ISOFaithfulandTrue: as precious as a Ruby

It is written that wisdom is as precious as rubies and I found a gleaming gem today. I remembered Ruby and how I noticed him because he had the best topline I had ever personally seen on a horse. I did not know a thing about him or his owner, but I wanted to find out.

I was like a new gym-goer starting to lift weights who noticed an Olympic lifter and wanting to know how he trained to get there. So, I hung out at the gym/ring and watched.

His rider would spend most of their time walking Ruby and doing various moves while walking and her father was her ground person, and gave her feedback. I gradually found out bits about them but I was not there to insert myself into their training, but to learn by watching and observing.

Well, it was no accident that Ruby had that dancer’s physique. He was an upper level dressage horse and his rider had been on her way to the Pan American Games in the past, I believe, when tragedy struck. She was a Grand Prix level dressage rider and was clearly an artist.

Eventually, I would ride during when she rode. She came out in the evening when others were gone. I purposely stayed late to watch. I really treasure those times now.

A Ruby dropped into my world tonight as I was thrilled with Mel and our ride. He reached down for the bit and walked out, but with true relaxation. It was the first time in a long time riding outside because he had had issues with his feet and the rocks outside and anywhere but the indoor ring. The gem appeared after I had watched some of a dressage show today. I enjoyed it most when the horses had a stretchy trot and walk, where they reach down for the bit with a very long rein stretching to meet the bit and make contact. Then, I wondered if Mel would be up to the task today.

When he had his last saddle fit, our instructor asked if Mel could ever be on a long rein. I said, some days, if he is in the space to handle it. Not that day, though, because he was barely holding it together and was filled with tension, as all kinds of things were going on and he’d been laid up for two months. She just had me get on him and we were the picture of tension–both of us, but we got the job done. He picked his saddle and did not act out at all. BALANCE saddles are chosen by the horse as to which he or she likes best and Mel made his choice very clearly known. I could feel it without a doubt. He moved completely differently. Mission accomplished–his time off had been in part because his saddle no longer fit him properly and it turned out that a used one with just the specifications that he preferred was available in Florida.

Life is quite interesting with Melness, whose registered name is Splendid High. Following what I need to do to take care of him has brought me to some great places and people.

Today I did not get to drop off the piece of tack that I planned to at that show, but I came back to Mel after being a spectator. Ruby trained extensively at the walk and I only recalled it after reflecting on my ride on Mel tonight.

Some say that watching dressage is like watching paint dry, but that does not ring true for me at all. I like watching horses move. I just do. Ruby was like watching Nijinsky.

As I have said before, getting an ex-racehorse to really relax with a rider on him is one of the biggest thrills of my life. Today Mel nailed it completely as he lifted his back and still remained at ease because I did not have to use leg to get him to lift his back and carry himself (and me) because of using the TTouch Balance Rein. It still is strange for me to ride with that Balance Rein. I do not have complete trust of it but I keep using it because I can see how well it works. Mel seems to really enjoy it as well.

That is a gem for me, to accept the things I cannot change and change the things I can. Wisdom is knowing the difference and truly feeling the difference.  When I get off of him and can see literally that his back remains lifted more than it ever was before, I know. I understand and am grateful that the Great Spirit gave his Splendid High-ness some serenity today in answer to prayer–and, I was granted some wisdom to know the difference. I truly knew how much it meant for him to find peace with a rider because that did not happen with his jockeys. He raced for ten years and excelled but he would have rather raced without a jockey, I am quite sure.

Now a Power greater than ourselves teaches us both to release tension through a perpetual prayer, “In the Name of Jesus Christ, peace be still, peace be still, peace be still, peace be still” repeated over and over and over again…” That is our practice–I say it and we both live it, by the grace of God, and I knew that He answered my prayer and goal that I one day be able to ride with the Faithful and True. He has to be in my heart in order for that to ever manifest; and He said, the kingdom of heaven is within you. I ride with Him when He reigns in my heart, and my ego is dethroned. I pray that He takes the reins always because He is truly the Prince of Peace and it takes His intercession for us to have serenity at all…Thank You, Lord!

 

 

ISOFaithfulandTrue: On a Splendid High 7-15-18

In “Saddle Solace,” a great article on equines helping combat veterans, the Marine Matt Littrell, who rode across American on his Mustang Crow, gave his take on why horses help rehabilitate veterans. “Combat is the world’s greatest high,” he says in the Western Horseman article. “You’ll never feel more alive that when you’re about to die. You hear and see everything. When guys get back, they chase that level of high. They drive fast cars, party hard and do drugs. But horses give you a different kind of lasting high. The reward doesn’t come from going fast and crazy. It’s from getting a horse to soften and relax.”

