenly, something touched me on the shoulder and I jumped and screamed.

“I’m sorry I scared you,” Jessie said. “I see something in the woods. Turn the flashlight to the woods.”

“Of course,” I whispered. I pointed the light toward the woods, checking out the trees and the bushes, but no Paul. There was a slight glow coming from behind one of the larger trees, and suddenly I saw the top of a pointy red hat. I grabbed Jessie by the arm.

“Look over there,” I whispered. We both saw the red hat. We moved closer and I turned off the flashlight so Paul couldn’t see us. Then we saw the tops of more than one hat.  My thoughts were running wild. Could there be more of these little men? More yard gnomes? Was this a meeting?

“He has friends!” Jessie whispered.

There was a small fire in the middle of the group and we heard quiet laughter. We slipped up closer to the little fire and counted the gnomes. Six in all, and sure enough, there was a female gnome standing next to Paul. She looked almost the same as the other gnomes, but she had blond hair, no beard and she was wearing a skirt. Jessie was really mad by then, and I hoped she knew better than to make a scene.

I was wrong.

“Paul!” Jessie cried. “What are you doing out here?”

“I’ve met some other gnomes,” he answered. “This is Tiny and this one’s Cutie, and……”

“I don’t give a darn what they’re names are,” she yelled, piercing the quiet night. “Are you coming home to bed, or not?”

“Not!” he said. “I’ve met someone else.” He nodded his head towards the cute little female gnome. “You know what they say, gnome, sweet gnome.”

I was astonished, but I had the sense to make Jessie turn around and leave the woods. Soon after, the glow went out and the laughter stopped.

On the way home, despite her anger, a tear ran down Jessie’s cheek. “I had no idea my husband would become a yard gnome. Do you think I forced him into it? I miss Paul, and I am so lonely sometimes. It’s just not that nice at home anymore.”

I finally had the answer she needed. “Well, at least your yard is beautiful! The lawn seems to be perfectly groomed, and I got you a subscription to Gnome and Garden magazine.”

 

 

Did you Find your Blogarithim Today?

I’ve decided that after two years of clogging blogging, I have enough experience to write a blog about how to bluff  blog.

Misspellings aside, I have noticed there is a certain rhythm to a good clog blog. If you have a blogger in the family, you may have noticed they make strange rhythmic sounds or moans during a prolonged process of writing. These are blogarithms. Friends and relatives of a blogger need to encourage quiet, so these sounds can be heard clearly throughout the house or office. No attempt should be made to stifle, muffle or mute a blogarithm.

Blogarithms are as necessary to the blogger as biorhythms are to the body. If the blogger has trouble writing his/her blog and find themselves with a bad case of no-writus (neuritis of the brain), it is possible at that time to create a bio-mathematical blogarithm.

Stand near or by the blogger and try to resuscitate his blogarithms. If he/she has already written a few words (up to three lines of a blog) begin to speak these words to him/her in a rhythmic cadence. Try to get a good rhythm going and hopefully this will restore the bloggers blogarithm and he will be able to continue. This is especially important for people who are paid to blog, (all twelve of them) but also necessary for us amateurs.

Sometimes bloggers make an unsuccessful attempt to write a blog. Words become glue, then turn into wordglue, thus giving birth to the word clog. See www.wordglue.com. (This link is ficticious). Bloggers also need plenty of fresh air. Stuffy air (smog) is not helpful to bloggers, who need fresh air to get fresh ideas. Their minds are often in a FOG, and when they are in this state of mind they are cloggers, not to be mistaken for those who dance a clog.

In my case, I am a multi-linguistic blogger – A multiple who studies weird words, and then blogs them in no particular order.

My Brain is Snowed In

I was going to blog about the psychodynamics of complex multiple personality disorder today, but when I woke up my brain went into a pathological brain freeze. When I try to think, this fluffy white stuff starts flying around in my head, giving me cerebral frostbite. I would very much like to share wonderful truths with my followers, but the truth is I have only frozen memories of such things. Things such as words, sentences, clear thoughts, memories, ideas and other assorted subjects evade me. In other words, my brain is snowed in. Sorry about that! Perhaps tomorrow there will be a thaw.

Science Packs a Wallop

Since school has started almost all over the country, I am reminded of an incident from my school days in the fifties. As young girls, my sister, Gretchen, and I lived in Pittsburgh and went to Winchester Thurston School in Oakland. I was a year ahead at school, but our birthdays were only 22 months apart, so we were close.

Father drove us to school every morning, but we took the streetcar in the afternoon. We took the #75 streetcar from Ellsworth Avenue, through East Liberty and east on Penn Avenue to our street, Homewood Avenue near Frick Park.

Our route took us past a bread factory, where the aroma of fresh baked bread tempted us every afternoon. Mother warned us not to get off the streetcar and try to buy bread at the factory, and she always had a snack ready when we got home. We usually had a choice between potato chips and Coke(my favorite) or milk and cookies.

