Pinch Me – Book Review 8-18-14

Pinch Me: How Following The Signals Changed My Life
by Bernadette Logue

“There is freedom and inner power in knowing your true self.” And Bernadette finds that in her journey learning to believe in herself and trust in the synchroncity that occurs every day in every life – if you’re listening. You know, that little voice you ignore most of the time? Once you start listening to it and following it your life will be immensely better.

Pinch Me is Bernadette’s story of how she began to listen, and how it changed her life. We all have the opportunity to experience these events if we pay attention. And sometimes, new people come into our path, or people already known to us will show up at a particular time, because they are part of the “signal”. These are people that form part of the intricate web that has been woven in reaction to your beliefs, thoughts and feelings.

For “sympathy cravers”, those that experience negative cycles in their day-to-day lives – when little things are turned into dramatic disasters that are shared with anyone who will listen, their thoughts need to be re-focused to positive thoughts, for sending negative signals gets you negative results.

Bernadette experienced a positive refocus to her life when she began to send consistent positive thoughts and she got consistent positive results. She set her goals in life, which made her intentions clear. She found that “…with an open mind and heart, you can learn things in the most unexpected places, from the most unexpected people.”

I enjoyed her prose and writing style. It’s easy to read and heartfelt. Definitely worth the price of admission!

Mothers of Missouri – take back your sons.

Missouri Riots –

As I watch the news of events in Missouri, I can’t help but associate with the business owners that have been negatively impacted by the mob mentality of the black community.  What have they done to them that they deserve loosing their livelihood?  What have they done to the black community to deserve the damage to their property?  And what right do the blacks have to take their anger and frustration out on the innocent business owners?

None!

I’m ashamed for them and I’m ashamed that “their” president hasn’t stepped in and asked them to calm down – that violence is not the answer.  That education, improving their lot and encouraging the increase in black police officers is the way to answer the problem, not more violence.  And, of course, here comes Jessie Jackson.

My question to the black community is – do you really want to live like Syria?  Do you really want your mothers to live like those in Iran, Iraq and the Gaza Strip? Do you really want another race war with all the hate and death?  If you don’t have any respect for “whitey” can’t you respect they too are people with families, and their businesses are their livelihood?  They didn’t shoot your son, taking it out on them is not okay.

How does this stop?  Mothers!  Mothers of those rioting, call in your sons.  Call down your husbands, re-establish yourself as the moral compass for your family and do not allow these men to take more of your children into cemeteries.  Call them down and out of jails and into the workforce.  Call them down and out of drugs and back into families.  Women are the key to world peace.  They are the key to orderliness and they need to take back their role as the matriarch of the family.

We cannot abdicate our responsibility for having brought them into this world.  We bore them and we are responsible for them until our deaths.  Call them home!

Blackwater Lightship – by Colm Toibin – A Book Review 08-10-14

In a world where 3 generations of women rarely share the same house Blackwater Lightship is the story of how three generations do just that, albeit for a short time, and each learn how to enjoy it in their own way.

Grandmother provides the home for daughter and granddaughter to learn how they can get along after many years of hate and unspoken anger. Grandmother takes advantage of having others in her house to get daughter off her back and gets help planning her ending in a positive way.

Daughter resigns herself to admitting her faults and asking for forgiveness in order to go on with life. And granddaughter – she gets to address and forgive the demons she’s been carting around for 20+ years.

The avenue for this is Grandson, who has aids, and comes to Grandmothers house to die. His two best friends come with him and provide the means for the women to open up about many things. Discussing openly their son’s/grandson’s/brothers sexual orientation is not a big discussion but an avenue to talking frankly about other historic family issues.

The gay friends are odd and querky and cold, which felt right for the rest of the family yet at odds with Grandmother’s world. A world you only get a glimpse of and never really feel comfortable in. They just appear and disappear leaving you with the three generations of women and I never felt whether they felt good about the part they played in the story.

Well written and easy to read after you once get over a difficult section on the setting.

