dianadragonfly: (Default)
I realize I have been using my journal mostly for quick rants or to complain about how I feel.


I will write something intelligent again, I promise.

Today, as I was walking into Walgreens, getting all geared up for Monday, I had a flash back to the first year of full-time job work I had. I was working in the school as an aide and I remembered thinking that it was Thursday, and how glad I was, because then the weekend was coming. And then I thought... "Wow. This is how people live life -- waiting for the weekend, for the summer break, for Thanksgiving. This is how 20 years pass at a job. This is how people get OLD!"

I am doing what I love.
But, it can and does get me down.
I want to be a professional at something, not just work like a professional and get paid like everyone else, which is what I do now. I have a Master's degree (or I'm a few months away). I have higher education out my ass. I get paid poverty wages.

I LOVE the kid I work with.
I LOVE them all, although some really become mine and some don't.
But, I can't go on doing this. It's hard work and it it's impractical with my health. And, well, it pays shit.

I've been thinking of getting my RESNA certification. I can do that on my own (it will take lots of money though)
I will be able to be hired on at schools as an assistive technology consultant. Dude, it would be what I do now, but with MONEY.

I think I need to learn basic programing though. And things like basic circuitry, etc.

I also need to get my writing in serious gear. Truly. I love doing my creative non-fiction but I need to find an outlet for it. Try to sell some stuff. Writing to try to catch the attention of rock stars is one thing, but I need to make money. Not only that, but I need to make a life doing it. I need to see it as my career.
dianadragonfly: (Default)
Thanks so much for the Ryche essay comments.
It means so much that you would wade through 40000 pages of my shit.

[livejournal.com profile] musewithamagnum, I miss the hell out of you too.

Today, I was listening to "Chasing Blue Sky" and I heard the perfect line to describe this whole thing --
"You're the rose colored glass I see through"

So, of course, I had to add that.
And I edited the end. The quote at the end from Mindcrime II still doesn't flow as well I would have liked. Anyway, please let me know if you think I should send this to him, or if it would be sort of a desperate fan girl act.
new section and edit )

Long essay

Oct. 18th, 2006 02:24 pm
dianadragonfly: (Default)
So, this is the essay I started in Seattle.
I wanted to explain the watcher concept. It just went from there.

Notice that I left out anything really to do with women in my life. It ended up being focused on my relationships with men.

Read more... )
dianadragonfly: (Default)
have that nasty hung-over staring-at-computer too long feeling.

I'm up to 50 pages on my book.

But other things, like showering and eating and working, seem to invade by work.


I think I'll put it aside for now and plan to write like a demon on Monday and Tuesday.

I want to have 70 pages by Wednesday.
dianadragonfly: (Default)
I wonder what the requirement is, although I'll know tomorrow when I ask evil advisor.
She's not evil.
Just exasperated.
I'm always not getting shit done for her class. She has also been one of the most encouraging people when it comes to my writing. I don't think she doubts my talent, but she doubts my ability. Meaning, she doesn't think I'll ever produce anything.

And it pissed me off so much because I have those same doubts.
A million more times than she does.
dianadragonfly: (Default)
sleep Les. Go to bed.

The good new is that I've tagged entries back until October. I'm realizing that by tagging them, I am really putting together a really comprehensive way to scan my journal for stuff that will be useful for my thesis.

I have that "2 am agitation" -- I need to go to bed, but I'm afraid that when I wake up, I won't be as productive.

Someone make me sleep.


Jan. 28th, 2006 04:49 pm
dianadragonfly: (Default)
It was my September 11th.
I was 10.
It was when I realized that really bad things could happen, before I realized that some of the talking about those bad things by adults was not because it needed to be talked about, but to exploit and manipulate viewers and readers. I collected all the newspaper clippings and saved them in a scrapbook. I have no idea why -- what was it that caught my attention?

Maybe it was because I was a pretty literate kid and I started to read newspapers then. We also got a satellite dish and my world expanded from ABC (and CBS and NBS on clear nights) to a CNN and MTV and all sorts of other input that made me really vulnerable to all the emotion-mongers and talking heads and replay after reply. I don't know but it was one of my first obsessions.

I remember other events from much earlier (age 4 or 5) -- John Lennon being shot, Reagan elected, Reagan shot, Columbia's lift off, hostages freed, Diana and Charles' wedding. These are barely remembered, though, and I mostly remember my mom's reactions to the stories. I don't know. How strange and American that someone remembers their preschool years mostly by her mother's reaction to the television stories.

