Self-Care, Mothering, More on Cognitive Dissonance (plus Cornea Transplant)

'Hitchcock disguised as Molly': The director before he was famous, wearing a figure-hugging dress on the tennis court in Shoreham-by-Sea Photo credit to:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2625534/The-inspiration-Norman-Bates-Alfred-Hitchcock-pictured-dress-play-acting-sea-recently-unearthed-album.html

‘Hitchcock disguised as Molly’: The director before he was famous, wearing a figure-hugging dress on the tennis court in Shoreham-by-Sea
Photo credit to: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2625534/The-inspiration-Norman-Bates-Alfred-Hitchcock-pictured-dress-play-acting-sea-recently-unearthed-album.html

Pardon me while I collect my thoughts.  I have several competing notions, all vying for the spotlight.  As I was shuffling the quizzical stockpile of flickering thought-gasps, I stumbled upon this article:

The inspiration for Norman Bates? Alfred Hitchcock pictured in a dress and play-acting in the sea in recently unearthed album, from the Daily Mail.

Dating from the early to mid-1920s, many of the pictures show Hitchcock, Cutts and others, including Hitchcock’s future wife Alma Reville, in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, the location of a small film studio.

[…]

Notably, one captioned ‘Hitchcock disguised as Molly. Shoreham. 1923’ shows a young, moustachioed Hitchcock wearing a figure-hugging dress while gurning at the camera during a game of tennis.

Cross-dressing killer Norman Bates was later to become one of the director’s most-famous characters in the 1960 movie Psycho, a film which has come to define Hitchcock’s style of psychological horror.

Once again, the separate rivulets of my life come together in unexpected ways that almost transform them into ghostly and mighty tributaries, not unlike the waters pouring out of the mouth of the Amazon basin (Amazon as in South America; not Amazon as in “we used to sell books but now we sell everything”).

Imagine the Alfred Hitchcock, the very one who firmly defined psychopath in movies for the popular imagination, and him frolicking in the 1920’s in the English village where I lived with my psychopathic wife.  Yes, I know Leo Sayer came from Shoreham-by-Sea, but I had no earthly idea that Alfred Hitchcock had graced the beaches I enjoyed so much.

And I have absolutely nothing against cross-dressing, though it’s not my cup of tea.  Yet I can’t help but notice in this particular photo, with the paunchy tummy, Alfred looks a tad pregnant.  Almost foreshadowing Mommie Dearest?  (That’s the famous “wire hangers” scene — nothing to do with Hitchcock per se, except my observation that the above photo looks just slightly maternal.)

Terry and Paula in front of Mother and Child Statue at the Roosevelt Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, July 2010.

Terry and Paula in front of Mother and Child Statue at the Roosevelt Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, July 2010.

So, I guess I was strolling along with thoughts about motherhood and self-care and self-love.  Yeah, that’s the general direction I was heading.  Seems apropos to include the photograph of me and Paula in front of the Mother and Child Statue in Old Greenbelt, taken the month we were married — July 2010.

I’m not certain of the historical origins of the statue, but it’s been here since the very beginning:

Mother and Child Statue in Greenbelt, Maryland ~1939

Mother and Child Statue in Greenbelt, Maryland
~1939

My little community is an historic area.  It was built by the Roosevelt administration starting in 1939.  The rationale was to create jobs after the Great Depression by building a large housing project in the vicinity of Washington, DC.  The housing cooperative would also provide inexpensive homes for families with federal workers in DC.  So the story goes, the cooperative was owned by the federal government, and very much championed by Eleanor Roosevelt.  But then the administration came under fire by critics who accused the project of being “Communist.”  So the feds decided to sell off the cooperative, to the dismay of the residents, because for them it had been a great success.  The disappointed residents banded together, pooled their money, and bought the property, continuing it as a cooperative.  It is and has been one of the most successful cooperatives in the nation, and recently celebrated its 75th year.

There’s more than one blog about Greenbelt — I can’t possibly do it justice in my quirky posts since it’s somewhat tangential to what I mostly write about.  See one great blog here, with magnificent photos.

I’ve gone and done it again… wandered off topic.  For the fearless souls who follow my blog, you will remember (I’m grading you for attention span!) that I was anticipating having my eye surgery on January 13th, 2015.  This is why I haven’t posted in several days.

Terry after corneal transplant on January 13, 2015

Terry after corneal transplant on January 13, 2015

This is me, late evening, after my return from the surgery.  Okay, for those of you not paying close attention, I had finally gotten around to doing something about my left eye.  To summarize briefly (stop laughing!!), my poor old left eye has had countless surgeries over the decades, the first one when I was 5 years old.  Yes, the right eye has had surgeries also, but the left eye — although at one time it had the better eyesight — endured the scalpel many more times than the right orb.

The cataract surgery at age 5 years was followed by a bazillion surgical procedures to quell the glaucoma, which medication was not phasing.  I’ve explained this before, but it won’t hurt (not too much anyway!) to describe it again.  The eye is nourished by a constant renewal of the clear fluid that holds the orb taut and spherical.  When it’s all working correctly, the nourishing fluid drains out of fine meshwork, unnoticed.  Various injuries and diseases can block the proper drainage of the nutrient-rich fluid.  In my case, it was the cataract surgery which destroyed the finely-sculpted canals.

Glaucoma surgery is about creating an artificial opening that will allow the fluid to flow off freely as it is supposed to do.  You see, if the fluid, which is constantly renewing and replenishing itself cannot drain, then the pressure in the eye grows like a basketball filled with too much air, and yet more air is pumped in, and more, and more, and more — until the basketball is in danger of exploding.  That’s exactly what happens in the eye with glaucoma, except it’s the aqueous substance and not air.

Long before the eye gets to a stage where it is on the verge of exploding, typically and in most kinds of glaucoma, the slow build-up of pressure has, bit by bit by bit, killed the optic nerve in the back of the eye.  It happens so slowly that one doesn’t realize it is happening.  As the pressure on the optic nerve destroys the nerve fibers, it first affects the outer edges of the nerve bundle, killing off nerve strands in an inward direction.  The net effect is that a person with untreated glaucoma loses peripheral vision progressively, slowly but surely.  It’s like looking through a straw that gets narrower and narrower over time, until finally even the central vision is gone.  The optic nerve is completely dead, and there is no eyesight whatsoever, not even light perception.

Now there are many types of glaucoma surgeries.  The trabeculectomy uses a tiny scalpel to fashion an opening in the eye for the excess fluid to drain so the pressure will be relieved.  There’s laser surgery, cryosurgery, and just about anything you can imagine.  But they all amount to making an artificial outlet for the excess fluid to flow from.  And the problem with this — for me, as I was having my first glaucoma treatments as a teenager, was that — no matter how the hole is formed, if the patient is young and healthy, the hole is going to close immediately as healing occurs.  It’s just like getting pierced ears but not wearing your earrings — if you’re lazy long enough, the holes heal closed, and you can no longer wear your earrings.

So I went through these surgeries countless times, all with the same effect — hole heals closed, eye pressure from glaucoma skyrockets again, putting me in danger of the final death of optic nerve.  In the 1990’s, at long last, an artificial tube was developed that could be implanted in the eye.  If a plastic tube is sutured in the eye, obviously plastic can’t heal closed.  The excess fluid can drain through the plastic tube.  So the glaucoma problem was solved.

But…  But, but, but…  By then I’d had so many surgeries, that my cornea was nearly destroyed.  Back to Ophthalmology 101.  The cornea is the crystal clear layer on the outside of the eye.  If you know your eye anatomy, the iris is the muscular ring that gives your eye its color.  In the middle of the iris is the pupil.  The pupil is just the “hole” that gets smaller or larger as the iris contracts or expands due to changing light conditions and emotional state of mind.  (Yes, your eyes dilate when you look at someone you love.)  The pupil, being an opening, is what lets light rays into the back of the eye, where they are sensed by the rods and the cones (the receptor cells), and transmitted back to the brain via the optic nerve.  So the cornea is the clear layer that sits atop the iris and the pupil, protecting the surface of the eye, nourishing it with tears.  But obviously, if it becomes cloudy and opaque, no light will get through the pupil to the optic nerve to the brain.  That is the situation I faced.  I’d had so many glaucoma surgeries and other problems, that I could barely perceive any light at all through my clouded cornea.  And I was having a lot of eye pain.  (Remember how your eye hurts if you get a grain of sand in it or an eyelash?  The cornea is very sensitive to pain.)

So after my long travail of re-building my life after my psychopathic wife, and returning to Greenbelt, I was finally ready to tackle my eye problems, to find out if anything could be done — if only just to reduce the pain.  It was one obstacle after another….

It you are of the age where you’ve had a cataract operation recently, or you know someone who has, you understand that it’s a very simple procedure in these modern times.  In most cases, you go in, and have the clouded lens of your eye removed.  Note that the lens is not the same as the cornea.  The lens is inside the eyeball, behind the iris.  It’s like the lens in a camera.  To be useful, like the cornea, it must be clear and unclouded.  The lens is attached to muscles that make it fatter or thinner so that one can focus on distant objects or near objects.  A “cataract” is when the lens of of the eye becomes clouded rather than clear.  The treatment is to remove the lens completely since the cloudiness can’t be gotten rid of any other way.  A person who has had the lens of the eye removed is called aphakic.  Once the lens is removed, an artificial lens of some type must be used.  In modern cataract surgeries, a synthetic lens is implanted inside the eyeball where the natural lens had been.  In older cases, before the modern cataract surgical techniques were developed, an aphakic person had no choice but to wear thick “Coke bottle” glasses.  Later on, contact lenses were also a possibility.

How it’s done now, cataract surgery:  The clouded lens is first emulsified with ultrasound waves.  Then an extraordinarily small opening is made in the eye, after which the liquified remains of the lens is suctioned out of the eye through this tiny opening.  An artificial lens, rolled up tight, is inserted into that tiny, tiny opening, and unfurled.  Once unfurled, the artificial lens is sutured into place with microscopic instruments.  The patient goes home, and when all is said and done, the patient’s vision may be better than it was even before the cataract.

However, I didn’t have those modern luxuries.  In my day, at age 5 years, the clouded lens in its entirety has to be removed using tiny tweezers through a surgical incision large enough to accommodate the full size of the defective lens.  This meant it was a major procedure, with lots of scarring, and damage to the iris — and the secondary glaucoma because the drainage meshwork was also destroyed.  My surgery was done in 1962.  How many practicing ophthalmologists do you reckon have even seen the type of surgery I’d had?  The doctor who did my original surgeries probably retired in the early 1980’s, if not much sooner.

Pardon me for going down memory lane…  That eye doctor was named James Smith, MD.  His practice was in Little Rock.  Sadly, Google has failed me.  I can’t find anything about him or his retirement or death.  However, while I was a teenager, his son-in-law, Michael Roberson, MD, went into practice with Dr. Smith.  Found a video of Dr. Roberson:

So, yeah, Dr. Roberson eventually did some of my eye surgeries, but even he was not around to practice medicine yet as early as 1962.  The point being, my eye condition is from the dinosaur era, and very few if any doctors today would have seen the complications I’ve had — might have read about them in dusty historical books on ophthalmology, but not witnessed the details first hand.  So I knew I needed the best of the best to have any hope at all.

And that was my first obstacle.  The Washington, DC, area has some world-class doctors, but none of them are in poverty-laden Prince George’s County.  And I didn’t have transportation to the doctors who would have the expertise to handle my care.  I compromised, and saw a second-tier eye physician, who had not a clue, and she referred me to one of the doctors I would have gone to originally if I’d had transportation.

Made it through that hurdle, and finagled transport to a top-notch practice in Chevy Chase, Maryland.  In Chevy Chase, I was seen by Dr. Aisha Macedo.  But even there, with her expertise, she said I needed to go to the Wilmer Eye Institute (the “best of the best“) at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.  If I was having trouble getting to Chevy Chase, how on earth was I supposed to get to Baltimore??

Press on, press on … got it sorted.  This is when I saw Dr. Esen Akpek:

Dr. Akpek gave me two choices, or really, three:

  1. Do nothing.  Eye will continue to decline and pain will continue.
  2. Cadaver donor tissue corneal transplant.
  3. Synthetic corneal transplant.

I was having too much pain to do nothing.  Dr. Akpek said that I would get the best results for my vision with #3, but there would be a great risk for losing my eye altogether.  I’d already had two failed corneal transplants, so the prognosis for #2 was not great, but there was less risk of me losing my eye altogether.  First practicality … could I get transport to and from the hospital for the surgery and the post-op appointments?  Lots of crying and pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth and creative thinking.  Yep, got that sorted, and decided on #2.

So, I had the cadaver donor tissue penetrating corneal transplant on January 13, 2015.  If you are not squeamish or faint of heart, this video is a must see (no pun intended, or did I intend it?).  It shows exactly how the transplant is done.  Very informative.

I was thrown a curve-ball on the day of the surgery.  But before I forget…  a couple of tangents.  My father was born on January 13, 1914 — and so if he had still been alive, he would have turned 101 years old on the day of my surgery.  That’s the first tangent.  I hadn’t chosen the surgery date — it had been randomly given to me.

The second tangent.  I’ve posted in the past about my dear friend, Meg.  She’s the one who was completing her postdoc work in microbiology at Johns Hopkins.  She was also pregnant with her second child, and due to complications, she went into labor a little early.  She gave birth to a healthy baby boy, but Meg died the next day.  Meg’s death eerily coincided with the exact dates and times of one of my trips to the UK — and with me finding out about her death on my birthday, in October 2010.  So, yeah, it was kind of weird with these synchronicities, to be walking the labyrinthine corridors of the institution where my dear friend and confidante has worked and had died.

The curve-ball…  Almost all of my past eye surgeries have involved a strong sedative with a muscle relaxant of some kind, but being awake during the actual procedure.  Quite contrary to what I was expecting, I was informed by the anesthesiologist that I was going to be completely “under.”  I had to sit and mull this over for quite some time.  I was supposed to be taken to the operating room at 1:30pm, but there’d been an emergency first thing in the morning, so all of Dr. Akpek’s cases were backed up.  I wasn’t wheeled into the operating room until ~4:00pm.

I can remember the anesthesia mask hovering over my face, the nurse looming behind it, saying, “Take slow, deep breaths….”  Then total blackness.  I have to admit, being awake during an eye operation is kind of fun.  You get to hear what the doctors talk about, the music they play, and then there was the one time when the surgeon decided to use my nose for an arm rest.  In one case, the surgeons were discussing an upcoming trip to Egypt.  But on this day, the 13th, just the blackness of being fully under.

When I “came to,” I was already in recovery.  A nurse was sitting by my bed.  He was very engaging, and the anesthesia…  Oh, my word!!!  I felt positively tipsy, bouncy, and befuddled.  Somehow, I was convinced that I was already back at home.  I thought I was talking to the nurse via Skype!  My hands were waving around as if I was searching for something (won’t mention exactly what in this particular post, big news later if I’m successful).

The poor nurse was trying to convince me that I really was still in the hospital, so I poked at his shoulder and giggled to prove to us both where I really was.  Yep, wherever we were, we were in the same room with glaring lights and polished hospital floors.  And even in the buoyant fog of the anesthesia, I recognized immediately that the nurse had a British accent.  When I questioned him, he was surprised — he said most Americans thought he was from Australia.  Nope — I know my accents by now.  I asked him where he was from and how long he’d been in the States.  Said he was from Manchester, and had only been here a few weeks.  I imagine he’s getting paid a heck of a lot more than he got paid by NHS.  We talked about crumpets and Yorkshire pudding and various cross-cultural things.  An absolute delight.

By the time I got home, it was quite late.  The surgery had been delayed due to the emergency at the start of the day, then there was the rush our traffic, and in the best of conditions, it’s an hour’s drive between my house and Baltimore.  Yet, my sweet doggies had not made even one oopsie, not one!!!

I was lucky I’d worked myself to the bone, ordering food, doing laundry, putting clean sheets on the bed.  Everything was as I needed it to be.  However… that’s when the rugged part set in, the daunting part, the who’s-gonna-hold-my-hand part.  I was given two vials of eye drops — one an antibiotic, the other an anti-inflammatory.  The latter was the most important.  I was instructed to use the anti-inflammatory drops every hour.  Yes, you read that right.  Of course, I could be excused during times when I was sleeping, but otherwise, the drops had to be applied hourly.  Because the greatest danger was another failed (rejected) transplant.

My eye was bruised and tender.  The full after-effects of the anesthesia hit me, total exhaustion.  And, I seemed to have picked up a cold or the flu.  I’ve been sitting in bed for days now, waiting on my strength to return and for my eye to feel better.  It’s coming along slowly.  The signs are very good.  This is not going to be a quick-fix project.  It may take a year before I reach maximum improvement in my vision — whatever the surgery is able to accomplish if it doesn’t fail in the interim.  But already, my light perception has increased at least two-fold.

So, I’m going to share a couple of photos … skim past if you are squeamish….

Two days after cornea transplant...

Two days after cornea transplant…

Two days after cornea transplant...

Two days after cornea transplant…

You can see my eye is pretty darn sore…  But if you’d seen what my eye looked like before the surgery, the cornea was so opaque, you couldn’t even tell the color of my iris.  So it may look pretty grotesque at the moment, but the cornea is clear so far, and you can now see the color of my eye!!

One more…

6 days after cornea transplant....

6 days after cornea transplant….

Well, it’s still clear, and it seems to be a bit less bloody.

So now I guess I’ve come around to what I really had to say, and it’s about mothering.  I’ve done a couple of posts about my mother and my circumstances growing up.   Honestly, I hate to speak bad about her, but the truth is the truth.  Everything she did has been long forgiven, and mostly forgotten, though it still impacts my daily functioning.

Just some random observations of things I might or might now have mentioned previously….  When my daddy died when I was 5 years old (yes, everything happened to me that year), we were in the car going home from the emergency room where we’d just seen his corpse laid out and my mother had ordered me to kiss his cheek.  In the car, she asked me, “Why aren’t you crying??  Don’t you love your daddy?”  But I didn’t understand what death was, and I was truly in shock.  What didn’t register at that young age was that my mother herself wasn’t crying.  In fact, I only heard her cry two times in all the years she had on this earth with me.  And neither of those tears were for someone else’s suffering, but feeling sorry for her own self.  So why was she faulting and shaming me for not crying when she herself was not shedding a tear?

After my dad’s death, I guess I was in a hugely major funk.  The only thing I can remember is that I had a regular doctor exam come up, and the doctor reamed my mother out because I was underweight.  Apparently, he thought she wasn’t feeding me enough.  After that, my mother would bring me a tray of food to eat in front of the TV every night.  We never ate dinner together,  Not ever.

My mother was not maternal or nurturing.  I was home from school with chicken pox when JFK was assassinated.  I recall she handed me a bottle of calamine lotion that I had to apply myself, but she did nothing to comfort me.  She wasn’t the type to make chicken noodle soup or to give hugs or comfort, to look for remedies for cold symptoms, or to sooth fears.  When I was sick, it was mostly a matter of toughing it out by myself.

When I got to be about 11 years old, give or take, my mother stopped cooking for me altogether.  I didn’t really know how to cook.  Oh, she might cook one meal on the weekend.  But through the week, I had to fend for myself, which meant this is what I ate:

Campbell's Spaghetti-O's

Campbell’s Spaghetti-O’s

Spam

Spam

Swanson TV Dinner

Swanson TV Dinner

Armour Vienna Sausages

Armour Vienna Sausages

I did my own laundry.  I was responsible for dusting every single piece of furniture in the house every weekend, plus sweeping and mopping all of the floors.

I remember one time, we were in a cheap-o dime store, and a metal basket protruded off the bottom at the end of a row of merchandise.  I didn’t see the basket and smashed into it.  Me and metal connected at the level of my shin, and blood dripped down my leg.  I was embarrassed and it hurt, but I didn’t cry.  I think I’d already learned that pain gains one no sympathy.  Anyhow, rather than comforting me, or really looking to see if I was okay, my mother dragged me to the front of the store and screamed at the manager, threatening a  lawsuit.  I just wanted to shrink into the background.  Nothing ever, ever, ever seemed to be about her genuinely caring about me, her child.

Needless to say, one of the gaps in my development has been learning self-care.  If one doesn’t get it when one is young, how does one learn it?  If a child gets the message, “You aren’t important, and you’re not loved,” how does a child overcome that?  Up until my eye surgery this month, I’ve always had at least one “someone” around me who I felt cared about me to some minimal degree — at least enough that I felt fairly comfortable asking for help, and naively trusting that help would be forthcoming if it was genuinely needed.  Such has not been the case this particular go-round.  Everything I’ve done, I’ve had to do for myself, or put together the scraps for getting help that I needed.

And in my case, this sense of “neediness” goes beyond the emotional and psychological.  It’s there in the practicalities of living with a disability.  So not only a developmental issue, but a practical, day-to-day issue as well.

I found myself slipping into what my friend L and I call the rabbit hole.  Here I was, supposed to be putting anti-inflammatory eye drops in every hour on the hour while awake, but the vial was getting low, and I was still too weak from the anesthesia to walk to the pharmacy, and I’d gotten a cold to boot.  Yep, that “I’m all alone and no one loves me, and I can’t do this by myself” feeling.

One of the ways that my wife love-bombed me was by taking care of me excessively.  She cooked for me, gave me my medicines after my stroke / Bell’s palsy, bathed me, made sure I had straws since I couldn’t drink out of a glass unaided, massaged me, and more.  When I’m feeling blue and alone, it’s hard not to look back on those times and begin to question whether I was mistaken about her.  I was not.  In the rearview mirror, it’s clear that the things I took to be signs of love were nothing more than my wife sussing out exactly what I’d missed out on as a child, and then using that knowledge to manipulate me for her own gain.  Love had no part in it. 

All those gestures came at a price.  I was berated for not “doing enough.”  Even though I was still weak from the stay in the stroke ward, I got up while my wife did her morning school run, and had the kitchen spic-n-span before Paula got home.  If I did it one day, she was thrilled, but if I was too weak to do it the next day, I caught hell for not “keeping it up.”  One day, I went outside to mow the back garden.  I felt like another stroke was imminent, but I was also being made to feel like I was somehow useless, not doing enough.  Sweating in the summer heat, dizzy, dehydrated.  The yard was a junk heap.  Broken appliances.  Rusted out tools.  Splintered beds.  Children’s clothes and toys strewn everywhere.  Crisp and candy wrappers.  It was not a safe place to be.

Yet I got down on my hands and knees and crawled around underneath the trampoline to pull out bags of rubbish.  I sorted the broken refuse into piles to one side, and the toys that weren’t ruined into another pile.  I went around with the edger and trimmed near the fence.  Then I mowed the whole garden.  But I was feeling so faint, I was on the verge of collapse — not a state anyone who’d just been in a stroke ward should hazard.  So, yeah, I tried and I tried, but it was never good enough, and my actual health never was considered.

But more so — the big picture.  So many things were done wrong, even if all the massages and food and baths were given out of love (which they weren’t), how many purposeful lies and deceptions can one person endure.  How many times can one be scammed out of money based on untruths?  How many vulgar names can one be called?  How many uncontrolled rages can one be exposed to?

Just to go back over old ground — and I apologize, this post is for me.  In May of 2010, I found Paula’s dating profile on the Smooch website, and it was obvious it was a new profile because in her photograph, she was sitting in front of curtains she’d just bought.  I watched her open the package and hang those curtains on Skype.

So when I confronted Paula about the profile on Smooch, she said she didn’t know anything about it.  That was her first “excuse.”  Then she came back and told me that her best friend, Nikki, had put up the profile to catch her boyfriend in cheating.  As I’ve written before, I was dubious.  Nikki and her boyfriend lived in Bournemouth.  If he was cheating on Nikki, what made Nikki think he’d look on the Smooch website??  And if he did look on Smooch, wouldn’t he pick someone closer to Bournemouth, rather than Shoreham-by-Sea?  But most of all…. why would he hit on Nikki’s best friend, my wife??

Of course, Paula had Nikki back up her story.  Nikki admitted putting up the profile, and I was very confused.  And Paula said that Nikki’s boyfriend had never met her, so didn’t know her.  That was the second leg of the lie.  The concept of someone lying for someone else was just not the kind of thing that happened in my world.  So, I put it to the side, and said to myself, “It doesn’t make sense, but this is the story that Paula and Nikki are telling me, so what am I supposed to do, what am i supposed to believe?”  I let it go.

So that incident was in May 2010, and then Paula came to the United States in July 2010, and we were married.  As already posted (probably a couple of times by now), Nikki’s boyfriend send me a message via Facebook because Paula had blocked him.  He was pissed that Nikki was babysitting Paula’s kids for so long.  So either Paula had lied to Nikki about the length of her intended stay with me in America, or Nikki had lied to her boyfriend.  But in the Facebook private message Nikki’s boyfriend, Mike, sent to my account, I was utterly stunned by his transphobic remarks.  And also stunned because Paula had clearly betrayed the fact that I was transgendered when we had agreed together not to disclose to anyone without discussing it together first.  I failed to notice that … gee whiz, Nikki’s boyfriend does know Paula.

So let’s just unpack this whole scenario, right?  My wife-to-be puts up a new profile on a dating website 2 months before we are married.  She lies to me about having done it, and brings in another person to falsely “corroborate” her lie.  In the whole fiasco, not only has Paula gone trolling for someone else on the eve of our marriage and lied about it, but she has also disclosed to a someone that I am transgendered without getting my permission, or even informing me.  I discover all this when I get the nasty note from Nikki’s boyfriend on Facebook after Paula and I were married.  I am so shocked by the nasty remarks, Mike calling me an “it,” and “wif…. husband,” that I failed to notice he definitely knew Paula, and so the whole thing about the dating profile was irrefutably a big lie.  Lies and betrayal.  Big picture stuff.

Now who does this to someone they love on the eve of their marriage???  Is this love???  No, it’s the opposite of love.  I don’t care how many dishes of shepherd’s pie my wife served up to me.  I don’t care how many times she massaged me.  She never loved me.  She doesn’t know the meaning of love.  What a sad, sorry, pathetic creature.

The examples of deception are literally countless.  They go from the rather mundane to the utterly traumatic, like the death of my dog, the physical violence, and my overdose.  I’m thinking of another little swerve along the path that floated up in my thoughts today.  I can’t remember exactly how it unfolded — when one is fed a constant diet of lies, stuff is naturally a bit vague.

In any case, Paula had done something that upset me greatly.  I can’t recall what it was exactly, but I know that I was afraid and I’d made another trip to a B&B for my safety.  I’d left while Paula was out on a school run, so she came home to find me gone.  Meanwhile, I had a casual FTM acquaintance in Brighton I’ll refer to as “J.”  I’d only met him once or twice.

Paula was insisting that we have a renewal of our vows.  But I was just a stick character in the production.  I was not consulted whatsoever about when, where, how, or who.  It was all being discussed and arranged behind my back.  Since I had no other real friends in England, Paula had taken it upon herself to invite J via text message.  I wasn’t happy.  I barely knew the guy.  And to be bluntly honest, the house was such a wreaking junk heap, I was embarrassed.

Then, whatever it was happened that sent me to the B&B.  Paula didn’t know where I was.  She seemed to make an assumption that I’d left her and was on a plane going back home to the United States.  And going home to the US was on my mind as my intention.  By then, I’d already been through more than I could bear.

While I was at the B&B, I received a text message from J.  He said he’d heard from Paula, and that she didn’t know where I was and thought that I’d left her.  As our texting unfolded, J told me that Paula had “come onto him.”  He forwarded me her text so I could see it for myself.  Indeed she had done what J said!!!  It was more or less to the effect of, “Terry has left me — I’m so alone, can you come console me?” with lots of innuendo.  I wish I still had the phone with the text so I could get the exact wording.  But believe me, it was clear to both J and me.

So I texted Paula and asked her why she was contacting J.  First, she claimed she hadn’t contacted him at all.  I told her I’d been in communication with him, and that I knew she’d been in touch with him.  So then she tells me she just wanted to let him know that the “renewal of vows” ceremony was canceled because I’d left, and she didn’t want him to make a needless trip to Shoreham.  Well, what she’d actually sent him was quite a bit more than that.  Denial, denial, denial.  Finally, I forwarded to Paula her own message originally sent to J.  Now she has no choice but to admit having authored it — but does she fully admit it???? No!!!  She said she’d written it, then thought better of it, and so had left it in draft.  She wanted me to believe that it had accidentally been sent from her “draft” folder!!!  Somehow, I’m supposed to be comforted that my wife wrote a salacious text to a friend, but then didn’t send it — had saved it to draft.  I’m supposed to believe this and be comforted by it, even though I’m sitting in the B&B, reading the actual forwarded text with my own eyes???

As best as I can recall, it was her lying to me about this texting with J that put me over the top.  Whatever it was that originally had me going to the B&B, I’ve forgotten.  But after she was quite clearly making inappropriate maneuvers toward an acquaintance, that’s when I decided to go on back to the US.  I booked my flight and got myself to London.  All the way there, Paula was begging me not to leave her.  Pleading with me right up to the time that I was sitting at the gate and they were boarding the plane.  You would have thought, to hear the way she begged, that she really cared about me.  That’s the cognitive dissonance kicking in.  She didn’t care about me, or she wouldn’t have lied about owning her house, she shouldn’t have lied about the dating profile on Smooch, she wouldn’t have lied about coming on to J, she wouldn’t have done all the other things that she did.  And believe me, as much as I’ve written about already, it doesn’t even scratch the surface.

The way it works with a psychopath…. if their lips are moving, they are lying.  If you catch them in one lie, they adjust it a little.  They keep trying something else, even if it is more outrageous, until they hit upon something you’ll accept.  And if that doesn’t work, you’ll be so confused by so many versions of reality, you won’t know which way to turn.

So, I’ve labored on about many things in this post.  However, the main theme I want to emphasize is how the mask of the psychopath relates to the love-bombing, which in turn relates to the cognitive dissonance.  In my case, I had a paucity of nurturing maternal experiences when I was young.  My wife zeroed in on that deficit, and made herself “my dream come true.”  So powerful was her leveraging of what I needed that even some fairly blatant lies and red flags were thrown by the wayside.

A psychopath is nothing more than a predator after prey.  They will assess their intended victim, find that target’s dreams and weaknesses, and exploit that knowledge.  The intense scrutiny of the predator feels to the victim like adoration, but it isn’t.  Once the victim is “hooked” with the tailor-made mask and love-bombing, the psychopath proceeds with the intended agenda, whatever it may be.  In my wife’s case, it was mostly to strip me of as much money as possible.  It was partly the thrill of the game.  “Look at what I can pull over him, stupid fool!!  I’m so brilliant!!”  The joy at deceiving people was part of her personal jollies — hence her own phrase when she attempted to scam cheaper airfare using deception and untruths, “Let me work my magic.”

The ending of a relationship with a psychopath is nothing like the end of any other romantic relationship.  The cognitive dissonance is what causes much suffering, and threatens always to lure the survivor back into the relationship, seemingly at any cost.  How many times have I weathered the emotional storms, only to have one friend or another say to me, “But she killed your dog!”  Like I was certifiably insane to still be thinking about my wife.

And the cognitive dissonance, which they masterfully create, is a form of temporary insanity.  As I’ve been recuperating from my eye surgery, I’ve been really blue.  Lonely, needy, even scared.  I couldn’t help but think back to when my wife made me a batch of burritos with sour cream and cheese and tomatoes, or some other special dish.  I couldn’t help but think back to the times when she would quite literally bathe me.

Her bath tub was quite large.  She’d fill it with piping hot water, lather shampoo on my head, then rinse away the suds with a pot of clear water.  We call them washcloths; she called them flannels.  She’d soap them up and scrub me from tip to toe.  She’d have me lean back and luxuriate in the steaming water.  It was blissful, I’ll grant you that.  After the bath, she’d turn on the shower and make sure the remnants of soap were washed from my sensitive skin.  Then she’d help me step out of the deep bath tub, and dry me, again from tip top to toe.  And after the shower, it might be some fooling around, or it might be a massage.  But was it love?  No!!!

What I can tell you now is that I’m a stronger person for having survived all this.  Yes, I still have my moments when vestiges of the cognitive dissonance arise.  Those moments come at low points when I’m feeling vulnerable, as I have been post-surgery.  But I owe a debt of gratitude to my friend, L, who truly understands, and who reminded me again to “look at the big picture.”  No lovely baths make up for being hit and being cheated on and being lied to.  None.  And I can honestly say, I’ve grown through all of this.  I’ve learned that I’m valuable, that I have good stuff to offer the world.  I might get lonely, but it’s loneliness on my own terms, and I’m working on it in my own ways.  It’s not the other kind of loneliness — of being utterly controlled by another person in a reality that makes no sense and sends out staccato messages of danger.  It’s my boundaries and my choices.

I also know a heck of a lot more about those things that made me vulnerable to my wife’s machinations.  So it’s opened my eyes to the necessity of me learning self-care and self-love.  I may have many limitations, including my legal blindness and being transgendered, but I also have many unique talents.  And one of those talents is the ability to love.  In losing my marriage, I really haven’t lost anything at all, because it was all a facade.  However, my oh-so-clever wife has lost someone who truly did love her, and proved it again and again.  How sad is that?  What’s even sadder is that this is the pattern of her entire life.  She has used, abused, and decimated every life she has touched.

That I have gotten this far with my surgery is a testament to how far I’ve progressed.  If somehow or other, this can give comfort to even one person, then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.

(For more on cognitive dissonance, see my last post here.)

Terms and Conditions of Use

All content provided on this DogDharma blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.  Views are an expression of the blog owner’s opinion only.

Once again, no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site is claimed.

The owner of DogDharma will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Advertisements
Posted in Akpek, Alfred Hitchock, betrayal, cataract, cognitive dissonance, cornea, cornea transplant, glaucoma, Greenbelt, lying, Maryland, Paula Khier, Paula Simmons, Paula Vanzetti, psychopath, psychopathy, Shoreham-by-Sea, transgender, transgendered, West Sussex | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ally Moms (For Parents of Transgender Children)

Hand together love family sign

Sharing this for Leelah Alcorn and Brandon Teena and all the young lives that have been lost.  Follow the link below…

Ally Moms.

Terms and Conditions of Use

All content provided on this DogDharma blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.  Views are an expression of the blog owner’s opinion only.

Once again, no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site is claimed.

The owner of DogDharma will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Posted in Brandon Teena, family, father, fatherhood, FTM, gender identity, GLBT, Leelah Alcorn, mother, mother of transgendered child, mothers, MTF, transgender, transgendered, transitioning, transmasculine | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cognitive Dissonance

Judith Mawson, ex-wife of infamous serial killer, Gary Ridgeway Photo from article at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2056798/Judith-Mawson-finding-husband-Green-River-Serial-Killer-Gary-Ridgway.html

Judith Mawson, ex-wife of infamous serial killer, Gary Ridgeway
Photo from article at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2056798/Judith-Mawson-finding-husband-Green-River-Serial-Killer-Gary-Ridgway.html

This is not a happy post, so *TRIGGER ALERT*

Various things are on my mind tonight, and hope that they will merge into something coherent.  When we are in an abusive relationship, involved with someone with psychopathic tendencies, if not an outright psychopath (“pick your favorite label.” as I say), we really don’t know how far they will go.   The ones who have suffered the worst — the loss of their lives — they can’t come back to tell us what the red flags were.  This is why it is a very serious topic, and important to get some idea of what we are dealing with.

Random news story…

Billingshurst Double-Death in West Sussex Photo from article at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-sussex-30626745

Billingshurst Double-Death in West Sussex
Photo from article at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-sussex-30626745

Billingshurst double death husband found hanging:

A post-mortem examination on a man found dead at his home in West Sussex on Christmas Day found he died from hanging, police have said.

The body of Jan Tshabalala, 33, was found at the house in Groomsland Drive, Billingshurst, at about 09:00 GMT.

The cause of death of his wife, Julia, 30, whose body was also found at the property, is still being investigated.

I do not know the outcome of this investigation, or whether psychopathy was involved, but it does show the tragic consequences that can happen when relationships go wrong.

A Man Shows Us A Day In The Life Of An Abusive Relationship:

It might be surprising to some of you to see who the victim is at the end of this video, but unfortunately, too many out there will find it familiar.

The above link includes a short video clip (under 1 minute), and yeah, the victim was male.  So yes, domestic violence happens to cisgendered women, cisgendered men, gay people, and transgendered women and men.  There is never an excuse for violence, ever.  Period, full stop.

Again, my own segue:

Paula admits hitting me...

Paula admits hitting me…

These are the words of my wife, in her own words, admitting that she hit me.  Did her “resentment” justify hitting me?  I don’t think so.  Would you believe her promises not to do it again?  I didn’t, and anyone involved with her shouldn’t believe her either.  And as she herself readily admits, I never raised a hand to her…

Then this…

Ryan and Gail Brink

Ryan Wyngarden was convicted of killing Rick and Gail Brink in 1987:

Due to incriminating testimony given by the defendant’s wife of 25 years, Pam Wyngarden, Ryan Wyngarden was convicted on March 28, 2014 of killing his sister and her husband in 1987. This 27- year old cold case divided families and provoked heated courtroom outbursts during the 12-day trial in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven, MI. Wyngarden, 51, of Zeeland, was charged with two counts of first-degree premeditated murder for the deaths of his sister Gail and her husband, Rick Brink, on Nov. 21, 1987. After sentencing at 11:30 a.m. April 21, he will spend the rest of his life in prison. The prosecution, led by Prosecutor Attorney Lee Fisher, said Wyngarden killed the couple because he was jealous of the newlyweds and their success and didn’t want his sister to tell Rick, 28, about Wyngarden’s sexual molestation of Gail, 22, when they were younger.  [Emphasis mine.]

One can deduce that incest perpetrated against a younger sibling in childhood is a predictor that that the outcome will not be favorable.  Note that this is a 27-year old cold-case, but the truth finally saw the light of day in 2014.  Serious matters, serious topic…

So who was Gary Ridgeway, and who was Judith Mawson (pictured at top)?

‘I had the perfect husband… but he was the perfect murderer’: Wife reveals moment she found out she was married to Green River Serial Killer who murdered up to 70 women

But it turned out that Judith Mawson’s husband was far from perfect as, after 13 years of marriage,  she discovered he was the Green River Serial Killer with the blood of up to 70 women on his hands.
When Judith, 67, met Gary Ridgway at a bar in Seattle in 1985, she recalled he seemed like the perfect suitor – he was handsome, polite, had a good job, and treated her like a lady.

[…]

She told People Magazine that she believed him when he told her his carpet was destroyed by kids and removed and that his ex-girlfriend had taken her bed back. She trusted him when he said he was late because of a union meeting.

[…]

‘I was crying, no it cant be him. Then I found out that he’d had the carpets removed because he’d killed women on them  and there were bloodstains.

‘He’d had sex with some of them on the bed and killed them. I look back and think, “Was my life real with him or did he just use me?”.’

[…]

When he was first arrested, Judith said she believed her husband when he told her they had the wrong man.

When she visited the former truck painter in jail she said: ‘We were trying to touch each other through the glass. I would cry.’

When he confessed she cut all contact with him and spent the next two years hiding at home in virtual isolation, drowning her sorrows in wine and pain pills.

She told People: ‘I was scared, in hiding, ashamed. I dreamed about him all the time. he kept reaching out to me.’

[…]

‘Telling my story, getting all the poison out of me helped me to heal. But how do you forgive someone who is suspected of killing 70 women?’

Judith has not dated since her husband’s arrest, believing she may never trust another man again but spends her time with friends and at her local church.

So what I wanted to get around to is cognitive dissonance.  Google it, you’ll find plenty of links.  In a nutshell, it’s when you hold in your mind two conflicting realities.  It’s part and parcel of a relationship with a psychopath.  In the beginning, they love-bomb you, tell you are wonderful, put you on a pedestal, declare that you are “soul mates,” and like Judith Mawson, you believe you’ve found the perfect partner.  But sooner or later, you notice the lies, the red flags, that they are late “because of a union meeting.”  Their mask falls, and while you may not end up being hit upon like my wife hit me, and you may not find out they are a notorious, prolific serial killer like Gary Ridgeway, you will find out you’ve been cheated on and betrayed.

Now sit back and try to imagine the cognitive dissonance that Judith Mawson must have felt.  Seriously, give it a thought.  If she had trouble understanding that Ridgeway was as wicked as he was, what about the rest of us?  Surely we can be forgiven for our lapses back into cognitive dissonance?  “Maybe I was wrong, maybe s/he really was at a union meeting?”

This is exactly why I continue to tell my story.  I survived, but Rick and Gail Brink did not.  I survived, but the wife in Billingshurst did not.  One life saved is worth 10,000,000 blog posts.  If your stomach is in knots, and you’re not sure what to believe, get out!!!  Honor your gut instincts and your intuition.  Do not accept lies and abuse.  Love yourself!  Take heed, gentle reader.  These are not idle ruminations.  They make the headlines every day.

No songs this time.  I’ll try to have something funny or light-hearted for my next post.

Terms and Conditions of Use

All content provided on this DogDharma blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.  Views are an expression of the blog owner’s opinion only.

Once again, no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site is claimed.

The owner of DogDharma will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Posted in Billingshust, cheating, cognitive dissonance, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Gail Brink, Gary Ridgeway, incest, infidelity, Judith Mawson, liars, lies, lying, male victim, psychopath, psychopathy, Rick Brink, Ryan Wyngarden, West Sussex | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

“My Death Needs to Mean Something” — Leelah Alcorn

The heartbreaking suicide of Leelah Acorn is making a storm in the news and in social media.  A small sample of articles:

#BBCtrending: Leelah Alcorn’s public suicide note from BBC:

So starts a suicide note written by Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender teenager who died this week in the US state of Ohio. Alcorn scheduled the note to be published several hours after her death.

An Ohio transgender teen’s suicide, a mother’s anguish from CNN (emphasis mine):

“We don’t support that, religiously,” Alcorn’s mother told CNN Wednesday, her voice breaking. “But we told him that we loved him unconditionally. We loved him no matter what. I loved my son. People need to know that I loved him. He was a good kid, a good boy.”

Transgender teen: ‘My death needs to mean something’ from Cincinnati.com:

In life, Leelah Alcorn felt alone. Born male, she feared she would never be the woman she felt like inside.

In death, the transgender 17-year-old – born Josh Alcorn – wanted to make sure others never felt the way she did.

Leelah’s own suicide note* on Tumblr is here.

The Daily Edge from Ireland has an article — Transgender people are sharing stories of hope following teenager’s tragic death.

Here is what Rachel tweeted on Twitter.

The Williams Institute:

The Williams Institute is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. A national think tank at UCLA Law, the Williams Institute produces high-quality research with real-world relevance and disseminates it to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public.

From the Williams Institute, Suicide Attempts Among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults (emphasis mine):

New analysis of responses to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS) shows that transgender respondents who experienced rejection by family and friends, discrimination, victimization, or violence have a higher risk of attempting suicide. 78 percent of survey respondents who suffered physical or sexual violence at school reported suicide attempts, as did 65 percent of respondents who experienced violence at work.

The study suggests that several minority stressors – negative experiences related to anti-transgender bias – may contribute to elevated prevalence of suicide attempts among transgender people, such as experiences of harassment, family rejection, housing instability, and discrimination in health care. Over half of those who experienced harassment or bullying in schools reported lifetime suicide attempts, as did 57 percent of those who reported that their family chose not to speak/spend time with them.  High prevalence of suicide attempts was also found among those who had ever experienced homelessness (69%) and those who reported a doctor or healthcare provider refused to treat them (60%).

From the LA Times, Transgender study looks at ‘exceptionally high’ suicide-attempt rate (emphasis mine):

A whopping 41% of people who are transgender or gender-nonconforming have attempted suicide sometime in their lives, nearly nine times the national average, according to a sweeping survey released three years ago.

In a new study released Tuesday, researchers dug deeper into that number, analyzing the results of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey to examine what puts transgender people at such “exceptionally high” risk.

[…]

Nearly two-thirds of respondents who were the victims of domestic violence at the hands of a family member had attempted suicide, the study also showed. Suicide attempts were less common among transgender and gender-nonconforming people who said their family ties had remained strong after they came out.

Suicide.org lists the causes of suicide.  You will not see being transgendered listed as a cause of suicide or even mentioned.  What you will see is a lot of the stressors that transgender people experience.  Being transgendered is not a mental illness, any more than being gay was a mental illness.  And truth be told, a lot of what gets labeled as “mental illness” is the cumulative affect of these various life stressors manifested in various ways.  How many times can any person be victimized or vilified and not lose hope?

This is a personal issue for me, and not just because I am transgendered.  If you go back and read my old but candid posts about my suicide attempts, you will see that every single one of them were related to bullying or abuse I received — by my school mates, by my mother, by my partners, and the last one, directly related to physical violence that was perpetrated against me by my own wife.

Wake up people (and parents and family especially) — this tired old world needs more beautiful people…

*It would appear that Leelah’s suicide note has been removed from Tumblr.  I don’t know why, but sorry for the broken link.

Terms and Conditions of Use

All content provided on this DogDharma blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.  Views are an expression of the blog owner’s opinion only.

Once again, no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site is claimed.

The owner of DogDharma will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Posted in Don McLean, family rejection, family secrets, FTM, GLBT, Leelah Alcorn, MTF, starry starry night, suicide, transgender, transgendered | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

What’s My Name? (Gotta Laugh, Gotta Love…)

A cartoon I posted to Facebook and the comments I got...

A cartoon I posted to Facebook and the comments I got…

Names, again!!!  🙂  Okay, so I did my post on Gloria, right?  What I didn’t mention exactly was that I always hated my name, even before being transgendered was at the tip-top of my consciousness.  There was not being able to live up to the glamorous image of Gloria Swanson, and there was being called “Glooey-Baby” by school mates.

So when I got a job at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock as an accounts payable clerk back in 1979, I told my boss how I detested my name.  By then, my partner, Dee, and all my friends were calling me by my middle name, Gayle.  I felt like two people in two worlds.  “Gayle” to my partner and friends, and “Gloria” to my family and in my professional life.

Being “Gayle” was much easier.  After all, there was Gale Gordon from I Love Lucy.

You’d just know this clip would have an airplane skit…  “Yeah, it’s a drag…”  Hilarious!

What was I saying?  Oh yeah, about my name…  So anyway, when I complained about hating my name to my supervisor, a wonderful woman named Jan, what does she do?  She orders me a new name plate with Gayle Carraro written on it, and instructs my co-workers that they must henceforth call me “Gayle,” which they did.

That fixed the “professional” part, but not the “family” part.  I tried to get my mother to call me Gayle, and told her how important it was to me, but she refused.  (One of the many ways she invalidated me….)  And because my mother refused to honor my preference, the rest of my family was in a quandary.  Sometimes talking to me directly, they would call me “Gayle,” but when they mentioned me to my mother, they had no choice but to call me “Gloria.”  So I spent a couple of decades being 99% “Gayle” and 1% “Gloria.”

Of course, then as the first step from transitioning from female to male, I changed my name to Terry.  Naturally, at first my mother balked, but eventually came around:

"My Dear Son Terry...."

“My Dear Son Terry….”

My relatives were quicker on the uptake than my mother — I didn’t look like a Gloria or Gayle any more, and they were smart enough to know they’d appear to be lunatics if they called me by my old names.  100% Terry.

However, my biggest gripe is when people use the feminized version — Terri.  (I have a cisgendered female friend who has the same name — Terry — and even she has the same gripe!)

So, I posted the comic up there at the top to my Facebook page.  You can read the comments.  My friend, Terry, says “haha; my argument all my life,” and my cousin, Susie, says, Those of us that have known you all your life we know how to spell “TERRI” Love You!

Okay, I really have to stop and laugh.  My wacky family, fundamentalists and all, for the most part they do accept me, as is obvious from Susie’s reply.  But she still misses the intent of the cartoon — TerrY.  (If it’s spelled with a “Y” it usually, but is not always a boy name.  If it’s spelled with an “i” it’s always a girl name.  Gotta laugh…  Gotta love….

Song?

Terms and Conditions of Use

All content provided on this DogDharma blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.  Views are an expression of the blog owner’s opinion only.

Once again, no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site is claimed.

The owner of DogDharma will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Posted in bisexual, FTM, Gale Gordon, gay, Gayle, GLBT, Gloria, humor, lesbian, LGBT, Lucille Ball, MTF, name, names, naming, Rihanna, transgender, transgendered, what's my name | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

LGBTQ Children in Catholic Families: A Deacon’s View of Holy Family Sunday

Sharing an important article for my GLBTQ readers. Many kind blessings.

Bondings 2.0

Today’s post is written by a guest blogger: Deacon Ray Dever of St. Paul Catholic Church, Tampa, Florida.

On this first Sunday after Christmas, the Church observes the feast of the Holy Family.  And with that observance inevitably comes reflection on the nature and meaning of the Catholic family today.  Many within the Church still seem to hold an idealized and increasingly inaccurate vision of what a Catholic family looks like, in spite of the growing diversity of the families that comprise the people of God.  As one who would count my own family among that diversity, the topic of Catholic family holds considerable personal interest for me.

In the fall of 2013, at the beginning of our son’s sophomore year at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, he came out as transgender.  In doing so, she became one of only three openly trans* students at Georgetown at the time.  This happened…

View original post 662 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Two Views

Christmas morning looking over Shoreham beach as posted by my friend, A, whose home overlooks this shore....

Christmas morning 2014, looking over Shoreham beach as posted by my friend, A, whose home overlooks this shore….

Day after Christmas in Greenbelt, Maryland, as posted by my friend, LO...

Day after Christmas in Greenbelt, Maryland, 2014, as posted by my friend, LO…

From the Beatles’ song:

Little darling
It’s been a long, cold lonely winter
Little darling
It feels like years since it’s been here

Terms and Conditions of Use

All content provided on this DogDharma blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.  Views are an expression of the blog owner’s opinion only.

Once again, no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site is claimed.

The owner of DogDharma will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Posted in Beatles, cold lonely winter, Greenbelt, here comes the sun, Shoreham-by-Sea, sun, sunshine, two views | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment