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Monday, January 30, 2012

Tyrannic Tuesday

Sometimes, ZI worry that people I believe I can trust, are back-handedly taking advantage of me. It's as though there's no actual evidence, it's just an alarming tone of voice, a sideways glance, at the wrong time. Right now, I feel as though, I live with my old mind, and a slightly warped one that deals with the plethora of ridiculous issues that arise in my life currently. Somewhat scary if you ask me. The 'me' I'm used to is very laid back, goes along with most anything, and avoids confrontation. I've always preferred to steer clear of confrontation, yet, more, and more these days I find myself face to face with someone, and digging my. Proverbial claws in. It's not a pleasant feeling by any means, and, yet here I am, standing up for what I think is right. Maybe it took a brain injury, of course I'd prefer to think not, but this is life now, and, as us usual, it's been a slow road to acceptance of that. Am I angry this happened to me? Duh, how could I not be? Though, have I not gained insight to the beauty of the human spirit? Am I not beyond grateful to have another chance? I have to tell myself, and believe in my ability to accomplish whatever I may set as my goal, because if you don't believe in yourself, who else will?
Today was a fantastic day for me. I grumpily raised myself from the dead to attend my 8:30 psychologist appointment, since I've met him, nothing has actually provoked me to want to share anything with him. I always have had this steadfast feeling that my life is like ant farm, where everything I do, how I act or respond or don't respond to things is being closely observed, and/or graded, on some level. Though, I could never maintain the mental wherewithal to speak up about injustice, ignorance, or even sloppiness that I observed. It's almost amusing, but, so. Very disheartening and infuriating, to observe, and even experience these woes, but also lack the understanding and ability to navigate social hierarchies as they apply here. Maybe that is why I'm writing more now, to flush or expunge my mind of the enormous load of rubbish it now carries around, or always has. and these are thoughts. That lay around unanswered in my head. Just had to toss a few out, in hopes that I won't always feel as if I'm drowning in my own sea of unanswered contemplations.

Forward march... I dragged my half asleep mind out the door at 745, which is an ungodly early hour for me. The transportation service I use, had to come early, apparently to pick. up, and drop off another client, in a similar geographic location. At this. Hour, in my day, tolerance doesn't exist. I usually just keep my mouth shut, to avoid being rude. I was fortunate this morning, that I'd been able to grab food, before leaving my apartment. My desperate need to fill my stomach, was my only saving grace this morning, while enduring seemingly endless tales about her cat urinating in the bathtub on several occasions, and many other charming details. Normally, this kind of crap, goes in one ear, and out the other. In the morning I'll stew over the first things I hear. I eventually made it. To my appointment, though, somewhat infuriated that I'd had to start my day. Earlier than I chose, and then had to deal with this lady talking to hear her own voice. Obviously, I'm not a morning person...
Fortunately, even though, I started on the wrong foot, I was able to change my train of thought, and gain some new perspectives in my psychology appointment. Today, I felt like. I actually. Was progressing, and maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel. For the 1st time in 4 yrs, I actually felt like someone realized that I may be able to function outside of the government aid bubble I live in. I've always believed that I could take care of myself without assistance. I was like that as a kid too. However, iIm an ass, because I couldn't realize that the object isn't to be able to be supremely independent, for me it's to learn social graces, to pleasantly co-exist with others. Reading that sentence makes me think of that tv show, with the ridiculous dorks, The Big Bang Theory.

AfterI returned home, I discovered that my pc, which I needed to finish some of my work from last semesters class, was on the fritz... again. This only seems to happen when I have. Help lined up to actually complete a task. We went to lunch and discussed the agenda for my team meeting on Thursday. Not a total waste of time, but, am quickly loosing faith in my ability to complete this class. At least, how I'd envisioned it. However, I will say that breakfast for lunch at Sneakers disguised my frustration and anger. After lunch, I met up with my first Vermont friend,Ann,for some retail therapy at EMS. I can't ever turn down a trip there, especially when the place is filled with red clearance signs. Although, the one thing I really wanted, mad me appear as if I was wearing a cranberry paper bag. It was fun to catch up with Ann, as we rarely see each other. She's been an amazing friend through all of this, as have so many, but I'm always reminded of how amazing, and seemingly invincible I once found life. I still appreciate it, but , 5 yrs ago, it never occurred to me my life could or would take such a difficult course.

