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, asĀ  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 TrainingĀ  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!