the tao of jaklumen

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


Boundaries. Trust. To write love on my arms.

Trigger warning: I am about to write about subjects such as self-harm, self-mutilation, co-dependency, emotional enmeshment, and so on.  There will be at least one photo.  Please, please take care if such things upset you, especially if any of these are issues for you too, dear readers.

Looking back

Yes, I’m going to write about it, now.  Maybe some of you remember To write love on her arms (it’s a short post, so I have included most of it, as follows):

Two years ago, I learned that my daughter turned to cutting to deal with the crushing stress in her life.

She turned to it again two nights ago when Cimmorene lost it with Boy when he would not go to bed for several hours.  Cimmy let me know, because she knew I wouldn’t be angry– how could I?  I dealt with it myself.

I cut myself years ago when I was in a stressful romantic relationship that ended with false accusations of rape.  Cimmy wasn’t around then, but she was when I started cutting again, as the university we were attending was soaked in scandal, and the music department especially was mired in dirty politics between professors.  When she miscarried before our son was born… more cuts.

So all I could do was listen to my daughter, and tell her more about my struggles with this issue.

The problem at hand

Yep, I’m having problems again.  If I did this right, hopefully the photo doesn’t show immediately in my blog feed.  Here comes the photo:

This is what the inside of my left forearm looks like, although the cuts have faded a little bit.

This is what the inside of my left forearm looks like, although the cuts have faded a little bit.

Why?  Well, I won’t name names.  I don’t think that’d do any good.  But I got pretty angry and upset with some people.  About all I will say is that a few people were discussing something in one of my support groups, using language and descriptions that I found VERY triggering.  A great big push on the “But I’m a Good Boy!” button.

One of them is a co-founder of said group.  I didn’t trust my intuition when I met this person about a year or so ago, but BIG RED alarms and flags were going off in my mind.  This person did, said, and wrote things… whole books, even, that I find incredibly sexist.

I will leave it at that.  I hate being a sensitive person sometimes; or rather, I don’t like that I have a very difficult time filtering out other people’s bad vibes.  I’m still learning to set boundaries and put distance.  I had to end a few social activities because the hosts, or the participants, were just unpleasant, slightly anti-social folks.

Oh… yes, my daughter knows about the cuts.  We have an understanding, you see.  Not that we think it’s okay, but that we know why we do it.  sigh but just the other day, my father saw them.  I’m not ready to talk to him about it just yet.  I’m not sure he even knows this is a thing with me, even after all these years.

What I’m doing about it

I do have a therapist, now.  I haven’t met with her for a full session, yet; she came with my case manager to meet me in my home, and then I talked with her some more when I dropped by some background information.  She took a moment to show me around her office, get a sense of things so I could be comfortable.  I will meet with her towards the end of the month, but I will probably drop by now and then, so I might continue to collaborate, to prepare beforehand.

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all

I’ve learned that the spouse of a fairly prominent WordPress blogger (who is also currently imprisoned), an ertswhile blogger in their own right, passed away earlier this week.

Despite the call for letters of support; I’m sorry, but I won’t be sending one.  I have a really, really difficult time with trust– trusting either full-on, or not at all, and my last interaction ended towards not at all.  I don’t consider myself a cruel, heartless individual, but when things were well, this person just didn’t seem to consider me worth the notice.  I understand things are quite bad, now, but, I’m struggling with my own problems, too.

Bloggers, even before this news, asked for letters to be sent.  I was sorely tempted to quietly send something scathing.  I must have been graced by the better part of wisdom, somehow, because I didn’t.  Now… I’m not able to do such a thing for the sake of social niceties.  This person didn’t really ever interact with me.  I think it would be disingenuous and insincere to try to pretend otherwise.

A final word

I’m not broadcasting blog posts to Twitter for now– I I was considering deactivating Twitter entirely, but I didn’t.  But… I’m not going to use it to promote my blog material for now.  shrug See for yourself, dear readers.  I appreciate all your comments, I truly do.  But you do see that they number about 3 to a half dozen, on average.  The art of SEO eludes me, and apparently, I’m not writing much that appeals to a wide variety of people.

But I realize that your interactions are genuine, and real.  And for that, I’m grateful.

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A Serious Discussion Regarding Mental Health

I got to be a part of a broadcast with Kenneth “The Culture Monk” Justice, his media/blogging partner/co-host Kylie, and previous guest Dee, only for a minute. But please, dear readers, check it out, because I think they all really hit on some of the concerns we have with mental healthcare in the Western world.

A Serious Discussion Regarding Mental Health (see also “View Original” at the end for the blog post and video)

If anything, I have more to say in the comments, so, I’ll stop here. I did get a chance to mention Bobbi (Parish), and make a subtle reference to Trauma Recovery University/The No More Shame Project, if not by name.

Culture Monk

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Journey Into the Light: May is Mental Illness Awareness Month

I should have realized this– my blog feed is blowin’ up with posts from bloggers that care about this issue.

Aussa Lorens shared one blog post via Twitter.  (She works for a psych ward, and she tells it like it IS at her own blog!  So why shouldn’t she share a post from another blog about an awesome cause?)

Alyson Herzig wrote in

Laughter is the Best Medicine, Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor – The Shitastrophy:

In honor of May being Mental Illness Awareness month Jessica Azar and myself have launched a call for support and submissions for our Anthology: Laughter is the Best Medicine, Surviving Mental Illness through Humor.

Kenneth “The Culture Monk” Justice is on his “Drinking In The Culture” coffee house tour, and is spending time talking to people, a few who are bloggers and regular readers of his blog at WordPress.  His last two posts have been on the theme of mental health, specifically speaking about frustrations about how medicated Western society has become of late:

Bi-polar disorder & defying doctors orders…REALLY???

Mental Health and Damn Idealism…REALLY???


It’s actually a topic that bubbled up from previous posts and previous comments, so I’m not surprised Kenneth decided to write about it specifically.

Why is this an important cause to me?  Because, dear readers, I have a mental illness called bipolar mood disorder type II, and I manage it– it doesn’t manage me.  Now, it’s gotten tough again as chronic pain affects my mood, too, but after 25 years or so of struggling, I finally got the treatment that works for me.

I think an integrated approach is helpful for mental health– humor, humanity, and a holistic approach to overall health generally.  I am indeed worried with the Big Pharma approach that is almost Apple iDevice like (in promoting apps): “Got a problem?  There’s a pill for that!”

We can do better– but I don’t think we’ll get it from the top down.  In my experience, it was to fight for the treatment I felt was appropriate, and to stay that course despite the obstacles.

Rethink Mental Illness

Rethink Mental Illness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Black Hole

I would like to know who’s reading… besides you lovely readers that comment on a regular basis.


Because I’m hurting.  Bad.  Physically, emotionally, all that rot.  And I get the feeling relatively few people care about what I have to say.  I don’t know where to pick apart what parts are bipolar mood disorder, what parts are complex PTSD, what parts are the nerve pain, on and on.

There are days I wish I had a concussion again.  I didn’t get pissed off quite as much with a concussion.

I guess I have a little good news… talked to my pain doc, I could have rescheduled the trial procedure for spinal cord stim therapy, anytime, but, his staff, they don’t have their act together (because that’s not what they told me).

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