Odds and Ends No. 43 (Part 2)


I’ve had the same server for over six years
except for today. I couldn’t help notice
that Fong sneezed a lot. (Not good for me

and my not so immune system.) I noticed
that I was the third customer of the day.
Not surprised. I walked in soon after they

opened. It was getting busier as I left.
Sherlock Holmes will have to wait for me.
As I turned off my Kindle, I figured I gave

Amazon, the CIA, the FSB, and God knows
who else my lunch location. Happy Valley
to the 17; 17 to the 101. Doing about 75

in the left lane. Lots of traffic. I was passed
by cars all the way to my exit. A big tractor
trailer with big balloon tires pulling a flat

bed swerved into my lane. No signal.
Texting no doubt. Auto-reflex—I swerved
into the HOA lane. Then safely moved

right and went on to my exit. I was too
early for my appointment. Starbucks. Tall
hazelnut latte hot. College kids all around

me on Macs. How can they afford them?
Students always get great discounts on
laptops and software. These companies

want them on board as soon as possible. The
laptop in front of me has an Arizona State
sticker on the cover. From my left, “Excuse

me. Will you watch my stuff?” “Sure. No
problem.” She returned to her Mac and
school books. EMDR up next for me. O did

I need that coffee! My phone started to
play “I Love to Love.” I answered it. Dumb
recorded marketing call. I hung up on the

word “resort.” Two sips left. Then I drove
a few blocks down to my appointment. I
did EMDR today. Working through over a

half century of abuse is, well, hard work.
See, I told you I shouldn’t have told you
ahead. I went to the store on the way

home; not what I planned. I’m in too
much pain to walk Thunderbird today.
They had two out of the four items I

needed. If it isn’t a hot seller, they don’t
stock it anymore. No O-rings. Only two
kinds of plumber’s grease. Not what I

was looking for. Then, on to take in
some dry cleaning. I live in T-shirts
here in Arizona and wear a few shirts

here and there. Suits and ties are
dinosaurs in my wardrobe. They’re just
hanging around. My health can only

improve. Another Memorial Day has
past; I’ve got to stop looking back.
Watching “Patton” didn’t help much.

I miss being in the Army. Very true. And
replacing it has become my lifelong
personal quest. For tonight, a mystery-

slash-comedy, so she can nap before
bed. Well, this post got too long. I think
I’ll split it in two, so you don’t doze off.

Odds and Ends No. 42


I’ve concluded without deep thinking or any
intelligence applied, that my electronic
world doesn’t differ very much from my

real world. Better said, it occurred to me that
they are parallel worlds subject to the same
dysfunction of mine at any time. They are

not exempt from my stupid choices or those
choices that result from my dysfunction.
Having said that, my healthy choices can

also happen in either world. So we can both
keep our sanity as I write this and you read it,
I’m not going to discuss my fantasy worlds

here. That content would be better suited to
a secret poems collection (toying with the
idea). Recently I told you I went back to

Windows for whatever reason. I am happily
typing to you from openSUSE in Firefox
today because I figured it out. My long love

affair with Microsoft is rooted in my gray
side, not to be confused with my dark or
secret side. Gray is that place where my

dysfunction bleeds into my light, healthy,
and joyful side. My world of light still has
some gray, some dark, some of this, and

some of that because I’m not perfect, but
healing. I’m far less dysfunctional today
than I was years ago—one year ago or forty

years ago, etc. After I loaded Windows this
time, I detected a false sense of hope. There
was no going back. (Not enough space here

to try and explain it; but I knew a bunch of
old stuff was feeding this simple choice of
OS. It wasn’t based on anything healthy.)

The simple fact is that I can choose Linux
as my OS without the dysfunctional strings.
Dysfunction tries to destroy anything good.

Somehow, I led myself to believe that I had
to keep up a level of electronic chaos in my
life. Not so. The dysfunctional reason why
I was flipping back and forth from OS to OS

was based on old fears. When I walked into my
office at home, sat at my red desk, and turned
on my laptop, I was flying through a self-made

black-hole. I was living my version of Jumanji!
Okay, I’m not really nuts, just working through
my life, through the residual effects of abuse.

Dysfunction becomes part of survival; like
making believe dark is light and evil is good.
I’m doing better. EMDR has been and remains

a life saver for me! I’m happier and I make
better choices. But dysfunction is something
I always have to deal with, something I always

have to choose not to do so I don’t screw up my
life. Better choices bring better consequences.
Am I getting unclear or bogged down here?

Let me give you my short list of dysfunction
defined based on my own life experience
as a result of childhood sexual abuse and
lifelong abuse in many forms:

dysfunction chooses dysfunction
dysfunction loves dysfunction
dysfunction attracts dysfunction
dysfunction produces dysfunction
dysfunction believes dysfunction
dysfunction doesn’t believe dysfunction
dysfunction destroys dysfunction
dysfunction can never be satiated
dysfunction lies (to you and everyone you
come into contact with)
dysfunction kills (you and everyone you
come into contact with)

I’ve said this before: no one deserves abuse
in any shape or form. It wasn’t my fault.

That is enough on that for today. No use
making us both depressed. Without healing,
without changes, a life of dysfunction (alone

or in dysfunctional relationships or marriage)
would have us believe that the chaos we live
in, the Living Hell on earth we are drowning
in, is “normal” and as good as it gets.

Don’t believe it. Wrong! Lies!

The Lord Jesus promised us an abundant and
joyful life. Dysfunction doesn’t believe that.
An unhealthy life, e.g., one filled with abuse

and dysfunction, isn’t able to receive anything
good. If you’ve been abused, then you don’t
trust God or anyone; you don’t believe God or

anyone. You may say you do. But you don’t.
(Dysfunction lies, remember?)

Well, I don’t call these poems “Odds and Ends”
for nothing! How did I get here today? How do
I bring this to a close? I’m reminded that God

loved us before we loved Him. So, it makes
no sense to believe I have to wait until I’m
“perfect,” totally healed, or completely
without dysfunction to make good choices.

I was so excited about walking the other
day. I was planning on walking today, but I’m
in too much pain. Unable to do it. That is a

result of circumstances not dysfunction. So, a
downward spiral is not my choice. I resist the
dysfunction baiting me; I choose to continue

in my peace and joy for today. Life is good. I
think I’ll go check the mail, then finish
watching the movie I started the other day.

And have a lovely peaceful hot cup of tea.

Commentary on Haiku 16.17


I got out early on purpose today. I had Moo Goo Gai Pan on the brain. And steamed rice. Simple chicken and vegetables seemed like a great idea. I ate slowly because I still had forty minutes before my next EMDR session.

Well, sort of. These are sessions in between EMDR sessions. For several weeks now, I’ve been drawing a large sectioned chart of my life starting at birth with detailed notes. It is amazing how much I’ve not thought about in many years. It is equally amazing how much trauma, pain, and abuse I’ve forgotten, squashed, not thought about over the last fifty years or so.

Last session we covered Vietnam. This session we got through my life after Vietnam, at the AADA in NYC, and back in the Army again. Language school and Ft. Myer. Thailand, Korea, Ft. Dix, etc. A minefield of poor choices, bad relationships, abuse, and more abuse. I was going to chart more, but I couldn’t. I felt like silly putty in a puddle on the floor. There were good memories, too. A number of good things; but a number of bad things. I felt like the bad outweighed the good.

Most of the people who abused me as a kid, young adult, and adult were supposed to be trusted. Family. Friends. Marriage. Sixty years of abuse is all I can take! Enough already. You will never get approval from anyone who abused you. Family, friends, wives, or other. Doesn’t matter. Add to that bad circumstances. And, well, it makes for a tough time. (These thoughts specifically on “approval” came to me when I read a blog I follow; the one about a family member abuser. But I was thinking about too much to leave a comment. You might say this blog post is my comment.)

Lying here on the floor in my puddle of self-pity silly putty won’t improve anything either. This is where the truth comes in. I learned that I was never ever in my lifetime going to get approval from my mom and dad. You don’t get approval from your abusers. The fact that they have been dead for many years doesn’t soften or change that. It won’t change; I might like it to change, but it won’t.

I can only get approval from one source for free whether I believe it or not, want it or not, deserve it or not, etc. God approves of me no matter what. That is all the approval I need for a lifetime and for eternity. God’s love for me is unceasing and unconditional. Not dependent on me at all.

