Erin Go Bra-less

cropped-irishwarrior

I prefer to celebrate the life of Boudica, the Celtic warrior Queen. Most of my life, I have celebrated my Irish roots. My middle name is Morgaine. An alternative name for Morgan le Fay in original legends and some modern adaptations such as The Mists of Avalon. Of course, those who have followed my blog know that my first name was derived from the 60’s hit The Avengers and the character Mrs. Peel, played by Diana Rigg. I used to love watching that show and even got the seasons with Emma Peel in it on DVD.

emmapeel

Getting back to this guy Patrick. I have always had a hard time celebrating this day. I never saw Patrick as a hero to the Irish. The farce of him driving the snakes out of Ireland is pure malarkey. The snakes referred to the Druids. The Druid priests and priestesses would tattoo serpents on their arms. It was the Druids that he drove out.

When I left the Catholic Church, one of the first spiritual paths I tried to learn was the Druidic path. I learned that they were poets and story tellers, bards, healers. There were many levels to Druidry.

Primus Lapidem Miliarium – The First Milestone, the way of the Aspirant

Secundus Lapidem Milarium – The Second Milestone, from Novice to Bard

Tertius Lapidem Milarium – The Third Milestone, Ovate, Master and beyond

But to those who believe they have passed the last milestone, hold on a moment.  We have only reached the end of the beginning. And those who are truly meant to be on the druidic path will again be overjoyed at this revelation. The horizon that we were chasing has mysteriously moved farther away.  What new discovery, what amazing knowledge awaits?

I have always been a spiritual person. I am not religious. I was involved with the Roman Catholic Church. I spent two years as a Youth Minister, ministering to young people out of a center in Middletown, RI. I had even tried going into the seminary and becoming a priest. I was always seen as a spiritual person, so many  thought because I was raised Roman Catholic that it was my destiny. Fortunately not!

I walked away from the Roman Catholic Church, and decided to follow my own path. My first venture was to learn Druidry since I am Irish. I felt that was more the native spiritual path of the Celts than Catholicism. From there, I learned Shamanism. I continued to learn and grow. I learned to expand my mind and accept all paths. This was reinforced when I read a book, Seven Masters One Path, which brought together the teachings of many masters, Lao Tzu, Patanjali, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Gurdjieff, and Krishnamurti. What this did was to open my mind to the realization of the Hindu Koan, “There are many paths up the mountain and the only one not getting to the top is the one who runs around and around telling everyone else they are on the wrong path!” Another saying I embraced was

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” ― Buddha Siddhartha Guatama Shakyamuni

I continued to learn and grow. I continue to study Shamanism, but have added Curanderismo and Native American healing ways. I have also dabbled into Quantum Physics as there are aspects of that that ties into a lot of my studies and shows the interconnectedness of us all.

Now, I did mention my aversion to St. Patrick. As part of my learning all of these healing ways, I learned to open myself to things. During one of these times, I had what felt like a flashback. In it, Patrick had reached out to the Druids in order to bring the two together. Or rather, that was what he said. He scheduled a meeting between the Druids and Roman Catholics. The Druids were punctual and arrived early. They gathered in the building and were waiting on the Roman Catholics. At that time, someone shut and barred the doors to the building. The building was then set on fire. The Druids were murdered, burned alive. To this day, anything to do with Irish Green ruffles me. I was told by a Past Life Regressionist that it was a stored memory from a previous life. They say that a lot of our phobias and fears can be due to previous life issues as well as current PTSDs. Who knows. The world is a fascinating place.

So there you have it. My spirituality is not religious but one of heart. That is why I sign off with the thought, my heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

That sparked another thought. I was rewatching the movie Celestine Prophesy. In it, they learned that if we project love and return that which we receive, it redoubles on itself and grows in power. I really think we need to spread more love in this world. Our hearts need to be open to each other. There is too much darkness, hate, and violence. I hope more people will be a light to others. Imlak’esh, “within you another me, & within me another you”.

My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit

Emma

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Just Keep Swimming….

Dory-white

Probably the hardest thing to do is to keep pushing forward. I was thinking about things and how my mind is all over the place these days. I think Dory’s mantra, just keep swimming, fits.

The hardest adjustment for me has been the isolation. At times, I feel like I have been discarded, unwanted. I bury myself in my books, or escape in a movie or TV show. I try to continue to write but, at times, feel like I am becoming redundant. I know I have to continue to write. I have read comments that have been left both here and on Facebook. They remind me that this just isn’t about me, but also about others who are following. So I keep swimming.

It is interesting, all the thoughts that go through your mind when you are all alone and isolated. Mind you, I have gotten involved with a group and am starting to get out at least two times a week. So, not totally isolated. Cindy allowed me to take Jazzie for a bit on Sunday. I brought her to the walk around the big pond at Bristol Community College and then back to the apartment. She started to whine a bit at the apartment because it was quiet, unlike the farm. I also live right on a major thoroughfare, so you can hear the rush of traffic. We visited for a while and then I brought her home. I miss her but giving some real thought about whether I really want to get a puppy for myself. I love animals, but if I am going out a couple of nights a week, the puppy would be alone. I have to think of the puppy and not just my needs. I do need the social interaction, so I do need those two nights out a week.

Sometimes I sit and my mind wanders. I end up having crazy thoughts. I try to let them pass. Sometimes it is best to just let things wash over you and release them rather than dwell. One such, was that I thought how I would be perfect for the CIA right now. No one would notice if I was gone, I am unattached, and a low will to live. Don’t worry, I still have some will, just not much. I do get those feelings that if I died tomorrow, who would notice? I let them pass over and try to refocus in a more positive direction. You have to. You can’t just dwell in the darkness. I do try to open the blinds a bit to ensure there is natural light in the apartment. Sometimes it is the little things.

I am trying to push through. I try to redirect my thoughts when they start to go to the darkness. My counselor had given me a book that deals with the psychology of rewiring your thinking. It was interesting research that was done. I use it to recognize when I go to the dark places and pull myself back.

For those who may actually worry about me, know that I cannot take my life. Trust me, I have tried. I may not have a great desire to live and just feel like I am wading through the water and just keep swimming, but I also recognize that at times in my life, I have said the right word or shared at the right time for someone. I live my life as a wounded healer. My power is in my words. I am the Consejera, a counselor. Despite all that I go through, my heart is open to those who need it.

I may not feel loved at times. I may feel alone and discarded, but my heart, my heart is always open to those who need it. I may struggle, but I live life to be love.

My  heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Even the Strong Have Their Moments

check-up-on-your-strong-friend-theyre-usually-the-one-bleeding-in-silence-650x434

Robin Williams made us laugh and had us in stitches. Yet, there was a dark undercurrent that he could not overcome. He eventually took his life and we lost a great comic genius. This is a time of the year when many people are struggling. Quite a few people may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. There is also the barrage of advertisements for St. Valentine’s Day that can really further isolate someone who is lonely. I have struggled myself of late, but I reach out to my friends on Facebook and I am reminded that I matter.

I want to share a card that a friend sent me. I have been struggling lately, but this reminded me that my light must never dim.
 
The world needs your voice. It needs your talents. It needs you. No matter what, know that a lot of people are pulling for you every step of the way.
 
Living alone can be hard. There have been a few times when I have hit a nadir and felt that I was unwanted and unloved. Fortunately, I posted those feelings on Facebook and there was an immediate response and outpouring of love. For all we complain about Facebook, it does serve as a connection, a lifeline, for those who are alone.
 
I was reminded last night that this time of year can be the hardest for people alone. The days are short which contributes to SAD. We also get inundated with Valentine’s Day commercials, ads, and messages. I posted the other day about how sometimes the strong people are the ones struggling. I do not want to lose a single friend due to suicide. Please, reach out.
 
Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a real human. No judgment—just straight-up listening.
 
National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255
YouthLine — Text teen2teen to 839863, or call 1-877-968-8491
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline — 1-800-422-4453
National Domestic Violence Hotline — 1-800-799-7233
National Deaf Domestic Violence Hotline — 1-855-812-1001
RAINN — 1-800-656-4673
RAINN’s (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)
The Trevor Project — 1-866-488-7386 or text START to 678678
Trans Lifeline — 1-877-565-8860
 
You are never alone! My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not A Life Choice – Keep Moving Forward

biggirlbritches

Probably one of the hardest things to do is to keep pushing through, especially when one is affected by loneliness and depression. I have been dealing primarily with the loneliness, but have my bouts of depression also. That is usually brought about due to the loneliness. I am hoping to get my financial footing so I can get a puppy to keep me company, but for now, I just have to deal.