That was the Splendid High moment I had tonight, thanks be to a Power greater than ourselves. I have said before that one of the greatest thrills in life for me is to get an ex-racehorse to relax with a rider on him. I am very grateful Linda Tellington-Jones for her invention of the TTouch Balance Rein, which helps equines relax and lift their backs. Tonight we had what for me is an ultimate reward: after liberty work on the ground beforehand where he trotted next to me as I ran beside him with no coercion, he then relaxed with me astride as he lifted his back and stretched his neck down.

As the song says, I was “16 hands closer to Heaven”–on a horse appropriately named Splendid High, who is the best medicine ever for post-traumatic stress disorder. I am grateful to the Creator of this force of nature, in whom the Great Spirit resides and teaches me what the real prize in life is. To us, riding for the Prince of Peace and striving to be centered in His Peace is all…and He helps us as I ride praying the holy rosary recorded on my phone.

I had a midsummer night’s dream-come-true of becoming a “stable nun” who finds Him in the manger of our hearts at peace with Him. Thank You, O Holy Ghost, for teaching us tonight and bringing all things to our remembrance whatsoever He taught us. You are indeed the Great Spirit in Nature who can train us and is…Thank You, and thank you St. Kateri, whom I believe has interceded for us, as well, as the patron saint of horsewomen and a devotee of the holy rosary also. We are grateful! May we ride to glorify Him always…

 

 

ISOFaithfulandTrue: 50 Shades of Rage Redirected

A man of God brought me a new direction and I knew it was of the Holy Spirit. I have learned how to bridle my tongue in this matter, but now the power of the wordpress is unleashed here.

I have been praying to be able to work and now I have an assignment but it is not a paid one and may never be of benefit to me personally, financially. Why would I do it, then?

My madness is being redirected even as Hercules diverted a river to cleanse the Augean stables. I have been a poor steward of what I was left.

Part of me has avoided this confrontation for years in so many way. I would far rather not take up this fight, but the upright, righteous man delivered to me my marching orders. I know exactly where they came from, too: the Faithful and True.

He showed up in my life through this man’s wife first. She is truly a Godsend as well, and they are a powerfully anointed couple.

I have to pray that God raises up an advocate who will take up the cause that I have been totally powerless to advance myself. It may be of no benefit to me but would help those who have no ability to even try to do what I have attempted, but failed at miserably.

I have not been able to get the legally required accounting from my brother, the trustee of my Special Needs Trust. My mother passed on in 2008 and he has been trustee since then.

I have spent countless hours in recent days trying to go through and retrieve every single scrap of receipt in order to be reimbursed and it has not been easy at all. My brain injury makes the task very difficult indeed. That is my issue, but I am not legally required to submit these, as he is on his end. He has never submitted the receipts and he is a master at projecting what he is doing onto me.

I literally do not know what I was left in my inheritance. My parents’ house was in one of the most exclusive zip codes in the world. I know what it sold for only because I googled it. I have been shown a spreadsheet from the trustee but it is not third party verified and he has a lifelong history of prevarication and worse.

So my saga is not one that draws much response from anyone and I accept that. Who cares about trust funds babies when the State cannot pay for fighting fires? I completely understand that reality. It is now my mission to find someone who will advance legislation to give protections to trusts for disabled persons who have no recourse and may be moneychanged out of their temples by others with impunity and may even lose their lives through neglect or worse. I was classified as a gifted child and even with my now compromised brain, I still have retained a skill set for phoning and writing people. I worked as a health reporter and was successful at it with my injury but I lived in a real mess of my own making then and had sub par computer skills as well.

After calling countless agencies, politicians, attorneys, disability advocates of various types, I still have no ability to get done what my psychiatrist said I needed to do: hold my brother to account. I may never be able to do so. It may be impossible and even my excellent attorney has not been able to do so either. He has said that the laws need to be changed and my case is the worst of its kind he has seen and he is a gentleman with a long, storied career in this field.

I may well have the Bernie Madoff of Special Needs Trustees. I cannot say for sure because I do not know the facts, nor may I ever. What I do know is that there are developmentally disabled people out there who are being abused and neglected and they have not even the slightest ability to try doing what I have attempted and failed repeatedly to do.

So, since this is an election year, I have an advantage. It is not possible for me to do. I have tried. Now what I have to do is pray to have someone raised up by the Lord. I will make my case on my blog and it will be a public record and I am better able to make my case in writing than verbally. The truth is, I have little faith I can get this done. That is a sad fact of which I am not proud. I know that the Lord cares and I think He has tried to get many people to do this but they have not cared to do so. Why would they now? I cannot say, in truth, except I have this righteous man and his wife and they are prayer warriors and where two or more are gathered in His Name, He is in the midst of them.