I’m approved. On my worst day I have God’s approval. In my worst hour, I have God’s approval. No one can love me more than God. No one will love you more. Can you hear this? I hope so, because I wrote it more for me. To remind myself that I am loved and approved forever by a God who is unchanging and true, when everyone we loved (or thought loved us) failed us. I may feel like crap. I may feel beat up. But it can’t change the truth. God loves me, approves of me, and is good.

Without Fear


I went down
high school
memory lane
this week for
a pending
EMDR session.

I thumbed
through my
three yearbooks.

Sixty-two was
not as bumpy
as I thought it
was.

I transferred in
that year. It
came and went.

Can’t remember
much with class
photos the size
of a postage
stamp.

Sixty-three was
better than I
thought.

Her entry was
touching, really
cute. I found
her but couldn’t
remember much.

Looks like we
were going
steady at the
end of my
junior year.

I know we
broke up, but
why?

I wasn’t myself.

I mean,
I didn’t know
then what I
know now.

If I screwed up,
it was probably
me, not you.

Anyway, my life
was complicated
and I didn’t know
it then. (Blocked
child abuse works
that way. Sorry.)

Sixty-four was a
surprise. Aside
from the fact
that home life
sucked and I
was afraid of my
own shadow, it
wasn’t that bad.

Did I write in her
yearbook? Do you
think she’ll read
this?

Sadly, I’ve never
gone back. Some
things we don’t
get to do or do
again.

Don’t know why.
Was it fear that
kept me away?

But this surprise
trip down memory
lane has shown
me that I can
chose to remember
differently and

without fear.

Odds and Ends No. 29


I sat staring so long, thinking so hard,
my coffee was cold with sludge floating
on the surface. It sat too long; I sipped

but it left a heavy ring on the inside of
the cup which matched the ring I
imagined was on the inside of my head.

No matter how hard I thought, I couldn’t
make anything change or improve. Well,
not really. I mean, the little things count.

My trial bullet journal for March couldn’t
get more messy. I’m hoping the new one
I start for April will make all the clouds

go away. I never write a post this early in
the morning. Well, I can’t say that now,
can I? The day is like me today. Overcast.

But I am filled with words and want them
to come out. I’m not done yet but I don’t
know what I’m doing. Coffee can’t fix

everything. In preparation for EMDR today,
I revisited some of the authors of my youth;
it didn’t cheer me up as I became more

melancholy. Prolific writers all. The fact
that I’m nobody else but me makes my coffee
intake whimsical at best; coffee may enhance

but it doesn’t solve the problem. John
Dickson Carr, P.D. James. They were brilliant.
Azimov, Heinlein amazed me constantly.

There were many others. Bonhoeffer stands
out for his wisdom. I think we could have
talked for hours. This must sit until later; I

must face the day as it is. What must happen
to make the stories come out? What must
happen to make the words flood the page?

They are at my fingertips like a log jam but
won’t come out! I’m looking at an itchy water
blister at the base of my pointer finger of my

left hand. Haven’t seen those since I was
twelve at summer camp. (I squeezed the heck
out of it. Now it really hurts.) Remember

calamine lotion? I used to be covered in it.
It was no fun then; not fun now. Time got
away from me again. Well, I’m back but it is

Friday now. I decided to walk Thunderbird
before lunch yesterday. My feet were too
painful to walk the day before. Heavy low

clouds rumbled overhead. A few drops of rain
dotted the windshield and the temperature
dropped to sixty degrees. Cool for here. I made

my way from the parking lot to the first ridge
line. The clouds were moving rapidly to the
east. (Who knows what I pressed by accident,

but the phone wouldn’t take a landscape shot.)
It was sunny and cool by the time I finished.
I stopped for a few grocery items on the way

home and had a late lunch. I’m cutting back
on wheat, mostly bread. Back to Mestemacher
whole rye bread for breakfast toast and lunch.

The slices are long and thin and don’t fit in
the toaster. I remembered that as I was about
to open a new package of seven slices. Aha! I

cut the package in half with a bread knife,
wrapped each half in foil, put them in quart
plastic bags, then in the fridge. This way I can

toast them easily, etc. I’m a genius when it
comes to stupid stuff. So why do things like
writing, love, life, and everything else drive

me to despair? The blue ink cartridges came for
my Pilot Metropolitan and old Namiki pens
today. A blessing in a small box works for me

taking me one step closer to BuJo heaven.