I remember my mom's reaction to all big events of my early early childhood -- breaking my arm, our dog getting run over. Sign that I had attachment issues?


But Challenger was the first time that I had any connection with anyone on the little gray box that represented the world Peter Jennings or Ted Turner thought was important.

I started writing melodramatic diary entries about how I felt, using every cliche I could come up with.
(Not much has changed, huh?) So I guess it was important because that's when I started to really have an inner life, an inner narrative that I kept hidden and written down, mostly because I started to realize that other people didn't get obsessed over things like Challenger, and that to have obsessions like mine were weird and not very cool.

That persists today. No one wants me to tell them about what's going on in my brain. It makes an awkward lunch party. But if I can get it written -- damn -- that make might some good reading.

Just as an aside, the age difference between me and hubby doesn't really bother me, but he was 20 when it happened. Totally different generation when you consider it. The 10 year old I babysit said she likes Bush because he's been president most of her life. I prefer to think of the last six years as sort of an abnormal blip on the events of history, but it's her whole world at this point. Wow.
dianadragonfly: (Default)
I knew they'd come to good use someday.

I just got done writing not one, but two stories!  With pictures even.  They are social stories for my boy with autism.  Here they are, in full:
Story one: 
When I have to pee, I go to the bathroom and pee in the toilet.  **photo of a toilet with yellow water, with a circle around it and an arrow pointing to it**
I am careful not to pee on the rug or on the floor.  **photo of a rug with a big X over it and then a photo of a bathroom, with a circle around the toilet and an arrow, and a big red X on the floor**
I don't pee in my pants or underwear  **photo of boys' underwear with a big red X and photo of pants with a big red X**
I don't pee on my pillows or in my bed. **photos of a bed and pillows with Xs"
I don't pee in the bathtub  **photo of a bathtub with an X"

The second story is pretty much the same thing, but a different bodily function.  Photo software for kids with disabilities has clip art of turds floating in toilets, if you ever need to know that. 

And they say I'm wasting my writing skills by spending so much time at my jobs. 
dianadragonfly: (Default)
If I ever get this damn book written, I'll call a chapter "The Ballad of Terri Schiavo"
dianadragonfly: (Default)
When I'm not on here, I'm not thinking in text.
When I'm not thinking in text, I'm not really having any sort of inner creative life-- just reacting.

When you don't see me on here, smack me, k? Remind me that as much as I love my kids, I'm here to learn to WRITE and I need to finish my thesis. Everything, including my sweet 5 year old who starts conducitve education next week and I'm starting his communication system next week too, to my 12 year old who was throwing a tantrum so bad, his mom called me and asked if I'd take him so she could take a shower (after an hour of riding around together, I told him we were going home and giving his mom a big hug and kiss. He got out of my car and nearly broke the door down, and gave his mom a big "I'm sorry" hug) to my 20 year old who made me pizza the other day -- is secondary to my thesis this semester. I know this.

To know someone who is nonverbal is to really connect in a way that few people on this earth are able to do.
I'm blessed and to convince myself that there is something WRONG with me for liking this, or for doing this work, or that I should pull back -- I think that might cut out the best part of me and the part that gives me the most joy.

But I know that it's not healthy to sit here and plan how to rearrange my great-uncle's room in the nursing home if I could just get to visit. It's not healthy to worry about the future of two little girls in separate group homes, both hours away from me, both totally beyond my reach, even if I did love them and care about them once. I have to untangle.

When I first went to counseling, it was because I couldn't separate myself from problems in my family -- my mom and stepdad were separating and I felt the need to fix it. John helped me learn to put up boundries there. But I think I have learned to withdraw from those closest to me that have the most power and instead I attach it to kids, who have the power to break my heart, but not totally devastate me. Moving on is part of the relationship with my kids and is built into everything I do. i have to explain to my 20 year old all the time that I'm her friend, but I'm also like a teacher. My job is to make sure she's okay without me. That "out" is built into the relationship.

But other relationships? Like, say, with my husband? The only out there is divorce or death, both options so heartbreaking that I can't wrap my head around them. So I have a distance between us. Same with sisters and mom and relatives. But my kids -- I can let them break my heart over and over and know that there's always another kid that will want me, another family that needs help. I'm in demand. I'm valued. I'm appreciated. I'm not someone that can be walked away from -- it's me that usually has to walk away. I'm not gonna lie and say that's not part of it. But it's sheer joy. It really is. It's like knowing something mysterious and wonderful and you try to convince the rest of the world of this and all they see is brokenness. Today, while the 12 year old cooled off and ran around the park, mismatched clothes, waving his hands in the air, making dolphin sounds, I felt sorry for all the people who stared and had no idea what a beautiful creature he is.