My equine partner who is a  service animal legally, whose name is Splendid High aka Mel and I will pray for it, too. It matters greatly to him because he would be gone and sold long ago if my brother had had his way. He came into my life for a reason and one reason is to defeat my ego. In truth it is my ego that would rather be a long-suffering fake saint than an advocate who can be seen as a real bitch. I use that word advisedly.

I do not have a particularly glowing personality nor am I person people desire to spend time with on daily basis. I understand that is my own deficit and I accept that because it is my issue not the world’s. There is a reason for it. It may make this task impossible but I have to keep trying until the end of my life, no matter what. That is something I have to do.

When I was an intern at Classroom Computer Learning Magazine in college, my editor said that when she gave me an assignment I was like a dog with a bone that would not let go until I completed it. Yes, a female dog with dogged determination. I was never rude there, I was just professionally  polite and I had a phone presence that got things done. So, that is my task and I have no idea how it will turn out, except I will be humbled by seeing that what I could not do, another can easily do for others. It won’t be for me. I was ready to throw in the towel and just let him slide to get rid of having to deal with him and have him out of my life completely forever. No such luck! I still have the wretched task of complying with every single perverse demand in order to have some of the bills paid. Sobeit. It will just be a running tab showing how bad it can get for someone who was in graduate school at Stanford. I had a full fellowship to Stanford Graduate School in Communications (print journalism) but had to withdraw from that program due to my psychiatric hospitalization, but I did complete the Mass Media Institute at Stanford for what it’s worth. So I have much more ability to call someone to account than most disabled people, as that is what I am trained to do.

I know I am supposed to love my brother and I confess I really do not anymore. I just don’t. That is my problem, I know and I will be judged for it. The best I can do is just accept that he is the way he is and there is nothing I can do about it. He is free to do whatever he wants with his life because I cannot make him do anything and never will be able to either. He gets to try to completely destroy my life and my recovery. He has tried everything but I am sure he has more tricks up his sleeve to try yet. Now the best I can do is just accept his maliciousness and move on. I do forgive him completely.  I do.

I can honestly say that, and I love this about him: his opposition to my recovery has been like a swimming against a riptide every day, and because I did not drown, I have now become a stronger swimmer. So, that I do love about him. It has given me a mission, too. His opposition has strengthened me. I want to learn never to be like him. Ever. He is free to be himself and I get to be different–or try.

Most developmentally disabled people I have met have really big hearts and far better work ethics than I do. They really are better human beings than I. They love most everyone unconditionally. So, I will learn to have to humble myself and beg on behalf of others more deserving and hopefully it will build character I do not have.

So, help me, God!

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Happy Birthday Angel Jack–River Island!

Today River Island, known as Jack, would be 16 years old, and I am so grateful he came into my life! He was the being on earth who brought the greatest healing to me and he took his job of facilitating my recovery very seriously indeed.

He is not done with me yet, for sure. I have not been able to do what I thought would bring justice to him and his friends and their memory, yet evidently my ideas were insufficient (of course!). Getting money or apologies does not guarantee recovery at all. Indeed, I have had it drilled into my consciousness over and over and over again that it is resentment that brings me back to my addictions. If I really care about Jack and what he did for me, then I will strive for complete and total recovery and nothing less. That means complete and total forgiveness for anyone and everyone who caused him harm whether intentional or not. If I were to pass away tonight, could I know that I accomplished that mission? Yes, by His Grace, I can.

If my time was up tonight could I face my Maker and be free of trying to get some kind of justice myself? Yes, I can, thank goodness.

I lost my recovery that terrible day and others did what they thought they had to do to cope also. They needed a scapegoat and that is that. Some hit the bottle hard and did not let up. That example may have led to one dying in the disease of addiction later on. I do not know for sure and it is not for me to judge, in truth. All I know is that I have had a chance to take many personal inventories and given many confessions, and though I still cannot say I am at all at peace with what transpired that awful day, I have diligently sought to get my side of the street clean, so to speak.

I wish that instead of trying to convince others to stop the premonitions I had, I had instead turned to a Power greater than myself to avert the catastrophe by the power of the most holy rosary, as Out Lady of Good Help did in the Peshtigo fire disaster. That would have required my being able to be on site to pray though, and I was forbidden to be there.

April 23 is St. George’s Day and he slays the dragon who demands sacrifice of the innocent to gain access to water. I like to visualize St. George riding River Island now and doing away with the enemy within me of my ego and its desire to get even. The only way to truly win is say adios to the ego permanently and it is the addiction to the human ego which I have been taught is the ultimate addiction. My ego is not my amigo as the recovery saying goes, and my true conscience is my truest friend, as the guardian angel of my recovery.