I was fortunate yesterday, in that, we had a brunch for my Mother’s birthday. I had everyone come over to my apartment and made up, as usual, too much food. Oh the sausage, bacon and most of the ham went but the home fries there is a lot of. I will be eating egg burritos for a while too. Of course, if I was still at the farm, those would have gone to the dogs. The scrambled eggs, not the home fries.

I have some pictures hanging that my son put together for us. It has pictures of my two dogs that passed, Harley and Brandy. Brandy was my girl. She loved to go for rides with me. She would sit in the passenger seat and enjoy the ride, except when I hit the highway and then should would lay down. I think things flying past so fast were not her cup of tea. That picture though, often triggers my depression. It reminds me of a happier time. I keep hearing that things will get better, but struggle with it.

I don’t hear much from Cindy though we are supposed to get together at the farm with some friends, for dinner. She has been busy trying to put the house in order to sell it. I did invite her to the brunch, but she had people coming to help her paint. It is a huge adjustment going from taking care of about 26 alpacas and three dogs, to just taking care of me. It makes grocery shopping and cooking interesting as I am only cooking for me now. It will be nice to see Jazzie again this weekend. I do miss her. I used to take breaks from work and take her for a walk. It got me out of the house a few times a day. Now I just sit at the computer and work all day. I do get up now and then for another coffee, but that is only going downstairs. If I do get a puppy, I will once again have a reason to get out for a breath of fresh air and take a break. For now, I just bury myself in my work so I don’t have to think.

I relate my struggles, not to gain sympathy, but those who are also struggling. I think in finding someone you can relate to, someone who understands your pain and struggle, it helps. One of the things I was told by a psychologist I had worked with back in the 80’s was to treat the negative moments as just that, moments in time. She told me to look back over my life at all the peaks and valleys and see that even in the darkest moments, just keep pushing forward. She reminded me of how many times I hit my nadir only to rise like a phoenix and spread my wings going higher and shining brighter. I continue to struggle, but I also remind myself that I am committed to being a light to show the way for others. My Cherokee friends gifted me the name, Unega Waya, White Wolf. They saw me as a pathfinder and teacher. I embrace that spirit. I will continue to push through. I will rise again. I will shine brighter. I will hold onto this as my creed so I may push through.

My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not A Life Choice – Adjusting

adjustingI am slowly adjusting to my new environment. I am finally starting to sleep through the night. That will go a long way to returning me to some form of normalcy. It really was a struggle and it affected my health. I ended up with my first cold in forever. I can’t remember the last time I had a cold and fortunately it only lasted a few days. I have slept the past couple of nights until my alarm went off, of course, I forgot we had Martin Luther King Day off and worked most of the day. I probably could have slept in. Ugh.

I am slowly adjusting to the major change in my life. It is still disconcerting going from the chaos at the farm to mostly silence in my apartment. I do miss the alpacas and especially Jazzie, our aussiedoodle. I used to take her for a walk a few times a day since I worked at home. That gave me the opportunity to get out and get fresh air a few times a day.

I am having to adjust to cooking for one. It will take a bit for me to do that. I am so used to cooking, at minimum for Cindy, but also for the whole family. I saw a post on Facebook about baking. I don’t do it anymore. I used to bake for the family. I used to do cookies for Christmas, cheesecakes, and so much more. I don’t eat sweets so no more baking. I will have my first brunch this Sunday though. I am having a brunch for my Mother for her birthday and my son and daughter, my Mom, and my cousin.

I was looking to get myself an aussiedoodle for company. I am finding how expensive it is. I love Jazzie and wanted a dog like her. Unfortunately, for the time being, I have to wait. I found that my apartment wants an additional deposit of $1000 if I choose to have a pet. I also found the additional costs for the puppy would be around $500 for the vet certificate of health, shipping, and other costs. So that is on hold for the moment so just need to get through the next month or so. Once I pay next months rent, we will see what is left over.

I am learning my way around again. I think I found my new Chinese food purveyor. I got take out from them and loved their wings, chicken chow mein and fried rice. Much closer to what I remember.  I did order from Dominoes the other day. I didn’t care for their wings, but their pizza was okay. I will try Highland Pizza next. I also set up an appointment with a new PCP. I don’t know about the commute to get there, should I walk or drive? LOL, it is right next door.

For people with Aspergers, change can be highly stressful. Fortunately, I have had great counselors who have advised me to push through. I posted earlier about pushing through the mire. I am getting there, but it still is disconcerting.

