In Defense of Nature: Pressing the Societal Reset Button

In Defense of Nature:  Pressing the Societal Reset Button

Tonight I have felt an overwhelming need to protect Nature.  To shorten a lengthy tale, let me get right to it: the state that I live in, South Carolina, recently sprayed a poison from the sky via planes, and killed millions of bees.  MILLIONS.

Sometimes I feel as if the human species has become a plague upon the planet. If you stop to think about that for statement for awhile, you won’t need me to list all the reasons why I believe this.

As a species, I believe we need to grow…back into basic mammals of the Earth.  I believe that we need to start learning from our past– and PRESS THE BIG RED RESET BUTTON.

Think of how terrifying that would be– a complete and total reset of the way you have learned to live.  A way of life that was passed down to you from your parents and their parents.  A life where everything comes packaged and easily accessible.  A life where you don’t even have to grow your own food anymore– you just buy it in plastic containment.

Many “what if” theories come to mind, here.  What if there were no more petroleum?  What if the transfer trucks stopped driving? What if all things electronic ceased to operate?— forever!?!?.  Panic would merge with the streets.  I imagine that the sky in this fictitious setting would turn red and purple with the collective human rage.  Imagine the energy of such a world– where we actually have to “do for ourselves.”  Where we aren’t taken care of by the society we have built for ourselves.  Where we have returned to nature, as mammals of the Earth.

This thought– of Humans being “of” the Earth again… intrigues me.  I want this life.  I think it is beautiful and simplistic– the way it should be.  We have “went and got ourselves into a big ol’ Hurry.”  ME ME ME!!!! NOW NOW NOW!!!!  ZIP!  ZAP!  This is the energy of our current population.  We seem to have forgotten how to just “be.”  To be in the Now.

I daydream of living in an earthen home someday.  I see myself walking around singing, sweeping the floors– all nice and witchy like.  I envision sitting outside of our home, built entirely from the Earth, watching our boys experience nature.  I most definitely see this man of mine roasting meat over the open flame of the firepit. This is a sort of goal of mine, to live this life.  It is what I have set my heart and intention toward.  It is going to happen.

I have written a lot, lately, on Ye Olde Facebook, about how I have hung my hope on a Non Profit organization that I’m working with called “The Sustaining Universal Needs Foundation” or, SUN for short.  I see this Non Profit as a way to work together with my community toward the greater good.  The greater good being, in preserving a natural way of life.  Of learning methods of farming that will soon be forgotten and replaced with styrofoam containers of chemically processed vegetables.  Our elders are dying… and they are taking a lot of what many deem to be “useless” knowledge with them.  Cobblers are scarce.  Farming is foreign.  This is a huge problem.  HOW, as a human species, have we gotten to the point to where we don’t even know how to FEED OURSELVES anymore?  Sheesh.  It makes me shiver to think about.

We have become a processed product of the life our parents, our ancestors have built for us.  They believed it was a better way.  They believed it was right, the way we live on this Earth.  “Burn fuel.” “Don’t worry about cooking dinner, buy one.”  “Why make it when you can buy it?” “I don’t have to know when to plant vegetables so that I don’t go hungry– that’s what the store is for.” These are the messages we have received since our infancy.  They’re wrong.  They’re terribly wrong.  We need a RESET.  We need a Preservation.  We need it now.  NOW is the time to make the change.  Blessed are they who still care this strongly about protecting the Earth.  What if these important ones were no more?  What if we just stopped caring about our Biosphere?  Our Planet?

I fear that we have passed a critical point in our existence.

I feel a need to prepare myself and my family, our children, for how I believe the world will be for their generation:  Lack of Fossil Fuel Energy. Unexplained Illnesses. Mass Chaos and Panic.

Something big is coming.  I feel it in my soul.  It is going to alter our society– quickly, and without due warning– yet, for the better.

What can I do about it?  Well, that’s why I mentioned SUN.  That’s where I’m going to hang my hat for awhile.  I wear many hats, believe me.  I work about 6 different types of jobs as a photographer, homemaker, artist wife and Mother.  Some of these hats (roles/jobs), I will never fully take off.  I’ll just stack a top hat over a beret if need be. The SUN hat, however, I have taken on and off for about 2 years now.  Now, I see the value in the hat, and I’m going to proudly display it for the community around me.

SUN has plans to build what we’re calling a “Sustainability Theme Park” in my hometown of Inman, SC. I have compared it to Williamsburg, Virginia– where a Colonial Style Theme Park exists.  Most people in this area have been to visit Williamsburg, so its a good way to set the tone for our idea.  SUN employees will not be walking around in period style costumes (or will they?), but they will be there to educate and represent the common goal of building a resilient community for the City of Inman.  We hope to a blacksmith you could visit at our Park.  A cobbler too!  Maybe there’s a petting zoo, or a little playground, or both.  Perhaps you could take basket weaving lessons, or learn how to split bamboo…all in one day!  There will be classes, clubs, courses, speakers, events, celebrations, and teachers.

SUN is not about SUN.  It is about helping communities to come together to learn from and preserve (to sustain) the universal needs that are important for a thriving civilization.  Food.  Shelter.  Water.  Energy.   There’s a few important things to learn about as a human– and learn we must.

On Saturday, September 24, 2016, SUN is going to set up a bright yellow tent in the middle of Main Street, Inman SC.  We are going to display a bright yellow geodesic dome, and have photo examples of natural and alternate forms of housing.  We’ll even have an electric scooter, heirloom seeds, balloons for the kids, handmade sandwich wraps and more.  This year, we decided to go SUN or bust.  We went all in and decided to help sponsor The Inman Harvest Day Festival.  We are a “Tractor” sponsorship level :)  I suppose that means we are there to help get things moving– and that’s exactly what we plan to do.

We are going to attempt to raise money for SUN at our festival booth, so that we may hire a grant writer in the future.  We are going to search for land in the Inman area and we are going to bring tourists to a fading town.  A large majority of the buildings in downtown Inman, where the festival takes place, are vacant and falling into disrepair.  We believe that SUN will bring in tourists, and provide a need for businesses to fill those old buildings. Sometimes I daydream that SUN Headquarters will form inside of one of those ancient beauties (they’re old– and I love them).  Inman is just the beginning.  The idea and method of SUN is designed to spread, much like awareness and positive change should.

We are going all in.  It’s go time. We’re bringing in our big yellow moving truck. Now is the time for change.

I’m ready to protect the greater good.  I’m ready to take a stand for Nature.  Are you?

If you’d like to know more about SUN, visit our website at:

Godspeed, fellow humans.  Protect yourselves.  I am thankful that I have this Non-Profit to cling to in this time of change.


Slow Down your Mind. Be Wild! Put down your “phone”


walking wild tiger

I have gotten so used to solving dilemmas that I have forgotten, at times, how to slow down. One thing that Motherhood has taught me is that it is a necessity for me to spend time alone from time to time. If I don’t take care of myself by being able to do whatever I want uninterrupted for a reasonable amount of time, I start to feel overwhelmed…and at times, a little resentful that I don’t have space when I need it. (I’m working on that)
I have been gifting myself time alone as of late. I NEVER did this for myself before…and I’ll tell you, it almost drove me insane. I find that long, relaxing baths do the trick to slow me down. To make me take care of myself. My body seems at ease in a bath. If I had a stream out in my backyard deep enough to submerge my body in, I’d be out there too.

I choose a different essential oil (therapeutics) each time I bathe. Sometimes I mix scents. The scent, and the knowledge of how each oil is medicinal soothe me. They relax my body. They slow my mind. They have healed my skin tremendously.  I have stopped drinking much alcohol at all. This has helped my skin too. (If you’re wondering why I’m talking so much about the health of my skin, catch up by reading my other blog posts about Dyshidrotic Eczema).

