Just The Way We Are

As I caught up with friends’ blogs today, a theme emerged.  Several said that they don’t post often because they worry that they’re boring.   They worry about what their readers will think of them.

I have the same problem.

The thing is, what these people share – the little details of their lives, or the thoughts chasing around their heads no matter how trivial – fascinate me.  I want to hear about your lives, or I wouldn’t be your friend in the first place.  You don’t need wildly exciting things to happen in order for me to care.  It’s the little things that make me feel close to you, though chances are we’ve never met.  So tell me all about your Great-Aunt Sally who farted and cleared out the room, allowing you to sneak the last piece of apple pie which you wisely chose to consume outdoors in the clean, fresh air.

Sometimes when I go to tie my shoes, the process looks wrong and I have to stop and think about it for a moment.  Boring enough for you?  But you read it, and I bet for a split second you thought about what it’s like to tie your own shoes, if you have any with laces.  I love my Chucks, but the laces are so long that I have to double-tie them.  Even so, they always come untied.  So irritating.

I don’t like my furniture, or my area rug, which incidentally needs vacuuming.

I have to flea bomb the house tomorrow, which is going to be massively inconvenient.  It will, however, kill the fleas.  That’s another thing: I hate killing anything, including annoying insects.  I feel bad.  I do it anyway.  I also try to avoid running over caterpillars as they cross the road, or the masses of frogs who appear on the road during a rainstorm.  Lord I hate that.

I love Jason Aldean’s music, but can’t stand the man.  This creates quite a dilemma for me.  I hate that I love his songs.

BTW, I’m into country music again, in addition to various other genres.  Get over it.

My  nose occasionally runs, but I don’t.

I still haven’t gotten beyond p. 141 of 50 Shades.  I really should get on that.

Still with me?  You haven’t run off?  You’re not asking yourself why you read my blog?

See, wildly exciting things don’t have to happen.  Even run-of-the-mill exciting things don’t have to happen.  You still like me, right?  And if you don’t, you can just piss off along with those who already left.  So there.

I’ve decided that I just don’t care.  You’ll either love me as I am, or you won’t.  I’ll continue to blog my inanities and you’ll read me, or you won’t.  It’s up to you, really.

As for me, I’ll continue to check in with you and see if your significant other has a painful hangnail.  Who knows what series of events may ensue?



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Reality Bites (which is good because I can’t)

Let’s see.

Found out that I could have diagnosed Bruce’s mother rather than Bruce, as I wanted.  Oh well.

I had dental work done on Wednesday and was fine.  After all, I’d been loaded up with Novocaine.  By the end of the day, the Novocaine began to wear off, and I felt sore.  I expected that, so no big deal.  I took some ibuprofen and got on with my night.  It was a fun one.  I went to the 50th anniversary of the first AA meeting that I ever went to.  I was able to visit with people I hadn’t seen in years.  It was great!  Came home, blah blah blah… bed.

Then 9 AM came around, and I woke up in excruciating pain.  I desperately wanted ibuprofen, but that meant having to get out of bed, something I really didn’t want to do as it involved moving.  It took over an hour of suffering before I was finally able to pull myself together enough to get up and medicate.  I was miserable all day.  But I know that because I am malnourished, I take longer to heal and pain can linger.  I had a practicum preview at school last night, providing us with info for our practicums in summer.  This was supposed to be followed by my appraisal class, but I just couldn’t make it to the latter.  The prof took one look at me and excused me.  I came home, curled up and whimpered for the rest of the night.  Randy brought me flowers, sweet man.

I woke up today feeling a little better, though still in pain.  I got to share the wealth, so to speak, by bringing the cats to the vet.  Now everyone in the family except Randy has been traumatized in the past 24 hrs; for all that he does, he deserves the exemption.

We have fleas, but have treatment for the cats and plan to bomb the house.  Flea bombs, not incendiary devices.  Not that I would object to that, per se.  Destroy and rebuild.  Might be easier.

Ok, off to do other things now.  Or not.  Maybe I’ll just curl up and whimper again.  It’s a coin toss.

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I Should Introduce Bruce to the Fleas

Right.  That was fun.

I’ll post the case I was working on, because it’s both simple and complicated and it’s just easier to do ye olde copy and paste.  Look for it at the end.   I spent days working this case.  I had to assess, diagnose, and treat the kid.  His symptoms didn’t match up well with any of the DSM-5 diagnoses, so it was a bitch.  None of us in class are happy with our conclusions; we just did the best we could.  My copy of the DSM, which I’ve only had for a couple of months, is on its way to being bound by duct tape.  Before I was done with the case, I’d taken calling 6 yr. old Bruce “Damien,” as in The Omen.  I referred to him as Damien so many times while discussing him with classmates that I almost called him that when I did my write-up!  But it’s done.  I’ve turned it in.  I can move on.

Now I have to deal with fleas.  The cats are going to the vet on Friday to be treated, and the house will be flea bombed at the same time.  We went through this last year around this time, too.  I hate fleas.


I don’t have class again until Thursday night, so I can do whatever I want tonight.  In between squashing fleas of course.


Bruce is an attractive 6 year old boy whose mother brought him to the emergency room because she was frightened that she could prevent the child from setting fires, which he had done several times in the last year and a half.  Although he had so far managed to put out all the fires he set himself, his mother was afraid that he would set the house afire while she and his sister were asleep. She complained that he was sneaky about setting the fires, making it impossible for her to control him or to know how many fires he had actually set.

 Bruce says that he has set fires because a “man in my head tells me to.”  This “man” stays in his room when he is awake and “goes away when he is asleep. The man makes a noise (“brr”), which Bruce interprets as a command to “set fires.” He is afraid to talk to anyone about the man or not to obey his commands, “because he might beat me up.” His mother apparently does not take the voice seriously, stating that Bruce has offered a variety of different reasons for setting fires, depending on to whom he was talking. Both agree that he sets fires in retaliation against his mother when he is angry with her.

 Bruce has been fascinated with setting fires for the last 2 years. His mother remembers that he and a friend set the first fire by burning holes in the plastic sheets on his and his sister’s beds. His mother found out about the incident later and reacted by hitting him on his hands and telling him how dangerous fires were. During the next fire-setting incident, Bruce used a lighter to try to burn a door frame that his mother had just painted. This time he was not hit, but was forbidden to ride his bicycle for a week. His mother was sleeping during a third episode, in which he set the garbage on fire with a table lighter. He then took a broom and beat out the fire. His mother awoke to a funny smell and remembers that he was running allover the house in a peculiar manner. She related this incident with amusement at the child’s antics.

 The last two fires had taken place 3 weeks previously, when Bruce first tried to burn a dishtowel on a gas flame. After he burned the fringe, he rolled up the towel and threw it in the garbage. His mother, who was just outside the apartment at the time, sent him to bed and later explained to him again about the dangers of fire setting. During the last incident, he took a stretch monster toy that was kept in a styrofoam box and burned holes with a lighter on the sides of the box that corresponded to the monster’s arms and feet.

 Apart from these incidents, his mother remembers that Bruce would often find matches or go into the bathroom with a lighter and try to smoke. His mother has talked to him at length about fires, how they get bigger with alcohol, and can be put out with water. He becomes excited during these discussions, but then promises never again to play with fire.

At the present time, his mother reports, Bruce is unhappy in school and misses his former friends from the neighborhood the family moved from 3 months before this evaluation. She says that he has made no new friends outside school, and that he and his sister complain frequently of boredom.

 Aside from the fire setting, there is no history of any other aggressive or antisocial behavior. His mother reports that Bruce has been difficult to discipline, but mainly because he ignores her. Bruce’s schoolteacher was surprised to hear of his fire setting. She described him as a lovely, bright, obedient child who played and worked well with both the teacher and his peers. Upon further inquiry, she could say only that at times he was a little “wild” in his play.

 Bruce lives with  his l0-year-old sister and 26-year-old mother, who herself was hospitalized as an adolescent after she had been truant from school for 7 months in retaliation for her mother’s remarriage. In an initial discussion with the interviewer, she acknowledged that at times she becomes violently angry, to the point where she is unable to control herself.

 The findings of Bruce’s physical examination were within normal limits except for the second-degree burn on his hand, which his mother initially said came from her attempts to “teach him that fire hurts” by insisting that he put his hand in a gas flame. (She later denied this, but Bruce insisted that she had done it.)

 When interviewed, Bruce was somewhat guarded and distrustful at first. This seemed to be a manifestation of shyness and fear of what his mother would do or say. Over the course of several evaluation sessions, Bruce’s play revolved around themes of fires getting bigger and out of control.  He knows that he can get burned and that a big fire could burn his house and that “ I woulddie.” When talking about fires, his affect was either inappropriate  (laughter) or blunted. When discussing the “man” and his command hallucinations, Bruce seemed to be genuinely frightened, as if he regarded the man as real and threatening. He denied suicidal ideation, although his mother reported that he had recently said that he wished to die.

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Hold Up

Don’t worry… haven’t forgotten this blog again, just been super busy with a case analysis.  Tell you about it later.  I’m about to be late for class.  See how important you are to me? ;)

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If I Should Die Before I Wake

Last night I had to write a reflection on how my personal beliefs surrounding death affect my worldview.  I discussed my thoughts on what I believe happens after we die, and on what I hope to leave behind and take forward when I go.  I’d like to share an excerpt with you:

“Shakespeare’s Othello said, “I have loved not wisely, but too well.”  I would rewrite this for myself, saying instead “I have not always loved wisely, but well.”  “Love” in this instance wouldn’t be limited to romantic love, but all forms of love.  I don’t know how successful I’ll be.  I’m human.  I make mistakes.  I get hurt, and I hurt others.  Forgiveness isn’t always easy, but I don’t want to die without giving or receiving it wherever possible.”

I would rather go through life with an open heart – though this also leaves me open to pain – than a closed and miserly one.  To be honest, I think I tend toward the latter.  I’ve loved unwisely, be it romantically or otherwise, and have borne the pain of the mistakes. It has left me wary.  I have also loved when others thought me foolish to do so, and have been rewarded.  I wouldn’t be married to the man I am now if I had listened to other people instead of my own heart.

A classmate recently asked me how I knew that it was safe to trust the man who would become my husband.  I gave the best answer I could, which is that I couldn’t know that with absolute certainty.  I felt that I knew him, knew that I loved him, and had to take the rest on faith.  Then again, he had to do the same.  We’ve been together for over 20 years now, therefore it seems to have worked.  Of course, it might not have, but we’d never know if we didn’t try.

It’s that way with friendships, too.  We open ourselves to our friends.  Sometimes it turns into a beautiful thing (cue the end of Casa Blanca), and occasionally they let us down horribly (the prom scene in Carrie comes to mind).  Though I joke that I’d like to become a hermit, the truth is that I would rather risk myself and have a few friends than to be locked away in isolation.  Unless there’s an endless supply of good books, because good books can make for really excellent friends.

So I really would rather come to the end of my life having loved well, if sometimes foolishly: family, friends, animals, nature, books, life.

Especially books, because now and again foolish books are the best sort.

Posted in College Life, Random Thoughts | 3 Comments

Avoiding Death (in More Ways than One)

We are spending so much time on death in our Crisis & Trauma class that the Grim Reaper is in danger of getting a swelled head.

I am totally slacking.  I should be reading a couple of chapters for C & T tomorrow.  But I spent all day Sunday and today on schoolwork, and I’m over it.  I’ve just now finished writing a reflection on my personal views of death and how they affect my worldview.  Isn’t that enough?  I’ll skim the chapters tomorrow.  Instead I am writing to you, buying music, and watching the Giants vs. Panthers game from the other night.

That game?  Sad.  Just sad, I tell ya.  Then again, so are my stats for the football pool this past week.  Let this be a lesson to you all: apply the Multiple Choice Test rule to picking teams.  Once you’ve circled one, don’t change it, especially late at night when your judgment may or may not be impaired by sleep deprivation.  Live, learn and, no matter how badly an opposing team is imploding, don’t bet on the Buccaneers.

(That would be my late night change that never should have happened, like getting beer goggles and having to stifle a scream the following morning when you see who you’re sleeping next to.)


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See Why I Disappear?

It’s not much, but here’s my homework for this week:


Mental Health Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment (Monday)

Write up a diagnosis of Mrs. Z



  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Impulse, Oppositional, and Conduct disorders
  • Eating disorders

DSM-IV-TR in Action:

  • Ch. 5   Overview of Selected Childhood Disorders: The Disruptive Behavior Disorders

Selecting Effective Treatments:

  • Ch. 2   Mental Disorders in Infants, Children, and Adolescents

Journal Articles:

  • Ritalin Gone Wrong
  • The Medicated Child

Assigned web pages on: Conduct Disorder, Tourettes, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


Crisis & Trauma Theory and Counseling (Tuesday)

Write a reflection on my personal ideas regarding death, and how they affect my worldview


Death and Dying, Life and Living:

  • Ch. 14  Young and Middle Aged Adults
  • Ch. 15  Older Adults


Appraisal and Its Application in Counseling (Thursday)

1 Take-home quiz that counts for 2


Integrative Assessment:

  • Ch. 7  Reliability and Validity

Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics:

  • Ch. 6  Just the Truth



*The DSM-5 is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th edition, used by mental health professionals  in the U.S.   It lists various disorders with their diagnostic criteria, description and specifiers, differential diagnoses and potential co-morbidity, etc.







Posted in College Life | 4 Comments

Work (Sort Of) In Progress

As you can see, this native became restless and I decided to change things up.  It still needs some work, but it’ll do for now.

Instead of choosing and customizing the theme, I really should have been doing some homework.  I couldn’t begin to focus on that, though.  Randy, who works harder than anyone I know and who therefore deserves a vacation more than anyone I know, had this week off from his full-time job.  This is truly great, except that I never get anything done when he’s around.  It’s not his fault; this is entirely on me.  I have difficulty focusing on assignments sometimes, and when you throw Randy’s presence into the mix, the challenge multiplies tenfold.  He’s home during the day tomorrow, too, so I really should stop writing now and get some work done tonight.

Yes, I think I’ll do that.

Posted in College Life, Creativity Expressed, Random Thoughts | 1 Comment

This is Stupid Part III

And finally, a third image.

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This is Stupid Part II

Pic 2


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