While Cindy doesn’t respond much to my texts, she never really did, so I have to remind myself of that. She did reach out and ask if I wanted to come to dinner Saturday night. She does want to stay friends and I do miss her. I will never stop loving her.

So change is hard. Change is disruptive. Change can also be for the good. I needed to move on. I needed to spread my wings. I am trying. It is hard, but change is never easy. I will push through all of this and create a new life for myself. For the moment, there are very few in my circle. I am a social person so that is hard to take. I am alone most of the time. It hasn’t been a month yet. I have to be patient and give it time to build a new network of people and hopefully friends.

That brings me to another thought. Friends. Yes, I am connected on Facebook. I have 1,459 friends on Facebook at this moment. I have others who have asked to connect. I hope people don’t take offense at what I am about to say, but I see most of these as acquaintances. The reason being that I feel a friend is someone you share things with. It is someone you have a real relationship with. It is someone you feel comfortable sharing intimate details with. It is someone you feel comfortable sharing your fears, your pleasures, you life. I had that with Cindy, but that is gone.  I am alone. I need to find those who I can share intimate details. I need to find those who want to be around me and do things together. At the moment, I don’t have that. I will say that I did find a connection with my Pampered Chef consultant. I shared a lot with him when he came to visit. I think we learned a lot more about each other. There won’t be any romantic thoughts as he is gay and in a relationship, but it was nice to connect on that level. I feel I can share with him.

In time, I will get through this. I will make new connections and new relationships. Hopefully, it might even lead to a new intimate relationship. Loneliness sucks. I have had dark thoughts. I push through it. I spent way too much money to get to where I am to chuck it all. I may end up some old spinster, alone for the rest of my life, but I will be alive. For those struggling with their own journey, suicide is never an answer. Continue to push through. You are a valuable light. You need to shine. You need to sing your song.

I will soon close this series and turn my efforts to pulling it all together along with my initial book attempt, Emma: An Unlived Life, in hopes to reach others and share my journey and my song of hope. The struggle is real. None of this is easy, but you are worth it. All life is sacred. Never give up!

My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

All my heart, Emma

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not a Life Choice – New Beginnings

all-new

It has been an interesting time. For those who have been following, you know that Cindy advised back in May, that we would be separating. She said that she planned to shut down the farm and we would go our separate ways.  I was asked if I would stay on to help until the end of the year. So come December, I was looking for an apartment. I originally was looking towards Plymouth, but in the end, I returned to the place of my birth, Fall River, Massachusetts. Yes, I was born in the same town of the infamous Lizzie Borden.

I do miss Cindy, the alpacas, and the dogs, especially Jazzie. Cindy says she wants to stay friends and do things together. It was decided to get a Uhaul and move me on New Years Eve. It went very fast. We went back to the farm after to celebrate our last New Years Eve at the farm. We played the game, That’s What She Said and had a few drinks. I retired early as I was exhausted.

When I got up the next morning, I put a few more things in the car to take and left for the final time.

The first few days were rough. I found myself waking at 2am and unable to get back to sleep. It was fortunate that I took the whole week off. I also had to wait until that Friday to get my self-install kit from Comcast, despite it being ordered before the 31st.

I think the first night I got almost a full nights sleep was the third night at the apartment. I think, by then, I was just really exhausted. It is taking time, but slowly I am getting into a cycle where I can sleep most of the night. It might have just been a new environment, but I also have to admit to feeling like a discard. I posted on Facebook :

I have come to the realization that I will never have love. I am destined to be alone for my lifetime. Unwanted, a discard.

I received such an outpouring of love and support from that short message. I had hit a nadir. It was time to call upon the spirit of Boudica, the warrior queen, and Ceredwyn, the keeper of the cauldron of knowledge to empower me. I absorbed the love sent to me and responded:

I am okay! It has been a hard few days. As one with Aspergers, change is hugely disruptive. Add to that the depression that comes from the end of a relationship, dark dreariness in the house because they have underpowered lighting and it feels like darkness is embracing you. Last night, I hit a nadir. The combination of the darkness around here with the lack of sleep over the past few days and top it with a couple of glasses of wine and bam. I apologize if anyone became worried. Please know that I am in a better place this morning.
Somehow I managed to battle the insomnia last night. I woke at 2am again last night, why 2, who knows, but this time I got up and hit the bathroom and then crawled right back into bed, rolled over and willed myself back to sleep. I woke again at 5a and said no, rolled over again and slept until 6a. I feel a bit groggy, but more rested. I have an electrolysis appointment in Plymouth at 11a. I may meet with some friends who I met when they came to take my tour at the farm, and go for lunch.
This is a huge adjustment for me. I was in a routine everyday where I was out in all kinds of weather shoveling alpaca poop at 6a. I said goodbye to all the alpacas and especially giving Hottie and Kate kisses. I fixed the blanket on Zorro to keep the cold off him. He is our old guy and mostly skin and bones. Our, heh, it will take a while. I miss Jazzie, our little ausiedoodle. I took her for walks during the day and she was always full of love and joy. Of course, she loved to devour books. Not read, just devour. LOL. I have my memories. I will miss giving my lecture on the farm. I really enjoy teaching others. I admire teachers like my friend Susan Aileen and my step-mom, Muriel Croft, They empower through education. We really need to step up and fully fund education.
Now that I have had a good nights sleep. I hope to get back into some kind of rhythm and sleep the nights through. Once I have some good rest, I will become stronger. The love and support I have seen here is truly how Facebook and other portals like it, should be used. That was the way it was with other places I was involved in like Zaadz and Tribe. I had a group on Tribe where I shared what I learned from the teachings of the Native American culture. We really do need to return to living in balance with the land.
So I move forward. I embrace the spirit of the warrior queen, Boudica. I embrace the spiritual guidance of Ceredwyn, keeper of the cauldron of knowledge. I embrace my Buddha spirit and will continue to work for peace, balance, and harmony. I choose to empower. I am Unega Waya, White Wolf, I am the pathfinder and teacher. I embrace my wolf spirit and will use its strength. I will rise like the phoenix!

I continue to grow stronger. I thank all who have offered their support. I plan on going back to the farm Saturday afternoon and will drop off some boxes, the dolly, and some packing blankets so that Cindy has them when she is ready to move. I will also grab the coats I left in the closet by the door. I realized that I just left with the sweater and it got cold the past few days.

Change is hard. It is especially so for people who have Asperger’s. I was really struggling, but by settling into routines, it is helping. The other thing that helps is my familiarity with my surroundings. I know most of the streets and some restaurants I knew are still around, especially the St. James Pub, an Irish pub that is still there!

Funny, I know a lot of the restaurants around but yet, I struggled to leave tonight. I was debating ordering a pizza, or maybe Chinese, in the end, I made my comfort food, Seafood Fra Diavlo. Plenty enough heat to clear my sinuses. I hope to soon get a grill so I can go back to cooking outside. I haven’t had a steak in a while. I prefer cooking those on a grill. I prefer my ribs on a grill too, but settled for some bone-in rib cuts. I have most of my rubs and sauces, so grilling will be a must. I do have to get out. I don’t want to become a hermit. I plan on taking my Mom out to breakfast on Sunday. Step by step.

I also found out that my PCP left his practice. I had reached out with my change of address and change of pharmacy. They told me he was no longer with them. Nice, they couldn’t notify their patients? So, I have reached out to the facility right next door and have an appointment with a new PCP in February. I won’t have to take a day off to go to a doctor’s appointment. Though, I may for the initial visit to ensure time to fill out all the paperwork.

I share all of this so that people may be informed about the potential ramifications of following your heart and embracing the real you. Granted, Cindy wants to stay friends and best friends, but it did end all that we had built at the farm. Time will heal.  Of course, moving to Fall River means that a Popeye’s is only fifteen minutes away. LOL. Hey, trying to find the bright side. Oh, and I can get a chow mein sandwich here too. The things we remember from our childhood.

I am okay. I will survive. I will have my moments and some low points. I think that loneliness can do that. The apartment complex has a portal where people can sign in and join groups. Unfortunately, it appears that no one takes advantage of this. I heard that they have events here to bring people together, but so far, nothing. I posted in a few groups, but only got one response. I tried to look up my cousin to see if they are still here in Fall River, but she seems to have dropped off Facebook. My sister works at the facility next door and said that if she forgets her lunch she knows where to go now. We will see.

So I have been struggling, but back to work and making routines that help to ease the transition.

As always, my heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Not A Life Choice – New Beginnings?

phoenix

I have been in counseling off and on for decades. One thing my counselors noted and try to reinforce in me when I get to low points is how many times I have risen higher than I was before, after being beaten down. I try to cling to that when I am going through down periods. I am really struggling lately. A month before my surgery, Cindy advised that she had been thinking about separation for a year. Like I needed that additional stress before surgery, but it was in response to my mentioning that we should move the rock wall back to allow for more parking in the front. She advised me at that time that she was planning on shutting it all down. I have mixed feelings about it. While I will be happy not to shovel shite twice a day, as well as the back issues especially during herd health or shearing as I usually wrangle the alpacas. I have ended up on my butt more than once. I also always felt like I couldn’t go far from home as I had a responsibility to ensure the alpacas had a clean environment. Still, shoveling shite in all kinds of weather was never fun. What I will miss is my connection to the alpacas. I assisted in the birth of Honeybun who was our first born on the farm. She has really grown into a beautiful young lady. I really am attached to Gibbs and Kate, though after naming Kate, Cindy decided to change it to Katarina. I still call her Kate and she comes up to me and nuzzles me when I am out there cleaning. I will miss the alpacas that is for sure.

I will be going down to Fall River tomorrow to check out an apartment complex. I have mixed feelings. I was born in Fall River and raised in Tiverton, Rhode Island. I still have family in Fall River and most of my siblings still live in Tiverton. Fall River is a small city and an old mill town. I still know my way around but miss some of the usual haunts I liked. China Royal or as we knew it China Dinah, is long gone. I will have to find a good place to get my Chow Mein Sandwiches.

chowmeinsandwich

I haven’t lived in Fall River since before Cindy and I married. I moved to her home in North Attleboro just before we got married. I used to live in the North End by Airport Road. It was a decent area. I could walk over to Shaws to do my shopping. There was also a little Chinese restaurant in the plaza. Of course, I had the pizza shop right next door. I might end up back in that area, but the place I am looking is in the Highlands. I can still walk to the little plaza with a McDonalds and Newport Creamery. There is a liquor outlet there but it appears it changed hands and is no longer Liquor Warehouse. They had great prices, so I will have to check in. There is also an Ace Hardware so I can get things to fix things up. There is a CVS there also, so my prescription will get moved there if I end up getting the place I look at tomorrow. I also saw that Market Basket is there at what used to be the Harbour Mall but is now Southcoast Marketplace, I think the name is. I think the theater is still there but updated and some decent restaurants. I did drive by the Chinese buffet place I used to take my kids and it is still there. I may have a bit to drive for other places. I see Dartmouth Mall has a Bed, Bath, and Beyond, so a quick trip out there after I move. I can just order everything in these days though. I could hit Gumbos if I go out to North Dartmouth. I used to take the kids there too.

EmotionalLifeofyourBrain

I have been married for a long time. I like being married, but Cindy and I really have diverged over the years. It’s not a bad thing, just the way things happen. We really used to love going out to eat together and traveling. I will always love the adventures we have experienced. We started with our honeymoon and a trip to Bermuda. It wasn’t the best as we went in between hurricanes so the swells were horrendous. The deck would come out from under your feet. Cindy really took ill. We hit Bermuda and the dock works. taxis and buses were on strike. I managed to get us a scooter to tool over to Hamilton. We did get to Crystal Caves, and a few other spots. We also got out to New Mexico and visited Chaco Canyon and Alberquerque after staying at the Nora Dixon B&B. We circled around the area going out to Gallop up around Los Alamos and then back down to the hot springs in Jimenez. We followed up that journey with one out to Sedona and a return trip the following year. We spent our tenth year anniversary on a tour of the four corners. We started in Las Vegas and then went out to Mesa Verde,  through the Ute Nation and over to Lake Powell and then on to Utah, Bryce Canyon. We then returned back to Vegas for our last night of that trip. It was amazing.

We shared a lot, but both of us have changed a lot. We are getting to the point where we have more differences than likes. Like me liking hot and spicy while she is happy with more mundane foods. I also love my Chinese food, but she isn’t as much a fan.

So, I am not so keen on living alone again, but then again, the book above notes that we can reprogram our brains. I have been working towards that by reminding myself that I will be able to just stop at a restaurant if it piques my interest. No more worries about having to get home and shovel poop and taking care of the alpacas. My back will like that. If I am in the mood for Chinese, I can have it. If I want to go back to Sedona, take some time from work and schedule a flight. Though I probably won’t do that one. I am not adverse to flying alone, I did that for many years working for Georgia Pacific. I supported half the country from Waxahachie, Texas to the East Coast. Maybe I can plan a trip to Memphis and finally see Graceland and Beal Street. I went there many times for GP, but after long days pulling cable and rewiring the plants, I would be sweaty and tired and just wanted dinner and bed.