I have been having difficulties with accepting technology lately. I have been feeling like it is becoming an addiction to use a device on a daily basis. I’ll admit that it is mostly my I-Phone which causes this issue. I made a decision to switch from a cell phone with no internet and texting abilities to an I-phone. My husband and I made this leap together. I have had an I-Phone for 6 months. I told myself that I would write an article about the difference in my mind after making the switch. Well, here it is.

The Butterchurn Blog is essentially my journal. I’m allowing you to read my journal, in a sense…because I am typing my direct thoughts here to share with the world. I’m having an online conversation with both you, and myself. I have thought A LOT lately about this online space. Do I really need it? Is it helping anyone? Do I really need to be posting my personal issues onto the internet? The thoughts that came out of my mind as I went through all of the stages of grief over the issues that I have been dealing with over the past year or so… The anger, the pain, the sorrow, the self-loathing, the misery. I’ve written about the depths of my soul here at The Butterchurn. I have been there and back. I was in a very low stage of existence for quite some time. I was healing myself. I did it. I dealt with many of my life’s major issues:

My Father’s Suicide

My Mother’s Abandonment and possible Narcissism (rage issues: emotional abuse)

Those were two big ones that I dealt with during the same time frame. I list them on their own, because I feel they were pretty difficult walls to break through. I am proud of myself for being able to survive the misery they have caused me.

I stopped dying my hair. It is salt and peppered, and crazy cool like the band Salt-N-Peppa. It’s great. I love to see people’s reactions to it. Somehow I find that people see me to be wiser than I am. I have accepted that it makes me look older than I am…but that it is somehow representative of my mind. Sometimes I question it, yes.  Some days I feel old and crone like, yes.  But mostly I embrace it.

Now, be warned…I’m going to say a lot of good things about myself in ‘this here space’ on ye olde’ internet. I want to be very clear that at all times I am constantly checking my own Ego. I was, after all, raised by a Narcissist. (yeah, I brought that back up…still healing, learning and growing…) I do not speak highly of myself here to come from a place of ego…it is more that I am finally coming from a place of self love. Really…think what you will if you think that’s a bad thing. We should all love ourselves. We should all love others. We should not place judgement on others. When we place judgement on others, we should look into ourselves to analyze why what the other person did bothered us…Why did we judge them?


I’ve been doing a lot of self-discovery lately. Lots of psychology going on in my mind. I am feeling my own self worth. I am really getting to know myself, and in doing so, I’m able to be free to be me. Allowing myself to love myself has helped my skin to heal as well.

Anyhow, I’m going to talk about my hair now. My blog. My mind. My thoughts.— MINE!!!!!


So, I’m 34 years old. I have a lot of grey/silver hairs that I let be silver. My hair is representative of my state of mind. My state of mind as of late, has been to be sure to take care of myself and to remember that I’m free to be me. I also see these silver hairs as a trophy of sorts. I have been through some wild life experiences. Some painful ones. My hair has grieved with me. Perhaps that’s the cause. Who knows? Genetics are said to play a part in hair color. Why is it a bad thing for a woman of any age to not dye her hair. I’m not digging this social norm…so yes, my hair is also a statement piece. I refuse to conform to the program. That’s about what it is saying, if it could talk, that is.

bored tiger

I have talked about my hair color for so long to get to this point… “I’m not digging this social norm” could be said about my hair, as well as social media. I have had an Iphone for six months. My phone used to stay in my purse. Most of the time I never heard it ring. People would text me and I wouldn’t see it until hours later. I was untethered. Now, I’m pretty much on a leash. In fact, my I-phone is sitting just to my left, for easy access if needed. I see a problem developing here… How can I be FREE to be ME when I’m tethered to a digital device? This is considered to be a normal thing. This is the social norm I’m talking about. We are tethered to our devices. We use them to take photos, record memories, look at our calendars, listen to music, respond to messages, send messages, research, write, talk to friends, read articles, look at beautiful photos, watch funny videos, make funny videos, record ourselves on video, record our children on video, take photos of our children, take photos of ourselves, take photos of everyone we meet which we have befriended…the “Phone” is not just a phone.  It is a device.  A mini computer.

mr tiger

I mean, I get it. It’s a fun world. It just frightens me a bit, because I’m such a naturalist at times. I prefer to be completely free and untethered and usually outside. I just read a book to our boys entitled “Mr. Tiger Goes Wild” by Peter Brown.  I have already returned the book to the library, so I can’t quote its message exactly…but I’ll do my best to relay to you what I took away from the story.

The book, “Mr. Tiger Goes Wild” is about a tiger who gets tired of walking upright and acting proper and being just like everyone else. Mr. Tiger wants to be free. He knows he is different.  He stops play, playing along… He stops wearing his hat “GASP! But we all wear hats!” He doesn’t care for small talk, so he roars instead “HOW RUDE!”, He stops walking on two legs “That’s not the way it’s done!!” He stops wearing CLOTHES! “ AHHHHHH Gross!!!!” and eventually his friends get tired of seeing how wild he is being, because they are embarrassed by him and his actions.  They tell him to go into the woods and act that way if he wants to, but that he shouldn’t do it in the city. They tell him to go away because he makes them uncomfortable.  He makes them question themselves.



Meanwhile Mr. Tiger goes, naked, into The Nature of the Jungle, that is just outside of the city (and society) where he has spent his life. He gets to do whatever he wants there, outside, with the plants and insects and amphibians and reptiles and other creatures who live there. No one is there to watch him or see him, because all of the other mammals are living in buildings in the city. He goes wild. He swims, he plays, he roars, he chases, he leaps, he sings, he plays…


but he eventually gets lonely and bored and starved for interaction with other mammals.


While Mr. Tiger was away, his friends began to miss him. They started feeling bad that Mr. Tiger, now “Tiger” had left because they told him to. They had been thinking a lot about the way Mr. Tiger had acted. Thankfully Tiger came back to the city. He decided to wear the costume they all wanted him to be in so that they would be comfortable with him and accept him. They welcomed him home, a bit free of their guilt over the way they had treated him.


When Tiger looked around, he could see that things had changed since he had been away…animals were walking around on FOUR LEGS! (Yes! That’s the natural way for animals walk!), People were not wearing HATS! (That’s ok! We don’t all have to).

Overtime, the consciousness of the animals grew collectively. They began to accept each other. Tiger eventually became dude-like, and decided to wear comfortable shorts and a floral, fun shirt. He was really loving life.

the dude

I hope that our Human Animal Society can take a clue from Mr. Tiger and his friends. The collective minds of the people of the United States (which is the society that I’m a part of) is indeed growing. Our Nation has voted to accept homosexuality. We, the people have begun to stand up (again) against racists. We are becoming accepting of all colors of skin and all nationalities. We grow and learn together, as a nation.  I can only hope that we may learn to treat each other with more respect to our differences.

Sometimes (Okay…OFTEN) I dream about being like Mr. Tiger. I dream of going into nature, away from others to be free of the expected societal norms. To be different. To be the change. Being free of technology is a part of this change I’m talking about. I don’t know if I want to have an I-phone any longer, sometimes. Then I realize that it is essentially a mini lap top that I’m traveling with. It helps guide me around, it answers my questions…and I interact with my co-workers through it. So…I feel as if I’m trapped to this side of things when it comes to the quest to be free. How can I be free if I have to be tethered to this device. How could I make money, friends and a difference in my society without it? It seems to be an important tool for our generation. Especially for the entrepreneurs out there… the dreamers. I suppose I have had to accept the fact that technological change has benefited me in many ways. Without the I-phone, I would probably not be as successful as I seem to be becoming in my life.

Since I’ve had this device, I’ve become a business woman. I now have a series of jobs. I write articles, conduct interviews and produce photo and video for The 29349 Inman Times Online. I am a freelance photographer for The Spartanburg Herald Journal. I often use my device to help me on the job. It has become my tool.