Thank God today for you River Island, as you helped Splendid High settle down and be at peace as we rode in honor of your birthday, repeating over and over again “In the Name of Jesus Christ, peace be still, peace be still, peace be still, peace be still; in the Name of Jesus Christ, peace be still…” The nearby Stillwater River flows and moves swiftly yet there is still a calming purpose to it. Finding poetry in mellifluous motion was our tribute to you today River Island…Thank you!

Chasing Freedom: ISOFaithfulandTrue

Tomorrow I begin a new Daniel Fast for a Financial Breakthrough. One time when I did one, I had a budget of $50 for the month for food and the LORD came through. I was able to pay for my equine partner’s supplements and necessities and got through the 21 day fast of water and vegetable-based foods because I had bulk beans and brown rice. On the 21st day, I had a small windfall of a few unexpected dollars which got me through the rest of the month.

I also was able to make hundreds of dollars in credit card payments, which I was happy to do. Financial guru Dave Ramsey would scold me, but I do not regret it one bit. The money in my Special Needs Trust is there to pay all of the debts in full today, but the trustee has other plans for it. It simply must sit there in the account, unproductively, as proof of his total inability to carry out the duties of being a trustee. Thank goodness this is an election year and those running for office are eager to want to show they care for their constituents. It may take some time, but the trustee will be held accountable. Of that I am sure.

I consider J.P. Morgan Chase to be better than family and I am Chasing Freedom and they are backing me…I hope to inspire a campaign for Chase extending credit to domestic violence victims so they can Chase their freedom, as well. Dave Ramsey really has no plan for them, as far as I can see, and Chase could save lives.

When you have to leave an abusive situation, time is of the essence. The abuser often has strict control of the finances as a way to assert control and power. It can be a matter of life or death to just up and leave. I had to when I left an ex many years ago. I became homeless, but I was alive. A kind policeman showed me a mug shot of him having spent over a month in jail for beating his mother. That’s when I said, this is beyond me, I am gone forever.

A mother with children who need food and diapers and shelter could make wise use of credit to escape the bondage of the abuser and build a new life and her own credit. This is part of why I wanted to study copywriting. I think Chase would be perfect for such a campaign.

What I am going through is merely financial abuse of an elder and disabled person, from what I have been told. I do not have children. I just have a Service Animal whose veterinary bill the trustee has not paid, I just found out. As my Vocational Rehabilitation counselor previously said, he knows that your horse is your therapy and it is like you are a diabetic and he refuses to pay for the insulin. So, I have contacted Chase and will contact AmEx and First Interstate and get this bill paid myself. Because I was willing to only spend $50 on food and pay my cards when the trustee would not, I am still chasing freedom from the untrustworthy trustee. I still have some credit. And this will be admissible in court as a record.

I cannot wait to see how the LORD God will come through once again through the Daniel Fast. I am thrilled to see it all unfold…

ISOFaithfulandTrue–the blog: in memory of Carol Brett

“We put bits in the horse’s mouths that they may obey us

And we turn about their whole bodies

So is the tongue a little member and boasteth great things”

From the Fulmer bit in Splendid High’s mouth

To the Zenith on his back

And the cavesson for lungeing him

Carol Brett in inextricably bound in

With my life with my Splendid High partner, known as Mel

She dubbed him “Mellifluous” because his gaits flow as smoothly as honey

He is Doctor Mellifluous to me, as a Saint Bernard rescue dog it to a stranded traveler

And I would never have met him if it weren’t for Carol Brett.

She taught at a clinic and advocated for my being able to attend

And stood up for me when all the town believed the calumny.

Carol Brett is my heroine and will always be so.

Because of what she taught me, I did not blame another’s horse for throwing me

And fracturing three ribs

Because he had an ill-fitting saddle and a sore back

And I refused all pain pills and continued to do the remedial training with Mel

Wearing a rib belt

My doctor said I was the only person he knew who got through broken ribs without any

pain medication

Carol Brett was and is my heroine

I knew that I had the pain for a reason and I would not forget it

And now I know I will never again ride a horse who does not have a saddle which does not fit properly

because Carol Brett is my heroine

She has passed on, but she lives on in every horse who has had a lighter load

And less ego to carry

A burden lifted

Because Carol Brett is a heroine to all horses for all times

And I miss her terribly

And want to do her memory justice

But I cannot

So I dream of riding Mel in a BALANCE Western Saddle

in Western Dressage classes

With that Fulmer bit, if only I could bridle my own tongue

And use it to teach what she taught

But no one can.

She is irreplaceable

And she is riding with the Faithful and True now

in His Army as St. George slays the dragon

of the ego-centered Death Rider

Who only thinks of herself and her wants

And Carol Brett is all of our heroine

In the cause for humans to become humankind.

I bow to her heart and pray that we carry on somehow.

From the depths of our being, Mel and I are grieving our loss

and the world’s.

Our life is held in the BALANCE by the golden thread of the life

That is Carol Brett’s

Together with her life partner Lesley, they birthed a better way

for equestrians.

May the tapestry and the artistry never die

And I pray that Mel and I do justice to her legacy somehow

As we dance together for the star that is Carol

As her guardian angel carries on, inspiring us forever

teaching us through the Spirit of Truth which is

the wholeness she now knows

free of dis-ease and embraced by the Comforter

because she was a heroine to true horsemen

and she lives on as our conscience to do right by the horse

and listen and have empathy

for all creatures great and small

Goodbye dear friend.

We love you forever.

Love,

His Royal Mellifluous Splendid Highness and his imperfect caretaker, Caroline, in service to the Queen of Peace as Her servants–the only one who can teach us now that our only riding teacher and trainer has passed on

 

 

ISOFaithfulandTrue: Training for the Blue Zone Prize

If I desire to have my equine partner and I live in a “Blue Zone” of health and longevity, then what must I do? The Blue Zones are those places on Earth where people live the longest and healthiest lives.

I have found a way to heal my brain injury and the program cost just $5.95 as an ebook, although I have the basic equipment from when all in the United States were given stimulus money to help the economy. I thought very carefully how I would invest it. At the time I had a sleep disorder, too, so I bought the HeartMath program for sound sleep. I would love if the original investment would enable me to pay income taxes and contribute to the economy. I will be using that emWave (which was included in the sleep program) for the new training.

I am sold on trying HeartMath’s protocol for brain training. as some have used it to recover from brain injuries. There are actual studies cited, as  well.

When people say, why did this have to happen to me, I like to say, Why not me? I am more likely to try this than the average person and if it works, then I have a real testimony to share, as many suffer from brain disorders of various kinds. My first journalism professor used to always say, “no experience is ever lost upon a writer.”

This will take some work, but until I can gain more neuro functioning sufficient to have reasonable tech-mastery, I am treading water. I can read and I can write but much more than that on these devices is beyond me.

Well, I am not supposed to have the recovery from dual disorders of psychiatric illness and addictions to the extent I do have. Neuroscientist Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson, PhD. says the statistics are really grim of those who are obese getting to a right sized body–only 1%–and it is even a smaller fraction of that 1% who keep the weight off for years. So, I am unusual. Some would say, strange, and I will concede that assessment. It also gives me a life experience that few have and that can yet be valuable in my re-training, possibly.

For now, I am grateful that I have a professional runner to train me in enduring: Splendid High, known as Mel, had a 10 year racing career. He will trot next to me while I run as we did briefly today before I rode him. He was such a splendid version of himself, I got off of him as soon as he offered the relaxed, rhythmical trot I was looking for as he reached for the bit. This is what Col. Podhajsky teaches: if your equine partner does a really nice job of responding to what you are asking, dismount immediately as a reward. We were in the Zone, for today, and that made my day.

The only Blue Zone in the United States is in Loma Linda, California which is a Seventh Day Adventist city. They keep the Sabbath on Saturday and I have begun to give Mel Saturdays off recently, instead of Sundays. It brings me back to my roots as a Messianic Jew. Today, I am very grateful to have a partner on this adventure of pursuing healthy longevity with Melness…I know Our Lady had a hand in it because today is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and I had given my daily quota of rosaries before getting on him. Maybe we were training for Her Blue Army of recovery…I pray that is the case…

ISOFaithfulandTrue: A Rewarding Day

Today I needed to get to the stable before the sun rose in order to deal with Mel’s water. He had a pile of snow and ice drop down from the roof onto his back when he was drinking at the waterer and since then refused to drink there again. I filled buckets instead and also decided I would train him to not be afraid of the area through the positive reinforcement training fellow-boarders Sarah Shipman and Sarah Kenyon taught us. If he would take a step forward towards the waterer to eat his grain or hay, I would click and reward him with a carrot or the feed itself. I was not at all sure how long this would take, as he would not go anywhere near it yesterday. I knew that if I forced him to get close to it with strong-arming him in any way, it would only make things worse. As a person with post-traumatic stress disorder, I understand that places where bad things happen to me trigger a stress response even if I know that the same thing is unlikely to occur there again.

In my case, the Catholic Church can ellicit that response because that is where my disability began with being sexually abused by a priest. For my equine partner who is legally a service animal in the State of Montana, he does not understand that the snow dump on him is not because he drank at the waterer, he just is–or was–sure that if he went near it, he would be bombed by snow again.

We got very close to it today with his grain (actually, really alfalfa and timothy pellets with ground flax and herbal supplements and Sea Meal as well as some cooked brown rice and miso). We were very, very close indeed and he was relaxed and at ease as he ate. I was having him approach the waterer from the side so he was not next to the building. Having him snow-bombed again would not be good at all. I wanted him to have a good, positive experience being close to the water and learn to associate it with enjoyable things.

Just as I myself was coming very close to being completely alright with being in Church, this whole debacle of Pope Francis and his treatment of sex abuse survivors in Chile set me back quite a bit. I cannot say where that all will go, but I know this for sure: I do not want to decompensate and have to be hospitalized, which the State would have to pay for, which is not at all fair. Also, Mel would negatively impacted as well and he is teaching me how to trust again, so that is not fair either. I am striving to be retrained in some area but have run into my brain injury from ECTs (shock treatments) and am not sure how long that will take to overcome so I can be effective with technology as I have to be now. Reading and writing I can do–beyond that, I do not have anything like tech-mastery at all yet.

One of the strategies to heal brain injuries is physical work and exercise as well as prayer and meditation, which studies have shown to enhance neuroplasticity. All along, the Faithful and True knew how healing equines are for me–and for many.

I took Splendid High, known as Mel, out for a walk in his pasture to see if he could handle the footing now. He did just great now that the ice is buried in deep snow. Just about that time, his neighbors, the two black and white Walker mares Duchess and Poco, decided to break out of their place and go see him. Mel adores them, and mares, in general. Those two were like adoring fans crashing the barriers to see their favorite rock star. His Splendid Highness ate it up. They were running around and he was acting like an equine peacock strutting his stuff.

I texted Kelli and Matt at the Ranch that they were loose because I had heard horror stories of those two mares running around refusing to be caught. Well, it turned out that after I put Mel back in his place he was so excited, he ran past the waterer under the roof just to run around and perform for his mare entourage. I guess that was the motivation he needed to get over his “PTSD” and be healed of his phobia.

Fortunately, the truant mares remembered I carried carrots with me at all times as rewards and I told them if they let me catch them they would have plenty. I had in the past taught them both that if I said, “back” and they backed up, I would give them a carrot and they learned that well. They used to charge at Mel when I’d lead him out and I was not fond of either Mel avoiding them by pushing me over or him getting bitten, so I “trained” them to listen to my command “back.” I learned this from Cynthia Royal, the trainer who trained her horse who played Shadowfax in Lord of the Rings movies. I have her DVD set and try to apply what she teaches.

I was able to catch them both fairly quickly (also thanks to the Mother of Mercy answering my prayers). The experience made me realize that rewards are indeed a greater motivator than fear of punishment. Duchess is a very large mare and not afraid of much anyway. It took me some time to get her to mind me–to back for me–but I never laid a hand on her in punishment. I just would not give her anything at all–I would ignore her, as the Sarahs taught me is a negative punishment–in other words, instead of doing something to punish them, I just withheld something they wanted. That’s all. It really irked Duchess because she felt entitled to the carrot. Tough luck! Her royal highness would not get it, unless she behaved. Now, this I did before I learned of the policy not to feed other horses treats. Now, usually if I need to do something regarding her, I will give her some of Mel’s hay as a reward rather than carrots, which are treats.

I even decided to use some similar tricks to teach Diesel the Ranch cat to eat the new food he is getting to combat his obesity. He did not want to eat it and I could not force him to do it. I was worried that his not eating was going to cause him liver problems and had scheduled another vet exam for him. Then I saw he would eat the regular cat food. So, I decided to put him in the cat carrier with his food until he ate it. Well, he was not thrilled with that but he has learned eventually to eat it all up. At first, he would not eat it all, so I would let him out. Then, he would cry for food, so I would put him back in the carrier. He learned to eat it and he is losing weight. I was sure he was going to call the animal cruelty officers to have me arrested and Kelli heard him growling and said “is that Diesel? He’s pissed!”

Yes he was, but he got over it. And now I know he’s eating the 1/2 cup prescribed for him by the vet–not the kitten, Premium, who gladly would eat it for him. Now I cannot say it is truly positive reward because I did have to push him into the carrier. I was not sure he’d ever speak to me again, but he is fine. He is a very, very good natured cat, fortunately.

Mel showed me that his love of his “fans” will override his phobias and he is now outside next to them again because his feet are fine on the snow. There is a lesson in all of this for me, as well. If I love the Faithful and True enough, I can do whatever it is He wants me to do. I just have to trust Him. He got me into the Church and He had His reasons and whatever they are or were, they can be fulfilled if I stick with Him and His Holy Mother and the rosary. Whatever they decide to do or not to do in the Vatican is up to them. “As for me and my house (and horse), we will serve the LORD…” striving to be a “stable nun” in recovery rather than locked into madness. So help me God, as You put this stressed, depressed patient on a horse named “Splendid High.” It’s been quite a ride indeed and if I have to be stuffed into a confession booth weekly, sobeit…If You have something else in mind, I am alright with that, too, in Your taming of this shrew–a Messianic Jew–who is one of the stiff-necked generation. Whatever it takes O LORD to do that which pleases You most…

ISOFaithfulandTrue: Confession and Direction

Today the Lord got me to confession and it was wonderful, as it always has been before. My rage will only consume me if I let it and it won’t bring about change and healing for myself and others. Yet at the same time, I remembered this quote from Fr. Heilman’s Basic Training  manual: “Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are anger and courage. Anger that things are the way they are. Courage to make them the way they ought to be.” So, my anger can be transformed by the power of the Surrender Rosary into courage to turn it over to Our Lady of Good Remedy and do something that is constructive. I have some insight about something I can do to effect positive change–thank goodness…

ISO:TheFaithfulandTrue: Letting Go of Expectations

Since Splendid High’s birthday, we have both been in a frenetic state. I know well enough by now that my burdens affect him. A lot is going on and he knows it.

I have a choice, I now realize. I can continue on with my Vocational Rehabilitation or slide back into the state of victimhood from whence there is no escape, nor hope of healing.

The Catholic Church does not want to hear from those of us who have been abused by their fallen priests. They do not want to address the issue because it is painful and they have no answers, seemingly. Either they do not have answers or they have them and are not applying them.

The fact that the diocese here is in bankruptcy because of fallen priests seems not to be of great concern. I was told that in the town I live, a woman who was asked about the now-deceased priest accused of sexually abusing a girl in this town, refused to hear of the girl’s plight and defended the priest, saying, “well he’s not here to defend himself.”

I see why those victims now want their day in court. I truly do. Maybe it would be a good thing for local Catholics to hear the testimonies given in a court of law under oath about what happened to the victims. If it will help the victims, I am all for it.

So, my case is even more inconvenient because the Archdiocese of San Francisco paid for 6 months of therapy for me and they would never have done it unless they knew my claim was valid.

I become quite triggered by anything Catholic these days–not the saints or the Lord or the rosary, but anything having to do with the Church hierarchy itself. So, out of compassion for the government which has helped me through my disability which began with the priest abuse when I was 17, I really owe it to become well and productive. One thing for sure is that if I go into an episode where I have to be hospitalized over this, the Catholic Church will certainly not pay. It will end up being the government who pays and how fair is that? It is not fair at all.

I got through college on scholarships and loans and grants. My parents paid for my books. The way I got through was when I had to be hospitalized, I would drop for the semester and restart the next semester. That works for school, but not for the world of work.

I had three years without an episode at the end of my undergraduate years and if I had not thought that would have continued, I would never have applied for grad school. When I received the full fellowship to Stanford in the Master’s program in print journalism, my father was stern with me, saying, “you better get your financial aid form in!” That was all he would say. I wasn’t asking him to pay. I had a full-ride fellowship. It was one of the greatest moments of my life–to receive that award. He was not happy though.

So, I went into an episode at the start of grad school–not because I was scared but because I was so elated and my mood escalated to the point of no-return and eventually I had to be hospitalized. I was asked to withdraw and reapply. If I had diabetes or was in a car accident, it would have been different, but it was not. So, I did not get back in, not surprisingly, because they’d seen me at my worst.

What I did was apply for the summer intensive Mass Media Institute which was supposed to be training for the field and was where Ted Koppel was trained. I finished that even though I had to go to the hospital after my interview with the mentor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Joan Baez. In retrospect I can see that the one-on-one intimacy of an interview brought up issues from my past which I had not yet confronted and would not for years.

My first job after finishing there at Stanford was with the Millbrae Sun, a small weekly near the San Francisco Airport. I loved the job and they were very happy with my work. Then the sports editor started hitting on me. He was married and I was in no way interested but I still went into an episode and quit because I could not write when I was in that state. The publisher told me I would never work in the field again. I did not tell him about my illness. I just quit before I somehow made a spectacle of myself.

So, this is not an ideal field for me–or it was not. I did fine when working briefly for the Billings Outpost, with a few exceptions, but I bottomed out after 9-11 and watching the news non-stop of the planes flying into buildings and people jumping out of them too. I became so depressed that my speech was so slowed down that my doctor thought I was about ready to fall asleep. I told him, no, I am not at all tired. My brain is so slowed down from the depression that it looks like I am going to fall asleep. I said, that is why I cannot work as a reporter like this. If you think it looks like I am falling asleep, how effective can I be as a reporter? (I often interviewed doctors, as I was a health reporter.)

So, instead of trying to go back to a field where even the best reporters are being let go and the industry is in free-fall, my plan was to become a licensed addictions counselor because that is one field where having dual disorders of addictions and mental illness is an asset rather than a liability.

The reality is that people truly do not want me to tell them what to do about their addictions. They just do not. That is a fact. I am in the less than a fraction of 1% who have been obese and become normal weight and kept it off for some time but others are really not interested in learning what I do or how I do it. I honor that. I am not interested in forcing people to listen to me or be around me at all. I just am not.

Enter the Thoroughbreds, whose huge hearts are healing beyond compare…I have a chance to do some kind of work because of them–River Island aka Jack and now Splendid High aka Mel. I have been told to write and now maybe I can see a way to be a professional Mad Woman–not like the Mad Men who do corporate advertising but rather as a copywriter for a cause.

We’ll see, because my going nuts over the Vatican and the Church’s treatment of victims is not doing justice to this blessed government which has kept me alive over the years. The next hurdle for me is to heal from the brain injury from electroconvulsive treatments (shock treatments) but I am heartened that my computer decided to work today. My brain has a really tough time wrapping itself around learning computer functions, even though in college I interned at Classroom Computer Learning Magazine and did well there.

I have been in decent recovery from my dual disorder as evidenced by the fact I have not totally decompensated from my brother’s attempts to destroy everything positive in my life–including demanding that I sell Mel. So, it is just this next hurdle, and if I find a way to heal brain trauma, as I have found how to heal PTSD, then that ought to be very valuable to to U.S. Armed Forces. This is what I do: I live like a monk and study health and healing and apply what I have learned to heal. It takes many, many hours each day to be in recovery for me, but it is totally worth it.

I owe it to this country to stand down in my battle to get the Church to do what is right. If I can actually recover, then that may be the best thing I can do for other victims. Right now, it is just a really bad thing for my recovery to have much to do at all with the Catholic Church. It is just one giant trigger for my illness. I need to focus on finding people who have recovered from what these priests are addicted to and I have a lead on someone who has–in a book–but not from the Church.

Splendid High needs me not to be an “Al-Anon” with the Vatican–which has the highest per-capita consumption of wine of any country according to a report I read. I am not in the Al-Anon fellowship because they do not allow members to say the name of Jesus in meetings (or Buddha or any other name of any religious figure–and that is a worldwide stance). People who go crazy trying to control alcoholics can be far crazier than alcoholics–and far sicker, too. It is a spiritual sickness of trying to play God. I cannot go there. Fixing what’s broken at the Vatican will take the Lord Himself and that is way, way out of my league. I need to just back off. I can write some about it, but ought not to expect anyone will care. As my Vocational Rehabilitation counselor said, I ought to let go of all expectations.

I need to just focus on recovery not on the disaster that is the very real consequence of fallen priests. I would like to report on recovery as a charitable work. For a paying job, maybe copywriting is the way to go. Today I am grateful that my computer decided to work after having just a black screen for days with only the cursor showing. To me, this is a miracle because getting it fixed would have meant the Geek Squad making a trip for $100 just for the mileage to do the long-distance travel and then the time it would take to fix would add up to an extremely burdensome expense. Maybe I ought to take a cue from this computer. I shut it down completely for a few days, retrying it again just to see.

Maybe I need the down time away from the institution that still supports the predator who disabled me and another teenage girl, but feels no need to support our healing. That is alright. I forgive them because I was taught about forgiveness by Elizabeth Clare Prophet and she taught me to say the rosary and to accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I will heal with the tools she taught me because I do know Him–because she cared to teach me and so many others. By God’s grace I will not lose faith in Him because of what is done in His Name and I will move on and have no expectations that the Vatican will do the right thing.

Thank You Lord, for helping me to move on towards recovery by striving to be a “stable nun” in the non-denominational Order of the Holy Child, seeking you in the manger of hearts. Thank You for training us, O Faithful and True, to “Run For God” during this time when I have not been fit to ride because my attitude stank and You worked through Mel to show me I needed to run again. Mel likes to trot next to me while at liberty when I run. He has been training me by being my running partner and I am grateful. Sometimes running away from what is abusive is the best thing for recovery. Thank You for that lesson O Lord! I will “run with patience the race that is set before us” out of abuse and onto the path of recovery, so help me, God!