I may use the time alone to reprogram myself too. I used to have a voracious appetite for books. I have a large stack of books to catch up on.

I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know where I will end up. I agreed to stay on until the end of the year. That is just a few weeks away now. I feel the anxiety build at times, but just keep talking to myself to get through it. Reprogram the brain. That is tough.  I have survived. I keep rising and reinventing myself.

overcome

My Cherokee friends used to tell me Stiyu, be strong. I will just keep going forward.

My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not A Life Choice – Day by Day

seeds

Sometimes you just have to plant seeds and see what comes up. I haven’t written in a bit. Part of that is due to smashing my finger tossing a bale of hay in the feeder. My finger got caught in the string and slammed against the metal frame, snapping the end off my fingernail and putting a long crack down the nail diagonally. It doesn’t hurt so much anymore but sure makes typing hard with one finger all wrapped up.

Situation has not changed much. Originally, I was looking to moving to Plymouth, but that fell through as I couldn’t get a loan. They say that loans on places like mobile home parks are chattel loans and not too many carry them. I also need a separation agreement before they would process it. They also said no thirty year just a twenty, so higher mortgage payment on top of the $550 HOA fee. So looks like I will change directions and move back to Fall River. It has been a long time since I lived there. I was born there at St. Annes Hospital. I lived my first few years in Fall River before moving to Tiverton in Rhode Island. I am hoping that I will be able to find a good chow mein sandwich like I used to get. A lot has changed in Fall River, so we will see.

chowmeinsandwich

I did go down to what used to be the Harbour Mall to check out their Market Basket. I even had lunch at the 110 Grill. I kind of like Market Basket. The one in Fall River is almost exactly the same as the one in Plymouth I was going to. I am trying to set up an appointment to go look at an apartment. At this time, we are still looking towards the end of the year, but still no separation agreement.

I reached out to Fall River Pride to introduce myself and if I do move back, maybe get involved with them. It seems like they are just starting up, though, I would think there is a large LGBT community there, just no cohesion as yet. Moving back to Fall River would put me closer to my family and especially, my mother.

So I am planting seeds.  I hope some new friendships grow from them. In the meantime, I will keep plugging along. It is the only thing I can do. I still dance with the darkness, but I have too much invested in me to take my life. I just have to keep sloshing through the muck and mire until I can find my way through and maybe someday laugh again.

My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not A Life Choice – Paddling Alone

canoealone

No this is not me, I have a kayak. I just saw this and it reminded me of my current situation. Sometimes it feels like I am just paddling along alone. At times, it can be peaceful, but other times the loneliness can get to you. It will be interesting to see how I make out being alone again. That is if I ever get to that point.

To recap, a month before my surgery in May, Cindy advised that we will be ending our marriage. She said that she believed it was time for me to go off on my own and spread my wings. She said that I should have the opportunity to explore a new relationship, if I choose, and maybe even be with a man. I was told by a psychologist years ago that she thought I was bisexual, but mostly lean towards women because of who I was at the time. I really don’t know, as I have never been with a man and only a few have interested me. I used to joke that I loved X-Files because I had a thing for both Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. Of course, who couldn’t think about Sam Elliot, that voice and looks. Be that as it may, there are not too many men I am drawn to. In reality, I don’t plan on being with anyone. I will spend the rest of my days alone. As I told Cindy, three strikes, and I am out.

I find it interesting that despite my assertions, I still continue with my dilations. I could just quit and let it close up, or could have gone for zero depth surgery in the first place and not have to deal with dilations. Oh right, Cindy prefers I call it PT. I am about to the point of having to do it just once a day. I think by December it will drop to once every few days. We will see.

To return to the canoe metaphor, sometimes it just feels like I am paddling upstream. I struggle at times. I am still at home with Cindy and she asked that I stay on until the end of the year. I will cook one more Thanksgiving and one more Christmas here. My heart is not in it as I just feel like I am in limbo. I continue to have to shovel alpaca poop twice a day, and toss bales of hay and lug water. I still have a full time job on top of it. We have had a lot of rain of late and that has made the poop heavier to deal with so just makes me grumpier. I had tried to get a mobile home in a trailer park but because my name is still on the deed and mortgage on the house they wouldn’t give me a loan. I still don’t have a separation agreement either. That means I am still on the hook for bills here and the mortgage. Because of this, I sometimes feel a financial prisoner. We will see what the end of the year brings.