And des[ite all the things I'm scared of, that I get off on the power of it, or that I enjoy being wanted, that moment in the park reminds me that there is good in what I do and need not mistrust my motives so much.

If I can pull away long enough to write my book, I can help convince the world of the beauty of this kiddo, of all of them I've come in contact with. I just have to get this done.

story idea

Dec. 19th, 2005 09:43 am
dianadragonfly: (Default)
So... my friend was telling me about getting drunk and half-nekkid with a guy in the Dickson street book store last weekend.
She ended up with two books that she doesn't remember buying -- Women Who run with The Wolves and BabyDays-- Activities to do at home with children under three. And her youngest is ten.
And he doesn't have kids.

She said "There's a story for you to write some day."
I said "amen."
dianadragonfly: (Default)
And, because I haven't thought in song lyrics in a long time, I present:
The Theraputic Typing of Lyrics! (TTTL). )


Nov. 24th, 2005 10:54 pm
dianadragonfly: (Default)
Melancholy... which is good.

This is how I wrote best. By my self. No pressure to get up the next day. Empty house. At first I freak out and try to distract myself, then I sort of make peace with myself and write something.
I've scheduled myself so tightly this semester that I haven't had this space to just breathe. I miss it. I miss me.

Distracting myself is infinitely easier with the internet. I might never get past that stage if I'm not careful.

First, I get incredibly nostalgic for every person I ever loved and wonder why they hell they are. This was triggered yesterday by seeing, I swear to god, Brian Berger, my former teamleader, walking in front of me in the Walmart parking lot. I used to do this alot, when I saw people that reminded me of people I knew everywhere I went. I'd see a set of eyes and think -- my god, I've seen eyes that blue before. Where? And it would be a day later before I realized that they belonged to Daniel, the boy from the other floor who helped out in the cafeteria at the juvenile detention center. He was so meek that I wondered over and over how he ended up where he was.

The boys that are 21 are probably in jail now. I have no illusions that any of them turned their lives around, or at least not from their time with us. We weren't that kind of place.

I think alot about Darren. He arrived the same day I did. He was my primary. I broke his heart by not getting him a pair of boots. I imagine he's back in jail. I remember the time he got restrained and I just sat there, holding his legs on the ground, feeling him cry-- he'd stopped struggling. I realized that this was the first time anyone had probably touched him in a year -- programs for sex offenders are usually "no touch." It's for everyone's safety, but I wondered how it would feel if no body ever ever even shook your hand or put a hand on your shoulder. Wouldn't even a restraint be an endorphin release? It sounds Mary Kay whatshername freakish, but I just suddenly wanted to cry for this kid, how much good there was in him, and how, by all accounts, his life was written for him from him on out. I couldn't save him. He couldn't save himself. I just wanted to release the restraint and hug him and cry with him. But instead I helped hold him on the ground until it was over, along with two or three burly men who took that time to inflict as much pain as possible. I imagine he's into meth now -- I remember some sort of meth connection at the time. I imagine he's in jail. Or dead.

I remember restraining Charlie on broken glass. I saw he'd broken the window, grabbed him, pulled him out of the way, knowing that a restraint was useless because he wasn't damaging any more property, didn't mean to damage the property he'd just damaged, and wasn't a threat to anyone. Then, another staff member came in and tackled him, so of course, I had to help, and all three of us went down in the broken glass.

I remember restraining Jeremiah in the snow. I quit after that. It was for the wrong reasons -- it was to prove a point.

I still am following the case of the boy in St. Louis who was arrested.

My lost boys... the saddest thing about sex abuse is that almost EVERY person who does it has been abused before. Where does it end? Not with my boys, that's for sure. The oldest is already back in jail. He's the only one old enough to have his name show up in web searches. As the rest turn 21, it will keep going. What do we do? Lock them up like animals for the rest of their lives to stop the cycle? Let them live in this humiliation we call the juvenile justice system? My mind goes back to the blog of the man who kidnapped that little girl in Oregon. He was so like the boys -- so normal, and so not.

