Friday, August 23, 2013

Letting go of a dream can be so hard and so sad, this is why it is so hard to list my business inventory for sale

Today I finally started to take photos of my business stuff that I am selling. It was making me so sad though. I know its the right decision for me to make.  Yet still I found myself 2nd guessing the decision as if somehow I had miraculously been cured of my pain and injuries that had resulted in me making the choice in the 1st place. Even so I got pictures of most of my equipment. I still have to sort through the fibers, yarn, dyes, and things like that. I think my scale broke in the move so I really have no way to weigh everything out right now. It seems a bit pointless to go and buy a new scale just to get rid of it. If anyone out there has gone through this I would love to hear how you coped with the loss of your business even when it was  the right choice for you and your family.

I am thinking that I would really just like to sell it all in bundles at the very least. I don't want to fiddle with a whole lot of shipping or the things themselves anymore than necessary. I had to take deep breaths several times today to keep from crying. I loved my business. I loved making batts. I loved dyeing the yarns and fibers. I loved the colors and the zone I would get into when I was creating. I am afraid nothing will ever be able to replace the feeling that I used to get when creating my batts, tops, and yarns. I even loved coming up with the names and the descriptions. I loved it all. I enjoyed the festivals. I enjoyed meeting the people and making friends. Its like its all been lost now and I will have nothing to even keep as a reminder. I find I can't even knit or crochet how sucky is that? My hands and arms just hurt too much. When did this happen to me? I am really to young to feel this way. I don't want to feel this way. I don't want to lose all my creative stuff but to keep it would hurt worse in the long run. I know I would just look at it and remember or try to do it and hurt so badly. It would be one of those damned if you do situations. So for my peace of mind and body it really does all have to go. My hope is that I can find another creative outlet that wont hurt so much but still let me express myself.

On a positive note I know that whoever does get any of my things will take good care of it because that is just how the fiber community is. Also the money I get from it will all go towards our adoption & foster care process. That said, I plan on selling my stuff for a decent price. Its used but in great condition. Some of its even new. I wont try to rake any one over the coals but I don't want to be taken advantage of either. If that were the case I would just donate it to charity. I also plan to put up a list not just of the things I am selling but also the things we need for our foster care and later adoption. If we could do a partial trade for some stuff that would be just as good to me as money. I have some photos and I think I will do start the blogs for what I am getting rid of and another one for what I want. For now thank you for reading! *hugs*

Living with a Pain flareup can Suck

I wondered lately if anyone ever feels the mind searing pain that I do upon waking? There are times I wake and laying in bed hurts me so I know the day is going to be a doozy. Sure enough I struggle out of bed and down the stairs to fix a cup of tea and to take my meds. I am thankful that I didn't have to pick up Feno to take him to daycare today. I manage to make tea and take the meds then I find my phone and see I am missing my therapy. I sent my therapist the message so she knows what is going on. Unfortunately I will have to pay a missed fee for the group DBT that I missed. that sucks so bad. I really have been working and Trying it out. If I can get everything to get things situated I think i could apply as a receptionist or something
That is not yet though. Too many days getting  up late and ending up awake until after 2 am .  I am stressing Tom out to pretty badly. I need to make a real effort to go to bed with him at the end of the day. We are also going to start seeing aside a certain time each day where we will spend time just talking to each other. Soon this will hopefully be something I can just laugh about as a thing of the past. I tried out something called the P-stem and it was wonderful. I will post about it because it was so good I need to really talk about it. For now this is really all I wanted to say. *hugs* thanks for reading!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Part 5: Do You Suffer from Past Trauma (Childhood Abuse, PTSD, Domestic Violence, etc..)?

Please be aware though I will not be going into specifics this could be a trigger for some of you. Read with caution! 