The problem with owning this device has become the addicting world of Facebook, but I’ll save that topic of conversation for another blog. I have vowed to myself that I am going to write more. I have been writing a lot, actually…but not here. I’ve been putting pen to paper. I can write much faster here, so chances are I’ll be back soon. I’ll be writing, somewhere… either online or in the old fashioned, natural way.

Thanks for being here. Please leave a comment about how this ‘article’ made you feel. What did it make you think about? I’d appreciate your input. I’m going to be writing more articles, because that’s part of what I’m paid to do now. This is good. I believe that writing more will be good for my soul.  Maybe I’ll write more outside…happy tiger


not perfectly fine



My itching, oozing, weeping, open wounded, dry, scaly, flaky, cracking eczema Hands: A lament

My itching, oozing, weeping, open wounded, dry, scaly, flaky, cracking eczema Hands: A lament

In the past, I have written about and mentioned “my hands.”   For the past two years, I have suffered from an onslaught of what the medical profession calls, “Dyshidrotic Eczema.” I call it “torture” or “The Beast.” When I’m having an “outbreak”, my hands are practically useless. Do you have any idea what it is like to not be able to use your hands? Some of you, who may suffer from this ailment will have no problem answering with a resounding, “YES. I DO know what that is like.” Some of you reading this who may suffer from much worse ailments than I am about to write about…please forgive me if my plight seems trivial to you. There are many, many worse things that could have happened to me or could happen to me in the future. I am well aware of that. Please, however, remember that I am describing what ails me. I have a healthy perspective that it could “always be worse.” However, there is no reason for me to not tell my story simply because there are worse tales to tell. I personally believe my tale to be pretty horrible. I’m not stuck on that negativity any more…but this story needs to be told. This post will be therapeutic for me. My hope is that it will also help my fellow suffers of this disease/ailment.

Let’s begin with a brief description of my fingers: Cracking, oozing, bleeding, popping, rash covered, itching, fluid filled, crusty, sausage-like. When this disease first began, it was centralized to my fingers. Then it spread across the top of my hands, into the creases of my elbows, up my arms and across my chest. It also affected my right eyelid.

Next, let’s include a few pictures. They aren’t great…but remember, I couldn’t use my hands…so holding an electronic device with oozing fingers covered in coconut oil wasn’t great idea. Documenting them at their worst (this time), however, was important to me. I knew that one day they would heal, even though through the worst of it, it felt hopeless. I wanted to die.  I lost all faith in myself. I just wanted to be able to interact with my world.

IMG_3238 IMG_3240 IMG_3235 IMG_3237 IMG_3327 IMG_3328 IMG_3326 IMG_3362 IMG_3364 IMG_3472 IMG_3469 IMG_3470 IMG_3471

I wore gloves so that I wouldn’t scratch open my blisters. I wore gloves so that I wouldn’t have to see my hands. I wore gloves to attempt to keep my sanity intact. I wore gloves so that I would feel normal. I wore gloves…so that I wouldn’t grease the doors, door knobs, refrigerator, dryer, washer, dishwasher, bed, chairs, blankets… etc, etc, etc, of our home.

I am really upset with how allopathic medicine has failed to do much research about eczema. Eczema is like Cancer, in that no one can really give a definite, scientific answer as to WHY it happens…WHERE it comes from. It is a mystery. In a set of previous blogs that I have written about my skin and Dyshidrotic Eczema, I have seen a resounding number of fellow suffers mention that they believe that this disorder begins in the gut. I am highly interested in this theory, although I have not yet tested it out myself. The GAPS diet keeps appearing in discussions about DE. “Heal the gut, heal your skin” is repeated. Take probiotics. Take vitamins. Use this lotion, not that one. Don’t eat this. Drink this, not this. At this point in my life, my hands are in “remission” so I am trying to do all I can to NOT focus on my skin as much as I was forced to in the past when they were in outbreak stage. It seems that when my hands start getting bad, I instantly begin attempting to find a cure for myself. When my hands are manageable, I try to live life at its fullest. Perhaps I should keep putting positive energy for a cure into my daily regiment…but frankly, it is exhausting to constantly think about the “what if’s, maybe I could’s, should I not’s, I could change“…and on and on. So now, I’m going to tell you what I have done in the past. I’m going to relay to you my trials and errors. Before I begin, however, I must relay to you that I believe that this ailment is not only caused by problems in the gut. I believe that it is also caused by problems in the mind.

When our second son was born, it was magical. I gave birth to him naturally in a tub of tepid water. My husband and two midwifes were there to witness his birth. He was born “in the caul.” Well, not fully in the caul, but he had a little magic cap upon his entrance into the world. The first few months were great, but then we began having trouble with breastfeeding. He cried, oh man did he cry…it was painful to hear, especially to a new Mother. Nothing I could do would stop the crying. It was torturous. We were never given a medical reason for his cries, other than he was a very vocal child and that he probably had colic. My hands/skin responded with a fight or flight response. I felt helpless. My hands became mannequin hands. I couldn’t bend my fingers. I doused them in steroid cremes, but they didn’t help. Then I had steroid withdrawals, and red skin syndrome. This experience caused me to be terrified of steroids. It also made me a bit crazy.

So…where to turn next? The internet, I suppose. I found Plantain. I began going out into our yard to make plantain poultices. It DID work well for me, but the blisters kept on coming. I still recommend plantain. I began using coconut oil as a moisturizer. Then I found a product called, “Elta Tar.” It seemed to keep the blisters at bay and calm the itching, but then one day I read the fine print on the container while I was soaking my hands in the product and read that it had been known to Cause cancer. WTF. Great. I returned to the coconut oil.

Next I tried Magnesium Oil. It was VERY painful to place on my hands, because there was ALWAYS an open wound. I couldn’t handle it. It did stop the itching…but only because the itching was replaced by stinging and pain. I returned to using only coconut oil.

I decided to make a trip to the allergist. The dermatologist had only prescribed steroid cremes that made it worse, so I was afraid of him/sterioids. The allergist ordered a prick test for allergies, performed on my back. It came back that I was allergic to 21 out of the 60 things I was tested for. I stopped eating everything that I tested positive for, including cow’s milk products (cheese!), chicken, turkey, fish, egg whites, strawberries, garlic, oats…

Then I tried Apple Cider Vinegar Soaks. This type of pain was worse than childbirth. It was excrutiating to put open wounds into vinegar. What was I thinking? Well, if you are a fellow sufferer, you know that you’ll try ANYTHING. I spoke out loud to my husband that the pain and stinging was better than itching all the time. Better than ripping my skin apart with my withering, receeding, wavy and wrinkled barely-there fingernails. I tried petroleum jelly and non-petroleum jelly for moisturizer. I cringed as I touched my demonic hands. Nothing was helping.

Near the end of my last outbreak, I was regularly wearing black cotton gloves and black diabetic socks that I had cut hand holes in, over my arms. I didn’t go anywhere. My quality of life was diminishing. I had been in a depression for a while, for obvious reasons…but it kept getting worse and worse. I had lost myself. This ailment had taken me over. Who was I? Where was the bright, shining being I had once been? I was buried under oils, gloves and socks. I felt like I was starving myself. I couldn’t eat anything, touch anything, do anything. I was dying.

Finally one day, I woke up. I decided that I wasn’t going to be afraid anymore. That I wasn’t going to let this thing beat me. I scheduled another appointment with our General Practitioner. I asked for a blood test to check all of the vitamin levels they could run a test for. Everything came back normal.

I scheduled another allergist appointment. I went in and told them that I had stopped eating all of the foods that I had tested positive for. I had not eaten them for three months. I had seen no changes. I asked if they would provide a blood test. They agreed. I passed out on the second vile (I do that). When the blood test came back, it showed that I’d had a laundry list of FALSE positives on the original prick test. I was only really allergic to dust mites, Halibut and Kentucky Bluegrass. I cried, I was so happy. I could eat again!!!!