After Galla Antony with Nn, she dropped me off at the Y, so I could do my aqua aerobics class, and hit the gym. When I got to the locker room, I got somewhat disgruntled when I realized, it contained, only my running gear. Another woman in the locker room, seemed convinced I could handle a Zumba class, and offered to coach me through it. Given that she was the 2nd person of my day, to endorse the class, I joined in, standing in the very back, to not bring attention to my ridiculous coordination. After maybe 10 minutes, Jaime, who I'd met earlier spied me, awkwardly trundling around in the back, and started voicing the moves, as we did them, which helped me so much. My brain is still pretty slow with translating what I see, into a physical reaction, so up until then, I'd been slightly behind everyone else. I don't think I've broken that much of a sweat since October. I was so glad that I was able to move as well as I did in that class. Definitely made me realize how far I've come physically, in a year. Pretty cool what your brain can figure out, if you use it, everyday.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ready, set, go!

Onto another manic Monday, my goal this week, is try and post everyday. I don't always have a lot to say, but I need to break it up a bit, instead of doing a hodgepodge of assorted thoughts, and activities from the week. We shall see...
Mondays begin officially, in my TBI world, at 9;30, but I managed to kick some ass, and go for a run at 7. I needed to get outside for a bit, as I was a hermit over the weekend, and needed some fresh air, before gettin' stuff accomplished at CHIPS. Amazing how much difference, using physical energy makes, before being at a desk for several hours makes. Don't think I actually accomplished very much, except for promptly addressing the grant oriented questions I was apparently supposed to do last week, and didn't see in my inbox. I'm quickly learning that everything about grant writing is a hurry up, and wait type process. Theoretically, that shouldn't bother me, because it's very similar to my life presently. I just need to stop waiting, and start doing. Every time I declare a far-off goal, however, it is immediately shot down, this is easily my biggest complaint about our present society. Those who blame others for their own faults, and here I am doing it myself. Embarrassing...
Or not, I realize this is all a relearning process, but so fucking remedial. I hate. That word because it's so often peppered into everyday conversation, and is no longer the vehement, angry curse word, I grew up knowing it to be. It's in every other sentence on the street, and they bleep it out of movie and tv conversations, so now it's in my opinion, a disgustingly fashionable word. But, you still sound like a piece of trash saying it, no matter what the context. Hmm, maybe I need to take a break from YouTube.
Back to remedial, I'm so sick of being treated like the ignorant fool, pele initially perceive me to be. You have to slow down a bit, and focus, which, it seems the majority of people are incapable of. That's a skill you have to develop, by the way. It takes more than Ritalin, maybe learning how to deal with yourself, and taking responsibility for your actions. Not that I think people still do that anymore, as it's pretty obvious people. Well, here's a charmingly bitter blurb, I despise writing about what I don't like, because open that can of worms, I can't put it away.
I had this idea, I should only post positive accomplishments, however, accomplishments in the world of the Medicaid waiver TBI program are few and far between, so I'm just going to roll with writing about what I don't appreciate these days, simply because I ca. Lucky you..
I'm not pleased it's an election year,a ) on a selfish level, it's an obvious reminder of how long I've been treading water in this foolish program. I'm beginning to liken myself to a caged animal, because I've been mentally hung out to dry for so long. This feeling is so much worse in the winter, as I don't get out as much. Also, having people look at me sheepishly, and actually say, "oh wow, you're pretty smart, huh.". Makes me shiver thinking about it. Why do people voice thoughts like that? Awkward. My 1st thought to snark back is always, "yeah, not just a pretty face". Though I can never actually allow myself to respond that way. It's not rewarding to speak your mind, when it makes you berate others. God, who am I? People occasionally tell me I should be proud of myself, for how much I've accomplished, but when you're life is constantly being criticized, picked apart, down to every last reason for each decision you make, it becomes absurdly difficult to even pretend you appreciate anything. I'm not saying I'm not thankful to be here, but tonight, I feel like I'm cracking under the pressures of trying to maintain my housing situation, acclimate to a new, unique liviving situation, finish up class from last semester, make sure I'm not shaking or seizing, because I forgot to take my meds, and make sure I'm not actually spreading my negativity into the world. Ooh, wait a minute...

Good night!

Who? What? Where?

