Blissfully Informed Hippie Chick

Encouraging people to think critically about everything.

Faerie Locks

I will soon be posting a new type of post on a regular basis, and I’d like to go ahead and clear some things up ahead of time…

I recently started only using baking soda mixed with water to wash my hair. Which is going awesome! It has become a personal goal of mine to live as natural a life as possible. It’s something I continually read about and strive for.

Recently, I began reading about truly natural hair… before the invention of the brush. Brushes and combs are man-made, unnatural. Think about it…we say “I need to fix my hair”. Fix. As if there’s something “wrong” with our hair…on a daily basis, no less! The truth is that, if kept clean and left to it’s own wild nature, most people would develop dreadlocks within a year or two. The Celts actually called them “faerie locks” or “elf locks”. (The myth being that faeries and elves created the locks as people slept.)

So as a test of my patience, self-control, determination, and trust in myself and the natural state of the universe, I have officially stopped brushing my hair. Yesterday, to be exact. As curly as my hair naturally is, I expect dreadlocks, or faerie locks, to form within a few months. And I fully intend on posting pictures of their progress.

That said, I will now clear some things up…

No, I’m not a Rastafarian.
Yes, I like Bob Marley.
No, dreadlocks aren’t dirty.
Yes, I’m kinda a Hippie.
No, it isn’t about fashion or being trendy.
Yes, I realize “what people will think/say”.
No, I don’t care.

This is for me. This is a spiritual journey more than anything else. It’s an adventure. I’m excited and nervous. I expect to be judged. That’s why I’m clearing this up now. I ask that you be respectful and kind, or hold your tongue. This is about me, not about you.

Peace.

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Sitting With Discomfort

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This bothers me. A lot. It’s a solitary dog hair on my pants. Why does this bother me so much? In one word: anxiety. Beyond that, I’m not quite sure. But I am learning to be mindful. I’m learning to sit with my emotions, the positive and the negative ones. I am learning to live fully in the present. To use all my senses. To be aware of my body… my heart rate, my breathing, my tension, all of it. It is an interesting journey, to say the least. I am learning a lot about myself. I feel that this will be a year of much growth for me.

(By the way, I didn’t pick the hair off my pants, as I normally would. I let it fall off on it’s own. It was incredibly satisfying to practice that amount of self-control.)

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Quiet

Quiet…

What is that, you ask?

That glorious sound which I so seldom hear.

Bobby sleeping peacefully in the other room.

Natalie breathing heavily on my lap.

The dogs slumbering on the couch.

Lizzy and Meghan at church.

Sam on his way home.

It’s just me, in the semi-dark, in the quiet.

I breathe deeply.

I savor the moments while they last.

I think I remember this sound.

It’s eerily comforting, yet slightly disconcerting.

I hear it so rarely, my brain tells me something is amiss.

Maybe I don’t long for quiet as strongly as it seems.

“The days are long, but the years are short.”

I understand.

One day, the quiet will haunt me.

One day, I’ll long for the voices, the giggles, the shrieks.

One day, they’ll be gone.

Tonight, the quiet reminds me to enjoy the noisy chaos that fills my days.

One day, it will be so very, very quiet all the time.

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Sensory Overload

I’m in a pissy mood. Just a bad funk. Everything is getting on my nerves. If anyone else has sensory issues, this is what’s called sensory overload. I think it started because of my 17 mo old nursing practically nonstop lately… he’s just gotten 4 teeth and is going through a growth spurt. Nursing is hard for me… having a sensitivity to touch already… so this nonstop stuff makes my skin crawl. Then my senses all heighten. Every other touch makes me cringe and wrap myself in a blanket. Once in this agitated state, the other senses are on alert… every tiny noise is blaringly obvious, everything magnified outrageously. I normally can cope pretty well, and I see these sensitivities as a great asset…I hear noises, smell odors, see things, before anyone else. But days like today are incredibly hard.

Why am I telling you this? Because these sensitivities begin at birth. Babies who are deemed “colicky”, toddlers who are labeled “difficult”, kids who are labeled “obstinate” often have sensory issues. They can’t communicate these feelings, and don’t know they experience the world any differently than anyone else. If sensory overload makes me want to yell at everybody for everything, shut down and hide in bed, then how can we expect kids to handle it any better? I’ve had nearly 33 years of experience and I still can’t shake the feelings associated with sensory overload… frustration, depression, stress, rage. But yet, children are punished before anyone even considers that they may be just overwhelmed with physical or mental sensations.

A little compassion goes a long way, for all living things. Some empathy and the desire to understand rather than control would go even further.

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Narcissism: A symptom of the cycle of abuse

When you think about it, where better could a narcissist get such a ready, biddable, vulnerable source of Narcissistic Supply than from her own children?