Please remember any abuses that you have suffered were not your fault. You are a survivor! If you were able to survive the abuse, you can survive the emotions that have been left behind. You are not alone. There is someone out there who can help or listen. *hugs*

So far I have talked about Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Yoga, Meditation, Self Hypnosis, Massage Therapy, Setting Boundaries, Getting to know yourself basically. Now I want to talk about the thing that I have found to be the most helpful to me. It was actually designed for a specific type of mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder. I don't have that so I guess that would be one of the reasons it was not recommended to me for a long time. Luckily I had a great Dr in Lexington, KY. He told me about this program. He told me that even though it was designed for people with Borderline Personality Disorder that he had sent patients through it who suffered with Chronic PTSD with great success. The program is called DBT - Dialectical behavior therapy

I wanted to feel better and to stop being afraid. I figured I had nothing to lose really at this point. It still took me a while to call. I finally did and set up an appointment to find out about it. I met with the Dr who ran the DBT group. She explained to me how the program worked. Basically every week you have a group session and an individual session. In the group you learn skills to use. There is homework to help you practice the skills. At the next group you will go over the homework to see how you did along with learning new skills and getting new homework. The individual sessions help you adapt to life using the skills and also deal with things getting in the way. 

I have found this website DBT Self Help to be pretty helpful for looking up DBT stuff on my own. I do recommend find an actual DBT therapist and group though. My insurance covers it and so might yours. There are some pages that say they don't work but I have found you can work around them usually by clicking through to them from other places on the site. Also there are some great apps for DBT if you have an iPhone, not sure about other phones though. If you have any questions please ask and I will help you to the best of my abilities. 

There are 4 Modules in DBT that you learn. They are Mindfulness, Distress tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. The skills are taught in 6 months though most people take at least 2, 6month loops to really learn them. There are also 4 stages but I can not remember how they go right now. These skills though are far reaching and can help so many people because when you break them down they are basically life skills. 

These skills are just so useful that I felt I needed to talk about them or at least point some people in the right direction to find them. Help is out there. You don't have to suffer any longer. Life is worth living and you deserve to seek your joy.  Also for those who will not be able to really follow the program or seek out the therapy, I will be occasionally posting helpful hints and suggestions along the way to help encourage you. I think that is part of why we are here. We have to help out when we can right! *hugs*

Part 4: Do You Suffer from Past Trauma (Childhood Abuse, PTSD, Domestic Violence, etc..)?

Please be aware though I will not be going into specifics this could be a trigger for some of you. Read with caution! 

Please remember any abuses that you have suffered were not your fault. You are a survivor! If you were able to survive the abuse, you can survive the emotions that have been left behind. You are not alone. There is someone out there who can help or listen. *hugs*

How did I choose what I wanted and didn't want out of a relationship? Well we actually had to make a list for that in Massage school. It was actually pretty amazing to put down the things you know that you want, the things you know that you don't and then to see how the people in your life compare to it. I don't know if other schools teach the same skills as the one I attended but I am ever so grateful that I chose to go to school there.

Another thing that helped in school was the massage itself. We have a saying "The issues are in the tissues". The body fibers hold onto patterns from habit of use. Some people say they hold onto old emotion or energy. We are taught to just observe and be there for the client. Sometimes they may have an emotional outburst or release and you don't comfort them, you just continue to massage, maybe bring them tissues and the trash can unless they ask you to stop or something. I had such experiences myself.

The first time I had to get on the massage table at school I dreaded it. I didn't want to at all but I had to. It was required in our program. From the moment I got on the table and the person touched my back the tears started pouring from my eyes. The tears didn't stop for almost 3 hours even though the massage was only 3o min. My teacher actually asked was I sure that I would be able to continue with the program, or that I wanted to. I would and I did. Every time I was on the table I cried though it got better with time. Massage school helped me learn to be touched in a non sexual non threatening manner. I am now able to get a massage with out crying, though these days I do talk to the therapist because it helps me to stay calm so that I am able to get work done for my pain.