Next I decided that I was going to get a referral to another dermatologist. I told myself not to be afraid. I told myself that I would do whatever he told me to do. I wanted to live again. When I arrived at the dermatologist’s office, I peeled off my gloves and long sleeves and he prescribed me two different types of steroids, phototherapy and biotin (the vitamin found in Hair, Skin and Nail). I came home and put the crème on my hands. The next day, they stopped itching. The blisters and redness and itching and swelling were gone in three days. I had gotten the beast back under control. I celebrated with cheese and chicken and dancing, laughing and smiles. I told myself that it was time to live. I decided that I was going to keep myself happy. I was going to have theatre in my life again. I cut bangs on a whim. I started speaking my mind, not giving a shit what anyone thought. I started being ME, without fear. Without regret. My hands, so far, have responded to this emotional healing much better than to the steroids. I only put the steroids on when I see that I have a problem area that I am scratching unconsciously. It seems to keep the beast at bay, per-say, so that I can keep my quality of life flowing.

There was a period of my life in which I felt helpless. Like I couldn’t do ANYTHING. TOUCH anything. Well, now I am destined to do EVERYTHING, and that is what I’m doing. I am keeping myself happy. Ever since I decided that I was not going to let the negativity affect me anymore, no matter how my hands were behaving, I have noticed a tremendous difference in them. I believe that negative emotions are a killer. My husband says that he believes my “mind-body” link was broken. He says that we are all an experiment of the mind-body link. There is a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. “One of the most important functions of the hypothalamus is to link the nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland (hypophysis).”

The Hypothalamus is essentially what connects the mind to the body. We believe that emotions can cause a physical sickness in the body. Especially chronic negative emotions. My mind was packed with negative emotions. Why? Well, that’s a good question. As I have continued to learn and grow as a Mother, I have been forced to take a good look at myself. That’s what children are best at: showing you your flaws. You must pay attention to what they teach you, and I did. I didn’t like what I saw. I decided that I was going to clean myself up. I began the challenging work of getting rid of my past demons. There were some ugly ones hidden in there too: suicide, narcissism, critique, judgement, fear, worry. While my hands were weeping, I was too. I didn’t want to look at myself and my flaws. Who does? I knew that in order to heal myself, my mind, and my role as a strong and powerful Mother, woman and self, that I must bring each demon to the surface and sleigh it. This process was the most challenging thing I have ever achieved in my life. I did it. I survived. It was ugly. I was distraught. But I got through it. I slowly began replacing the things I didn’t like about myself with the positive energies of what was best about my Self. My Being. I embraced me…the true me, not the programmed me. I allowed the enlightened being within to surface and take control. No more pain body (Thanks Eckhart Tolle!). No more suffering. I dealt with my issues. I cleaned up my mind. My skin followed my mind on the healing journey.

I have read before that “our past is what defines us.” I can see the value and importance in this. One thing I have to remember, however, is that I am not the past me. I am the present ME. The past is in the past. I will no longer dwell on all of the negative. I will focus on the positive. For now, I am able to catch myself quickly when those negative thoughts and emotions begin to creep back in. I stop the beast in its tracks. I feel as if I have learned the basics of HOW to do this, for myself. I encourage you to do the same for yourself. Do you find yourself focusing on the negative. Do you sit and stare at your vulgar hands (or feet) on a regular basis? STOP IT. Try to move on, friend. Try with all your might. Carry on. LIVE! Heal your mind. Heal your body. Don’t live in fear. Don’t let the beast become you. You are a bright, powerful being. Take back control of your life. There is no cure in a bottle. Do what works for you. Stop focusing on the negative. Keep yourself in the right state of mind, fellow sufferers. I know it is HARD. I KNOW. I really, really do. I understand what it is like. Hang in there and keep on fighting. I firmly believe that if you make a real, conscious effort and decision to be happy that you will see a dramatic improvement in your skin.

My hands still have eczema on them.  There are currently still blisters and itchies…but they are tolerable.  I have stopped thinking about them.  Before, they were all I thought about.  Now, I have began painting my fingernails in ridiculously happy polishes. I am a silly, goofy, punny, dramatic and weird soul. I have grasped this. I am going to wear my “crazy” like a trophy. I am 34 years old and I have stopped dying my hair. I have grey/silver hairs. I will no longer live my life in fear of other people’s judgement. What a waste of life that would be/has been. I am living again. There is no turning back for me. I’ve been in that other deep, dark place. I don’t like it. It is damp and cold. It makes my fingers and their nails wither. I like it here where it is warm and sunny. I will take what life hands me, and not become distraught when it is not exactly a positive thing. I will heal. I will grow. I will learn. I will live. This is my current tactic for healing Dyshidrotic Eczema. Please wish me well on my journey. I wish you peace and happiness. Take care of yourself.

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Memorialize your Father with Words: Robert Lee Shockley

Memorialize your Father with Words:  Robert Lee Shockley

Instead of telling the story of my “Mother” first, I think I’d rather put the man I believe she sent to his demise FIRST. That would be nice for him, for a change. To be loved. That’s all he wanted.

I’m going to tell the tale of Robert Lee Shockley here for you, through your tele-screen.

Lee (as he liked to be called), LOVED music. He loved LOUD music. He loved ROCK AND ROLL. He wore Harley Davidson T-shirts. He would roll down the window of our vehicle whenever a motorcycle or an old, classic and restored car was about to pass, and hold out a big “thumbs up”. He let his hair grow long. It blew in the wind around his grinning face every time he told someone they had a nice ride.  He was a free spirit.  Almost.

The death of my Father is TRAGIC.  There’s no denying it.  There’s no sugar to be put on top next to a cherry.  It FUCKING SUCKS that he is not here.

I do, however, remember thinking the most awful thought when he died.
It felt as if a burden had been lifted off of our family.

That’s horrible, isn’t it?

But I thought it.  And for awhile I believed it.
Do you know what that thought was?  I understand where it came from.  It was not my thought.  It was programming.  It was what I felt my Mother must be thinking, because that’s how she treated him…like he was a piece of shit on her shoe that she had to wipe off multiple times, every day and every night.  She treated him like a child.  She treated him like me and my sister, but worse.  She made him feel like he wasn’t a man.  She seemed to enjoy belittling him.  After multiple discussions, mostly Q&A sessions with my Aunt, I discovered that “Mother” was ultimately treating her husband (My Father) the way that she was taught to treat people, by her parents. She never claimed her life as her own.  She became who they wanted her to become. She was terrorizing our household because of programming that she was unaware of.  She had become a horrible mixture of both of her parents.  “Mother’s” Father, Thomas, beat his children (and perhaps his wife) with a cat of 19 tails (that may be the wrong number of tails, but who cares….TAILS people).


And we’re not talking about that little fuzzy guy here… we’re talking about something like THIS:


Beulah would tell Thomas everything that the FOUR children had done WRONG as soon as he walked in the door from working all day.  He would unleash his fury onto them with a whip, of sorts.  He beat them.  What was Beulah doing while this was going on?  She was letting it happen.  Keeping those children in line.

There was a moment, before I pushed “Mother” out of my life, in which Aaron saw a part of this disastrous childhood come out in her while she was “caring” for our eldest son.  He wasn’t listening to her, I’m not sure what about, but after a few attempts at trying to get him to listen, she grabbed his arm and pulled him to her and said, “Don’t make me get mean.”

And that was the end of THAT.  She NEVER watched our children again.  She NEVER saw them again, actually…until most recently. Until I went to the hospital to see my sister and her new baby.

When my Aunt Brenda left her childhood home, she took the cat of “many” tails with her.  She took it without permission. Thomas and Beulah (“Mother’s” Mother) hated Brenda.  They terrorized her.  They didn’t love her.  They showed up at her home and made her life miserable.  They emotionally and physically abused her.  But she still fought back.  She took the torture device, I took the urn.  She was also the black sheep.  She still is.  Everyone in my immediate family told me that she was crazy.  They all pitied and hated her.  Imagine that…three siblings and two parents who hated you.  Just awful.