These women have, of course, all the specific traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. But as mothers they have a few other tricks too, especially for their children.

They fall into one of two categories – engulfing mothers who see no boundaries between themselves and their daughters on the one hand, and ignoring mothers who don’t particularly even see their daughters at all, and certainly don’t care. Each is hugely dysfunctional and damaging.

One trick, or aspect, of narcissistic mothers, is that they’re quite often nice. This can be so confusing – part of the head-wreckingness of this whole NPD. The niceness always has strings attached though.

One of Narcissistic mothers’ favourite tricks is invalidation, including a particularly nasty and insiduous form of invalidation called gaslighting. No matter what emotions or memories you bring up, they’ll dismiss them. This leads you to not knowing which way is up. Are they really toxic, or are they right about it all being your fault? (Light’s Toxicity Test sorts this dilemma out beautifully!)

They master various forms of abuse, including forcing their children into the Golden Child or Scapegoat roles, and pure and simple bullying.

They’re emotional vampires, feeding off yours and others’ tragedies, and always dismiss or otherwise ruin your successes and celebrations. I found therefore that dealing with my narcissistic mother involved only the most banal of conversation – I could share neither my highs nor my lows as both were used as fodder for her drama and self-centredness.

Narcissistic Mothers also have the twin cruelties of parentification and infantalisation, where they get you to parent them and keep you dependant on them. respectively. A narcissistic mother could do either or both of these.

Another one of their tricks is triangulation, where they make themselves the pivotal point of the family dynamic and everything has to go through them.

Add to this, many narcissistic mothers’ extreme vanity, and their sometimes bizarre attitude towards sexuality, and you have quite a combination.

Mothers with Narcissistic Personality Disorder can’t always do it alone, of course. They need help, and Enabling Fathers are the perfect ones to give them that help.

(source)

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers was the website that made everything click for me. I had known that things weren’t “right” about my childhood for years, but finding that website was truly the beginning of my awareness of what went wrong and how to go about fixing it. I spent about 7 months seeing a therapist regularly. She helped me in ways I can’t fully explain. I think that having a good therapist is a must for some people to be able to work through their past and close that chapter in their life. It can be discouraging to find a therapist who is right for you (it took me three tries), but I urge you to keep at it.

It has been years since I first read through that website. I have gone no contact with my mother twice now. I went through feelings of hatred, contempt, depression, and pity. I have minimal contact with her now, and a tentative acceptance that this is just who she is and what our relationship will always be.

At this point in my life, I have come to realize that narcissism is one possible outcome of having one’s emotional needs neglected as a child, especially a young child. It’s simply part of the cycle of emotional/physical abuse. Children are born basically as little narcissists, for their own survival needs. Emotionally healthy children outgrow that stage and begin to see how they fit into the world around them. Children who are neglected keep that narcissism as a survival mechanism. They aren’t being adequately cared for, so they must care for themselves. My mother often talked about how she felt abandoned and neglected growing up. Though, I also know that my grandfather had a horrific childhood, my grandmother’s wasn’t peachy, and both had to work a lot just to put food on the table for my mother and uncle. So my mom’s narcissism is a product of her upbringing and circumstances surrounding her childhood, but also of my grandparents’ upbringing and circumstance. When I began to see it as a multi-generational issue, I had more compassion toward my mom and could see that she truly did do better for me than was done to her. That doesn’t change the mistakes she made, the emotional and physical abuse done to me. But it explains it. And that explanation helped me to move forward in my recovery, and strengthened my resolve to do the best I possibly can for my kids so they don’t have the same path of recovery that I do. I think that seeing authoritarian parenting as a long cycle of abuse is a key component to breaking that cycle.

That’s exactly what I’m aiming to do with the page I run on Facebook: Recovering From Authoritarian Parenting. We can break the cycle of abuse. We can raise the next generation with gentleness and peace. Authoritarianism and permissiveness are not the only options.

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The Matrix is Real

When you finally realize that mainstream food companies are basically selling us food full of chemicals and devout of nutrients, you may, like many others, start to become a little fanatic about reading ingredients lists, seeking out GMO-free products, supplementing with superfoods, and actually paying attention to what goes into your body.

Well, guess what? Now, you suddenly may have a mental disorder, at least according to scientists at the University of Northern Colorado who conducted a case study about the obsession of eating healthy. This new eating disorder is called orthorexia nervosa (ON) and is said to be driven by a fear of being unhealthy and disgust for low-quality food.