8 Keys to Eliminating Passive-Aggressiveness – Book Review 8/3/14

It feels like fewer chlidren are fortunate enough to grow up in homes where anger management is part of their daily lives. And where parents are skilled at directing that energy into healthy places.

For those of us that grew up without that guidance, it’s usually because our parents had no such guidance either – so you have 3, 0r more, generations of angry people with no clue how to “fix it”.

After spending time over the last year with my youngest daughter and granddaughter, I realized there are now 5 generations of women who have relied on passive-aggressive behavior in order to cope with their world. I was intrigued by Andrea Brandt’s book, “8 Keys to Eliminating Passive-Aggressiveness” because the synopsis talked about recognizing yourself and methods to retrain yourself to deal with anger in a healthy way. There was one? I wanted to know what were the healthy ways to deal with anger and how could we break the mold for the next generation to be healthy.

That’s the part that really hit me – I guess I just assumed I was “set in my ways” now that I was in my 60′s. But I didn’t want my Granddaughter to suffer the consequences, guilt and pain Passive-Aggressive Behavior causes.

This book is written in a way that even my 19 yr old Granddaughter can read and implement, if she chooses. So I sent her a copy along with a nice new journal to record her journey in understanding and controlling her anger. It was obvious to me she had an anger management behavior problem that she had developed over time from both her mother and father. It is time to break the cycle and I hope she finds her way out of those behaviors. It makes life so much easier and more enjoyable.

Thanks Andrea for a great book.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) A Book Review 7/27/14

“Mindstorms: The Complete Guide for Families Living With Traumatic Brain Injury” – by John W. Cassidy, M.D. – Copyright 2009 De Capo Press.

If you have anyone in your life with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), I highly recommend this book. I only wish it had been published in the mid 70′s, for the difficult part of TBI is for those that are the caregivers and loved ones of someone who suffers with these deficits.

As Dr Cassidy states, “if someone you love has suffered a brain injury, that person you knew so well may suddenly seem like a stranger – someone who doesn’t act the same way, doesn’t think the same way, and who many even become violent.” “. . . the family’s sense of stability may be threatened again and again.” Episodes of maladaptive behaviors are the most difficult for family members to handle.

Traumatic Brain Injuries are always caused by a number of pathologic changes to the brain, depending on the type or types of injuries involved in the initial trauma. And it doesn’t need to be the result of a head injury. A local friend in his late 60′s tripped over a parking bumper in a lot and ended up with TBI. It took him a year to overcome short-term memory deficits, and 3 years after is still dealing with impaired capactiy for self-reflection about his own behavior.

TBI, according to Dr Cassidy, affects over 6 million Americans (2% of the population). And at long last the world is beginning to recognize TBI for what it is , damage to the brain that changes us forever. “If we hurt our brain it’ going to affect our behavior.”

The book is full of information about the disorder, but discusses ways for family and friends to get beyond guilt and how to help their loved one move on, even if it’s just tiny steps and simple ways to cope. One woman cannot get beyond short-term memory deficits so she has a personal journal and check lists to make sure she gets things done. Overstimulation from large crowds and noisy groups is a common deficit for TBI patients. Many families have changed their entertainment to at home, small groups, and less noise.

Many TBI events are due to “…oxygen deprivation [and] can be produced by . . . severe blood loss associated with broken bones in the legs.” That loss of oxygen can produce any number of problems from strokes to severe boughts of anger. Their sense of reality is altered and recognition of their deficits can be severe. “. . . patients who regained only very minimal insight were more apt to minimize their deficits. . . they were not grounded in reality, and they thought they were able to do more than their therapists and caregivers knew they could.”

Feeling normal is vital for those that care for a TBI patient, and Dr Cassidy’s vast experience can help. “If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn’t.”

Footnote – all quotes are from Dr Cassidy and his book.

Posted a short version on goodreads – Mindstorms: The Complete Guide for Families Living with Traumatic Brain InjuryMindstorms: The Complete Guide for Families Living with Traumatic Brain Injury by John W. Cassidy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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