They were good at pretending they cared, though…when they wanted her money.

Watch out Mothers, or your daughters may grow up to be eccentric writers who’ll tell your story and write what they remember and have learned on their own as an adult.

I’ve got a secret that she doesn’t want you to know:  The Urn is her trophy.

My husband has told me numerous times that he was shocked that I have turned out as well as I did, having come from “that house.”  I suppose I’m doing okay.  I’m here writing about it, talking about it, aren’t I?  I just have to be very careful to focus on the POSITIVE and to not get consumed by the NEGATIVE things in life.  To let go.  To let it go.  Let it GOOOoooo!  (yeah, that happens sometimes).  More often than naught, you should let things go.  Don’t worry.  Don’t focus on the bad.  Focus on the good.

Robert Lee Shockley loved motorcycles and motors.  He loved engines.  He worked as a mechanic at the Milliken Plant in Inman, SC.  They fired him, because he spoke his mind about how his new boss, fresh out of college (as I recall), was treating him and his co-workers.  I believe that the termination terms for dismissal that Milliken gave him was that he was “Fired due to insubordination.”  “Mother” gave him HELL about this.  She did not love and support him, as loving wife would.  NOoooOoooo… she made him feel MISERABLE, because that’s how she liked for him to be.  She didn’t know how to deal with Happy, so she thrived in misery.

I remember the day he lost his job.  I came home from school and my Mother yelled, “Why don’t you tell your DAUGHTER what you did.”  He was standing there beside her, practically weeping (but not)…and he did.  He told me that he had been fired.  My Mother continued to yell at him, mostly from what I can recall, about money.  I just went to my room and shut the door, per usual.

My Father had his own issues.  His Mother didn’t want anything to do with him.  He was the scapegoat.  I assume she was a Narcissist.  My Father, Lee, pretty much lived in his older brother, the pilot’s, shadow.  His brother was the golden child.

I can remember times when my Grandfather would come to our house to visit.  My Father would not open the door for him, and we’d have to pretend like we weren’t home.  His Father would stand on the porch knocking, trying to talk to Lee through the door.  I don’t remember him ever yelling through the door.  I remember it as he just wanted to talk to us.  To see us.  I don’t know what that grudge was all about.

I can also remember a time when Lee and his brother got into a fight at our house.  I believe that they never spoke again after that.  I don’t remember what the fight was about.  Neither one of them liked each other, I assume.

Robert Lee Shockley would turn up the music in our house so loud that the walls would vibrate.  “Mother” hated it.  He would sit in his chair and listen to the acoustics.  He also had headphones, but sometimes he chose not to use them.  I wish that I had those headphones.  They covered his entire ear.  The ear cover was black leather lined with silver metal.  I can’t remember the brand.  The headphones had a long, black spiraling cord with a male end.  Lee would plug the headphones in to his stereo system and sit and listen to music for hours.  Sometimes he would sing.

He could really sing, too.  When he met my Mother, he was in a band.  He was the lead singer.  I can’t remember the name of the band. The band had one female and three males.  I don’t know the names of anyone else in the band.  I remember a photo of the band together.  They were wearing white suits.  The jacket had a black collar.  Under the jacket, the males wore a ruffle front shirt.

My Mother was jealous of the female singer. I have a memory of her sneering at the band member while looking at the photo I’m describing.  I’m sure that this jealousy was based on her own insecurities, because the girl (she was in her 20’s) was beautiful.  She had long, blonde hair and was slender and bustuous.  She wore tight pants in the photo that showed off her long legs.

My Father married my Mother in his band suit.

My Father once won a singing contest at a bar, and used the money he’d won from the contest to buy the bar patrons drinks.  He didn’t bring home a dime.

I have mourned not having this man in my adult life so many times.  He would have LOVED Aaron, my husband.  I have cried envisioning them together.  Suicide is such a sad, sad thing.  It affects so many people.  It is the worst for those who are left behind.  It makes me mad, sometimes.  I find it selfish…but then I remember that one has to be mentally ill to do such a thing.  But…aren’t we all a bit mentally ill sometimes?  We just have to keep on going.  Keep moving.  Hang in there.  Insert cliche’ term to promote the idea that you should NEVER give up.  NEVER.

Don’t do it.

There’s more to come.

A mental break: the Release of the Narcissistic Mother, Dyshidrotic Eczema, Aspbergers Syndrome and other tales of the Deep, Dark and Hollow


I’m sorry for being away so long.

Yes, I’ve been away.

I have awakened from a depression.  A depression is something that no one else can help you with.  You can become medicated, sure…but I chose not to.  I made it.  I survived.  There were moments where I wanted to die.  I wished someone would run me off the road.  I hated myself.

I cut my own bangs on a whim the other day.  I always wanted to do that.  I cut them “Betty Page” style.  Betty Page looks a lot like Morticia Addams.  More about that later.

bangs 2015


My husband HATES it.

Your hair can (and should) be used as a canvas to show others who you are.  I didn’t cut my bangs because I hated myself, I just wanted something different.  Something to “wake me up.”  Something to force me to take better care of myself, because I wasn’t doing a very good job.

This is why “current hair fashion” and I never did get along very well. I adore a specific era of hair, but I don’t give a shit what is in style for 2015. I never really gave a shit what was in style my whole life, actually… and I like saying Shit every now and then. Shit!🙂

I have always tried to be “me” I lost that part of myself for awhile. I became consumed with fear about what others thought about me. Now that part of me is back.

Does this mean I had some sort of mental break in my past? Yeah. Probably so. My Father did put the barrel of a 30-06 in his mouth and pull the trigger just before I graduated college.

I have JUST dealt with this, in my adulthood…11 years later.  I’ll tell this dramatic, backwoods, real life story to you as time goes on.

My husband is an amazing man. He’s really hard to be married to sometimes, because he can be brutally honest. He was just trying to heal me, but I didn’t see it at the time.  I thought he hated me and was just tolerating my presence.  I didn’t believe that he really loved me.  I didn’t think anyone loved me.  I have been programmed, you see, to believe that no one cares about me.  All thanks to the programming that my mother downloaded into me.  It is sort of not her fault, though.  I’m convinced, after talking to her older sister, that their Mother, or Father, perhaps both, had treated them this way their whole life.
“Fuck You!  FUCK YOU, Bitch!  I’m TIRED of the way you treat me!”  – loving words from my Mother, two years ago.

Yeah, that’s just an exert from the story that has been my life during this depression.  My Father (literally) blew his head off in our family’s detached garage.  I watched the hazmat crew clean him up through my parent’s bedroom window.  They told me not to, but I did.  I have seen the contents of the inside of my father’s entire head stuck to buckets and our family bicycles.  I watched two guys in white suits and face masks put him into trash bags.

He wanted to be cremated.  11 years later, he was still sitting on the shelf in my Mother’s living room.  HER living room.  I was sick of waiting.  We were supposed to scatter his ashes off of the Green River bridge.  But no one was talking about that.  In fact, no one EVER talked about it.  All that my Mother ever really said to me about the fact that her husband (whom I doubt she really loved— she just got “KNOCKED UP”(her words–that’s how I’m here) had blown his head off was that his entire head was gone and that there was a piece of his scalp with long grey hair attached to it sitting on the shoulder of his corpse.  This is how she found him.

Granted…yeah, I am glad I didn’t find him.  I know she is still in some state of grief, shock… but no one is helping her.  I tried, but she wouldn’t listen.  We weren’t supposed to talk about our FEELINGS.  She was tired of me trying to get her to deal with it.  To FORCE her to deal with it.  To talk about it.  No one ever really talked to me about it…I mean REALLY sat down and checked in on me, asked me how I was dealing with it.  No one.  People would offer, “If you ever need me….” or “If you ever want to talk, I’m there.”  I know that they meant it, but a person in that position does not ask for help or healing.