“Orthorexia nervosa (ON) is a term introduced to describe a condition characterized by a pathologic obsession for bio-logically pure and healthy nutrition.” ~Ryan M. Moroze, MD. et al [1]

How can you judge if you or someone you love is suffering from orthorexia? Similarly to most other mental illness assessment, a quick review of a checklist of potential traits will do. According to Dunn, if you identify with two or more of the following traits, you might need to see a counselor:

1. You consume a nutritionally unbalanced diet because of concerns about “food purity.”

2. You’re preoccupied about how eating impure or unhealthy foods will affect your physical or emotional health.

3. You rigidly avoid any food you deem to be “unhealthy,” such as those containing fat, preservatives, additives or animal products.

4. You spend three or more hours per day reading about, acquiring or preparing certain kinds of food you believe to be “pure.”

5. You feel guilty if you eat foods you believe to be “impure.”

6. You’re intolerant of other’s food beliefs.

7. You spend an excessive proportion of your income on “pure” foods. [4]

(source)

This is scary in more ways than one…

First, it seems that anyone exhibiting thoughts or behaviors that go against “the mainstream” are now being labeled mentally ill. This label is then used to not only attempt to control such thoughts and behaviors through the use of pharmaceuticals, but also to discredit the message they might be trying to portray (“Oh, don’t mind Johnny, he’s just got a mental disorder.”)

Second, on a scarier note, a mental health diagnosis can be used as the basis for all sorts of government control: taking children from their “mentally ill” parents, forcing pharmaceuticals on children with the threat of making them wards of the state if their parents don’t comply, having individuals committed to institutions, removing the right to own a firearm or manage your own finances or a multitude of other things.

With the amount of mental “disorders” that have been named thus far, basically the only way to be considered “normal” is to go to college while amassing student loans that you’ll be paying off for 30 years, get a job in which you’re unhappy but need to pay all your student loans, buy a house with a mortgage you can’t really afford, drive a brand-new car you don’t need, get married to someone you can’t stand, eat “food” from a box or fast food restaurant, have exactly two children whom you will place in government-run “learning” institutions for nearly all their childhood, go on vacations using credit cards, watch 5 hours of propaganda-laden television every day, and purchase mountains of stuff, all cheaply-made in sweatshops and which will be quickly disposed of once it breaks or gets ruined or goes out of style, so that you can replace it with even more stuff.

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Do you want the red pill or the blue pill? 

Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.

Morpheus: The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.

The Matrix

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A quick note about food choices…

Over the summer, we started eating more wheat again. Starting at about Halloween up until New Years, we have had a LOT of sugar. Mostly homemade treats… pies and cookies and such… but still sugar. And far more processed food than “usual”. Last winter, I had only a couple days of fibromyalgia and arthritis pain. I also had no dairy, soy, or wheat and very little sugar. (My youngest was very sensitive to dairy, soy, and wheat.) This winter, I am in excruciating pain a lot of days. It’s so bad today that I have waves of pain just sitting here on the couch in the sun. I am totally convinced that it’s my diet. I started upping my fruit and veggie intake, and will be trying to cut back on wheat and sugar. I don’t want to live with this pain any longer. No amount of cookies is worth this!

There is hidden dairy, wheat, and soy in nearly every processed food, which is why I eliminated those almost entirely last year. I’m sure all the chemicals don’t help my body function properly, either. So what did I eat? A lot of fruit and veggies, meat, eggs, lots of root veggies like potatoes, corn tortillas and chips, beans, rice, quinoa, nuts. It took some getting used to, but I think that getting back into those habits will be far easier this time!

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Why I have a problem with “Blessing Bags” for the homeless

Great post. Be sure and read the comments referred to in the original blog =)

“Those posts pretty much sum up why the idea of “Blessing Bags” bothers me so much. I know that the intention behind them is good, but it’s dehumanizing because it implies that just because someone is homeless they can’t be trusted to be a decent enough person to deserve straight up cash, which is far more helpful than Blessing Bags or sets of clothing or baskets of food. It also implies that giving and kindness are conditional – people can’t just simply give for the sake of giving. They want to make sure what they give falls under some arbitrary “acceptable use” policy.

I can understand not wanting hard-earned cash to go to drugs or alcohol or whatever else – but honestly, how other people choose to deploy the help you give them is none of your business. You either give for the sake of giving, or you don’t, it’s simple as that. Just because you are better off or it’s your money you are giving to them, doesn’t mean you are better than them or that you get to decide how they live their lives. They are still human beings just like you.

If you don’t want your money going to drugs and booze, then just simply don’t give. No one’s going to hold that against you. But let’s not make it worse and dehumanize and humiliate people that are already down on their luck by directly passing out Blessing bags, clothing, food, or basically anything else that is representative of “conditional giving” – which is anything but cash or gift certificates. The money you spend on those things is usually far more useful to them than what you buy with it anyway. They can buy not only what they need, but what they want, if they are so inclined. Let them have that little bit of joy in their lives.”

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