Now I am not saying that I think everyone should go to massage school. What I am saying is that its a good idea to decide what your boundaries are. It is also a good idea I think to work on touch therapy if you have the strong aversion to it like I did and it interferes with your day to day life. As a massage therapist I was able to work with a few people doing this type of therapy. For some I started working on them fully clothed in my massage chair because to lay on a massage table was too much for them. Gradually over time we were able to remove some layers of clothing, though always at the clients comfort level. Even though clothing is being removed while I was not working in an area I would drape the area with a sheet or towel to keep the person feeling safe and secure. On another person I worked on her hands and gradually worked my way up her arm to her shoulders. You just need to find someone you feel you can trust to work with you at your personal comfort level. If your therapist does not listen to you they are not the right person to go to.   to be continued....

Part 3: Do You Suffer from Past Trauma (Childhood Abuse, PTSD, Domestic Violence, etc..)?

Please be aware though I will not be going into specifics this could be a trigger for some of you. Read with caution! 

Please remember any abuses that you have suffered were not your fault. You are a survivor! If you were able to survive the abuse, you can survive the emotions that have been left behind. You are not alone. There is someone out there who can help or listen. *hugs*

I think learning to accept love is very hard if you have been abused. People who have been victims of abuse tend to be filled with guilt, shame, self hatred, self blame, low self esteem and they do not usually believe that they deserve to be loved. This is a hard one to understand, especially if that person has a partner that really loves them now. The person who suffered abuse may have doubts all the time, may get clingy, or may try to push the partner away. The abuse cycle hurts everyone involved.

Back to my story a bit and I should stop here to add this is not by any means a complete history. I am just telling the parts that helped me. We all had to go through a lot of messed up and bad times to get to the good ones and to get better. I leave all that out now for several reasons. 1) I don't like to dwell on it. 2) I don't really think its necessary to get my point across. 3) Knowing the bad things that have went down will not really help you out. Lets focus on the positive here.

With the encouragement of my friends that I lived with I decided to go to school for massage. In hindsight this was a very weird choice for me as I hated to be touched. My thoughts were I would be the one touching others and it would be a way to help people. I had a background in Home Health and Childcare so I wanted to do something I could make a difference in. I ended up loving Massage and loving Massage Therapy School. I had wonderful teachers. I learned amazing things. I came out of it with so much more than I thought I would.

You may be asking yourself what does Massage School have to do with any of this?? Well I learned things like boundaries and ethics. I learned that I deserved respect. I learned I didn't have to have sex with people just to get them to like me. Sex had never really had any value to me other than a physical way to connect to others. It was never a big deal to me if I had sex with someone. At one point a friend had even remarked "Is F*cking just how you say hello? Do you have to F*ck everyone you meet?" I had thought about it and told her that I found it to be a good ice breaker. Well learning everything I did about ethics and boundaries and how they applied to massage helped me to figure out a set of them for myself and my life. I had not really had them before. I didn't realize it was something I desperately needed for my self esteem and self worth.

Don't get me wrong though I am not saying this was an overnight change or that I completely stopped having sex. I didn't, I just became choosy and decided what I wanted and what I didn't want. Then I lived by those decisions.  to be continued....

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Part 2: Do You Suffer from Past Trauma (Childhood Abuse, PTSD, Domestic Violence, etc..)?

Please be aware though I will not be going into specifics this could be a trigger for some of you. Read with caution! 

Please remember any abuses that you have suffered were not your fault. You are a survivor! If you were able to survive the abuse, you can survive the emotions that have been left behind. You are not alone. There is someone out there who can help or listen. *hugs*

I have tried many types of therapy through the years and to be really honest none of them helped until I was about 24 (I think but I could be off on the age by a year or so). At that time I got a therapist who used Cognitive Behavior Therapy. It was the first therapy I had ever found to be effective at all. For really the first time I was seeing an improvement in how I felt about myself that didn't depend on others.   I only stayed with it for a few months because I moved but I had bought the book "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" by David Burns so I continued to use what I had learned. While I was feeling a bit better, it only went so far though.

I tried Self Hypnosis, Meditation and Yoga. These also helped a bit. It seemed like everything I tried would help just a little bit. I felt like I was taking the tiniest of baby steps forward and then something would happen to tumble me all the way back again causing me to have to start over. Around this time through odd circumstances, I ended up homeless in St Petersburg, FL. A friend found out and before even one night without having a home she and her husband took me in. They also encouraged me to go back to school. Living with them was so hard in some ways for me.