I was tired of waiting for her to be a good mother and talk to her daughters about it.  It is a Horrible situation, eh?

I did take drastic measures, however, to bring the fact that he was still in the urn and that no one was dealing with it into (literally) my own hands.  My family and I drove to my childhood home, took the key, opened up the house, picked up the yellow urn with a Robin sitting on a branch, walked out of the house, locked it, and buckled it up in a seatbelt in my car’s back seat.  I took it home.  Without permission.  Without saying anything.

As soon as we were home, I called my sister’s cell phone.  She didn’t answer, so I left a message.  She began furiously texting me.  I told her that this was not a conversation to be had via text, and that we needed to talk over the phone.  She replied, “Fine then, Don’t talk to me.”  (She was 22 yrs. old @ the time)  Now, she’s a Mother.

My sister said (through texts) that it was disrespectful of me to take the urn without asking our “Mama” for it.  I felt that I didn’t need to ask permission.  Those were the ashes of my Father.  I didn’t view “him” as a possession.

Next I called my Mother’s cell phone.  She was at work, so she didn’t answer.  Yes, I did plan to go to the house to take the urn while she wasn’t there.  DUH.  A vein might have popped in her head and she could have dropped dead over that.  Seriously, she has some major Anger/Anxiety issues.  (More horrible issues which she also programmed into me, and I have been trying to rid myself of).

Being a Mother, if you’re a good Mother, makes  you take a look at yourself.  I don’t mean in the mirror… I mean REALLY take a look at yourself.  Watching how you react to things.  Taking note when you get angry and asking yourself, “Why?  Why Did I react that way?”  Being HONEST with yourself.  To NOT be defensive about your REAL issues. TO DEAL WITH THEM AND FIX THEM.

I took the urn, because I wanted to deal with my Father’s Suicide.  I NEEDED to deal with it.  It had been too long.  I needed to move on.  I needed to let it go, before I could really live.

This is what I’ve been doing over the past two years.  I feel I have healed.  I mean REALLY healed myself this time…but then again, my Father did Have Bi-Polar Disorder.  I could be on one of my Happy benders.  My husband has called me crazy, but that’s okay, because I’ve called myself that.  I have been crazy.  I don’t want to be crazy.  I don’t take pride in being crazy.  I have been purging a HELL of a lot of CRAZY out of this mind of mine over the past two years, and it has been a boat ride through the swamp without a paddle.  I have worked HARD on my mind, and it needed it.
Damn.  What a ride I’ve been on.

Anyhow, to continue my story, I called my Mother’s Cell phone after I had brought my Father’s ashes into our house.  I intentionally called her when I knew she was working, so that I wouldn’t have to listen to whatever her reaction was.  I let her keep that anger to herself.  I predicted she’d be angry, and BOY OH BOY was I ever right about that.

“Hey.  I’m just calling to let you know that I have Daddy’s ashes.  Don’t worry, don’t freak out, I’m taking good care of them.  I just wanted to let you know where they were and that I have them.”

No, I did not scatter the ashes without my family.  Not all of them😉

What I did do, before my Mother arrived, was to take a portion of the ashes that I felt was my right as his daughter.  I didn’t need permission to take them.  I still feel that way.  I’m not sorry that I took them.

In fact, it appeared as if someone had already had the same idea.  The lid had been popped off.  It had once been glued on.  The ashes were inside the little yellow ceramic urn (an urn that belonged to my Dad’s Mother).  They were not quite as I expected them to appear, however.  They were inside a thick mil plastic bag.  They had been stapled shut with some industrial stapler.  Yet, someone had poked a hole in the top of the bag, next to the staple.  GASP!  Someone had ALREADY “disturbed” the ashes.  Heal yeah.  (spelling intended), It didn’t have to be me.

SOMEONE had already poked around in the ashes.  Someone had made a silver dollar sized hole in the bag of ashes.  But it wasn’t me.  I felt even more justified in my next action:  I took some of the ashes (by shaking the urn).  I put them in an old metal coffee tin that I’d found at a thrift store.  Someone offered to buy that tin from me, long ago, when I was selling all kinds of things online.  I couldn’t take less than $10 for it, and no one wanted to pay that, so I had kept it.

My husband, who is a HUGE Big Lebowski fan, found it quite hilarious that I had chosen a coffee can.  I seriously did not connect my actions with the movie, but it may have been programmed into me to put ashes into a coffee container after seeing/hearing “The Big Lebowski” over and over during one of his repetitive aspie (and endearing term) benders.

Aaron, my husband, likes to listen to things that he likes over…and over…and OVER…AND OVER again.  It gets to me sometimes, because one of my biggest pet peeves in life is repetition. I can’t stand it, mostly.  An example of some really great musical artists that he has played over and over are:  U2, Pearl Jam, Rebelution, and most currently Heartless Bastards.

Aaron, we’re about 99.9 percent certain, has Aspberger’s Syndrome.  He has not been formally diagnosed by a team of doctors, but he did befriend a doctor online who claimed that if he were his patient, he would say that he was on the high functioning end of the “disorder.”  He may not be “formally” diagnosed, but as his wife, I can say with CERTAINTY that he DOES have it.  There’s no question in my mind.  This is something that I’ll have to study more, so that I can be a better wife.  I’m working on understanding it daily.

Here is a quick description of Aspbergers, from someone with Aspbergers:

Asperger’s can not be cured, it is a genetic condition that can be worked on and mitigated, but can not be cured. Each person has it differently and reacts to the world differently, but here are some basics.

Asperger’s syndrome is, in it’s most basic form, Autism. Autism is broken into two types, Kanner’s and Asperger’s, with the break at the 70 IQ level. If your IQ is 70 or below you have Kanner’s Autism, if your IQ is 71 or above, you have Asperger’s autism. (it is a little more complicated than that in it’s break up, but for a beginner this is good)

The easiest way to describe Asperger’s syndrome to someone who has never heard of it is to describe it as a Social Autism. The person who has Asperger’s grew up not learning the social cues around him/her. The person does not, usually, understand subtle social cues that the normal person takes for granted. Things such as sarcasm, and body language that change the meaning of a statement, are not understood by the asperger person, and taken literally.

Asperger syndrome is also called “the little professor syndrome”

The Asperger type is usually very literal in what is stated, and what is understood. The normal person usually sees the asperger person as being emotion-less, though this is not true. Emotions are just kept very deep inside and not brought to the surface. The aspie also does not know what to do with another person who is experiencing emotions, and needs to be told what to do in these instances. Phrases like “I need you to hold me now” are very helpful” in a relationship, for the normal (NT) person to say to the aspie.

Aspies tend to like routines. Change is very difficult, and they will be slow to accept it.

Aspies will appear to lack empathy. As stated above, this is not due to lack of empathy, but a lack of knowledge of how to show it.

Aspies tend to have more of a formal use of words than the NT wold or have a formal style of speaking that is advanced for his or her age. For example, the aspie may use the word “beckon” instead of “call” or the word “return” instead of “come back.”

ASPIES TEND TO AVOID EYE CONTACT. This is not due to lying or being self conscious. The eyes are very difficult to look at, and cause mental anguish and pain in many aspies. They are unable to think of what they want to say, and look another in the eyes at the same time.

Aspies may have unusual facial expressions or body postures. They may be more formal in the way they stand, or just look out of place. Their facial features may not express the emotions that they are experiencing. They may not frown when they are sad, smile when happy, etc…

Many Aspies are pre-occupied with one or a few subjects of interest and learn everything there is to know about those subjects to the exclusion of all others. They may not want to discuss anything other than those subjects with anyone. When brought into a conversation, they will immediately take the conversation to their chosen subject of interest, and then talk about it non-stop. They will not notice that nobody else wants to discuss that subject.

