the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

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Binge eating — one of the last of my dirty little secrets

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The Lines Project

jak-lines

When I did the Lines Project back in December with my wife and my daughter, I was reluctant to put a yellow line on my arm for eating disorder. I thought, “It doesn’t count!” A little voice said, “Yes, it does.”

I enthusiastically participated in The Lines Project last December, as my daughter and I deal with self-harm issues.  It was hard enough drawing some of the lines- but as I had come to an understanding of my cPTSD, and some of the very real dissociative episodes I had sometimes when the stress got to be too much, I figured I could count the orange and teal stripes.

Several others I thought were pretty self-explanatory, although purple was something that was also self-realized relatively recently- I mean in the past decade or so.  (I’ve written a little on my issues of sexual orientation, but not at great length.  I’ve been burnt by polarized discussion.)  By contrast, bullying, suicide, and such were very much a fixture of my childhood.

The yellow one was hardest to draw.  Much of the resources I read on eating disorders were mostly about anorexia and bulimia, and they seemed to suggest they were women’s issues– and only recently, did they start addressing men, but again, much of what I read was limited, as in the cases of men were effeminate gay males.  (How did I come to that conclusion?  The resources didn’t really talk about body image from what I thought was a masculine man’s perspective, especially as there was little talk about exercise, i.e. “Fitspo” ideals.)

I learned about binge eating in middle school, incidentally (late 1980’s) with a classmate and neighbor conducting an anonymous survey about eating disorders, but all the literature I read on it was virtually dead silent about it.

But at about the same time I was participating in The Lines Project, someone I greatly respect had something interesting to say:

We talked about it more, in public tweets and private DMs.  We’ve actually had a lot of discussions on Twitter about men’s issues– especially as I said I was aware of the men’s movement of the 1990s (Robert Bly uses a lot of Jungian archetypes, which dovetails with many subjects I blog about here).  I would dare say we’ve been virtual brothers-in-arms, discussing male vulnerability, sensitivity in men, and honest plans to address such when social norms and politics du jour seem to discourage a lot of it, or twist it in directions we feel are disingenuous.

Of course, I have yet to meet Rick face to face.  It’s also another matter to discuss a painful topic (such as binge eating) with someone in person, someone with some authority, and also someone who is a woman.

I don’t mean to sound glibly sexist– it’s not like that.  It’s that some of the people that were so instrumental in my abuse– some of the matriarchs of my family– gave me a lot of really unhealthy attitudes about food.  Food was part of the abuse.  And so I explained such in measured amounts to my nutritionist.

I was in for a follow-up appointment.  It wasn’t the first time I’d seen a nutritionist; this was my third.  With the first nutritionist I had, I lost almost 100 lbs. walking 3 hrs every day, dumbbell weight training 1 hr weekdays, and following a fairly strict diet.  My physician was worried about my obesity and possibly an onset of diabetes.  Pre-diabetes did come this third time around.  I lost around 30 lbs. this time following a counting carbohydrates diet, and lowered my A1C from almost 7.0% to 5.1%.  But no more weight was coming off.

So she started asking me a number of questions to figure out why.  It wasn’t the carbs- my blood sugars and A1C seemed to suggest otherwise.  So she started asking about portions and such.  The more she asked, the more I felt an emotion of panic and fear.  That sort of “oh shit, I’m about to get into so much trouble here.”

Don’t get me wrong.  She’d seen me in distress before, and at that time, I didn’t have a therapist.  She referred me to a contact with the Mental Health ombudsman, because I was loathe to get back into therapy, after 30 years of mostly failure, and dealing with so many arrogant and cowardly jerks for therapists.  That wasn’t an easy start, either- my first counseling placement didn’t work out.  My current arrangement came after contacting RAINN and the local SARC referred me to a therapist who is the Director of Counseling at the MH agency I’m at.

I’m not sure what more to say.  She spared me giving her all the details, although in the past, I was prone to spilling them all.  I felt very uncomfortable sharing as much as I did.

To be honest, I’m quite terrified.  I live in a community that treats domestic violence and eating disorders as primarily women’s issues.  There is slightly more visibility on orientation and gender issues, but… I’ll be honest, it’s not much.  I bristle at folks calling my hometown area backward, but, in a certain way, it very much is.


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The son becomes the father… (Yoke of Generations)

Marlon Brando as Jor-El, with Kal-El played by...

Marlon Brando as Jor-El, with Kal-El played by Lee Quigley. Superman: The Movie Magazine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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As soon as we could get our wits about us, we rushed off to the ER, to Boy a medical examination.  He’d just had a seizure- not a grand mal, but still a seizure.  It wasn’t like the tonic spasms my father and I have from time to time, of course.  We’d find later, after he slept and slept, that he had no memory of the episode.

As Cimmy always does, she asked me to religiously administer to him, to give him a Priesthood blessing.  As I meditated and focused on clearing my mind, to let spiritual inspiration flow freely, a glimpse of a memory flashed through my brain.

My son was part of this, too.  He had agreed to take on a part of the burdens of my mortality, which I in turn had taken a part from my father.

JOR-EL: You did this of your own free will, in spite of all I could say to dissuade you…

Cimmorene desperately had wanted to share the load, but I could not acquiesce.  But my son would not be denied.  He understood the pattern.  And our Eternal Father- I feel that he smiled, as if to acknowledge something great had been accomplished.

JOR-EL: ..the circle is now complete..

I could see both sides, now.

JOR-EL: Now, you have returned to me, for one last chance to redeem yourself– this, too, finally, I have anticipated, my son.

JOR-EL: The Kryptonian prophecy will be at last fulfilled.

[recalling Jor-El’s blessing] JOR-EL: You will make my strength your own– see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine.

JOR-EL: The son becomes the father – the father becomes the son.

HeroesjourneyAtonement


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I Am So Tired Right Now

If it isn’t already bleedingly obvious right now, I’m on a blogging hiatus.

I am so tired.

 

A quick note- there will be a little salt in the following words.  If coarse language offends you, I won’t be offended in turn if you gloss over the next parts, or even stop reading.  I will be grateful if you continue, however.

Hit the road, Jill

I trounced Boy’s ABA therapist.  As in I told her to get out.  Then, I could only take so much of her boss blowing smoke up my ass.  It’s a semi-long story that I just don’t have time or energy to elaborate on right now.

I am very excited to have a new artist- Saphyre Rain- to write press for We Heart Music.  (What’s We Heart Music?  For those who haven’t been here over the long, long slog, leave me a comment, and I’ll explain.  For now: a music blog I wrote for back in the day.)  It’s comprised of a husband and wife duo singing about hope for suicide and self-harm issues, which are very personal and important to me.  I’ve been corresponding with Amanda, the singer/guitarist of the group, and she’s been very congenial… I’m grateful she specifically asked me to take my time.

Errrrrgggh, this is so frustrating.  I’m really frustrated!

I’m so frustrated, in a certain way.  cough No, won’t elaborate.  It doesn’t help that Cimmorene has a new memory about being molested by a caregiver when she was 3.  Why thank you, fate.  Yes, I will have another bitch slap, please.

More work on this post than I was expecting.  I’m still tired.

It takes effort to distill thoughts to 120 characters, but Twitter is less exhausting… as was discussed in the previous post.

Blogs by YOU: ask-Lillia-the-fan-troll

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My dear wife gives her Dragon’s Treasure Award to our daughter’s Tumblr– but this is no mere nepotism– this is where her art REALLY shines. Please have a look and give her some blog love.

The Dragon's Lair

Blog ButtonThis week’s recipient of the Dragon’s Treasure Blog award is ask-Lillia-the-fan-troll.  Now, I’m not going to lie to you.  This blog belongs to my daughter.  With that knowledge, I know quite a number of you are going to scream “nepotism” at me.

Hear me out.

My daughter draws nearly everything in this blog HERSELF.  Seriously!  She made up her own cast of characters: 6 trolls and 2 humans.

“Wait.  What?”  I hear you saying.

I hear your confusion and answer it with this:  Homestuck

Don’t ask me to explain.  It’s way too long and complicated for that.  Suffice it to say that, in a nutshell, everyone dies.  In the fandom, however, everyone fights over “‘ships” (short for relationships) which is much more relevant to this because it’s fan made.

Now then, back to why I chose this blog.

This is why.

tumblr_nu6dt38c7h1ucv4n1o1_1280So congratulations, Yellow_Neru.  I hope you display your…

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The murky depths, far, far from the Community Pool

I seem to be beyond notice.  11 years, and I get so few comments.

 

I’m not looking for Freshly Pressed.  I have ceased caring about that.

 

I don’t want to be special.  I don’t want to be brave.  I just want to belong.  I started this blog to come to grips with the awful abuse my mother and others heaped on me.  11 years later, the world seems to be telling me, over and over, that most people do not care.  This space right here, it’s just not hitting people’s vibes.  It’s beyond their notice.

 

Oh, and third wave radical feminists are especially unwelcome here.  I don’t need some random bitches telling me I’m so part of the oppression.  Sadly, that’s likely to include a cousin, but ironically, she’s the only one from that branch of the family that can even be bothered to talk to me.  The others, who I used to be a lot closer to- no, they don’t care.  They don’t.  They already have their pity party on Facebook, or, whatever.  Well, there’s the Star Wars & “my man” couple.  Whatever.

Johari_window


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Lessons from my Therapist: Johari Window

Dear readers:

My therapist introduced me to the concept of the Johari window yesterday.  I had Boy with me, because I needed Cimmy to do some grocery shopping.  When she returned, and joined my session, my therapist introduced me to this concept, to help Cimmy and I understand how we perceive each other.

Will you do me a favor, please?  Please help me understand this concept by adding words you feel describe me, right here.

Arena

(known to self and others)

complex, introverted, knowledgeable, reflective, self-conscious

Blind Spot

(known only to others)

able, adaptable, bold, brave, caring, dignified, extroverted, friendly, helpful, intelligent, kind, loving, observant, proud, responsive, silly, trustworthy

Façade

(known only to self)

wise

Unknown

(known to nobody)

accepting, calm, cheerful, clever, confident, dependable, energetic, giving, happy, idealistic, independent, ingenious, logical, mature, modest, nervous, organised, patient, powerful, quiet, relaxed, religious, searching, self-assertive, sensible, sentimental, shy, spontaneous, sympathetic, tense, warm, witty

Dominant Traits

60% of people think that jaklumen is brave
60% of people think that jaklumen is caring

All Percentages

able (20%) accepting (0%) adaptable (20%) bold (20%) brave (60%) calm (0%) caring (60%) cheerful (0%) clever (0%) complex (20%) confident (0%) dependable (0%) dignified (20%) energetic (0%) extroverted (20%) friendly (20%) giving (0%) happy (0%) helpful (20%) idealistic (0%) independent (0%) ingenious (0%) intelligent (40%) introverted (40%) kind (20%) knowledgeable (20%) logical (0%) loving (20%) mature (0%) modest (0%) nervous (0%) observant (20%) organised (0%) patient (0%) powerful (0%) proud (20%) quiet (0%) reflective (20%) relaxed (0%) religious (0%) responsive (20%) searching (0%) self-assertive (0%) self-conscious (20%) sensible (0%) sentimental (0%) shy (0%) silly (20%) spontaneous (0%) sympathetic (0%) tense (0%) trustworthy (40%) warm (0%) wise (0%) witty (0%)

Created by the Interactive Johari Window on 7.11.2015, using data from 5 respondents.
You can make your own Johari Window, or view jaklumen’s full data.

Affirmations from my therapist: Getting Better

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