I mean here were these 2 people who had 5 kids between them and a 4 bedroom home. They didn't even think twice or blink an eye over me moving in and would have none of my arguments. They were just such warm and loving people and it just bubbled out of them and spread to everyone they knew. Their kids were the same way. I grew up not really hearing people tell me that they loved me or hugging me or just touching me all the time. To be honest I had (still have to a degree) a major aversion to being touched. Well you try explaining that to such a loving family. Yep its not gonna happen. They just hug you and tell you they love you and when you start crying they hold you and say its ok. They didn't see anything wrong with crying???? This was so weird to me. I was tough. I didn't cry. I grew up believing you never let people see you cry. It is a sign of weakness and it will be exploited. Not with this family though. They believed a good cry was healthy and healing, so were hugs.

Slowly so slowly I got used to walking in the door and getting 7 hugs on a regular basis. I got used to hearing I love you and knowing that it was meant. I got used to people cuddling up against me to watch a movie on the couch. I got used to a whole new side of people I never knew existed. That was I think when I really started to realize there are good people out there in this world.   to be continued....

Do You Suffer from Past Trauma (Childhood Abuse, PTSD, Domestic Violence, etc..)? Part 1

Please be aware though I will not be going into specifics this could be a trigger for some of you. Read with caution! 

Please remember any abuses that you have suffered were not your fault. You are a survivor! If you were able to survive the abuse, you can survive the emotions that have been left behind. You are not alone. There is someone out there who can help or listen. *hugs*

Do you suffer? Do you know someone who suffers? So many people today are suffering and they continue to suffer for a lot of reasons. I am one of those people. I am going to share some things with you today, not for sympathy or pity but in hopes that my experiences can help YOU or SOMEONE YOU KNOW!

You may or may not know this about me but I suffered pretty much every abuse imaginable from early childhood (I'm honestly not sure how young it all started) through early adulthood. These abuses included Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Sexual. When a person suffers these types of abuses as an early child and on it really effects the whole person. You are still growing in every since of the word. Your body is still forming, your mind, your emotions.

You develop coping skills to get you through it to survive. Sometimes you forget, ignore it, pretend it doesn't exist. Sometimes you develop self hurting behaviors such as cutting, anorexia, bulimia, drinking, drugs, promiscuity, etc.. Your body can develop incorrectly due to injuries sustained leading to problems not only while the abuse is occurring but later in life as well. You may also become angry, full of rage, though you will probably direct it towards someone other than your abuser (not always though). You may totally withdrawal from the world and hide, become very shy, not talk much to anyone. There are really so many ways abuse can express itself.

You have probably tried lots of ways to get help too. Maybe taking medicine prescribed by a psychiatrist. You may have seen a psychologist or other mental health professional for counseling. You may have tried intensive therapy programs. Maybe different things in life just have led to you getting better a bit at a time.  I am going to do a few blogs on this subject. In them I will explore the things that have helped me on my journey to get well. I will say this is a life journey and I do not believe there are any quick fixes.   to be continued....

Friday, August 9, 2013

I have decided to Liquidate my Business, Ever Improving Me, explanations in blog.

After some careful consideration of what my needs are for the future and where we see ourselves headed I have decided to liquidate my business. The funds will be put into our adoption/surrogacy fund. I was going to keep my stuff for awhile because I thought I would get back to where I used to be and start dyeing, carding, sewing, selling again. Unfortunately that will not be happening.