Alright, majorly slacking, with writing on here. My world has been changing so fast recently. I'm told that brain injuries aren't very accommodating of change, so that's my excuse. In the past week, I've had one roommate move out, another move in, began the seemingly endless process of rectification for my government funded housing, ran outdoors (what is with this weather?). Been snow boarding, which you can check out on my fb wall). (That was definitely the highlight of me week.). I have no idea how the adaptive instructors are able to deal with so many varying types of difficulties. I rode with the help of a woman, who attempted to ride backwards facing me to give me hand held support. Last year, I had worked with a guy, who usually chose to not use his board, and would walk facing me. Yurns out, thats more ideal. Our boards overlapped, and I experienced my first crash of the season. Snow boarding is no where near as exhilarating as it once was, but I love that they're willing to work with me, and my goal of one day being able to ride independently, or, how I used to. It was amazing to see a couple of familiar faces from last year. My desperate need to do everything on my own, for myself, always has to be put away, when I'm snowboarding. That is never easy for me, but learning how to coexist with my disabilities, is not an easy trip,but no one ever said it would be.
I'm slowly acclimating to life with a new roommate. We made it official, last week, by signing the paperwork for the housing authority, and meeting with the coordinator from homeshare. I'm so relieved things are more are less normal between us. You never know who you'll end up with, until a bit of time has passed. She's one of the first roommates I've had, since I've lived here, where I feel completely comfortable speaking up about what does and doesn't work for me. I'm trying to be open to more natural means of household cleaners at the moment. I use what I use right now, because I know it kills whatever gets left behind on the counters. She uses vinegar and baking soda, which i know some people use, and swear by, but I had completely forgotten vinegar existed in the first place, and can't be around an open container of it anymore. Hopefully, we've come to an agreement where we'll each clean, but in our own ways. My sinuses despise vinegar, a fact I know from having to mop the kitchen, of one of the restaurants I served in, back in the day. I didn't actually remember that, until I smelled it again.
I'm really hoping this arrangement works out, as my case manager fills my head with horror stories about this particular organization. It's really hard to be in a place in your life, where you need to re-learn who you are, and want to be, yet you have very little control over who you spend your time with. This country has a vast amount of social issues/travesties, and for me it's relatively easy to see why. I don't have the answers on how to fix it though. I just watch and listen to everything that goes on around me, which, may actually be the one thing I adore about my injury. My eyes aren't near as observant as they once were, however, my ears pick up a ridiculous amount of garbage, wherever I go. It's interesting how one sense takes a hit, and others become heightened, as a result. I will always prefer my vision to what it was 5 yrs ago, but I feel pretty Dan luck to see as well as I do now, especially considering that it's relatively unheard for people with vision loss to regain it.

Random side note, today, I realized it's been over a year since the last time I rode a horse. The 'old guy' I used to ride, Walter, a cantankerous Morgan, died last winter, and I already felt like I was wearing out my welcome, in terms of the time and energy required by others to help me 'get back in the saddle'. I don't think I realized how much I missed them, until, I was home. In Maine, my life was built around horses. In college I had trouble figuring out how to fit them in, and split for a year, and took a job where I got paid room and board, to ride everyday. Riding on the English countryside everyday, was a dream come true, and somehow made feeling so, immediately alone, worth it, because the freedom of riding was so fulfilling. I've decided that is probably why I push myself so hard tregain my former freedoms. If you are brought up without the ability to relize the beauty of independence and self-sufficiency, than you probably never will, unless someone takes the time to help change your preset mold, and you're willing to open your mind.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Today, I went to the Verizon store to ask about plans for iPhones if I were to get one. I also wanted to learn more about 'mobile hot spots' in lieu of paying the dastardly Comcast an astonishingly high rate for Internet I can only use in my home. I will admit hopping on the iPhone train, is quite attractive. I just don't want to carry around a piece of technology I'm consistently having to worry about. I also find it somewhat appalling how addicted some people get to them. And, am slightly afraid that I could be an annoying addict. Plus, in my world, they're beyond expensive, every month. To do, or not to do, is the consideration of the night.