Aspies tend to have heightened sensitivity and become overstimulated by loud noises, lights, or strong tastes or textures. They may only eat certain things, or order foods certain ways. They may not be able to work in rooms with florescent lighting due to the buzz or the flicker, even when nobody else notices. Many different things, for many different people.

Source(s): Aspie x 42 years.
Note:  Aaron does not completely fit into the mold of the above description.  More about that later, though.
Here’s another helpful link about Aspbergers:
My Mother claimed that my husband had “messed up my mind”– but what she didn’t take the time to understand about me and the man I love is that he does have some behaviors that are difficult to deal with, because of Aspbergers.  I do not say this to make him feel bad, or to belittle him.  It’s just the truth.  Being the wife of someone with Aspbergers can be very difficult…especially when you have bottled up issues that you haven’t dealt with.  They will SEE those issues and they cannot help but make you aware of them.  They will have no empathy for you once you realize that they’re right, however.  You’re on your own.  I recommend, in retrospect, that you do not do it on your own.  Remember, I was programmed to believe that no one cared about me.  Therefore, I wouldn’t talk to any of my friends about what I was going through.  I had no one to listen to me about my struggles.  No Mother, No Father.  No one was checking in on me, on a regular basis just to ask “How are you?  How are things going? How are you feeling?” and to really mean it.  I do have friends.  I have collected a nice little set of strong women as my friends in my mid-thirties.  All of these friends, except for one, is a mother.  They have husbands and children and a family of their own that they are trying their best to figure out.  I didn’t want to burden them with my Mommy issues.  I had no Mother to check on me.  She thought it was my job, as her daughter, to check in on HER.  What my Mother has failed to see, after almost 60 years of life, is that she is my elder.  She is supposed to help to guide me.  She is my “Mother” but she is not a Mother.  She does not actually seem to care about what is happening in my life.  She is only concerned with herself.  She is the victim.  No one cares about her.  No one asks her about how she’s feeling.  She doesn’t have a Mother either.  Her mother, however, is dead.
Sure, I see that I’ve said the same things about myself that I’ve said about my Mother.  That’s part of the “crazy” problem we’ve got going on here, you see?  Am I crazy?  A book that I read once I had the thought that my Mother could be a Narcissist (Aaron had diagnosed her as such) was entitled, “ Youre Not CrazyIt’s Your Mother!: Understanding and Healing for Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
The author, Danu Morrigan says that as the daughter of a Narcissistic Mother, you’ll most certainly ask yourself, “Am I the crazy one?”  She says that if you are able to ask yourself this, then you can’t be a full blown Narcissist….BUT you CAN have Narcissistic tendencies.

*Not all of what this lady says in the above video applies directly to my Mother.  My Mother is the “Ignoring” Narcissist.  But the “I don’t want to talk about that” portion of the conversation DID strongly apply to my situation.  She could call and complain about her miserable life and all of the negative things going on in her life for hours.  One time, during a cell phone “conversation” I timed how long she talked without a response from me.  The entire 20 minutes, she was complaining.  I connect with the video that I’ve shared here because I DID tell my Mother, “I am a WOMAN. ” She also bought me many things so that I could “Owe her.”  Classic Narcissist.  The whole, “Adult Children of Alcoholics” plug of her’s at the end?  Yeah, my Dad was an alcoholic too.

Great.  Yeah, that’s right.  One more issue.  One more level of crazy.  Remember, my Mother claimed that my husband had “messed up my mind.”

My mind seems to have plenty to choose from in its array of crazy .

When my husband met me, he knew that I had issues.  He knew that I had not dealt with my Father’s Suicide…at all.  He knew that I was a barrel of monkeys, per-say…that more issues might keep on rolling out of me, holding furry knuckled phalanges together.  He knew, but he didn’t know.  Neither did I.  (the little professor syndrome)  He was a bartender when I met him.  He enjoyed psychoanalyzing people over the bar.  He had a set of regulars who would come in and tell him their problems.  He actually is pretty damn good at helping people solve their issues…but he will PISS YOU OFF, because he’ll be brutally honest.  He is NOT always right, though, in his diagnosis of what your mind may be thinking at the time.  He just uses logic to deduce where your mind might be, and what it might be thinking.  It’s sort of a mind cuss, actually, because he’s mostly right…so even if you think he’s wrong, you’ll have to ask yourself if he’s right.  There were moments where I would be mad at him for being so smart.  There were moments where I just could not convince him that he was wrong, and that his deduction of where my mind was and what I was thinking was wrong.  Aaron has a very hard time reading emotions and feelings.  He just could not understand why I looked so miserable while I was depressed.  He had no empathy for me, either.  Well, almost none.

Because of all of this, I was left thinking, at times, that I was just an overall shit-bag.  He kept telling me that I liked wallowing in my own misery, just like my Mother.  That I didn’t want to be happy.  I kept asking myself if that was true.  If I was just “Acting out a script” that was programmed into me by my Mother.  Was I just acting like her?  As I reflect on it now, I can say that there were times when I was, and times when I wasn’t.  There were times when I was only depressed and not even thinking about her…but then Aaron would say that I was acting like her.

I was overwhelmed with being a Mother to two.  I was overwhelmed with trying to figure out how to be a good mother to them.  I had no strong female role model in my life to mold myself after when it came to being a Mother.  I often envy other Mothers who have an awesome, supportive and loving Mother of their own.  I don’t know what that is like.  I can imagine it, sure, but I have not lived it.  I am mad about that, off and on.  My Mother (I usually refer to her as Sarah these days) is absent from my life because of my choice to keep her out of it.  That’s my fault, sure.  I told her that I never wanted to talk to her again, and I meant it.  She hurt me to my core.  No Mother should do that to her daughter.  Especially without a breath of regret.

Sometimes Aaron says I’m just like her when I mope and complain.  I try not to complain, I really do.  I’m not writing this blog to feel sorry for myself.  I’m just telling my story.  I’m sharing my feelings.

My Mother once said to Aaron, “I’ve had a shitty life.”  Sometimes he brings up that statement when I start complaining about the negative things in my life.  It pisses me off when he does it, but I must say that a much better approach to correcting my focus on the negative might be to say something with more empathy like, “Wendy, please just try to focus on the good.” instead of “Wendy, you sound just like your Mother.”

“When you don’t know what it is you’re fighting, you can’t possibly know how to deal with it.  I wrestled for years with some unknown presence that seemed to affect every aspect of our relationship.  Those years in the dark, left me with feelings of self-doubt, insecurity, and total worthlessness.  I cried many nights, thinking it was something awful about me that caused my husband’s rejection, when in reality, it was AS.”  Source

Aspies.  They’re the smartest, deepest people you’ll ever meet.  When I met Aaron, I was smitten by how completely different he was.  One of the first things he told me on our first date was that women told him he was “too deep.”  My response to him at the time was, “How can you be TOO deep?”   Aaron didn’t give a SHIT about what anyone thought about him(and still doesn’t), and he knew himself better than anyone I had ever met in my life.  He was eons ahead of me when it came to knowing myself, and I knew it.  I didn’t care, though…he was taller than me, he was intriguing, he was weird and dark and handsome and had a U2 tattoo on his chest.  There was no stopping our romance.  From the moment I met Aaron, things continue to happen in my life that are synchronistic about our relationship.  Actually, the night I met Aaron, U2 came on the jukebox at the pool hall/bar where we met.  I can’t recall whether or not I played that song, but chances were good that I had.  I used to pump that machine full of quarters so that it would play songs that I liked so that I could dance and sing and play pool.  When I met Aaron, I was wearing a little red, 100% cotton, ruffled mini skirt.  My “shirt” of choice was a lace, black, spaghetti strapped midriff that was see through on the back and at the waist.  I was out shopping, I suppose ;) I find it worth mentioning  that the bar in which I met Aaron had a corner room display of Betty Page prints hanging on the wall😉

I was a virgin when I met Aaron.  Yeah, that’s right.  I was a 22 year old virgin.  This was mostly because my Mother had terrified me about sex.  She made it sound disgusting and degrading.  There was never any “Making love” to be had.  It was all nasty, nasty intercourse.  You were a whore if you had sex. This caused me MANY *almost* relationships of past.  I didn’t understand why I never had a boyfriend before Aaron, either.  I sure do see why now, though.  I was afraid of sex because of my Mother.  This made me VERY sexually awkward.  VERY.

