Tuesday, October 20, 2009

you never know. sometimes during a long dark night of the soul...you find another soul and you save each other.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

i nod at the working girls at the circle k before i head to get a gallon of the cheap sugar shit that if you water down enough tastes like soda after its been sitting out open all day in the rain...because that's what i can afford...because that's what we can all afford...even the dealers outside the cars in the drive through at the gyro place that just closed are having a hard time...

...and the 17 more letters that arrived today to remind me that the loans are all in default...

...and the 17 more letters that drive a stake through my heart and remind me of the anger and the pain...

...and the hospitals keep churning out more reminders that i haven't yet paid for everything they took and every abuse they laid upon me...

...and a little boy down in florida...

...a little boy down in florida at a hospital...

...down in florida at a hospital with bills already being printed...

...and there's nothing wrong with this place...

...and there's nothing wrong with this place, said the bitch the other day that said it's all our faults if we can't pay...

...and the funny thing is how much closer i am with a phd to the working girls at the circle k than i am to the scared sweet southern thing with the poison claws working at the bank...


...because she's no commie like the rest of us...

Monday, August 03, 2009

i should know who i am by now
i walk
the record stands somehow
the washington post did call and i told everything i could recall about my time spent with miller at virginia tech...thinking of winter
your name is the splinter inside me while i wait
what will happen to you? anything? the answer i fear to be true? nothing.and i remember the sound of your november downtown
and i remember the truth
and i finally told my truth to those brave enough to listen...and i don't have to stay this way
if only i would wake
i woke today...and the truth has set me free...at least on that record...[lyrics by joshua radin]

Friday, July 31, 2009

i suspected someone from the media would find it on google...5am [saturday] morning, [friday] night, far from sleep...after the walk of shame...i left when he'd passed out asleep...i'm still up and [walking], can't go home obviously...i drove hours through nearby west virginia after taking the walk of shame...it was me and a gun and a man on my back
and i sang holy holy as he buttoned down his pants
i'm not sure what i sang in my head that night but i remember doing the same...no gun...just overpowered...at least i think...hope...i'm still here...you can laugh,
it's kind of funny the things you think times like these
like i haven't seen barbados so i must get out of this
you think of anything but when it's happening to you...you have to...yes i wore a slinky red thing,
does that mean i should spread
for you, your friends, your father, mr. ed
actually i think i had jeans and a t-shirt...it was the beginning of grunge...and i know what this means, me and jesus a few years back
used to hang and he said its your choice babe,
just remember
i don't think that you'll be back in 3 days time
so you choose well
tell me what's right,
is it my right to be on my stomach of [name unknown] [dorm]
yes...i was always depressed...funny how you never see it in the ones it hits the most...i never attempted suicide...although the theme from *mash* says it's painless...and do you know [virginia]
where the biscuits are soft and sweet
these things go through your head
when there's a man on your back
and you're pushed flat on your stomach,
its not a classic cadillac
no it was a mattress on the floor but tori's story is not mine...there are always differences...me and a gun and a man on my back
but i haven't seen barbados
so i must get out of this
i haven't seen barbados
so I must get out of this
nor have i seen the pyramids, paris, tokyo, the antarctic, syria, south africa...so many other destinations in this world...it's not my time as the surgery that i went into cardiac arrest and then came back to live seems to have suggested...i must have more work to do in this life...[lyrics by tori amos]and in case you were wondering...it was no one any of you knew...and no one i knew...and if another person remembers our freshman year in the spring many months later...you said you could tell that was innocent and i said that i was not exactly innocent...and yet i was...i hope you never thought this was you...

and that's all the story i will tell you. there are far too many graphic descriptions of rape on the web and i surely don't want to find my story on a fetish rapist site...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

why can't we tell our stories online? is everyone afraid we'll break? or are they afraid they'll break? i don't care who knows what i write. i write because i want my truth to come out...it may not be the only *truth* out there but dammit...someone's gotta make the first step...anyway, if you just want to tell me that i'm unprofessional and/or telling too much...you don't have to read my posts. i'm an artist by nature...i tell my truth.

does it make you wince? does it make you wish you never knew? does it make you think? does it make you feel?
years ago i met with my first student with full on suicidal ideation. she wouldn't be the last...nor would she be the last student of mine that i tried to reach out to. i remembered that night when i learned that she's now ok, more than ok...i've been meaning to talk about it...it was my job...wasn't it? to be there for my students even if it gets deep? i was reprimanded numerous other times for re-directing a few other lost souls from the long dark night...and eventually i'd get fired three times because of "unprofessional conduct." but why is it unprofessional to offer a lifeline?

i got my teaching ratings packet from the spring class, you know...the one i was fired but "not fired fired" from? 4.0/5.0...my lowest scores ever but way higher than other people's best scores. the ratings system here is highly overrated. the main comments? all about how the department handled the situation, sticking them with another teacher in the last third of the class, and never explaining where i went. in other words...they wanted the truth. that job will always remain an enigma to me because i never really found out why they thought it was so unprofessional to try to get my student some help...i guess i'm in the wrong profession.

so talking to someone with a suicide plan goes a little something like this:step one you say we need to talk
(s)he walks you say sit down it's just a talk
(s)he smiles politely back at you
you stare politely right on through
some sort of window to your right
as (s)he goes left and you stay right
between the lines of fear and blame
you begin to wonder why you came
it's frustrating as hell because you have no idea if you are getting through and you sit for hours in silence because they don't trust you...why should they? i was part of the system therefore i was probably the one that they should trust the least...if they only knew you were there for them and not the system...that by being there, you are going against the system...and i would have stayed up with you all night

had i known how to save a life
but i did...so many times, with so many people all these years...but it's your first that will never leave you...it's the first that will scare the hell out of you...let h(er) know that you know best
cause after all you do know best
try to slip past h(er) defense
without granting innocence
lay down a list of what is wrong
the things you've told h(er) all along
and pray to god (s)he hears you
and pray to god (s)he hears you
i agreed to meet at an appointed time and when i couldn't find her and her door was locked i grabbed her roommate who had the keys...i then had the bottle in my hands, the empty bottle in my hands...calling 911...30 hours later the psych consult finally arrived at the hospital after the stomach pump...i called her family because the doctor didn't have time to do it...another system and their devotees...where did i go wrong, i lost a friend
somewhere along in the bitterness
after that? i was reprimanded and got the first of many letters in my file that would get me fired for doing the same thing over and over...saving a life...trying to...

but that first student would save another life that next year...i guess i'd taught her how to save a life...how to be open enough to feel the pain of others...to breathe it in and do the things that are human even when you know your job is part of the problem...break the rules anyway...it's the only way i know how to save a life...too bad the consequences are so high...but aren't they just as high if you just sat behind your desk, waiting to push the paper through so that the next person gets the memo stating that the student is in trouble, dated before the life was lost?

"we do everything we can" the choir sings...as they slam the door in your face and they begin to forget you were ever there...where did i go wrong? i lost...something.

[indented song lyrics by the fray]

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

it's really the failure of our higher learning institutions...why can't they figure out some damn way to safeguard personal information WHILE getting people help? sure, we have the *famous* university of illinois system where they make you go to counseling 4 times and even if you say nothing, it doesn't matter as long as you are physically in the room...and that sure (did not) stop(ped) c's student from slashing himself open at a convenience store late one night and the middle of the night phone calls to see if we were still alive when c was the only one who gave a damn and helped even after seeing how *useless* our system was after my experiences as a counselor in the dorms and as a teacher in the classrooms...pleased to meet you...and the illinois system? that did a lot of good as one of our students took a trip to NIU...my general physician told me today that he met the guy in town that ran the gun shop (now closed) that sold that guy his gun...it never showed in the database that he *might* not have been eligible to buy the gun...hope you guess my namethe two doctors keep telling me that i could not have known things would take the course the way that they did at virginia tech...i know...i know that...miller might have been outta there long ago but that might not have prevented what happened 20 years later...because NO ONE listened to the english department there...no one listened to me in housing, at the dean of students at illinois time after time. at least mine ended in my breaking the rules, losing my job(s), but not the lives i protected...and the university could sweep it all under the rug every damn time because at that point because "we have to look after the well being of our students and you've crossed the line that we are comfortable with." but then...wasn't i a student? ah yes...i was just a grad student cursed with seeing the pain all around me...but whats puzzling yousome expressed surprise but most have said *typical* when i said that absolutely nothing has been heard back from any channel...the media...the university...the state...
is the nature of my game
it is the nature of your game, university, to go no further than your convenient 8-4 jobs because GOD KNOWS no one ever does anything in the middle of the night...that's what we grad students were there for, only to be fired if we didn't call through the 90 chains of command before you can call 911...interestingly? cho chose the morning hours that day at tech...perhaps not as interesting given that's when he'd have the command of the institution at work...and miller, who had left the university the year before for private practice after getting transferred from the head of the counseling center to human resources...led the raid on norris hall that morning...where i'd had french classes there nearly two decades ago...i know the place well...or i knew what it looked like before cho entered it that day...

miller led the raid? as the doc said today...two years is plenty of time to doctor up some records...we may never know the truth...it was probably burned long ago...

[lyrics by the rolling stones]

Friday, July 24, 2009

...and for those that have asked, no, i don't mind if you read my blog past the one entry. i may have trust issues but this is something i've talked and counseled people about for years. so feel free to comment, read, write me, call tech...whatever you like. i put myself out there sometimes because if what i say can help someone in the same situation then what i've been through was worth talking about.
the thing about writing about something that's in the news in a blog sometimes gets you more attention than maybe you wanted when you first wrote the post. then again...did i mean not to say what i had to say? did i not mean to test the waters to see if i had the courage to write a less vague post...to see if i would call virginia tech, the virginia state police, and anyone else that might want to hear that dr. robert miller may have hurt people years and years before seung hui cho was even born or at least too young to be out of diapers?

i hesitate to write more but i have already had inquiries. and it was 5:30 ET when i woke up and knew that i had to write more.

most of us have heard the alarming statistics about rape. look them up if you want the numbers. google does exist despite some people's strange denial. but i'm not here to talk about google right now.

and yet.

and yet i am a statistic. i am a part of that statistic, that fellowship of women and men who have been raped. the details? do they matter now? should i now stand trial for what i never did back when i was 18...because let's face it...the prosecutor in far too many assault cases is viewed as the guilty party until they have proved themselves innocent...did they dress for it? did they lead the other person on?

etc. etc. etc.

i'm not proud of never reporting that. i'm not proud of not being brave enough to face the scrutiny. but i did seek out help later in my undergrad years....when the pain had become too much to bear...when every break up felt like rape all over again because i'd dared to trust someone else...scene:

[enter dr. miller, therapist at virginia tech, the year is 1991]

end scene.
yes. i was lucky enough to have dr. miller as my therapist. he was maybe the first person i'd ever told. i'm almost 100% sure of that. the thing was? he missed so many appointments that the trust i had in him when i finally could get the words out, especially the one he missed right after that with no explanation...no apologies...as if he never missed a step. after a few more misses, i had nothing more to say. why tell someone who is supposed to help anything else if they aren't going to show up?

i know. who hasn't skipped something or at least wanted to out of fear of getting too close to the truth? so after enough times of him skipping? i started to as well. why not? the trust bond had been broken...and that would be my only time i'd seek therapy seriously until 2002. and i'm not "all better" but i'm a damn bit better than i was and the acid in my stomach has started to fade away...

but i don't trust. i don't trust easily. people have told me that i'm a survivor now, not a victim. labels. there is truth to the statement that you have to move on. but there is also truth to the statement that until we get all the anger, the sadness, the self-doubt out...we can't move on.

the thing with dr. miller was...he broke the rules of a therapist by breaking the boundaries of therapy. while under his care, i was late (go figure) for my evil orchestration class and i parked in a faculty lot because i had one minute to get there and the professor was not cool with anyone walking in late. a pill bottle for some antibiotic fell out of my purse in my mad dash for the building and he happened to be pulling into the parking lot, saw it, stopped his car, told me i was parked in the wrong lot, i yelled that i was late and was going to get humiliated by that prof yet again...i turned around while running to the music building...i saw he picked up the bottle and put it in his briefcase.

did he dispose of it? who knows. probably. maybe. did he call or have someone else call that i had a half used prescription left behind? no. remember...hippa did not exist then. there were no rules preventing that. i had to go back to the health center to get another prescription. big deal.

but things got weird. i had my junior and senior recitals (i was a music major) all in the same year because i cannot do ANYTHING in the correct order or by the rules...i ran into dr. miller in the music wing when i was throwing my shit into my locker, running late for my radio show...he was in our section of the building...which was not his building and not a convenient way to get anywhere but to another exit out of the music section. i saw him. i tried to just nod and go. but he stopped me. he said he'd been to my recitals and that i was an incredibly gifted musician.

i think i might have said thanks but i ran up to the media wing and i am pretty sure i played the entire album of three different albums (yes...vinyl...) and didn't say a lot other than deal with an emergency broadcast test and do the station id on the top of the three long hours that day.

i never went back to him again. i never asked for another therapist. i figured that they all must be that way. until my heart was shattered in 2002...then i finally found someone who could help. or at least tries to even when i freeze up. do i trust anyone unconditionally? no. but i'm more aware of it now.

trust. trust broken first by rape...then by a the-rapist. am i a victim? am i a survivor? no. i think i just am...whatever that means. i try to catch myself when i stop trusting or can't trust...i have a long way to go. maybe that's my lot? maybe i'll never really be free of that. i can trust more. but it's hard. and yet i write this. but it was time. when i saw the nytimes update on my cell phone that named dr. miller as the doctor that had cho's record, i almost passed out. i've thrown up.

what will cho's records show? did dr. miller skip appointments with him too? did he care?

do i believe he *accidentally* took them home along with a few other records? no. no, i really don't. his lawyer's statement says that he did and *just* now found them. i'd like to think that cho got miller's attention. but i don't know how much miller changed. was he going to write a book of interesting cases? did he really not remember anything about those records in his home until they were magically found the other day? did the name not jog something in his memory AT ALL? even if it was just what he could remember without the record? how many records did he have? 5 other students? 50? 5000? if it was more like 5...i doubt he could have forgotten that he saw cho as part of a court mandated therapy program. and how many post involuntary psychiatric hold court mandated therapy sessions does the average therapist at a college get? nothing jogged his memory at all?

the important thing? he went to my recitals. why remember me? as i said...after that i never saw him as a therapist again...i realized i wouldn't get anywhere with a someone paying half (or less) attention or skipping sessions. but he remembered me. he followed me. and he didn't remember cho? not for a second?

no. we are not perfect. none of us are. but my head pounds...i want to scream...i want to tell you...anyone reading this...that 16 years before the virginia tech massacre, something wasn't quite right. did i turn out to be a serial killer? no. was something damaged? yes. did i report it? no. why? i knew others who saw him. same thing. did any of us say anything? no. why? because what could we have said? if you visit crazytown even for the shortest length of time, even just to talk, even just to hear that things were not your fault or at least not entirely your fault...you lose. i had said something to a med doctor at tech that i didn't think that the counseling center did much and i just got that look. if you've spent any time in crazytown, you know that look. it's the look that says...right...ok, well, you're crazy since you were so weak that you couldn't deal with your life yourself that i'm going to dismiss whatever you say...not listening...not listening...not...



will i call today? yes. 32 people were killed...33 if you include cho who turned the gun on himself. am i saying cho wasn't responsible for his actions? no. but dr. miller? what do you think? what do you think of what he did? did you do all you could do? what about those triage therapists who had no records (10 pages??? that's all he wrote?) to go by and nothing but an *unremarkable* psych evaluation despite the english department's warnings...

ah...but hippa existed by then. that misunderstood law. if you try to get a student help and you aren't a therapist (and even if you are there are restrictions)...YOU are in the wrong. i've been down that path before. i'm half convinced that a large part of my hatred of the university of illinois is because i have been on that same side as tech's english department...there is nothing you can do...and you can even lose your job...more than once."...teacher? what's my lesson? look right through me...look right through me....mad world."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

oh dr. miller...seriously? you took the records home by accident? kind of like how you accidentally went to my junior and senior recitals and then found me in the music building before graduation and brought it up in public? you weren't allowed to be there nor did i say anything about it. not that you'd been in your office ever...why so many appointments canceled with no explanation. no apologies. no demands?

precrime. could we have stopped him...all of us who saw dr. miller 20 years ago? would they have listened? would they have cared?

the failure of the institution and the weakness of its' subjects...time after time...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

an iranian friend of the family invited me and my parents to eat a homecooked iranian meal tomorrow night that is good for health! that was really nice of her to invite us...i'm not awake too much these days but i figure i should go with anything that has the chance of healing me, right?

chris should be coming soon now that the grant writing is over...he was trying to get a grant in before the deadline but he didn't make it in time after months of working exhaustively...and i felt like it's all my fault because if i wasn't sick, he would have been able to finish it...instead he spent every night at the hospital sleeping (a.k.a. not sleeping as they woke me/us up every hour for blood tests, etc) on a cot for weeks...and he did all my wound care...and my dad asked me about the grant last night and i burst into tears because he did all that because he loves me and i feel so grateful but my heart broke that he couldn't get what he wanted because i want everything in the world for him and it seems that nothing is fair...for anyone i know right now...

then? my therapist may be dying. yeah, the guy that basically saved my life when everything came crashing down that summer of 2002...the man who has talked to me about life and death all these months...and he didn't want to tell me but he couldn't avoid it when he said he had to take a month off...he has advanced prostate cancer...how is that fair? this man who has given his life to helping people...

my friend mark? his father is dying and i can't help worry about him. mark is my partner in crime in the game accessibility movement (see ablegamers.com) and we struggle to keep our non-profit afloat and i want to use that fundraising/sales background of mine but i'm too sick...i'm too sick to help...at least i can write papers and proposals to help get the word out about gamers with disabilities who deserve to have fun just like everyone does...fun does not have to be an exclusive club...and i feel a little better but i wish i could do more right now...

i know...i have to focus on getting myself well...but this is so frustrating...it's been so long...too long...i have to hang in there...see this recovery through...

but some days i just want to curl up and cry...and most days i do a little of that every day...not for me...just for how unfair everything is...i know...no one ever said life was fair...

Monday, June 29, 2009

call me patient 8. that's what the FDA does, thanks to my allergy to that chemical used in surgery. patients 1-6 died. we're not sure what patient 7 is up to but according to the company that makes it...it has no known allergic reactions...well, except for those death and near death ones the FDA has now confirmed. i'd say that i was in the "top ten" but there aren't ten of us yet but you can bet that there's gonna be a patient record pulling bonanza soon for surgical patients who died soon after surgery where that chemical was used.

i was going to write a longer blog but that's all i have in me for now. next time i'll tell you about the stop payment check "joke," gauze-gate, and now today? Sterile q-tip gate.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

ok. so the blood wasn't bad enough to see (thanks gravity!). no...my vanity decided to walk in the room at the same time and it was the first time i'd seen myself standing up without the bandages...oh my fucking god. so i did what i do best these days...cried.

i mean it's vanity. i know that. pure and simple. but, wow...i mean i'm doing my best to cope with all kinds of shit from all directions and what makes me finally break down is seeing the scars and the unhealed everything with every bandage off, blood pouring down because, well, i was vertical (nearly went horizontal when things got a little cloudy for a sec).

sure, maybe you'd say that it was a normal response to everything i've been through in the last...well, OVER a month now. i mean who wants to see a preview of what things are gonna look like when the bandages come off for good when the surgical incision closes and i stop bleeding (stigmata!)? maybe i'll keep the bandage covering on for a few years.

but that's not going to help with the rest of it...my head is spinning and i want to crawl into a hole...and i HATE email. just so you know.

Monday, June 08, 2009

social media is really out of control...seriously. i just want to write old school letters and forget that people want to snipe you every chance that they get. i mean i'm sick. i almost died. i did die for a minute. i'm asking for common courtesy and all i get back is why i am an evil person. really? am i really that bad?

no. it's not from everyone. it's really from people i don't even know and have never actually met. i mean i guess they can be sick but if i say i am...forget it. they go after me like vultures. and you know what they say if you think this is about you? most people reading my blog know that i'm probably not likely talking about them. i just don't have time to react to people who are spoiled brats...not personally anyway. it just goes into a special file in my brain that's titled "seriously?"

i'm really tired. and i really hurt. and thank GOD that there have been people reaching out to me to ask if i'm doing ok, can we help you...or i'd probably be very very sad right now...because i'd probably have lost my faith in a lot right about now. i am blessed, i am lucky that this is not the case at all. for the first time in my life i can reach out and old and new friends have been helping and i'm amazingly moved...because i don't know why they do it...yes, that's a reflection on my own dark past and not them...i'm just proud to know that the world isn't as cold as some others have been treating me...

Saturday, June 06, 2009

no matter what i say...it's wrong. i'm not trying to hurt anyone...really i'm not. i just am having a hard time recovering...it's not just the recovering bit...it's just how slow and how much it hurts...and i have flashbacks to the hospital...and i cannot believe i was strong enough to not break down into an anxiety attack...as alison always says...you do what you need to do. she would know for sure after all her battles with the med treatments she's had to go through.

chris is my knight in shining armor. i just am amazed by him. i guess that's a statement on so many other things in my past. but it's not just that. he has so much to do and yet he slept in the hospital every night on a cot in my room because he knew i would be scared...for 15 days. he even did some down and back trips to champaign to get stuff but he always came right back that day. i don't need a ring or a document or anything to know what we have...i don't need that outward display of anything...i don't have the words to express how thankful i am that he is who he is. as the surgeon said...as everyone says...he's a keeper. i already knew that a long time ago...

Friday, June 05, 2009

i can't remember any white light or dark shadows or any other ideas about dying temporarily. then again, i was under a pretty damn powerful anesthetic...maybe big pharma has outdone any possibility of seeing any previews of the next place...or maybe...

i wish i could curl up into the fetal position but i can't. it hurts too much to be in any position but one. i don't know why or how but the pain is getting worse and it's only making me more frustrated, mad...something...the doc said that i really don't need to top myself each time i come in with what's happened since last month...but seriously it only gets crazier and crazier and now i'm just crying at the drop of a hat when i think about what happened...when i flash back to everything that happened at the hospital. did i really go through all that?

six months of intense pain entered in order to get away from the pain...i know it doesn't seem like a logical thing to do...but i couldn't live the way that i lived for so long any longer. but i'm not yet convinced that this choice was anything more than "other" pain...the devil you know versus the devil you don't. it's hard to stay strong...it's hard not to panic...it's hard to breathe...

if by 40...that number gets closer and closer...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

i should start blogging again...i have too much to say for facebook, WAY too many characters to say it in stupid twitter...i just want to blog/journal whether or not i have readers or not.

so i hurt. the open part of the incision will probably hurt for 2-4 more weeks...more painkillers...i just want to be free of it all. i thought, earlier, that chris was in the office when the tears started streaming down my face but he was around the corner and saw me crying...it's every bit of movement, every breath, every sneeze, laugh, tear...it all brings in the pain and it makes me so frustrated with my body...so frail...rehab is in the near future to get my muscles moving better once i can leave bed rest...my weight is 10 pounds under where it was before the surgery (even with the sidebar of having gained 35 pounds of fluids during my two weeks in the hospital...lost it all plus ten more. not sure i needed that extra ten to go though...but i'm glad that i lost the 35 fluid pounds! how did i do it? laid around in bed reading and watching tv with my feet propped up on some pillows. i know...it was tough but i did it. lol.

i'll write more about this but i'm still trying to figure out how this whole "dead for under a minute" thing makes me feel...did i go anywhere? is there anything out there? and what does that make returning to this place, to this heaven and hell mean?

Saturday, February 07, 2009

sometimes i forget about this. matt reminded me of it when he told me tonight that he was titling his sunday sermon tomorrow after the title of the blog. i'm ready to stop being sick, i'm tired of inaction, i'm tired of being so still...frozen in time. what am i waiting for? oh year...to recover...from not just the surgery but all the years of pain. will i find heaven here on this earth? or more of the same hell? it's what we make of it. and i'm through with hell even if it's for the shortest of time...