Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It Is COLD!

You know it's cold when.....

...you get dressed in the morning and and swap a flannel nightgown for fleece pajamas over long underwear instead of regular clothes..


...you wash every sock and towel in the house just to make sure the pipe to the hot water tank doesn't freeze again...


...you dry everything you've washed and redirect the vent hose into the house. Lint be damned...
...you insist every one of your furry pets sleep in the bed with you...


...an all coffee, hot tea and soup diet seems reasonable and balanced...


...brandy with breakfast is a must...


...you look forward to hand washing the dishes just to be able to soak your cold hands in warmth...


...you plan your day based upon which rooms in the house are the warmest...


...you have fantasies of kicking Old Man Winter in the gonads...


...a blanket worn around you starts to seem like the best sartorial choice of all time...


...you hug your sig-o super hard in the bed and spend the entire night intertwined while you try to steal their body heat...


...you finally understand why everyone on "Game of Thrones" is freaking out over 'Winter is coming'...

please feel free to add your own!

Ouch Spandex!

Usually I don't care what anyone wears or doesn't wear now that I find the whole idea of Christian Modesty ridiculous. It puts the onus for controlling random mens lust on the ladies, instead of where it belongs, firmly on the guy doing the lusting. Have some self control, guys! Really!

Whenever I see something online that seeks to control what women wear or don't wear, either religious or worldly, I roll my eyes. Recently I saw one on how when you reach 'a certain age' (post-40) you shouldn't be wearing clothing designed for teenagers. Again, personal choice and you're not hurting anyone by dressing all in Rue-21 clothing.

Last night sort of disabused me of my notions of 'if it feels good wear it'. Jim and I went to the first meeting of our town weight loss challenge. Never have I seen so many out of shape extremely overweight people wearing the tightest of spandex before! I was cringing, for them and for me. I would have been very uncomfortable wearing something so form fitting, even for the gym. I'm usually found wearing loose yoga pants and a loose fitting tee shirt. I don't want to have to inflict the sight of my bumpy lumpy thighs and rear end on anyone I don't have to.

Spandex is not your friend if you're not reasonably toned. This is what I saw a lot of last night, but at least a hundred or so pounds heavier. Posting a print out of this photo on the fridge so I will not overeat~

Yeah, yeah, I hear you saying I'm a real hypocrite since I have no problem being nekkid in the gym dressing room. True, but being naked in the gym dressing room is appropriate, showing everyone and God your unlovely lady lumps via spandex is not the best of choices. There were hundreds of folks there that made me want to poke my eyes out with a folk even if they are doing what is best for them by joining a weight loss group.

Okay, so everyone is free to make that choice but it still grosses me out. I think I have to add 'use common sense' to my 'if it feels good wear it' philosophy.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

No Hot Water, Just a Tiny Violin

Notice the steam coming off the water? That was my week. No hot water, sponge baths in this tiny bathroom sink. It was a good reminder that we live in an ease-filled world that our ancestors could not imagine.

I owe everyone at No Longer Quivering a huge "I'm Sorry" because over the last three months I've struggled to update, updated at different times and updated on random days instead of my used to be every day at the exact same time. Dear readers of NLQ I've been a bad admin.

What happened? Once I started working at the children's residential treatment facility my asthma and allergies went into overdrive. If you notice the day time I'm writing this you'll realize I've even skipped church. Didn't go into work one day last week because of the way I felt.

The stupid of it is that I have probably made myself worse by going to work there a few hours a week. I just wanted to bring in a few extra household dollars while we were being pinched by paying for my youngest daughter's last year at university. It's been expensive.

The double stupid is that I probably made myself much much worse by following what I was advised at my old church. I'm sure it's what took my health from up and down to freaking insane. A 'Healer' came to the old church and told me that my asthma was caused by my arms being uneven and out of alignment with my spine. After he ordered my arm to grow and come into alignment I was told to demonstrate my faith in my healing to God by throwing away my CPAP machine and my medications

I did. And it worked, for awhile, like two years. But when it came roaring back worst than ever I was disillusioned with the idea of healing and healers.

Hitting rock bottom physically occurred right around the same time I left the old church. Somehow I ended up in the bushes outside the clinic I worked for throwing up and being unable to breath merely because someone used an aerosol around me. The head doctor, Dr. Norman Maroner of Warrenton, fired me, claiming I was making up 'drama'. He even told my husband that I was 'insane' because no one is that allergic to aerosol sprayers.

That's not what the hospital report says from later that same day. I went to another hospital other than the one he was practicing at on my way home. It was severe allergic asthma, which took me on the journey that ended up with me on Xolair injections for the last six years because they were the only thing tried that actually worked well. Even higher doses of Methotrexate didn't do much good. I'd already run the gamut of traditional asthma drugs and only developed a steroid intolerance/allergy.

This month my critical care pulmo closed up shop because of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act was placing on individual provider practices. I went doctor shopping and found an experienced pulmo in a nearby town, so I wouldn't have to drive all the way to DC or Charlottesville/UVA.

Friday I had my first appointment and walked away with more questions than answers. She was horrified I've been on Xolair that many years since no one knows what the long term will be and wants me to consider having lung ablation for asthma treatment called a Bronchial Thermoplasty. From what I'm reading they insert a scope down in the bronchial tubes and use radio waves to scar the smooth muscle to stay open all the time.  It burns away the asthma-damaged thickened walls.

I'm on the fence about it but I am taking a break from the Xolair injections.

Had a complete physical and many tests while I was there. My blood pressure, cholesterol levels and sugar levels were abnormally normal for someone my age, hee. But my oxygen levels and pulmonary function have fallen to the edge of normal, there's been deterioration of the numbers.

The bad things about the new doctor?  She doesn't give Xolair injections and she's rarely encountered much less treated someone with this type of immune system illness.

The good things about this doctor? She'll keep writing my prescriptions and says that I'm properly medicated for someone allergic to just about everything including meds. Plus I'm being referred to Johns Hopkins for evaluation and treatment of my allergies and asthma and likely will be in one of their research programs. Getting referred to the experts is something that I've needed to have done for a long time now. That can only be good.

I staggered away from the new doctor's office missing nine tubes of blood and with the beginnings of a migraine but I feel hopeful. She thinks that the reason I started having problems three months ago at work is that I've been exposed to dangerous molds. That's the reason for all the blood they took, I'm getting tested for just about every type of mold borne illness you can imagine. I'm likely going to have to leave the treatment center because there is huge amounts of mold there. I personally witnessed the maintenance crew pull up the wooden flooring in two of the cottages only to see the sub flooring was covered with black mold. They didn't remove the subflooring, they painted over the mold.

That can't be healthy for anyone.

We shall see.

I'm really not trying to play the world's tiniest violin here and bore you to tears with my health issues. Mostly I wrote down about my visit to have a place to look back and see what happened that day and what conversations need to happen next with my new doctor. However, if you have any advice on which way I should go with the options please let me know in the comments. I would appreciate some feedback.

Guess I'm stuck with ten thousand dollars in Xolair!





Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Silly Things Fundies Say #3

This morning's twaddle on AFR (American Family Radio) occurred during James Dobson's Focus on the Family program.

A woman was speaking of how abortion had tragically ruined her life. Former party girl now turn Good Christian Lady (tm) talked about getting pregnant out of wedlock a year after her husband died. Of course it wasn't her fault, but the fault of the man that plied her with alcohol. Since she already had a small baby she was raising on her own she had an abortion.

Another man, another unmarried tryst, another pregnancy but this time she decided she was going to give the baby up for adoption. Unfortunately the man and his parents did not want her to adopt out the child so another abortion happened. Wonder how they felt about that?

And a third out of wedlock pregnancy, this time blamed on her partying ways and alcohol. A third abortion. The nurse told her she'd been carrying twins and she flipped out, demanding the abortion stop, tried to climb off the table, etc. etc... oh so very dramatic guilt and remorse after each abortion.

Did it ever occur to her to stop putting herself in compromising positions with the opposite sex and alcohol? Did she try birth control?

Her claim -

"Abortion was too easy to get and I was victimized by it each time!!"

Yes, she went there, trying to claim that it is the fault of the abortion industry that she had abortions. No personal responsibility accepted for her poor decisions or lifestyle.

Why does it seem that no one in the fundamentalist Christian community ever take responsibility for the wrong things that they do? Why the constant "I'm a victim of the world" mentality. It's not healthy.

How about some honesty, some responsibility, some realness instead of the blame shifting?

Head to desk. Ugh.

Snow Big Deal

We're getting hammered here on the East Coast. Right now there are white out conditions in my tiny town. I'm home. Jim is home. We're stuck inside.

Bad weather always triggers me, even snow, after having been lifted off the top of the store we used to own in the flood of 1995 by the National Guard helicopters. The kids were with me and it was pretty much a nightmare scenario, trapped in the building while flood waters rushed past.

So I'm dealing with this mini blizzard as best I know how, cooking, organizing the files in my home office and listening to music. Jim is sleeping. Earlier I went shopping to get a pot roast and various snow related things like a new snow shovel and Quik Melt.

The pisser of today is that I was supposed to spend the day at the hospital getting a chest x-ray, a CT scan of my lungs and a pulmonary function test, all ordered by my new pulmo doctor for this morning with me having my first visit/extensive physical this afternoon. Today started with the hospital and the doctor's office calling to reschedule my appointments till Friday. Great, I have to take another day off work without pay this week.

All this rearranging of scheduling and medical tests reminds me anew that during my years at the old church I ignored all preventative medical care and most medical care for illness due to it being thought it was 'idolatry'. In all reality I've probably made my unnamed immune system illness and asthma worse by my actions in those days. Stupid me.

One good thing will happen today. The heavy snow will bury the mold spores, dust and other lung cooties. I'll be able to breathe well. Hooray breathing!

Monday, January 20, 2014

PTSD Dance and I

This last week has been filled with plenty of tears and laughter. For a bonus I released I still suffer from PTSD. I thought I was much better now seven years post-Fundigelical but I'm not.

The laughs - Jim: He called me up on Monday night on the train from DC and said, "Can you make a meal with heavy foods, a real heavy meal?" Obviously I had to ask why. He had decided to sign up for the community weight loss competition called "Drop It" and wanted to weigh heavy. After a super-sized fast food meal and drinking about a gallon of water he signed up and got them to weigh him.

He's so competitive over anything that's a contest that it always makes me laugh. His trying to game this was just so ridiculous.

Will he lose enough weight to win? Only if he stays away from those frozen coffee drinks, which there's about a fifty-fifty chance he'll be able to do.

He did call me on Monday morning with a funny tale of drinking one on the train in to the city and having to jump off at one of the stations because it gave him sudden diarrhea! He took that as a sign from God that he was to give up the sugary coffee drinks.

The tears - They reorganized at work and it was announced on Friday. I was shaking in my boots that I was about to lose my job. I survived, but now will be doing other tasks as part of my job was eliminated. Whew.

Overdid it at the Gym and re-injured that foot the fat women rolled over in her electric scooter over a year ago.

The PTSD - On Wednesday I'd been working in the master patient charts in a cabin when I was suddenly downloaded in my brain something I had long forgotten. My fourth grade teacher Mrs. Bullock. She was cruel nearly every day and for some reason I was her target that year, 1970. I was already a sensitive and shy child, plus I was at the tail end of dealing with being sexually molested by the dentist and my parents continued their nightly drinking and fighting. I couldn't tell my parents, hell, I didn't even have words to describe what the dentist was doing to me. My parents were towards the end of their marriage, my mother was cheating, both drank and it wasn't unusual for me to be pulled out of bed in the middle of the night with both demanding who I was going to live with after the divorce.

I am telling you this not because I'm seeking pity, It is what it is, but because I want to make it perfectly clear when and how I started having PTSD.

That year I'd go to school after only about 3 or 4 hours of sleep from the drama and my own nightmares involving the dentist and sit there in my seat like a bumper stunned toad on a log. Mrs. Bullock would zero in on me, and before the encounter was over she'd said something hateful and I'd cry. I cried almost every single day in her classroom and she openly mocked me for it in front of the other kids. You know what assholes many kids can be, so it was a lonely horrible year. At nine years old I was considering taking my own life to escape my hell.

The year ended, my mother finally realized something not right was happening to me when I went to the dentist and stopped taking me and things settled into a cool detente between my parents. Best of all I left Mrs. Bullock behind. This was one of the only school years when I didn't get top grades and teachers pet status.

Looking back last week with the benefit of age and life experience I realized that her behavior was exceedingly cruel, much worse than I thought as a kid. What type of decent adult decides at 31 years of age to pick on and humiliate daily a child in their care? Some sick person.

I was very upset, the more I thought about it the worse it seemed. I googled my old teacher and found her. She's alive but she's ancient now, too old to be picking on any other kids, making their lives hell. That's some small comfort for now.

This process of healing is strange, just when you think you've gotten a handle on all your old hurts something else jumps out to bite you on the butt. I'm thinking I need to go back into therapy again because I'm still processing all that past junk at random times.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dear Parents....

....of kids seized by CPS (and put inpatient in a facility like where I work)

So they have your kids and it doesn't look good for you getting custody again. I am so sorry about that. Perhaps you might want to rethink your life choices like putting drugs/sex/money/religion before the welfare of your children.

You cry and gasp you want your child back. Are you willing to do the work it takes to prove to CPS that you do value your children? Here's a list of things that show you are serious (and seriously, I've seen violations of all of this at this job and others)

1. Do whatever CPS asks you to do in good faith

If they tell you that you must clean up your house, then do it. If the judge says you must get rid of your domestic partner because they sexually abuse the child, then pack his/her bags. Take parenting classes, put some real effort to show you are willing to do what it takes to be a good parent.

2. Show up for family therapy every single time unless you are in the hospital or dead

If you keep blowing off therapy and do not have regular meetings with the child's therapist it will be viewed as if you do not care, are too irresponsible to manage a requirement towards getting your child back.

3. Don't show up for family therapy or child visitations drunk or high!

If you stagger in with your hair looking like the last time it was combed was during the Reagan administration with your eyes dilated and your speech slurred you will be denied access to your child and it will be noted and reported.

Many times it is just as simple as going along with the program. Do what you need to do to improve in whatever area they have claimed you are lacking.

However, if you sold your son/daughter to be gang raped so you could have crack money or you let your four year old star in a few kiddie porn movies you should never have your child back in my opinion.

What's with the names? There are very few kids here with normal names, like Nancy or Tom. It's all stuff like Blunt McWeederson, or Harley or Princess Shondalayla or 'String Together Random Words and Syllables' This may be none of my business but it seems like those kids whose names are like the parents named them while high end up here. You might want to think about that the next time you reproduce.

Rant over.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Silly Things Fundies Say #2

So a couple of weeks ago I mentioned I have my alarm clock set to American Family Radio for the purposes of jolting my butt out of bed quickly on those days I must be somewhere in a timely fashion.

This week I kept waking up to a man being interviewed by a ministry about his slide down the slippery slope of lust and fornication. He copped to a long list of sexual peccadilloes over the course of a few days time. It seemed like the second he left his home and homeschooling for a 'worldly' university he went from chaste to trying to insert his naughty bits into any open hole attached to a woman.

It was interesting listening to him take responsibility for his actions until he uttered that Fundy "Get Out Of Lust Jail" card -

'Ladies, the most helpful thing you can do to keep your brothers in Christ pure is to make sure you are dressed modestly all the time.'

Ugh! In the end he tried to blame his sexcapades not on his own inability to control his libido but on the women around him in worldly college showing off knees and bra straps!

This type of thinking reduces not only the ladies to inanimate body parts but also confirms animal status on men, reducing them to a bundle of uncontrollable hormones. Not human but animal.


Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Ignore HSLDA! For the Good of Your Children Cooperate With CPS

Libby Anne wrote an excellent piece outlining the ways that HSLDA interferes with Child Abuse Investigations nationwide. As I was posting her writing I was googling for the proper photo to go with the article and I kept running into an increasing number of blogs where the bloggers were being looked at by CPS and instead of cooperating called HSLDA and allowed HSLDA to dictate the terms of the investigation.

My first reaction was 'What?!?! How on earth can CPS allow this?'

Yes, so I know personally that Evangelical Fundamental Christianity frowns upon any government control or what they judge interference by a government agency. Which hurts them in many ways. Many will not take advantage of the freely offered early childhood education programs like Headstart that would benefit their children. But the worst part is that they think they should be above or exempted from any oversight or investigation by the government.

Let me explain a little bit about child abuse investigations, how the reporting happens, what the social worker's goal is for the kids and how it really behooves the family to cooperate.

I've worked in the field of child abuse, as a investigator, as a social worker, as a social worker at a national licensure board and now in a residential treatment center for abused/neglected/emotionally disturbed children. I don't claim to be the ultimate in experts but I have picked up enough knowledge through the years to see that calling HSLDA and not cooperating is a very bad idea.

So who reports possible abuse? It could be anyone in the child's life, from a friend or a neighbor all the way to a doctor or nurse or even a teacher. There are those in the community who are what are considered 'mandatory reporters'. Usually mandatory reporters work in a field where they come into contact with large numbers of kids, such as a teacher, social worker, psychologist or doctor. Any time there are obvious signs of possible abuse they must report it or lose their state license. That is part of the duty they knowingly take on as part of their position.

I'm a mandatory reporter because of what I do for a living, which means when my neighbor across the street had a screaming fight with her 11 year old and threw him out at midnight one night I had to call it in to the authorities. Even if the mother might have been my friend or a relative. It's the law here.

Just because child protective services shows up at your door doesn't mean they are picking on you or out to get you. CPS is required to investigate any allegation involving the safety of a child. That means they are just doing their job to make sure no child abuse is occurring.

Not allowing them into your home to conduct interviews or investigate looks very bad, like you have something to hide. Most of the time they are going to come in, get a feel for if it's just a regular family with some simple explanation for whatever the complainant alleges. They have to speak with the possible victim and they have to speak with the child alone in order to gauge if the child feels unsafe or threatened in any way.

Most of the time it ends right there, everyone leaves, the CPS social worker and the cops, a letter goes out to the person who reported possible child abuse indicating that the allegation was unfounded after further investigation.

Your county social services is not looking to snatch up every single child that crosses their path regardless of what fetid fantasy HSLDA tries to sell along with their legal services. Most foster parent homes are already full and any facility or shelter that might house the child is also operating at capacity. They aren't full because CPS takes everyone's child away, they are filled due to the epidemic of parents that are immersed in drugs and alcohol, or criminal behaviors to the exclusion of all else, like caring for their child.

Most of the children in the system have suffered from beatings, or lack of parenting, or abandonment or a host of other things that would horrify you. Nearly every day at work when some child's records cross my desk I feel like crying reading through what has occurred to land that child in our facility.

You homeschooling your child or possibly not doing the best as a parent isn't even in the same universe as what the parents of most of the children in the system have done.

I'm not saying that CPS doesn't make mistakes. Of course they make the odd mistake, intake a child that should be home with their parent, but usually those are quickly rectified. The caseloads most CPS workers deal with are at least double what the recommended number is and with a heavier load of investigations there are going to be some slip ups.

The bottom line is that people don't become social workers to torture homeschooling parents or evangelicals or any other group. They do it out of caring for the welfare of children. Love. Wanting ot make a difference. It's a job with an insane workload, crazy hours and a paycheck that can't even start to make up for the working conditions. Caseworkers have been killed by families they've tried to help.

Cooperate, don't give in to the fear tactics that HSLDA sells and things will work out right. Keep telling yourself that this is done to make sure your child is safe and well cared for. You might even learn something useful from the caseworker or be offered parenting classes or help.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

A Bloody Blast From The Past

This evening as I was updating No Longer Quivering I was putting up a blog posting by Lana Hope, which lead to one on the same subject as a recent blog post by Libby Anne: Men in the Quiverfull Fundamentalist Homeschooling movement that track all the females in the family menstrual cycles on the family calender for everyone to see.

Am I like the only one that thinks this goes beyond the old 'too much information' thing and straight into 'creepy and beyond controlling' area? It just really horribly squicks me out.

When I first started my monthly periods my mother taught me to track it on a calender so I'd be prepared every month, that is after she dealt with my hysteria because I knew nothing about menstruation and thought I was dying, bleeding to death. It wasn't creepy, she didn't demand I put the calender where she or anyone else could see. Certainly my father would never have tracked my period.

After I stopped shuddering and making disgusted noises while reading and posting I had to ask Jim what he thought about tracking your wife's period. He asked if I meant so they could figure out when the most fertile time was to conceive a baby. When I told him no, that it was something recommended by Bill Gothard and Michael Pearl he said he could not imagine why anyone would do that. Isn't that the business of each woman, keeping up with when they might next have their period, control of their own bodies?

Thank you Jim for never tracking mine, even when we were our most fundy.  To me it speaks volumes of a basic disrespect for the women in those families. Even if that lame old excuse about needing to know when to expect hormonal behavior was true what purpose does it serve to post up for anyone in the family to look at whenever they please? Another subjugation? Another stripping away of privacy and basic respect/decency against women?

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Silly Things Fundies Say #1

For the past couple of months I've reset my alarm clock so that when it comes on to wake me it doesn't have that vile shrieking electronic beep-beep going but something else I find even more irritating. I set it to American Family Radio, you know, Reverend Donald Wildmon's ministry radio station.

Wildmon made his name by attacking cultural/societal things he didn't agree with, sooo important those things are, like Madonna videos and the whole ridiculous War on Christmas (/sarcasm)

Most mornings I now awake to some pretty hysterical lies. I'm usually lying there either giggling at the ignorance or muttering "Bullshit!" over their programming. One morning it was two ladies trying to out humble-brag each other on how to be the most perfectly submissive to a husband. Most of the time it's feverish rantings about how the evil government is and how Christians/Christianity are going to be wiped out, are marginalized, had power stripped from them.

Ridiculous fear tactics that have little basis in fact. Although I do like the sermons of one Dr. David Jeremiah they feature. I've yet to hear anything objectionable in his words, more uplifting than anything else.

But the rest. Hoo-boy! Today's was a doozy: a discussion on why Christian kids shouldn't go to college. The main thrust of the discussion was....


.........drum roll please.......


"The economy cannot support all these college graduates...."

Ugh! They offered no solution for jobs, just all the reasons why college isn't necessary. I guess someone has to staff Chik-Fil-A.

Admittedly, the rates of college grads having to take some very low level job to have a job straight out of college or having no job for months after graduation are at an all time high. But......   it's the economy, stupid. Once time marches on those with the higher education will end up with positions that use their education, while those homeschoolers or ones with  high school diploma will be stuck in the types of dead end jobs that require no education beyond high school without hopes of a living wage or being independent.

Way to go fundies! Ensuring your children will never leave the family nest! That's really what you guys wanted in the first place!