One day, when our streetcar got to the corner of Penn and Fifth Avenues, the conductor announced that because of road construction, the streetcar was not going the rest of the way up Penn Avenue.

“We’re going to turn left here and go down to blah blah and turn onto blah and blah, blah, blah.” I suppose the adults on the streetcar understood these directions, but it was gibberish to us. We had no idea where our faithful #75 was going. We were panicked. How were we going to get home?

“We should get off here,” I said, thinking we could walk the rest of the way home.

“No, we should stay on the streetcar,” Gretchen said. “We don’t know the way home.”

“I’m pretty sure we just stay on Penn Avenue until we get to Homewood Avenue,” I said.

That day I made my sister get off the streetcar. We were standing by ourselves at one of the busiest intersections in Pittsburgh and Gretchen was mad. She was almost in tears when she said,

“What are we going to do now? We don’t even know where we are.”

With that BANG! She hit me on the head with her science book!

“Ow!” I groaned, surprised by her sudden turn to violence. “Why did you do that?”

“Because now we don’t know how to get home,” she yelled at me.

“I know how to go,” I said, trying to sound self-assured despite my recent injury to the head.

We stood there quite awhile trying to figure out how to cross the intersection. It was four lanes in one direction and three in the other. Using the lights to tell us when to go, I led Gretchen across both streets and we started walking up Penn Avenue. I didn’t know how many blocks it was to Homewood Avenue, but I knew it crossed Penn and we would eventually get to it. However, we were getting tired and I still couldn’t see Homewood Avenue ahead, so I suggested we turn into a drug store on one of the corners. Gretchen agreed. We did what our mother and father had taught us. I asked the salesgirl if we could call home because we were lost. She looked at me very strangely and let me use the phone.

When Mother came and picked us up, she only had to drive two blocks to get to our house. We felt kind of stupid, but she was glad we called her and said we did the right thing to get off the streetcar.

I felt justified, but I had a sore bump on my head for several days. I had learned that science packs a wallop.

A Dummie’s History of Computers

Believe it or not, I was born long before the first computers became available to the public. I totally lack any credentials for writing a blog on the history of computers, so I am only presenting the few facts I know to be true from experience. In other words, I am the dummie!

My first husband was an electrical engineer who graduated in 1964 from Carnegie-Mellon University. At that time, if a computer were mentioned in a conversation, most people understood it was at IBM, and had nothing to do with real life. However, my husband got a job at the university making circuit boards for their new computer, one of the first in Pittsburgh.

The computer was not a lap-top or a desktop. It took up almost the entire third floor of the new computer research building. I am saying this to explain that size mattered at that time, and the idea of a computer sitting on a desk would have drawn laughter. The computer used at least 50 huge 1’x 6’x 6’ high cabinets. These large metal cabinets held all the files and hardware for this computer, and took up the whole floor. When I see teenagers running around with internet capable cell phones I am still amazed. How did those computer cabinets get small enough to fit into these phones?

To make a program for a computer you needed three bachelor’s degrees, two master’s degrees and twelve PhD’s, so there were very few programmers. I am exaggerating, but then, as now, these people were considered the smartest of the smart, or as Apple calls them, geniuses. These are to be differentiated at all times from dummies.

One of my husband’s jobs was to solder circuit boards. The boards were about 3” by 6”. My husband soldered the wires to the board all day and when he came home at night he explained how the computer worked. One wire connected to either a 1 or a 0, depending on the voltage used. If the user asked the computer a simple question, the wires went through many boards connecting various ones and zeros until it arrived at the answer. A simple question might travel  through hundreds of wires and circuit boards. It was mind bloggleing.

“It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?” I ask.

“No it doesn’t,” another personality answers.

“Are you crazy?” a third personality chimes in.

“Who’s asking?” I wonder.

“I don’t know. Do you?”

P.S. Having checked out a few articles on computers from the Internet, I think the computer language I’m talking about is called binary, but the reader is cautioned not to speak of the information in this article in front of a professional or an educator for fear of looking a lot like a dummie. And remember, a dummie can be a computer user, but a computer user might be a genius.

God, the Ultimate Genius

My sister, Greta, is a born-again Christian and she loves the Lord. She also loves people and when a friend asked her to drive her to radiation treatment in Columbus, my sister agreed. Greta is very giving. Please don’t ask her for the shirt off her back, she’ll probably give it to you, leading to an embarrassing situation for all concerned. Anyway, we have a sweet friend, Holly, who has been battling cancer for about four years, and she asked Greta to drive her to Columbus. Greta did request, however, that they stop at the Apple Store in Columbus because Greta’s new I- phone was not working properly.

Holly’s appointment was for 1:45, but the ladies arrived at the Apple Store in plenty of time for Greta to explain her problem to a consultant. The consultants work at the GENIUS BAR, and are referred to as GENIUSES, and rightly so, since they seem to be a whole lot smarter than everyone else.

The problem with Greta’s phone was that it would not ring. When she received a call the phone merely vibrated, so my sister was missing a lot of calls. She has a two-story house and if she was downstairs, when the phone was on the second floor, she couldn’t hear the buzzing sound. She has a telemarketing business, so it was essential that the phone would ring. The Apple Store was her last resort in exchanging the phone.

Greta and Holly arrived at the store in plenty of time for Greta to pick out and exchange her phone. The consultant, excuse me, I mean the Genius, agreed she needed a new phone and within a few minutes she had one. The problem came when the geniuses tried to download her content from her old phone to the cloud on her new one. They started the download and the phone got the first few entries, but then it stopped and nothing happened. They tried again. The same thing happened.

Time was passing by and it was getting late. The Geniuses tried to download the content again. Greta was getting nervous. This was her last chance to get a new phone, because Apple doesn’t have a store in our town, and obviously traveling two hours to get to Columbus is not an easy option. Even so, the phone downloaded the first part of the content to the cloud and then sat still.

Greta decided to pray. She quietly and unobtrusively laid her hand on the phone and prayed:

“Dear God, you are the real Genius. You gave these people the knowledge to create this phone. You can do anything. Please make my content download, so I can take Holly to her appointment.” As she lifted her hand to look at the phone, the rest of her content began downloading and within minutes it was done. She silently thanked the Lord, who is the ULTIMATE GENIUS.

As Easy as Pie

I’ve been cogitating on the idiom “as easy as pie.” Apparently this phrase was first used by someone who was eating a piece of pie, not baking a pie, because baking a pie can be difficult and may involve tears.

As a young bride of 21, about a hundred years ago, I had to make breakfasts, lunches, dinners, do the food shopping and wash the dishes, and I didn’t have a clue. I had purposely avoided the kitchen at home because I didn’t like my mother. She always seemed to find fault with me.

I hadn’t been married long when I decided to make an apple pie. In those olden days, one had to make piecrust from scratch and anyone who has done this, knows it is a skill that needs carefully practiced. I started with a stick of soft margarine and some flour and salt. I happily mixed it all together expecting it to become dough. However, it didn’t become dough. It became a wet, gooey mess.

I started over with fresh ingredients, reading the recipe over several times to get it right. This time I got a bunch of crumbles that wouldn’t congeal without adding water, and when I did add it, the same thing happened. Then I cried.

I called my mother, but she wasn’t home. I called my girlfriend and she told me I needed several things I didn’t have. First I needed to use real butter, and I needed a pastry blender. I didn’t have one. I didn’t even know what they looked like. I cried some more. She said I could blend the shortening and the flour with a fork but I had to do it very easily in order to get a good crust. Apparently if you mash the ingredients together too hard, the dough gets tough, and the tough get doughy.

I actually tried to make the crusts again, using butter and a fork to blend it, but it still didn’t work. I cried long and hard after that.  If tears were used to moisten the crust mixture, I could have had the best pie ever made. I’m sure at some point I threw something to vent my anger, but I don’t remember what. What I do remember is the flour was all over everything, there were dirty forks, spoons and bowls and there was no pie.

Whoever said something was “as easy as pie,” has never tried to make a pie crust from scratch. Long live ready-made pie crusts. No tears necessary.

A Taxing Interview

Last week I gathered our tax records and drove to see my accountant, Wade. Wade and I have been friends for years and we always catch up during tax season. I sat down in his office, which is nicely outfitted in arts and crafts movement furniture. I placed my records neatly on the customer side of Wade’s desk, and waited.

“How are you doing Nancy?” he asked as he came in briskly and took his place on the other side of the desk. We exchanged pleasantries and then he slid the records over towards him and began checking them out. He likes to make sure he understands what’s what.

“Is there anything new I should know about?” he asked.

“Yes, I’m deducting business expenses for my writing. I’m writing a book.”

“All right,” he said as he began reading the list of expenses I had made. “What’s the name of your book?” People always want to know the name of the book I’m writing. Sometimes I’m almost too shy to tell them, but since I’ve known Wade for so long and he has never transgressed on our friendship I told him.

“It’s called Multiple: Surviving Child Abuse, a Journey through Insanity.” I know this title is mind boggleing, so I waited to see his reaction. He stopped trying to read the report and was thinking. I could almost see the wheels turning in Wade’s head and I thought he was probably wondering what to say, so I continued.

“I have Multiple Personality Disorder. I was sexually abused as a child and I have more than thirteen personalities!” For some reason this always takes people by surprise. After a very long pause, a pregnant pause, Wade looked up from the paper.

“You’re not a serial killer are you?” A simple question, but why do people assume that if you have multiple personalities one of them is a serial killer?  Fortunately, Wade smiled as soon as he said it and we both laughed.

“No, none of my personalities are killers.” With this pertinent information in hand, Wade stopped perusing the tax records and began questioning me at length about my illness and my book. We spent ten or fifteen minutes talking about being a multiple and writing a book.

My point in telling you all this is, that the public really needs educated about Dissociative Identity Disorder, aka Multiple Personality Disorder. That is the reason I wrote my memoir. I want people to know about what happened to me and how I discovered my “alters,” so that possibly another child might be saved from the same fate.

I want people to find out how crazy I was for the first fifty years of my life, although I was never a serial killer, and how shocking it was to discover my other personalities, which I found when I was in a mental hospital. I also want people to know that there is help out there and that “mental cases” can live fairly normal lives if treated. I’d like to get the word out there so that other people with multiple personalities can get help.

The statistics are rather revealing. Safe Horizon.org published a statistic on their website stating that there are 3.6 million reports of child abuse in the United States every year and that six million children are involved. Please be vigilant and call the Child Abuse Hotline if you think a child is being abused. The number is 1-800-4-A-CHILD.

Did You Celebrate Multiple Personality Day?

I am so embarrassed. I missed Multiple Personality Day, which was March 5th. I hope I have not lost any readers because of my memory lapse!

Did you celebrate? Are you a multiple or a single-minded individual? I’m sure many of you had great celebrations with cakes, gifts, and balloons, but what about those who are not multiples? We could call them indivisibles, with liberty and justice for all. I think that’s what we should call them.

My guess is that most multiples had no idea it was Multiple Personality Day. Most of us try so hard to appear normal that we forget everything else.

Some parts of me realized this special day was during March, but my overall presiding personality, Control, wanted confirmation in black and white. Unfortunately I was not able to find the information I wanted on the internet, but I did find a great video on multiple personality, which I presented in my last post.

Since I have mentioned Control, I will describe him/her/it. Control was created in the eighties, when I became a married middle-class woman living in a small university town. My third husband kept coaching me on how to raise my two daughters from previous marriages. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to do it right.

“You have to be consistent,” he said. Well, if there’s anything a multiple can’t do, it’s be consistent. An untreated  multiple has little chance of being consistent. Some of us can’t remember what we did yesterday, much less what significant lesson we were trying to teach our children.

So I created Control, who has no feelings, no gender and no past. This personality was the perfect entity to run a complex household. He/she kept track of holidays (unlike Nancy), car pool schedules, grocery lists, Doctor’s appointments, church responsibilities, cleaning schedules, laundry and meal planning and execution. (I don’t actually execute my meals, I do cook them!)

Control handled all of the above without getting upset. Most of my other personalities can’t do that, because they get upset if there are too many details. They get overloaded and then, wham, they change into someone else!

So that is my excuse for forgetting Multiple Personality Day. I hope you were able to have a nice celebration anyway! Did anyone do anything special?

Procrastination is my mind bandage

The most obvious symptom of being a multiple may be lack of action. When you have several people inside you and they all want to do something different, if they don’t agree on what to do, you have a conundrum. This leads to all sorts of confusion and disagreement on the inside. Sometimes I just sit around doing nothing because “we” can’t decide what to do.

After my last blog I learned a few things from Madelyn Griffith-Haynie who has a post on procrastination and task anxiety. Her blog is called “ADD and so much more”, and it’s on wordpress.  She explains that we are most likely to procrastinate on a task that has many steps. For example, I don’t mind going out to the mailbox, which is by the road, on spring, summer and fall days, because it’s just one task. However, in the winter I hate to go get the mail because its takes five tasks.

  1. Change my shoes to boots.
  2. Put on my coat, gloves and hat.
  3. Walk to the mailbox, get the mail, and walk back to the house.
  4. Take off my coat, gloves and hat.
  5. Take off my boots and put on my shoes.

For that reason I put off getting the mail, and I owe thanks to Madelyn for her wisdom on the subject.

I have found something to do while I’m procrastinating and trying to get my personalities to agree on what we are going to do. It is my mind bandage. It is freecell, the solitaire game of all games. I can play it without thinking too hard, so my numb mind can be deciding what to do at the same time.

I found a website to help me through my dilemma. It is called Freecell.net and there I can play competitively. The site has twelve kinds of freecell to choose from and playing against other people and having a little competition enhances the idea that you’re really doing something. The site even has a special screen for people who are playing while they are at work. It looks like a screen from excel. The people who host freecell.net are geniuses.

Oh, Oh, I’m starting to feel kind of weird. I must be facing a big decision, because I need my mind bandage. I think I’d better get over to freecell.net right away, so I can relax and calm down!

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Other Multiples

If you know someone with multiple personalities, please tell them about my blog. I would like to connect with them