I originally was looking at moving towards Plymouth. I have some people I know down there and was hoping to move us from just seeing each other in passing to becoming friends.  Of course, to me, being a friend is someone you want to share things with, to spend time with, to do things with.  I haven’t had that in a long time. I thought I had that with Cindy, but I guess all good things have to come to an end. As she said, she still loves me, but is not in love with me. I get it. I think.

I have been looking to maybe going back to Fall River to live. I would get an apartment down there. It wouldn’t be the same as owning your own home. Probably won’t be able to have a grill. I will have to get used to the quietness of being alone again too. I am not looking forward to this phase of my life. I have struggled with it. I have thought about ending it. I was told by a reader that I should not even consider it. They told me that they come from the other side of the spectrum politically than I do, but they had a lot of respect for me. I took those words to heart. So I continue to paddle upstream. There has got to be more to life than struggle. I want to laugh and smile again. I can’t remember the last time I had a good belly laugh.

Sorry to be a Debby Downer, but it is a struggle. Changes in situation are even harder with Aspergers. I am dealing the best I can, but as Cindy mentioned, I am a social person and she isn’t, so I really need to be on my own to experience life and get out and do things. I feel more like I just want to withdraw. I am even planning on passing on First Event this year. I have given a workshop there for the past three years and have been in the Fashion Show for the past two. Yet, my heart is just not there. My future is uncertain and foreboding. I struggle but I just keep paddling.

Still trying to shine.  My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not A Life Choice – Trudging On

miry-and-clay

Sometimes it is hard to keep going especially when you think you are in so deep like this woman. I noted how I have been dancing with the darkness lately. One kind follower responded back. They said that despite us being on political opposite ends of the spectrum, that they supported me and reminded me that I serve a purpose on this earth. I bring light to a subject that many do not understand.

I just want to say right off that I have no intention of doing away with myself. I do believe that all life is sacred, including my own. If I were to end it, where would that leave others who have been following my journey and have been inspired to follow their own path.

I saw a meme attributed to John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, do more and become more, you are a leader”. Now I don’t pretend to be a leader, but I do hope that I have managed to inspire others to become their true selves.  With exposure comes light. As more and more people are coming out as LGBT, there is a light shining and more research is being done. A recent study found that there is a genetic link between gender dysphoria and sex hormone signaling.

A significant association was identified between gender dysphoria and ERα, SRD5A2, and STS alleles, as well as ERα and SULT2A1 genotypes. Several allele combinations were also overrepresented in transgender women, most involving AR (namely, AR-ERβ, AR-PGR, AR-COMT, CYP17-SRD5A2). Overrepresented alleles and genotypes are proposed to undermasculinize/feminize on the basis of their reported effects in other disease contexts.

Conclusion
Gender dysphoria may have an oligogenic component, with several genes involved in sex hormone–signaling contributing.

I struggle sometimes with being out publicly. There are times I just want to retreat and just hide away. Many years ago I chose a public path. There were too many instances of suicide by young people, and old, that found no acceptance and chose to end life I chose to shine a light and try to educate. I hope that in some way I am being a beacon of hope to someone so they don’t take their life. If I save but one, I have lived a good life.

My hope is that more and more research comes out to prove that this is Not Just A Life Choice. We are learning more and more each day. We have found that gender and sexual preference are not black and white but a plethora of shades of grey. There are those who are fluid in that they go back and forth between genders based on what makes them comfortable that day. Why can’t we just accept that? Why do we want cookie cutter people instead of variety?

I was told by my first psychologist that she believed I was bisexual. She said the best way for me to find out was to date a guy. This was pre-transition. I was going through a nasty divorce due to my first attempt at transition. I didn’t think it was prudent to go down that road. It has sat in the back of my mind. I know that I am still attracted to women, but there has always been those few guys who I found myself attracted to, like Sam Elliot or David Duchovny. Of course, X-Files was one of my favorite shows because I liked both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. In the end, it is curiosity at this point. I have no plans on ever being with anyone else again once my marriage is over. So the world may never know.

I do want to say that I do not intend to ever take my life. I don’t think I could even if I did want to. So I trudge on through the muck. It would be nice to get to a point where I don’t have a shadow of darkness over me. One day.

So if you are LGBTQ+, be the light. Shine on and be a beacon to others. The more light we shine, the more research is done and science can show the truth.

As always, my heart to your heart, one spirit.

Emma (Unega Waya) Croft

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment