Saturday, June 25, 2005

Just because it's in a book doesn't make it true

I get continually frustrated by people who believe that just because they found a book that says something about G*d that it must be true. Their book usually has some miracle that "proves" its validity. It isn't just the Xtains.... oh no not even close..... it is all of them, some of my good wiccian/pagan friends, jews, muslims, and xtians all seem to just get fanatical about some "book" weather they call it the bible, koran, or some weird teaching of some guy I never heard of. What is wrong with you all? If in science we trusted what one guy wrote about his findings to make medicine for you... we would be killing you by the droves! I love it when someone tells me they have done "research" and I ask them because I really do want to learn new things and I love history and I do want to know more about G*d... but when their "research" is reading what the PTB have given them or worse yet a search engine on a site that is for their denomination it takes every single bit of patience I have to not want to pull my hair out. Reading what someone else thought about what someone else thought that might be part of what someone else wrote about. This is a magic show not a spiritual endeavor to find G*d.

There are a few out there that do real good stuff. They really believe and they have real reasons (real as in they have thought it out and not been handed it to them by someone else) for believing how they do. Therefore they understand the laws of their belief and how to apply it in their life. And I usually know these people because they do enjoy talking about what they believe and when I ask them something that they don't know they just say "I don't know but maybe we can find out. "

Although this is an old complaint of mine (donna want some of my friends to think it is a new rant) I guess I'm mostly frustrated right now because I was asking some of my Xtain friends if the bible didn't say that abortion was wrong would they still believe it was wrong? That led for some into the question about what is human and what is not which of course leads right back to the bible... For others it they decided that if a child would say it was wrong then of course it was....... because a child was innocent and therefore wouldn't have a cloudy look on the problem...... ok umm still thinking that's out there but at least it was a good attempt to try and answer the question (more just didn't even try). Still more said there were great secular arguments but never said what they were...... BUT the worst came today when it was insisted that there was only one bible.... I just wanted to cry in frustration. First off it was a great way to get off topic because of course I couldn't let that fly bad enough that you think that a bible makes it right even worse when you don't understand that there are several different sects within your own belief system that all think they have the one and only BOOK OF G*D. If I could only drag that person to every other religious fanatic's (not only within their own system but in every single type of religious sect of all the different religions out there) to hear those exact words....... of how they have the one and only bible. It is like talking to someone that doesn't understand the difference between what is in the constitution and what was said in the Declaration of independence and how this isn't a democracy that we live in it never was. I just donno. These are smart people, really smart people who want to do good things...... how can we be so far apart?

This doesn't mean that I need a scientific backing for everything. I mean tell me that you believe in your bible because it feels right to you or because you feel that G*d led you in that direction fine by me. BUT don't tell me that we should bias medical findings, laws, or anything else that will effect people outside of your particular belief system based on the writing of your belief system. If you believe that abortion and embryonic stem cell research is wrong because it is murdering a human life and you want to make a LAW against it then I want to hear a secular reasoned approach to why. I will even give you that the embryo is a life, but then so is grass. Come and get me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

No everything is not ok

I didn't call anyone father's day. Not my grandpa (who deserves to be called) and not my father (who's deservedness is still in question) because I just couldn't face them. I just can't .... because after 3wks off of the pain meds... I'm back to hurting again... well actually ok I never stopped... I just wanted to stop hurting so I told myself I must be making it up. But last night I hurt so bad that I could barely breath.... so I called the doctor today and I get to take a CAT scan tommorwo and I refused the pain meds because I just can't do that route again. And tonight? I hurt. So I just couldn't call them... I just couldn't lie and say it was all ok... because it isn't and if I don't call then maybe they think I'm ok and that is better then being a problem ... I'm tired when does this stop??? I cannot keep this up they will both call eventually but for now I put it off, telling them.

In the meantime the love of my life is still broken hearted about our cat Joe.... I am too but in a muted way in comparsin. My fundemental belief about life and death, while allowing saddness for sure, also allows for a joy in the passing of one that could not be happy here.

What I'm most distressed about is Zach .... a gay teen that is being held in a christian "camp" to be rehablitated..... I am so very sad as the leader of this group calls for gays that leave LIA wanting to remain gay to kill themselves rather then be gay........ I believe Zach to be in real danger and I wish I had a better way to help him. You can go here to learn more:

and here:

or here:

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The passing of Joe

It is very sad that yesterday we had put to sleep our cat Joe. Joe extremly unmangable and with my currant state of health we were no longer able to care for him. But it is my husband that wrote the Euology for him:

early in the AM:

My wife and I took our cat, Joe, to be euthanized today. He was 7. It was especially painful because there was nothing physically wrong with him. He had become aggressive to the point that we could no longer keep him in our home, and we could not find a suitable home for him. We had him on Prozac a while back, but with my wife's illness it had become impossible for her to wrestle him to the ground and give him the pills. I was never able to give him the pills. My wife has worked with animals professionally for years, and she says she had never encountered a cat less domesticated than Joe. He was hard to handle and very big and strong.

Over the last three to six months, he had grown increasingly more aggressive and territorial, and pretty badly beat up our other cats. The sad part is that the conflicts would normally begin as play and escalate out of control. Joe always showed signs of wanting to be part of the family. It just seemed that his instincts would get the better of him. He only wanted to be touched when he was in one of "his" areas. At those times, he was extremely affectionate. He loved to have his chin rubbed and his cheek scratched. When we had him on the drugs, he was easier to handle but was zoned out to the point of being unrecognizable and barely there. I've known mentally ill people who had been vibrant be reduced to doing the Thorazine shuffle, and that seemed a pointless and cruel thing to do to a life form who didn't have the capacity to know what was happening to him or why it was happening.

One of my wife's co-workers was bowling in Northeast Philadelphia one night in May 1998 when someone in the league came in with a litter of kittens that had been found behind the building. They were thought to be about 2 weeks old. My wife's co-worker took one, a boy, and bottle fed him. At this point my wife, a life long cat lover, had gotten me to say "yes" to getting a kitten to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. I thought that getting a bottle fed kitten was a bit out of our ability to deal with, but agreed that we would take him when he became able to eat wet food.

I was on a graveyard shift job, and my wife picked me up from work and told me that her friend had brought the kitten over that morning. She was slightly afraid to leave him unattended, but my job was close by and she was only gone for about 20 minutes. She said that I had to be careful walking in the door not to step on him, and to be prepared for how tiny he was.

We open the door, and this tiny little thing, maybe triple the size of an average mouse, had managed to climb on top of our couch (a BIG climb for this little guy) and was smiling and looking quite triumphant and proud. It was clear there and then that this guy needed a MAN'S name, something befitting his dignity! Mittens or Fluffy was not going to cut it for this hard core mighty beast. He needed a name with stature, testes, and butt kicking authority. That name was Joe!!!

It was immediately apparent that Joe was going to be on the rough side. He wasn't really big on being touched, but he loved to chase around this feather toy. He quickly figured out that the stick operated the string and started going for that. This was to become a motif that carried on throughout his life. He was very smart, and quickly figured things out. I cherish the memory of the night when we had him for about two months that he climbed on my chest and hung out with me and fell asleep, because I knew that wasn't going to happen a lot with him.

Right before we brought home another kitten (with whom Joe never got along) when Joe was about five months old, we were having problems with him biting. He was becoming quite strong and never got much more domesticated than a racoon, but he had a deeply affectionate side. He loved the bathroom, and picked, of all times, when I was seated on the toilet to come climb on my leg and rub his face up against mine. He did this for the remainder of his life. He lived in a total of five places and in each of them the bathroom was his territory. As much as I wanted to occasionally take a dump in peace, I am going to miss that greatly.

We got a third kitten after we moved to California. Joe was born in Philadelphia and had lived in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and California. This kitten was (and is) an incredibly affectionate girl cat who took an immediate liking to Joe. She would come up and just plop down on him and rub her face all over him and give him a bath. One of the sad things that happened over time is that she eventually gave up on trying to be Joe's friend as he got more aggressive. Our remaining cats love each other and are pretty much a team. I just wish that Joe could have been a part of that. It seemed like he wanted to be but was instinctually incapable of socialization. It always seemed to come down to a fight or separation.

This turned out to be a really bad thing, because when he wanted to be let into a closed room by himself, he would start a fight with the other boy cat, whom he was much bigger and stronger than. He seemed to know that this would get our attention, and he would get his way just so the other cat wouldn't get beat up. Joe was very much top cat and the other boy very much bottom of the three. Even when he didn't start it, he certainly finished it.

I haven't slept a full uninteruppted eight hours in a year. He would wake me up two to four times a night wanting various things or to be let in and out of certain rooms. We had other behavioral issues where we couldn't just let the cats have the run of the house. We couldn't put them together in a room because Joe would beat everyone else up.

Joe had a history of biting throughout his life, so finding him a suitable home was impossible. We would have been OK with three cats in the place we lived in if there were no issues, but with Joe there was no place to put him to get any sleep and to deal with his aggression.

After all this, I still loved him and found it very hard to let him go. We tried drugs, segregation and separation into territories, a "feline behavioralist", food and water in more and varied places (this was unfortunately not possible to do with the litter due to the way the place is set up), and hope. Mainly hope that he would mellow with age. The opposite ended up happening, and he became more aggressive, while paradoxically becoming somewhat more affectionate.

I had posted about this a couple of months on a forum I frequent when it became clear that we were reaching the end of our rope with him. Many people offered words of encouragement.

My wife had become too weak through illness over the last couple of years to fight him over pills anymore and, frankly, my attempts to give any cats pills, whether Joe or one of our other, far far more compliant cats, have been somewhere between disasterous and comical. I can't stress enough just how violent and agitated Joe became when you tried to give him a pill, trim his claws, or do anything that involved having bodily control over him. It was like having a wild animal in the house with far greater strength than the average domestic cat and attempting to corner him.

My wife and I are both off this week, so we decided it was probably the best time to let him go. I had known for quite some time that this needed to happen for the good of all involved. No matter what we did, Joe was just never entirely OK, from the time he was a kitten. My wife pointed out that a dog with similar behavior problems would have been put down long ago.

I guess this made it a little easier. I felt that I had been entrusted with a life, a troubled creature but one with a deeply loving soul, and that I had failed him. Maybe if I had stuck it out one more day, or one more month, things would have turned around and he would have mellowed out and not been so disruptive.

There it is right there. I'm feeling like I bagged on one of the best friends I've ever had because he was "disruptive". Many people with far more experience with cats than I have said it was the right thing, including the vet. But a huge part of me still feels like I failed him.

On the way to the vet, he was freaking out like he always did when caged. Thankfully, they gave us some time alone in a room with him to let him relax a bit. Joe was a good guy and did not deserve to spend his final moments in terror. They came in, took the top off the cage to get access to him without having their faces torn off, and gave him a tranquilizer. He slowly drifted off. I was rubbing his chin and scratching his cheek, letting him know that he was a good boy and that it was OK. After about 15 minutes, the vet came in and gave him the final shot, and it was over.

I was totally unprepared for the level of grief I am experiencing. As I type this, 13 hours have elapsed since Joe passed and I am a crying mess for the fifth or sixth time today. Several of the humans closest to me have passed away in the last 22 years (both parents within a year and several close friends who left far too soon) and I have spent hours at those points trying to cry and having nothing happen. With Brother Joe, this hasn't been an issue. I am getting 30 minute waves of intense emotion every couple of hours, after the initial two hours of being a non-functional crying mess. We spent most of the day out after that first couple of hours, and when we came home tonight, it felt incredibly empty, even with two cats who love us and were happy we were home. I'm sure that will pass, as these cats are our family and give us a great deal of love. But there is a big hole right now.

Tomorrow (or today at this point) we plan to take the opportunity to go through our photographs and celebrate the good times we had with Joe. We got a nice box to put photos in a while back and we will finally take them out of the envelopes and put them in the box, while listening to music and celebrating Joe's life. For all the problems we had, Joe brought a great deal of joy into our lives, and I'm better for having known him.

I love you Joe!!!!! You are a good boy!!! Please find me when I pass from this life into the next!!!! I'd be honored to spend part of the next life with you as I have been honored to know and love you in this one!!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Sanity... finally and spiders

ok how long was it that time... 12 days of hell I count. Because finally yesterday I started to feel better. 12 days where J. had to fear everything was gonna go to hell fast. 12 days where for me there was no sunshine there was no love there was nothing... I'm not saying it wasn't there but it wasn't getting thru'. I swear I hang on by my bleeding fingernails. Yes the job thing.... well now that I said to them fine if you donna want me I will go they are saying oh wait a min' we want you to stay. I don't want to, because my gut tells me this is not a good idea, but the reality is that I'm gonna have to just wait it out. If things get where I think they are gonna go then I will be fired or offered somekind of package and either way it will probably be better....not that I don't hate that but..... every month that I streach it out is another month that J. gets towards that education. And I have to do that... I have to streach it out like that. But I'm feeling much better about it then I was before. So it's all good.

I have for the past two days been getting bumps all over.... itchy red bumps not like a rash (not chicken pox either!). Everyone who sees it seems to think spider bit.... so now I'm really trying not to freak out but I am. Everyone that knows me knows what a bug freak I am. I hate them... if there is a Saten he is a big freaking BUG. Donna care about all that nature stuff... nature is fine outside not in my house. Gaaaaaakkkk bugs. AND it must be like a ton of baby ones because I must have like 40 bites all over my freaking body... and no it isn't fleas I checked the cats this morning.... could be chiggers but the californians that I've talked to donna think they know what chiggers are besides then why aren't the biting my hubby? IT must be G*ds way of teasing me because I'm debating Naamen the ex leper about the whole idea of the Trinty..... which I know is totally pointless but I still like doing it.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

WHY why why

Whine starts now...

I want more drugs I want more drugs I want them now. I want them I want them I want them now. I'm tired of being anxious and upset I'm tired of the self doubt I'm tired of feeling this crawling under my skin on and off. I want I want I want! This S**Ks eggs. I want my drugs. And they better never give them to me again.... NEVER... I can't keep doing this I just can't. I donna have it in me to want like this again and again and again. I hate this life I hate this world I hate those that have done this I hate myself for doing it. I hate being alone I hate being with someone I hate it all. I will not do this again I had better be well I had better never need it again... I still hurt ... I still don't feel right I still donno if it is the drugs wanting needing or if I'm sick with something else. I hate this I hate this I hate this.

I know that it takes time

I know that this depression I feel is only a passing thing. I know that I have a sprite that bounces high and low but it bounces. I know that when you've been on the hard core drugs and had all these health problems that it is perfectly normal to be depressed. ALL of that means nothing to me. I just feel the weight. I want the drugs. I want to stop being depressed. I want to feel ok again and I want it now. I know that I cannot possible find another job with this black cloud hanging over me... I always show on my face excatly how I feel. I know that I am not alone... yet of course the depression weighs upon me and I feel very alone indeed. I hate these times in my life. I swear I hate the lie that the depression tells me, about how ugly and horrible I am and how worthless I am. I hate how it makes the fear in my belly burn and the lethargic sleep take me. I know that it is only temporary. I know that I will not stay here for long.... but it is sooo long... it's already been more then a couple of weeks. Damnit... I was depressed without the job thing but that has made it all so much worse.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Out of my cold dead hands

I swear.... G*d must bang my head against the stone to make me let go of something. No to say I donna leave of my own accord often enough. So many people say to me to try and stay, to learn to work in a hard place, to not have to be friends with everyone...... but I just donna think that is my way. I need what I need. Yesterday it became even more clear, I swear I could hear as clear as crystal ... "you only have a month.... if you donna find a way out by then things are gonna get bad fast." Now I'm never one to lay the blame on someone else's head.... I surely played my part in the drama that is here. But I'm not one to know how to fix things.... and as I've said to others .... this a job to me... it is not my family, it is not my life calling, it is a job that I enjoy usually but still it's purpose is to make enough money to get by. I donna want to fight for it, I don't think a job should be that way. I want to come in and do a great job and then go home. I don't like money enough to give it my soul and I'm not educated enough that the giving of it would make a startling difference (although I like to think that my work plays a small part in making people's lives better). And for better or worse I'm bone tired, I've been doing this job for 7+ years now...5+ at the same co. and I know that for some that would not be alot and perhaps if for the last two I had not been so sick it would not be so bad for me, but it is and I'm bone tired deep. Still, at one time I loved this co., and there are days where I'm so proud of it I burst, so the giving up of it is hard hard. But it must be done. It is more like a gea then wanting. I must not be too scared that I donna move. I must, I must just go and move onwards. We have made it thru' before and the otherside was never too bad. We will get J. thru' school too. With only a year to go.... somehow I will make the money stretch out.