People like us.

Caught between the tension of

coming closer

retreating to safety

standing at the edge of the fire

craving warmth

fearing the burn

it’s different here for

people like us

pacing like two tigers

who have been caged

wounded

bruised

our scars are similar

some still tender

ripe with possibility

salvation

annihilation

and so we

pace.

Dear Social Security Administration–

I heard someone say yesterday that the greatest untapped resource in the world is angry mothers & that, combined with some of the things I’ve seen lately has mobilized this angry mama bear. Why? Because my family and many others have encountered an organization that is supposed to help us but ends up hurting more people.

When Gabriel was born, I was advised to get him on SSI because he would always have insurance. Little did I know that the process to get him qualified & KEEP him qualified was a nightmare. First off, he was denied initially despite the fact that HLHS is considered on the “red list” of diagnoses which should have qualified him immediately. At the time, I filed an appeal which was denied & I didn’t have the energy to fight it ’cause, you know, I was caring for a medically fragile infant. When I finally got the energy up to re-apply, Gabriel was 3 and it took nine months to get approval and I’m convinced that the only reason he got approved is because I broke down in the appeals hearing and the judge felt bad for me.
Since that time, Gabriel’s SSI has been revoked because I went over the income limit–they cancelled his insurance and gave me two weeks notice. Needless to say, I flipped my shit because a heart transplant kiddo simply can’t be without insurance. Fortunately for me, I had an ally that helped me get him covered quickly. I’m not even going to touch the “overpayment” issue but suffice it to say that if they don’t approve my appeal, GABRIEL will be saddled with debt (of course, I’ll pay it but the issue is how fu*king stupid is THAT?).

Long & short–having a kid with a heart transplant is hard enough. There are so many things that we have to deal with on a daily basis AND we have to deal with the fact that our babies may have limited lives. There is a TON of grief that comes with that as it is and then when you add in things like having your kids medical insurance or the additional income that many families rely on pulled with no real reason and hardly any notice is just WRONG. With that said, I have posted a petition to ask SSI to change Heart Transplant to a lifetime condition….because no parent should have to keep proving that their kid is “sick enough”.

Will you sign and share? I’m taking this to the White House if I have to.

http://tinyurl.com/kutjkl3

F*ck The Rules

I actually texted that message to a friend today (minus the asterisk of course).

The Rules…Act like a lady, think like a man…How to get a date worth keeping…blah blah blah.

See, the thing is that if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that using strategies to catch a date means that you will have to maintain those same strategies to KEEP the person. Whenever someone adopts “rules” to try to manipulate (yeah, I said it) someone else into being what they want, it’s bound to be a losing endeavor. Two reasons why: people don’t like being manipulated and you will always go back to being who you really are!

The movie Act Like a Lady was entertaining but the premise bugged me. All these people playing games to try to get love and it all backfires. Of course, it’s Hollywood so it turns out ok in the end but in real life, that doesn’t happen. People find out you’ve been lying about who you are, they will leave your ass in a second. If they don’t, you may want to question why they would stay cause anyone with self-respect isn’t going to tolerate that sort of thing.

When people implement strategies and rules in their relationships, it almost always fails. Because if it’s not really in your frame of reference to “withhold the cookie” for 90 days, you will do what the girl in ALALTLAM did–gave in because her NATURE was to do so. If you are still following petty “rules” like “wait three days and then call” or “wait for two hours to respond to his text”, let me clue you in–you’re playing games and NO ONE will win.

If you want to change how you relate to people, do it because that’s what you want, not because some book tells you what to do. If you want to be treated like a high value woman, then start by believing it for yourself first and then you will inherently require it of the people you interact with. Set guidelines for yourself based on what you need and what works for you but don’t try to live according to some set of rules that are not who you really are.

I can attest from personal experience and from my work with my clients that working internally, breaking patterns and healing old wounds has resulted in a natural change in how I relate to people. So yeah…f*ck the rules. Get real, own your shit and change your life. That’s how it happens.

Vaccination: One parent to another

Dear Anti-Vaccination Proponents:

I want to introduce you to someone who is very special to me. His name is Gabriel and he just turned 8 years old. He’s a huge fan of the San Jose Sharks, the Denver Broncos & has a new love for professional wrestling. Gabriel is in second grade, and is a kind, gentle kid. He has a younger sister named Eden that he adores. He has two dogs and he favors the little one, Jubilee. He carries her around like a baby sometimes and whenever he sits down, she curls in his lap or right next to him. I’m telling you about Gabriel because I want you to keep him in mind as I go on.

Gabriel is my son. He’s also a heart transplant recipient who is on immune suppressing medications that help keep him alive. He is unable to get the MMR vaccine because of his immune compromised status so he is especially vulnerable to the measles outbreak that is happening right now and I want to talk to you about that, one parent to another. I know that most of the time, when you share you anti-vaccination views, you are attacked. At the very least, you feel attacked. It is hard to see another person’s perspective when you are on guard so I hope that you can let your guard down & hear what I’m saying here.

People like Gabriel, and there are hundreds of thousands of them, rely on people that are healthy to keep them safe. They rely on the healthy people of this world to keep making choices that will help keep them safe…when the measles virus was almost eradicated in the early 2000’s, it was a relief to vulnerable people everywhere. Then, with the anti-vax movement gaining ground, it has become a problem again. Now, in 2015, we are facing an epidemic that can easily be prevented and I am stunned and dismayed.

Right now, I’m waiting to hear back from Gabriel’s cardiac team to determine whether I should pull him from school & virtually quarantine him to keep him safe. I’m waiting to hear the numbers of the unvaccinated kids in his school so I can assess the level of threat. There is a possibility that I will have to isolate my son, pulling him from everything he cares about, the things he loves, because there is an unseen threat out there that could make him very ill, or even kill him. That also means that as a single parent, my ability to provide for my family will be impacted.

And this upsets me. See, I get that you fear for your child. You’ve heard the stories of the horrors of vaccination & you believe that somehow big pharma is benefiting from the vaccine industry. You think there is harmful mercury in vaccines (there’s not) and that perhaps there is a link between vaccines and autism (also not true). You are an avid reader of Natural News & think the CDC is misleading all of us. I understand…I don’t trust the government either but I do trust the medical professionals who I’ve handed my son over to many times. I believe that if there was ANYTHING harmful about vaccinations, they would warn me. I believe that most physicians, when they took the Hippocratic oath to “first do no harm”, MEANT it. I believe the science because there have been countless studies done by organizations who have nothing to do with the CDC who have found the same results.

I understand fearing for your child…Believe me, I do. I handed my son over to a cardiac surgeon when he was 13 days old, knowing that I might never see him again. I’ve literally seen my son’s heart beating in his chest so please know that I get the fear you feel. I agonized over every choice I made, wondering if it was the right thing to do. I’ll never tell you that you’re wrong for what you’ve chosen, even if I disagree with it. What I will ask you to do is consider the implications of your choice for the most vulnerable of our human family…people just like Gabriel. If you choose to not vaccinate your child, and then send them out into public spaces, you are playing Russian Roulette with people who have no choice and minimal defenses against the viruses that your child can be carrying.

I believe in freedom & that you have a right to choose. I also believe that with freedom, comes equal responsibility. If you choose to exercise your freedom to not vaccinate, please be responsible with your choices & take measures to minimize the spread of disease. Just like you don’t want people forcing you to make choices about your child’s healthcare, I don’t want your choices to either force my family into undesirable positions at best and at worst, to harm or even kill my son.

Please, one parent to another…let’s keep all our loved ones safe. One death by preventable disease is one too many.

The sociopath exit strategy

Dating a Sociopath

Sociopaths are very predictable creatures. It might seem a shock to you, the sudden ending of the sociopath departure. But this is just an illusion, just like everything else in the sociopath box of tricks.

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Unlike other relationships where there is warning, or fights and arguments, this part will be missing. Or when there are arguments leading up to the exit, you will be at a loss, what the arguments are about. After all the sociopath will pick a fight with you, over nothing at all. The week before the sociopath exit you will notice

  • Edgy behaviour
  • Picking fights over nothing at all
  • An attempt to sleep with you one last time night before
  • After a huge fight – that is about nothing you have done – the sociopath leaves
  • You will be surprised that when the sociopath does leave – despite there might be tears (or might not) on…

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The beauty of betrayal.

It has been said that betrayal hurts most because it comes from an unexpected place…from somewhere close to you. It is one thing to have your enemy shoot an arrow in your back, a whole other thing to have someone you have trusted and let close to you to do it.

And betrayal hurts. God, does it hurt. You know…that sickening, sinking feeling that hits when you realize that someone you trusted just violated the sacred space of your heart. You’ve felt it…when your stomach drops, your mouth goes dry and you know that there is no going back from this. When your mind aches with the realization that things are forever altered, perhaps beyond recognition or redemption and grief replaces love.

Betrayal cuts deeply.

But I believe that betrayal can be a gift. The last betrayal I experienced was one that took my breath away–The other person was so convincing that I believed what I was told–hook, line & sinker. When my intuition started kicking in, I didn’t want to believe it was possible but I learned a long time ago to never ignore that voice inside of me. When the truth was revealed, I was hurt but after a while, I realized that this person, in his betrayal, actually gave me the freedom to have a life that was free of the dysfunction he carries within. His betrayal, while it cut me, also cut me loose. Once he was revealed for who he really was, I was free to leave the relationship with no doubt that it was the right thing for me to do.

His betrayal has freed me up to receive the love I deserve. I am free to open my heart to someone who truly loves and appreciates me who has proven himself true, safe and of sound character. I’m free to live my life, unencumbered by someone else’s baggage. His betrayal offered me something I may not have gotten otherwise–an intimate portrait of his deeper character–a damaged, desperate man who is incapable of truly loving another.

I’m not angry I was betrayed. I’m not hurt and I’ve no regrets about walking away. In fact, I am deeply grateful for his actions. I’m glad he betrayed my trust because it made me a better person, it made me wiser, and much more self-loving. The beauty of betrayal is paradoxical–the heartbreak broke my heart open into deeper ways of loving. In the end, I am far better off without him than I ever would have been with him.

Dying to Live.

Today I had a direct confrontation with death anxiety. If I’m very honest, I can acknowledge that my fears of death have been diverted by my anxiety about my son’s health and medical condition. My focus has been on his life and my desire to have him live the best life he can and my own death awareness has been minimized as a consequence. The anxiety has been present, emerging in dreams of waves that overtake me, in terror driving on a snowy mountain road, and I’ve theoretically engaged with death. However, I’ve always redirected that anxiety and terror into something more tangible.

That is not the case today. Today, I got frustrated with my daughter about something that is really insignificant & felt regret immediately for hurting her feelings. I recalled the many times that my own family of origin did the same to me and how even today, I’m unraveling those threads. As I read the book “Staring at the Sun” by Irv Yalom, I read the passage where he talks about rippling–the effect that our lives have on people in our immediate circles and often for generations to come. I pondered family patterns, generational behaviors and how so often, we embody the very things we despise about our childhood experiences. I wondered what the ripple of my own life will be on my children, on their children, on the grandchildren I may someday have and I realize that there are many things I just don’t want to pass on. Yalom talks in the book about the idea that we cease being after we die, that we don’t really have a soul to pass on, a heaven to go to or the possibility to get it right in the next life. Perhaps this life we are living truly is the only one we have and while I’m not quite sure what my belief system is about that, the thought that there is no afterlife struck me deeply. Later, Yalom reflects on Nietzsche’s book ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, where he asks how we would live if we had to live the same life over and over again, like an eternal Groundhog Day. As I pondered these thoughts, it struck me that I wouldn’t be fully pleased to be condemned to re-live this life I’m living. When that thought entered my awareness, tears flooded my eyes and when I re-entered my vehicle, a stream of tears began flowing.

If I were to die today, what would be my legacy? Would it only consist of the trappings of this world, a few degrees that cease mattering once I am gone? Would my life be a story anyone would want to tell? Would people line up at my services reflecting on the ways in which I changed their lives for the better? While there is certainly some of that present today, it is nowhere near what I would like it to be. I would want my story to be one of more bravery, more vulnerability, more compassion, more love, and mostly, I want my life to have mattered. I want my children to reflect on their relationship with me and to have the awareness that they were deeply cherished, adored, loved, cared for. I don’t want them to have painful memories that were birthed out of my own unconsciousness and patterning. I want my parents to know that even though they weren’t perfect, I forgive their failures. I would want my family to know that even if we disagree on some fundamental things that I never stopped loving them. I would want my legacy to be one that sends out ripples of hope in a despair-laden world, to be one that inspires, motivates, encourages and can even help someone who I never meet.

And with these realizations, a part of me is dying while another part awakens. I’m laying those pieces of myself that no longer serve me inside the coffin of the past and giving birth to a new me. There is a part of me that has been trying to emerge for a long time that I managed to keep at bay with other pursuits and other distractions. That piece of me that has been buried has rent the veil of my awareness and has shouted into my mind “if not today, when?”.

So here lies the Lisa I used to be. Today, I choose to laugh more, risk more, open my heart more, engage more deeply, embrace the breath I’ve been gifted and the lives I can touch. Today, I am reborn.