Also, my world completely changed last week, when I changed roommates on the same day, last week. I'd been at the Y all morning, and wandered around church st. for a bit, when I ran into old college friends. I love that Burlington is small enough for that to still happen. We chatted for a bit, and every time I run into old friends I'm reminded of how amazing friends are. I can't seem to figure out how to open up and let new people in, now, without a lot of effort on their part. I realize now, why I was so rigorously told my life would never be the same as it once was. However, I will say how much more I appreciate life, past and present, as a result of what I've been through. That's not to say I don't have days where the idea of curling up and hiding from the world is much preferred to facing the world. Although, I've learned now, days that begin that way, often end with the biggest successes.
After Mere and Phil dropped me off I went into my half empty apartment and immediately frolicked around the completely empty room in my apartment. For whatever reason, I find it so fulfilling to have a woe open space, to contemplate, or just move around in. A couple hours passed, and Meghan returned to say goodbye, as I'd hoped she would. It's funny, we lived together for over a year, and I doubt that either of us know eachother any better than prior to living together. I suppose, what I relearned about myself, is that when topics are difficult or awkward for me to talk about, I avoid it. Now, that I've realized this, I completely despise it, as conversations with people with similar apprehensions are soo awkward. Awkward? Whose awkward? Oh yeah, everyone... Just some more than others. Yup, getting back on track here, well trying. I went through homeshare VT to find a new roommate. I interviewed 4 people, and the young woman, I brought in, twice. I was very nervous, about my decision, as she just turned 21, and I remember what I was like at that age. I'm still pleased with my decision, thus far.These are out of order now, but I couldn't find this original about the roommate craziness...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Yikes, Monday already...

I tend to look forward to each Monday, as it's the one day, where I feel like a part of the world, vocationally and socially. Although, I haven't been super productive today. Outlined my goals with my job coach type this morning, thought, I'd scheduled my ride, but probably didn't, or they confused, what I'd said, but got a ride, and had a marginally productive day in 'the office'. I'm attempting to make a historical building marginally handicapped accessible, for kids with mobility issues. Some days I go in, and feel like this project may not be possible, and kind of tread water. Other days I go in, and get stuff done. I was pretty pleased with myself Monday, as I had little to no direction, and began drafting a grant proposal to a local foundation. I've never written a grant before, and the website wasn't particularly informative regarding requirements, so I had zero to go on. I'll have to wait until next week, to get any feed back about what I wrote. The most difficult thing about this internship, is that I only go in once a week. It's like going in full steam ahead, and being cut off every week. In order to get things done, I need to devote myself to a project and do it all at once. Otherwise, I wind up distracted and off track. Which might be why I've been there 4 months haven't accomplished anything tangible... Yet. My therapists like to tell me I feel this way, because of my brain injury. I find those statements ridiculous, because these are the exact same frustrations I experienced in college. I can't decide if I feel lucky I remember so much of who I was, or not. On the one hand, that is the reason why I push so hard to get the desired result, but it also means I'm constant measuring myself, to an 'impossible' dream. Obj, that's not a great way to word it. How about the sky's the limit. There we go...

I've also decided I despise waiting for the bus home, in the dark. I freak out that the driver won't see me, or that I'll fall in the road, if I stand to close to it. Though, I'm happy to report none of that happened. Eventually, the bus came, and I got back to my apartment and happily dug into the quiche I'd made the night before. Yes, I cooked something. Can you believe it? Not bad either. Only thing it was missing was meat. But, I have a strange phobia of cooking meat. Love to eat it, but have somehow convinced myself, if I'm responsible for-cooking it, death may occur. Probably because I know nothing about cooking it. This may also be why whenever I go out to eat, I've earned credibility as a voracious carnivore. Oh well, there are worse things...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A half marathon!?

Well, I have some big news, in terms of something I'm wicked excited about. Yesterday, I registered for the Blueberry Cove 1/2 marathon in August! Since I never got around to it last year, I'm still on that mission, and, now I've committed to it, spent money on it, and announced my intentions in public forums, I'll be ashamed if I don't do it. That's a super unhealthy motivating factor, yet, still a motivating factor. I have to set big goals for myself, even if they're unrealistic to acquire the motivation to push myself relentlessly. A brain injury feels like endless work because I'm always measuring what I can do now, relative to what I was ale to do before. Looking back, to where Ive been, and wher I am today, I feel very blessed, and gifted to have had the help, persistence, and generosity of so many others behind me.
I've only braved the cold temperatures once this year, to run outside with the jogger. Although, I'm beyond thrilled to report that I've been running unassisted on UVMs indoor track. Gaining entrance to that track is occasionally questionable, but as of yet, they're still letting me go in. Only full time students an staff receive access, so, if I go in with a group, they don't notice. Today, the gatekeeper noticed, but just let me go in. I know I could apply my sad little case to the powers that be, and hopefully be granted rightful permission. It just takes an awful lot of effort, for a system, that isn't causing problems for anyone. So, I'll continue on my merry little way, until someone decides I can't be there. Right now, I'm beyond thankful for it, as I'm figuring out how to run without support. Hillary always has to remind me to actively use my left arm to propel myself, and to not hunch over when I'm trying to run. She has been so helpful in correcting my gait, and keeping me more mindful of how I'm holding myself while moving. I am so pleased she is willing and able to assist me in this respect. We all know I have a lot of work to do, to reach this goal, so, I'm trying my best to be open minded and appreciative of all the assistance I get. Mentally, that is so difficult sometimes, but that's the way life is now, and I need to work on retraining my mind of that.

Happy MLK Day!

Well, I took the leap, and downloaded the blogger app on the iPad. I didn't want to buy it, so I got the one for the iPhone, as it was free. Turns out , being cheap doesn't always pay. The screen doesn't reformat to the size of the iPad screen. On the bright side, one of my biggest hesitations about the iPhone, aside from cost, had always been the usability of the touch screen for me. I'm pleased to report that even though the letters teeny I am still doing well with it, for the most part. This must be fascinating to read...
Im bored writing about it...

On to more intriguing topics(hopefully). I'll go back to detail my Monday and MartinLuther King Day. I can honestly say I've never been part of MLK celebrations before. Back in college, during Alternative Spring Break, I gained a newfound appreciation for his life's work, while leading Alternative Spring Break in Atlanta. His legacy practically filled the air, really giving our entire group a pure sense of accomplishment, because, we were able to benefit from his lessons about giving back to the community/world.

Anyways, a typical Monday fore, means I spend time at CHIPS, to work on my internship there. They were closed for the holiday, but were involved in sponsoring several community oriented volunteer projects. I spent most of day, actually making and hand writing cards and letters for members of the Amed services. A really unique idea, I thought. In the process, I met amazing people, all donating their time and energy to these projects. I sat with a number of Ameri-corps members. It was a lot of fun for me to have an opportunity to socially interact with other people in my my age group. I've tried to forget how much I miss having a social life. I have friends, but they're always so difficult to get a hold of, and I usually decide, There are other ways to spend my time. I.e. at the gym, pretending I can cook, or writing. And, of course life's normal evils as well, like Facebook. I suppose I appreciate the fact, my tendency to hang out alone is somewhat abnormal, I mean it fells like it is, but it also feels totally abnormal in many social situations, mostly because I can't think of anything I want to say, and people are now afraid to ask me questions. At first, I was kind of offended by that, but, once I realized that people were just afraid to ask questions about why I have certain difficulties. I understand that, because we always find talking about situations were not familiar with, uncomfortable. That is why I'm trying to make more of an effort to introduce myself, as, "hi, I'm Courtney, I have a brain injury, which is why I sound the way I do. Please ask whatever questions, you have, and I hope you won't mind if I ask for help , if I need some. In that situation, that worked amazingly well, and I learned all about various Americorps programs, angt to know some new people. I feel like such a nerd for having written that. It slightly resembles a lab report or something. Oh well, I suppose in writing about my strange day to day exploits, it's a bit easier to mentally disassociate myself from the strange world my brain inhabits. Also, while crafting my lovely cards, one of the daughters of the family I lived with, when I fort got put of the hospital, came in, with her boys. It was While wonderful to catch up with her and see the boys. The amount they've grown is an excellent gauge for me to realize how much time has passed sine my injury. I think, the youngest, sammy, was born the same yearI had my injury. I can't believe this year, will be 5 years! I'm not at all where I thought I would be by now, but I also more comprehensively understand the magnitude of my injury. Whoa... Distracted much? Back to MLK day, I'm going to estimate, I made between 8 and 10 cards. Which is waay more than I anticipated being able tomake and write out. My hand writing is almost now at the same level of illegibility it always was. Lucky for me, most people in my age group have similar handwriting, as well.
We eventually cleaned the ridiculous mess of paper, wrappers, and glue, mostly. I was so thankful to have met that group of Americorps volunteers, as they let me hitch a ride with them to the volunteer dinner at the high school. The chef, a locally renowned one at that, was another Courtney. She explained the meal she had prepared, and her talk was followed by a local historian, and lawyer, who had a truly unique perspective on the life,history, and memory of Martin Luther King.
And, my story doesn't end here.
The amazing Americorps ladies I'd spent the day with, also helped me get to kirtan, as dinner wrapped up later than planned. Burlington is a much more closely knit community than I ever realize. I've become accustomed to explaining kirtan to many people. Weirdly, most people in my age group, that I've met recently, have heard of it, or know people that go. There are always new faces, each week. It's a relatively transient group, but the core group is always there. I usually like to hang around after, and try to talk to people. Although, last night, I slid against a wall, and had a little nap. I woke up a bit later, feeling more alert, but also like a bit of a nut, for having needed a nap, especially in such busy little house. By this time, I couldn't tell if peope were going out, or home. The little group I was with offered me the choice to stay and pass out again, or go out go out for food. Of course I chose food, and soon found myself walking, or in the car in search of food after midnight. It was like a very odd sense of deja vu for me. it used to be a pretty common occurrence for me to be hunting for prepared food at all hours of the night, before I obtained this injury, but I'm pretty unfamiliar with Burlington nightlife these days. In college, we were obsessed with these breakfast sandwiches called rise and shiners. I have them 2 or 3 times since, and always forget that if you're not drunk, they are a despicable excuse for food. Every time I have one, and immediately wonder why I decided to eat it. I may never realize I cant ever go back to life the way it was, but I'll die trying. Not really, but kkd is always an awful reminder that life probably never will be as carefree as it once was. I recognize that is not a bad thing, but I just find the way I've had to learn and relearn some of these lessons, so excruciatingly frustrating. Along the same vein of thought, my friend kept mocking me, by referring to me as princess, a term I sincerely loath, as I assimilate that to being referred to as a self absorbed bitch. When we said good nite I explained my sensitivity to that term, comes from my my family mocking m with that term when I was young. I explained that because I'd wanted a reasoning for that term, or at least thoughts or suggestions on how to correct whatever unappealing behaviors I now seem to manifest. Identifying the problem, is the biggest help for me, because I can't look into changing my behavior, if I don't know I have a problem. That's true for everything though. I suppose I'm angry at myself for having allowed myself to be viewed in such an appalling manner. It's true, I suppose, the less you think of yourself, the less others will think of you too, Holy exclamatory remarks, I genuinely despise my thoughts presently. Not so pretty now, eh? But overall Monday was an amazing day, even if I did have to face the ugly truth in some respects.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I tried and tried to figure out gow to post these pictures without purchasing them, but to no avail. I'm too lazy to check my previus posts, to make sure I didn't post these a while back. When I talk about my ridiculous running exploitsnwith the baby less jogger, this is how foolish I look. These are from last summer, doing the Beach to Beacon with my dad, in Cape Elizabeth,ME .
Today I'm somewhat ashamed of myself for attempting to use my 'disability' as a leverage to get what I wanted. I had a meeting with my case manager, Deb, who was gracious enough to drop me off at the indoor track at UVMs field house. Upon walking in, I realized my ID was missing from my pocket. I headed over to the desk, to ask someone to buzz me in. My request was answered with a 10 + minute lecture, from a girl, on a little powe trip. She informed me, I needed to go to the cat card office (on the other side of campus to have them change my access privileges. In the middle of this, another student requested, a buzz in, and she said, oh, they're unlocked right now, you can just walk on in. And then, turns back to me and proceeds lecturing me. I was so angry, by that time, I was at a loss for how to proceed. It took all of my self restraint to refrain from walking away from her unenjoyable lecture and through the unlocked gates, but I put up with her, let her go on her little tirade, eventually she was gracious enough to let me in, "just this one time.". Once I was away from her, it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, and I ran for an hour and a half. Granted I call it running because I'm doing everything within my brains power to lift my feet in a running stride. However, my brain is still learning how to safely keep me upright, while moving forward. I still move like a gangly, awkward 8 yr old, which I was, once upon a time. I've always been slower to pick up motions, or any type of coordinated movement. As frustrating as it is, I have to just tell myself to be thankful I can relearn these things, period. Many others, go through injuries where they're not able to regain these skill. I have to keep reminding myself, that even though I don't feel lucky right now, I am, because I can relearn these things. It dent always work, reasoning with myself, but it's a good stategy when it does.

Hillary picked me and we treated ourselves to breakfast for lunch at Sneakers, whereI costumed a trough of fruit and yogurt with granola. I've always wanted to try that dish, but can rarely stay away from the kahlua dipped French toast... AMAZING. After lunch, I wanted to stop in the gear exchange downtown, to inquire about snowshoe rentals, where I ended up purchasing a pair, because it want vey economical to rent them for $10 a day, when I can't hop in the car to return them.. It felt a bit impulsive to just buy some, but winter will be over before I think of it again. I'm hoping it will be less awkward then last years adventures in cross country skiing. We shall see...

Okay, sorry, I can't be bothered to edit this right now, as I need some dinner, so deal with it, annoying as it is.

Okay, I'm off to go rustle up some dinner, and can't actually be bother to edit this. My apologies for whatever mistakes I've made.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Another week has begun, and I'm just going through the motions, as usual.  I feel like I keep talking to people, well those who are willing to actually spend the time, and puto the effort into figuring out what I'm actually saying to them.  Today, the woman who helped me get my internship, Michelle, and I had a meeting to discuss the work I'm doing at CHIPS, the teen center, I, interning with.  If I have an actual title there it's something like accessibility development intern.  Or just intern.  Basically, I've been pushing for as long as I can remember to have a job, and one that's cognitively demanding.  I spent 2 yrs placating my voc. Rehab. Counselor, but, what I didn't realize was that she was also doing the same to me.  Looking back, there are hundreds of things I would've done differently, from standing up for my convictions, to having the self confidence to say NO, that won't work for me.  Thankfully, I've learned that now, and hopefully, in good, appropriate measure.
It's just interesting to me how much my perspective has changed because of certain decisions I've made for myself.  Like choosing to do my rehab. Here and not at home, where I'd have way more personal support.  I completely understand why people involved in government funded programs are generally poorly regarded by others in the community.  There is a tremendous rift in society, that the people implementing these programs have created.  I see it in myself from time to time, and despise it.  I also leave my apartment with my mental armor on, which I hate, but it's been a tool I've needed to develop, to help myself deal with situations I don't understand, or feel threatened by.  I despise situations that evoke that reaction, because I feel as though I'm feeding into the unbecoming perception of folks on these programs.    
     This morning I received a tremendous compliment from the woman whose helped me find my internship, and deal with various difficulties I have in the employment setting.  I've had that other counselor, 2008.  I don't doubt that she's a good person, trying to approach her job, the way she's been trained, but unfortunately, that training never required her to think o outside of the box, and because my injury is so unique, and my speech so atrocious, I think she regarded me as a law suit waiting to happen, in the employment setting.  Admittedly, I also went in therewith my perspective, as a recent college grad.  completely unaware that having a brain injury meant as much 'rehab' as I've been through. Granted, as the years pass, I'm increasingly more cognoscenti of how my own perspective has changed, while not really allowing myself appreciate how far I've come.  Michelle complimented me, by saying that I don't take no for an answer, which is generally true if I believe in something, and that I'll work as hard as I possibly can to follow through with my convictions.  It's funny, because I've always admired those types of people, but never actually thought I was one.  I also am somewhat intimidated by people with those qualities.  While, I'm psyched to get such an rightful compliment twice in the first 2 weeks of the year, it feels like things are going really well, this year, which lmakes me nervous, as were only in the 2nd week. Nope, I don't care for that perspective, I need to keep looking forward, and hopefully, I'll keep heading that way too.  Okay, I'm off to 'run' at UVMs indoor track, I hope.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Little pieces of daily interactions...

I have a friend who boldly walks in, seemingly anywhere, and does exactly what he wants, says what he wants, and acts how he pleases. I I find his confidence in himself and his abilities reassuring, but also slightly annoying, because Ive never had that kind of self-reassurance. He walks in answers my pleasantries, turns to face me, and asks, "are you lonely?"That word literally makes me cringe. I tense up, and almost shout, NO! It's an automatic reaction for me to deny anything that I perceive as an allegation of weakness. As I said no, by mind was calling my mouth a liar. In a split decision of honesty, I then admitted, that I was, but only in certain perspectives. I divulged that I keep myself busy 95% of the time in order to save myself from actually having to consider how I lead my life now, and I how I feel about what having a brain injury means to me. There are so many aspects that I intently abhor. For example, people making incorrect assumptions about me, not being able to visually process the world going by me fast enough to allow me to drive, the way my voice betrays me, when I'm trying to make my point, or just in general. Oh yeah, the way my memory intermittently fails me, causing embarrassment for myself and others. As much as these aspects of my life frustrate, infuriate, or embarrass me, Im finally reaching a place in my life, where I no longer despise where I've been, the past few years. For some reason, being asked point-blank about my injury, and the feelings I have as a result of it, has more or less opened the Pandoras box of my mind. I have been so accustomed to Immediately disposing of any feeling that occurs to me, whether I recognize it or not.

Even with the immense difficulties I've been dealt in the past 5 yrs. at this point I'm not sure I would trade my new-found life perspective. I feel I've gained as a result of these struggles. This is something I don't or wouldn't want to loose now. I don't generally feel like a glass half full type of person, because most of the reason I push myself on, everyday, is because this injury has shown me, the harder I work, the more I improve, and the less difficulties Ihave. We live in a society, that is so focused on making our lives easier, which is wonderful at the moment, but is terrible for society in general, because it propagates such poor lifestyle habits. That is a super broad over-generalization.

When asked about loneliness, I immediately freaked out because I knew another door of crazy emotions had been opened. Back on that train of thought, I personally feel that admitting to loneliness is like admitting to a weakness, which I don't ever want to do. Although, if no one ever asks me questions like that, I would never contemplate these things on my own... That's what entertainment media is for, to distract you from your own scary mind...

WellI suppose here's as good a place as any to end my thought on this, I just needed to empty my mind of these thoughts.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Another year gone by.".

Happy 2012!!

  Well, another year down.  As with every year, you take the good, with the bad.  I felt like I learned more about myself, as in who I was, who I am, and who I want to be in this year alone.  I finally came off of my altzheimers, memory drug this summer, which felt like an amazing breakthrough, but, it's pretty frightening for my sub conscious when I realize the things I can lead myself to believe, and then engage others in conversation about situations my mind likes to fabricate.  CRAZY...  Thankfully, I've only done that. Twice that I recall.  Though, it's my assumption that those who suffer from a clinićally diagnosed form of dementia.  Sometimes I feel like I have the perspective of an elderly person growing young again, just because of where I've been, and what I've been through in the last 4 yrs.

My plans are generally rather loose in terms of making actual decisions about timing of events.  My friend and I had planned to arrive at 430, however, she was running late making quiche, and I was playing with my moms fancy new laundry facilities, to hopefully return with clean clothes.

Val and I headed for the heaping plume of soot,  and burning embers, which was much more difficult to discern than I'd anticipated.  I immediately settled myself into. A plastic adirodak char to strangely leer at the smoldering fire.  My self appointed position was immediately deferred when my friend came up and demanded that I huck some damp sticks at the fire. It seemed like the number of sticksI was handed may be endless, and not one of them resulted in the miniature explosion of embers, I remember being dazzled by, when I was a kid.  After a while people began to disappear, and just as I was wondering when we might go in to hunt for food, many others reappeared with heaping plates of food,  The 5 of us. Were growing hungrier with each moment that passed, and as the flames died down a bit, we all re relinquished  our seats, and headed inside for a late dinner.  We also had a slightly belated birthday celebration, for, the only male among us, Erin's boyfriend Matt.  He gladly endured a Rhoda family rendition of happy birthday.  This rendition is so atrocious, it at times hurts your own ears.  I love it,for it's utter ridiculousness, and because I feel entirely comfortable releasing my horrendous hinging abilities in front of others, as rash person sounds intentionally worse than the other.  So ridiculous.  After birthday merriment subside, we all changed into bathing suits, and hit the sauna.  In years passed, we've gathered at their home to ring in the new year in the hot tub.    However, this year, it had suffered a power and was more likable to an ice tub.  Not as appeasing.  In all the years I've know them, I never knew one of their out buildings was actually a sauna.  It brought back childhood memories, as that was the last time I'd been in one.  It was such a refreshing start to the new  year.  

New Years Day, I awoke stairs at home around 10.  Have to admit I was slightly dismayed to have awoken so late on my last day at home.  For once, I wad all packed up and ready, when I awoke.  I went downstairs to find everybody in the kitchen.  It was a bit emotional for all of us.  We have some weird family dynamics presently, and it's hard to sort out and dal with openly, because there always seems to be a weird facade enveloping us.  When were all together, it's just how I remember everything being, when I was a teen.  Now, were all independents, who reconvene for holidays or big family events.    So strange... Wait, did you forget who you were reding about...

Later in the day, my dear friend zVal was coming to give me a lift back to Btown.  Our planned 130departure time turned into a 430 departure when my friend called to announce the fact that her car was seeding gasoline all over the place.  She arrived 3 hrs later in her parents car.  My mom and Marty helped cart the seemingly endless amount of crapI had with me.  I only came with 2 small bags.  I think I left with 6. SCARY.  I managed to find homes for all of it, but still' the longer I live here, the les space I have.  I'm beginning to feel a little enclosed in my own space.  Christmas often has that effect for me because there so much extra stuff that goes along with it.  Eek.

Well, now, I'm back to life as I know it presently.  Oh God...