The truth is that I am in too much physical pain. It is getting a lot better than it was the past  4 months.  I am still working towards improvement but that is going to be a long journey. Realistically I no longer have the ability to lift heavy dye pots or wet wool & yarn for long periods of time. Turning my carder handle for hours on end used to be easy. I would get going and lose all track of time, but not any more. When I  make my batts I tend to stand bent over for hours. I piece together my fibers all the while hauling buckets from shelves; lifting them up and down as I shift them around looking for the right thing to put in them. When I have attempted to do that I am terribly disappointed by my lack of stamina and pain tolerance. I am not able to sit at a spinning wheel for hours on end spinning the bulky yarns that I sell in the shop or use for myself any longer. I am also not able to drop spindle more than 15-20 minutes. It is a major blow to my self esteem. I am working to improve it and to accept that this is just my new reality at this time.

My business took hours of work. Hard work. If I want to get healthier, and have less pain I have to choose to let my business go. We want to have children. I want to enjoy having children. I don't want to feel angry and sad and frustrated about a business that I just have no time, energy, pain tolerance, or physical abilities to perform any longer. It is better to let it go now. To give myself time to accept this and to heal. I also hope that I will be able to move back into a space of finding the joy in the hobby side of the craft rather than the business side. I will begin going through my inventory this month but its probably going to be a slow process. I will probably start building a list of the things that I have  available by the end of this month. I may put them in my artfire shop, I think I still have it. I will also have a list here on my blog, & one of my friends may help handle the inventory liquidation for me. It makes me pretty sad. I have to be honest. I loved my business. I loved the people I met. I love fiber, I love yarn,  love color, but I believe this is the best decision for me and my family at this time.

Thank you for reading, Johanna

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Shared Links of those who have helped to spread the word of my sites

I figured if it had its own page it would make it easier to share. I will just keep editing and adding to this page as more shares happen. After Links I will include a brief description, probably the one that is one the webpage.

Weekly Queers - Welcome to the OFFICIAL Facebook page of the Weekly Queers. We are a collab channel on Youtube. This page will be for updates about our collab or anything Queer/fun/entertaining we can find online. Enjoy!

I enjoy writing and having people read and then respond back to what I have written.

I would really like to build my blog back up. I think that will be a great way for me to work towards my self improvement goals. I can work through some of the things that flutter around in my head. I will dish out some great advice. Yes believe it or not I actually have been known to give good advice a time or two. It goes with the roles I have either been given or chosen to do in life. What can I say? I am who I am and no matter how much I fight it, I always seem to come back to me. The inside will shine through regardless of the superficial changes that I make on the outside trying to hide it or pretend its something different. In the end I have to just learn to love and accept me for me, nothing more, nothing less.

I am trying to build up my Blog, my Facebook pages, and I can;t for get our Adoption Fundraiser page. . Here is my blog link blog . Here is my Facebook pages Help us Adopt and Grow Our FamilyEver Improving Me , and Johanna Spalding, Here is the Adoption Fundraiser page Help us Adopt and Grow our Family! Please share my links to on your blogs, Facebook pages, Pinterest  Pretty much any Social Media Site would be great! Also Feel free to post a link here on my blog to your blog or other page & I will be glad to share it on my blog or page as well if you like (just let me know). Please nothing with Extremist views in any direction (religion, politics, etc). I do reserve the right to remove anything offensive.  Thank you! 

Also for anyone who missed it, I am an Ordained Minister and I live in CA in Coronado. I will Perform FREE Wedding Ceremonies for LGBT couples Near San Diego with a valid marriage license. Please Pass this on to couples that are living in CA or are eligible to be married in CA who may benefit from this. I am trying to fight for equality in my own way. Thank you for your support!

Thank you, Johanna

My 2 Cats keep locking themselves into places and getting stuck!

Some of you may remember that I have 2 very adorable Cats! If not let me just give you a cute reminder because, well its Wednesday so I thought we needed a purely silly post about my cats and the trouble they like to get into. I will probably write about them on and off in my blog because lets face it, they have drilled their way into my heart. I can't help it. I just love them.

So we have to child proof our cabinets. Why you may ask? I bet you would be thinking for kids right? NOPE!! Its because of my cats. They have learned how to paw them open. Then they climb inside. I have no idea why they love being inside the cabinets so much but they do. Once they get inside they are stuck and they can't get out. It turns out they are only strong enough to get the cabinets open from the outside and not the inside.