Anyway...talking about distracting myself... wow....
I haven't thought about these guys in awhile. If don't believe in hell, but I've thought deep down that someday, I'm going to have to answer for what I saw there, and what I did.

Restraining Jeramiah in the snow.
He was 14, for godssake.
Watching whathisname twist the skin on Ray's arm during a restraint.
Watching that dude -- I forget his name -- making the boys on Hayes do wall sits. Hayes was the pre-adolescent floor even. They were BABIES!
That old guy on Hayes, they thought he'd be a grandfather type for the boys. Instead he was propositioning them.
The college girl on Jackson that slept with two of the boys.
Whathisname screaming and acting crazy -- we were sure it was an act -- until they came and gave him a buttful of thorazine. Now, I'm not sure he was acting. Often, when I looked at him, he seemed confused.
Kevin, so sweet and whiny, the floor piss-boy, then one day would wake up and be a different boy. His eyes -- I can't explain it -- they were darker. The fierceness was truly terrifying when it came on like that, so suddenly. F. had that same look in his eyes, that angry blankness, that "F's not here -- nobody's here but me and I'm gonna fuck you up" look. But F. was angry all the time. Not Kevin. This was the boy that cried all not, every night.

Sleep tight, guys. Wherever you are.

I'll never know why I didn't quit.

Yes, I thought that I could do more good from within that without.
I should have kept notes, kept records, but so? Who would listen? Everything I saw happen there was justifiable on paper, so I would have a hell of time proving anything.

wow -- yeah -- I'm distracting myself. It's time to get busy. But Jesus...

Is it too much to hope that just one of my boys goes on to live a happy life? Just one? That it wasn't all just torture for them and for me.


Nov. 3rd, 2005 10:05 pm
dianadragonfly: (Default)
Yes, I blame [livejournal.com profile] jecendiary for this.  i've gone NaNoWriMo.
dude, I have a thesis due in a few months.  I need all the help I can get. 
Now, do I start with my thesis idea (which is revised to the point of starting from scratch) or do an entire work of fiction?

Either way, I'm three days behind!

Life is good here.  So far, digging the whole married thing.
Actually, it isn't a whole lot different that the living together thing, but now it's appropriate for family members to inquire about children. AND I'm all fuzzy and giddy feeling -- good to have when you've been together for so long. 

And I have a small fortune (for me0 in gift cards.
I can't afford to step into Pier One, but I have $75 to kill there.  $160 in Bed Bath and Beyond.

Life is good.  But I need to get shit done.
dianadragonfly: (Default)
I don't like it when I'm not on here much. It means that I'm not writing -- anything. This is usually a catalyst for other writings. When I stop thinking in this sort of narrative voice is when I get the most isolated from myself and what I want.

Anyway...since I am tired and worn out, I won't type long.

I do present the ever-lengthining list of things I have fixed with duct tape and/or medical tape at respite:

1. affixed too small diapers
2. fixed a broken seatbelt grommet on a wheel chair
3. fixed a client's bra
4. made numerous privacy curtains out of sheets
5. clsed broken battery doors on flashlights
6. shoes
7. cooking utensils
8. covered a shower head with a washcloth and tape to help with a shower and NOT get myself soaked (water drips out instead of spraying everywhere
9 electronic toy
10 air mattress

that's offhand. Most of those were this weekend too

We had a young man that required pretty much 100% care. I helped with almost every transfer and did a few on my own. I'm getting more comfortable with this. ANd better at it.

It helps to be in a low pressure environment where I can say "Okay, I'm going to lift him this time, but will you stand here just in case I need help?"

It's funny. I've dealt with all sorts of disabilities, but I haven't done a lot of wheelchair transfers.

We have one boy that didn't come this time. He also needs about 100% assist, but he is verbal and pretty much all there mentally. He only lets certain people work with him because he's too scared. I think, after this weekend and all the work I did with this new kiddo, I'll be able to help this other guy more.

dianadragonfly: (Default)
I hope so!
A friend got published (with $$ even) in McSweeny's.

S's articles in a three volume Encylopedia of literature amd Politics came out today.

And I'm not jealous at all.  Truly truly happy for them.  This is new.  Must think about it. 
dianadragonfly: (Default)
When I'm not writing in my journal, it's usually a sign that I'm stressed and miserable.

I can't report on it... I don't want my "watchers" around. This is sort of new for me. I've sort of been playing to the watchers whenever something bad is happening. To internalize it is new.

Nothing bad is happening. I'm emotional and achy. I really need more methotrexate. 5 a week doesn't cut it. And I swear the provigil makes me have more body aches. Is that possible? I used to think it was just that I did more with the provigil, but no, I think it makes me ache more.

The first batch of invites went out. I'm stressed and broke. What else is new?

Email me at lesleydianet at my gmail account if you want an invite. :)

Got to get to work now. Will write later.
dianadragonfly: (Default)
so I can't spell

I'm typing on my travel/dad essay.
And "Beside You" comes on Ryche radio.

dammit Kevin. There's tears in my fukkin eyes.

I've tried to give to you
What you need to get you through
I'll always be Beside You.


Jul. 11th, 2005 07:44 pm
dianadragonfly: (Default)
I'm trying really hard not to get frustrated by everything.  But it's so hard.  I'm living the story in my head right now -- trying to find time to write it -- and I have to do everyday things like paperwork and housework and its too hot and crowded and messy in here for me to even think!!!

What I should do is NOT come home after my class and instead stay at school and work.  The problem with that is that the only time I have alone is during the say.  I like to write then -- and listen to music and sort of inhabit this world, ya know.  Just me in the house.  Listening to music.  Writing a little, hanging out of the boards, writing some more.  My inner critic has gotten so strong that the best way to shut it up is to convince it that I'm not working.  SEe?  I'm on the Queensryche boards!  I'm on livejournal!  This word processing window -- it's nothing.  Just notes.  I'm not really WRITING!  And then I have 5 pages of badly disconnected fiction, but at least it's there to be edited.  When I sit and say "I am now going to write" nothing comes.  Or I delete what I've written. 

Anne Lamott writes about breaking writers block by writing letters and not sending them.  Once free of the "I must write something beautiful" urge, the ability to experiement comes back.  She needs a blog.  i've written more in this past year than I have in my whole life, on and off the net.  I can't do this when I am just journaling.  I think I need an audience in some weird way, and you guys are it.  Sorry. 

I'm frustrated because I'm still living a little in the "Take Hold of the Flame" mode from CA -- I was a respected professional in my field that spoke with other respected professionals and am on my way to doing some really good work.  Not only that, but I went to a party where I was a star (me or my penis sippy cups, not for sure which) rode in a limo, saw an awesome show, and really got a chance to talk to someone I've had conversations in my head with for years.  To come back to teaching advanced composition at 7:30 a.m. and doing paperwork ("client was compliant and agreeable") that boils the kids I  work with down to a rating on a piece of paper -- it just sucks.  I don't want to get my oil changed or clean out my car or grade papers or plan for class.  I am tired of being vaguely hot and miserable!  I want to be standing in the third row, screaming out the lyrics to "Screaming in Digital."  I wanna be sitting with my laptop in a bar and thinking about what I can write to make people understand really what is happening at this conference I was at. 


My stepdad once said to my mom "Your kids think they are too good for hard work." 
I've had shit jobs, but I think he's right.  Dad especially always pushed us to do something different -- extraordinary -- something that he could brag about.  well, he didn't tell us that even the extraordinary jobs have paperwork.  And he didn't live long enough for us to tell him that. 
Stll -- even when scrubbing toilets or working on the comb-packing machine in 100 degree weather, I've been given a sense (from my dad) that this was temporary.  NOT my life.  I think that's what my stepdad means. 
My sister and I had this conversation once, sitting in our car outside the apartment.  A U2 song came on and we howled along, neither of us being musically gifted.  I think it was "With or withoooouuuuuutttt  yyyyyyyyyyooooooouuuuuuuuuuu, uuhhh-huh.  I can't liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiivee...."  I said "Well, I can tell you what we're not goning to be famous for!"

I'm gonna miss my sister, although I am already sick of her shit in my house. 
dianadragonfly: (Default)
He's stressing about dissertation.
I'm stressing about thesis.
the house is hot.
My sister's shit is everywhere.
We get married in October.

God lord, if S. and I survive this summer, we KNOW we can survive about anything.  It's reminding me of our "blue collar" summer of 1999 -- he worked at the engine factory and I was a custodian.  Great use of our degrees.  But he got hired on to teach at the college that next August and I went into AmeriCorps.

That was our second summer together.
It's been a long time. :) 

He's really keyed up and stressed right now and I know how he feels.  Poor guy.  I usually have to sit on the porch swing until I can come back in.  He's playing guitar.

I love to hear him play guitar.


dianadragonfly: (Default)

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