My soulmate found me at just the right time in my life.  I learned how to make love.🙂

Anyhow, I’m tired of writing for today.  I just started typing out my story this evening.  It came almost out of nowhere, but I’m finding as I write it that it is very therapeutic for me.  I am telling the story of my struggles.  I am writing the story to help myself, and to help others too.  One of the characteristics that I know about myself is that I “like to help.”  Sometimes I can try to help to the point of hurting.  I hope I don’t hurt you, dear reader. 😉

In my next blog, I will continue the story about what happened after my Mother received my voice mail message about the urn.  Her reaction convinced me that she is indeed a Narcissist.

Later, I’ll tell you about my hands.  My oozing, weeping, cracking bleeding hands.  The hands I wielded during my time of turmoil.  If you’d like a little background to that tale, go ahead and read my first blog entry about it at:

Later, I’ll ramble some more. I’ll share some more about the hurtful words that my own Mother said to me that continue to circulate around in my mind. I’ll talk a bit more about what it is like to be the wife of a husband with Aspbergers. I’ll reminisce about what it has been like to be a Mother who can’t use her hands. I’ll heal some more, through writing.

I’ll heal that hurt, but I won’t deal it back.

betty pageLOL.

A Kind Hello!


I wanted to share a kind hello to all of you who continue to comment on my blog. One of my posts has had a tremendous response, and I’m really encouraged to see that the comments are all positive in nature, and that everyone is joining together to help each other.

I never imagined that my words could create such a helpful approach to healing. It soothes me, somehow, to know that there are others out there who share in my pain, agony and frustration in living with THE BEAST that is Dyshidrotic Eczema. The seldom talked about, disconnection from the world. The plug?

I am unable to use my fingers when a bad flare up occurs from within. This year’s affliction, thankfully, has not been so terrible. I am all gloved up and able to write, and I am hopeful that I’m on the quick track to healing.  Here’s to you, fellow sufferers, fellow commenters of the blog, Dyshidrotic Eczema: A Malady of Concerning Cause and Effect.  You are not alone.

Thanks for following me on my journey. I hope your being here will help you to remember that you are not alone. There is a support system out there. I am happy to see a slow evolution of the online community forming thanks to the internet. The internet, whom I do tend to diss because I’m a technological grouch at times😉

I’d like for all of you DE sufferers to consider joining us over at the Facebook group, “Dyshidrotic Eczema (The Group):

I’ve been posting polls over there, mostly in “Yes” or “No” format,  and I would greatly value your support and input in answering some questions from the “Sleuth Scientist” that I’ve dubbed myself over there, in the DE corner of internet land.  I’m working on a new post, slowly, and plan to use the answers in a future blog.  If you join the group, please post to the wall that you’re “Here via The Butterchurn Blog” so that I’ll be able to spot you when you arrive, and give you a virtual hello!🙂

Thanks for being here in my little blog’s personal spot on the internet.🙂

Environmental Control Drones: A True Tale from South Carolina


A white truck with a decal on the side pulls into the driveway. The decal itself is unreadable from afar. A man wearing tan pants and a white shirt with a circular decal on the shoulder comes to the front door. As the man approaches, the decal on his shirt is easily readable “Environmental Department.”

The door is answered.

Hello?” Says the homeowner.

What’s going on in your backyard?” the agent asks.

Just a little bit of permaculture” the homeowner responds.

Put on some shoes and lets go back there and take a look

Bamboo???” The agent asks once they are both in the backyard.

Yeah…it is planted all around the yard.”

You know… it (the bamboo) is really devaluing your property. I could show you pictures of some overgrown bamboo that has taken over properties. It is bad to have. It gets out of control. Go back in the house. I’m going to take a few pictures and then I’m going to leave. It is not illegal to have a garden, but you have to keep your weeds trimmed to below 16 inches. They have to be cut. This property is considered overgrown.”

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The homeowner goes back into the house, frazzled, with a citation in hand from Environmental Control. The words “Magistrate Court appearance”, “$500 fine”, “Jail time” dance across the piece of paper. The more the homeowner reads, the sicker she gets…She is terrified and upset.

The neighborhood surrounding the homeowner communicates. The homeowner finds out that her neighbor was also issued a citation to remove weeds from his property. He refused to comply and was fined $500. The same neighbor just happens to know someone who works for Environmental Control. He calls, asking what is happening. He discovers through his conversation with the employee of Environmental Control that the agency is down to only 2 individual, in person agents/officers and that the department had been sending out drones, hunting marijuana. Apparently people are hiding marijuana plants in their gardens. Our garden, one full of experimental growth and learning, was targeted.

Since the citation was issued to us here at our home in Boiling Springs, SC… we have contacted The American Bamboo Society’s Southeast chapter representative and Provitro Biosciences in Mount Vernon, WA. Both of the people we spoke with said that something was fishy about the agent’s comment about Bamboo.

You can keep your bamboo, but it has to be trimmed to 16 inches maximum height or you have to get rid of it.” – Environmental Control Agent

Any lover of bamboo can instantly relate to how ridiculous this statement is. We are involved with our bamboo plants. We love them. We care for them. We have studied bamboo itself as well as bamboo management. How could we remove our beloved plants?

As far as the rest of the “weeds” in the garden go… since we are living with my Aunt (the homeowner) who was scared out of her wits, we decided to comply with removing the horse weed that we allowed to grow down through the chicken run of our garden. The horse weed grew there naturally. All we did was NOT CUT the grass. The horse weed provided a natural, free habitat for our chickens…providing shade, cover and hawk/predator protection. Not acceptable by Environmental Control standards.

The native weed (Horse weed) also provided us with a free, natural privacy screen from our neighboring trailer park. Our weedy hedge is now gone. Our chickens are exposed…our garden is still in need of weed removal and I suppose we will have to follow up with measuring tape (marked at 16 inches) in hand.

We have often called the state of our garden “Wild” because we have chosen to allow the native weeds to grow.  We study them.  We learn from them.  We have found, through our un-traditional gardening methods that by allowing the native weeds to grow, we have few issues with garden pests.  It is as if our annual garden plants are protected by a type of shield.  The weeds, mixed in with our planted food producers, form some sort of alliance with each other.  Garden pests seem to fly right over the food producing plants.

As for the bamboo… we will fight for our right to keep it. We are currently researching the South Carolina State as well as Spartanburg County rules and regulations for growing bamboo.

The interesting part about all of this? ALL of the bamboo that we have planted in our backyard came from areas/bamboo groves within Spartanburg County!!!! How are we NOT allowed to have it if it is growing all around our County???

In a few weeks, the Southeast Chapter representative of the American Bamboo Society will be visiting us and our bamboo. Our fellow bamboo lovers are actively researching the laws and regulations within our county/region about bamboo ownership/growing.

We will fight for you, bamboo! We will not sit in our house, shoeless, and allow you to force us into our house and out of our own backyard, Environmental Control. Others will hear our tale, including the local news and the wide wide world of Facebook. We will share our story. We will speak out.

Beware the garden weeds! Prepare for the thumb of repression. Look to the skies for a drone near you, South Carolina residents. This is real. This is happening.

DRONES are flying over our residence, for cryin’ out loud!!!!! Environmental Control Agents are telling us to stay in our homes and are TELLING us (not asking) that they are going to take pictures of our yard.

 What say you?

More to come about all of this, including a video of the Agent’s return to our yard at the end of September. We’re ready.


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