We only know that they are even stuck because all of a sudden we start hearing a bang, bang, bang with meowing in the background. Then we have to go searching to figure out which cabinet they are in. We also have to make sure that when we find the cabinet that we let out one or both cats depending on how many are in there. Yes oh yes it turns out they will both get stuck in the same cabinet and still can't manage to get out of it.

This is also the reason we leave the bathroom doors open when not in use. The cats like to chase each other around the house randomly like crazy wild things and some how will end up in the bathroom with the door closed. Then we hear thumps with meows and we know where they are because we see the door shut. Its a good thing we take such good care of them. I do love my babies!

Monday, August 5, 2013

In our efforts to adopt & grow our Family we are reaching out to you for help. Please Read

 We would love to have a baby. We have decided to pursue adoption, foster care, and/or surrogacy to do this as we are unable to have children naturally. We learned this through TTC, several miscarriages, extreme grief, sadness and many doctor visits including several fertility specialists. We have now chosen several paths towards our goal of having children. We want to use Angel Adoption Agency to work with for a baby. We are also starting Foster Care classes at the end of this month. We have set up this page to help us raise the money for adoption as it is very costly. To help us please donate whatever you feel moved to donate. We lovingly accept your financial donations as well as offer of services that we may need during the adoption process. 

Services that would be helpful are (If you have been through this process and see we are missing something please let me know so I can add it to the list):

Fundraising Help - we can use all the help we can get and we are always thrilled to receive help from people in this area as neither of us is really good at fundraising or marketing I guess it would be.

Sharing - this donation page or our facebook page would be helpful to get the word out so that someone may be able to help.

Home Study Needed - We need a National home study to be conducted. The one we are going through in Foster Care is only valid for the state of CA. If anyone is legally qualified to conduct a National Home Study and is willing to give us Free or Discounted rates please let us know.

California Adoption Attorney - (nearish Coronado) Willing to give us Free or Discounted legal service for our side of the adoption process.

Social Worker/Adoption Attorney - (in the state where the baby is found) Willing to give us Free or Discounted legal service for the birth parent.

Baby Stuff or Kid Stuff - We really do not have much in the way of either. We will need both in order to have a baby or to have children in our home for foster care.

We have been lucky that we found each other in this big world and we know that our children our out there waiting on us to find them too. We feel blessed with all of the support we have received from friends and family and coworkers. Tom is in the US Navy and the Navy is very supportive of adoptive parents and foster care. He has gotten all sorts of advice and ideas from those that he works with. The internet support of friends has been great too. Our Families are also very supportive as well. My old coworkers were wonderful and introduced me to some great people who had been through the adoption process with good advice. We are on the right path. Sorry for the very long blog!

Thank you for reading this.
Johanna and Tom

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Wondering what happened to the Wool, Fiber & Yarn? I will tell you!

I know that there may be some of you out there who have been long time followers wondering what happened to the Wool? Why the name change? What happened to your shops? WHAT'S GOING ON???  Ok its probably not that bad lol. If you have followed me for awhile you know these past few years have not been easy for me. I am finding that I really just have to take my life into different directions right now. As of now and into the foreseeable future I have closed my shops and have no plans to continue selling. I find I need to dedicate myself to causes right now and pull out old skills.

I plan on taking time to take up yoga & pilates again. I will probably not be a teacher as I once thought I would but I can have my own personal practice that brings me peace again. I need to focus on learning again. I am thinking of going back to school. Right now that is just in the considering stages. I am taking up my drawing and writing again. I plan on blogging more often as well. The posts will be about issues I find important though or just feel like writing about. It could be something silly or stupid or a picture that I just really like.  I am going to follow the wind for a bit and see where it blows me.

I have also decided to become active in LGBT equality & rights again. I was when I lived in Florida but lost the focus while in Kentucky I suppose. I also plan on getting involved in the Foster Care community since we will be doing foster care. I will keep my wool, fiber & yarn for personal use and enjoyment for when the urge comes back to me. For now my stuff is put away. Thank you for reading.