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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Little Bit About Me...



One of the most amazing things to watch is the monarch migration as it passes through Oklahoma.

I spotted the first few butterflies late last week.

The number of Monarchs is increasing daily.

Maybe, one of these days, I will find a tagged Monarch butterfly.

Peak migration dates for my area have been estimated to be September 24th thru October 6th.

It is truly a marvelous wonder to know that an insect will travel thousands of miles to a predetermined destination that it has never even seen.




I view my world a lot differently than most people do. I am a whole lot different than my brother and my sister. I guess I kind of stick out or something. I have never really fit in. It's kind of weird. For the most part, I think I was just born that way, but I am sure that there are several external factors that have contributed to this.

I was severely burned when I was about 20 months old. It left a very bad scar on the right side of my face.

I also have keloid type skin which I probably inherited from my native American ancestry.

I developed a severe keloid scar from the burn. So I spent a lot of time at plastic surgeons' offices as well as in the operating room while they tried to arrest the growth of the keloid. They even injected drugs into the tender scar which hurt really, really bad. One time they were taking me back to "that room" and I turned and ran down the hall as fast as I could. I don't remember them catching me though. Mom didn't take me back for those injections again.

Several years passed with unsuccessful results. Finally, someone suggested that radiation was having some success with arresting the growth of tumors and the like. So off to the radiologist's office I was taken. One session with the cold hard surface of the table, lead plates, and a x-ray machine's cone close to my face and I didn't have to go back in for surgery again. Granted, nothing that I endured made my scar look any better. But I guess it didn't make things look any worse. I was in the second grade when I had the last surgery on my face.

School was hell for me.

The kids were mean and hateful and they called me all sorts of names.

However, if someone picked on me physically I most certainly was a force to reckon with. Thankfully I only changed schools a couple of times. The other kids learned from the unfortunate one to not ever touch me again.

One of the things that I learned in school was how to be mean and hateful.

It also taught me how to get along without friends. So I became accustomed to being alone with my thoughts.

Being an outcast in a society means that you don't participate in activities with everyone else. This also means that you don't get caught up in the "craze" of the hour, fashions, fads, or music.

So I don't do a lot of things that most folks do. Things like buying CD's, going to movies, attending social gatherings...

You know what I mean don't you?

Of course, over the years the scar on my face was not as much of a factor to me as it once was.

At least I thought it wasn't.

When I had the surgery for the brain tumor I was thrust once again into a state of disarray.

I recovered from anesthesia with palsy on the left side of my face. I looked like I had had a stroke.

While some tone has returned, I still cannot blink my eye, work my mouth properly and a few other things.

I am 100% deaf now in my left ear, so I miss out on a lot of conversation and banter that goes on around me at work.

Not only that, but I have to deal with the memory deficits that I encounter on a daily basis. And I still have balance issues that drains my energy just holding myself upright and fighting the force of gravity in this world.

It will be three years post-surgery in November.

So...

I am finding that I am reverting back to my old ways and becoming very withdrawn.

Actually isolating myself.

But it's peaceful here...

And quiet too.

Being deaf in one ear makes a lot bigger impact on you than one might think. There's a reason why God made your ears in stereo.


So... that's the abbreviated version of why I am the way that I am.


Why did I have to explain all of this stuff to you guys?

Well, it's because I have a hard time participating in some of the activities that you guys engage in.

For the most part, I really do try to participate. But sometimes it's near impossible for me to do so.

And I really don't want anyone to get their feelings hurt or to be offended in any way if I don't/can't join in.





By the way...


~Food for Thought~


Do you realize that the guy who made the coup in Thailand, General Sondhi, is a Muslim?

Thailand's population is mostly Buddhist.


Just like the United States of America is mostly Christian.



later...

17 Comments:

Blogger Pattie said...

TJ...

I don't know what to say.
I had no idea you had a brain tumor. I cannot imagine the pain and the rehabilitation involved to overcome something like that.
I am glad you made it through.

The part about suffering a physical imperfection and the social atrocity you suffered because of it made me so sad. Why do children have to be so cruel? Where does that come from? It just breaks my heart.

The worst thing about it is the suffering you endured stays with you as an adult.
Do you think if you weren't "the outcast" you would be different? You would be less withdrawn?

I am truly sorry you have had such painful experiences. If I lived closer to you,I would bake you a pie and give you a big hug. :)

September 20, 2006 6:37 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

TJ,

That’s a very sad account of your childhood – it brought me close to tears to hear how you suffered – as Pattie said, children can be so cruel.

As if you didn’t have enough pain, you then had to endure a brain tumour and surgery and all the consequences.

I am so glad you pulled through and that I “know” you – you are such a very clever person… witty…knowledgeable…. understanding…. caring… the list is endless.

I love reading your posts, they are diverse… humorous… educated… Again, I could go on, they reflect who you are.

I am sad to think that you are feeling isolated. I certainly feel that you participate fully (and more some) – everything you have to say is of interest and you give a spin on even the most ordinary of topics.

You are one special lady and I am truly blessed the day you left a comment on my blog. Here’s one great big hug all the way from England *HUG*

Sue :-)

September 20, 2006 10:36 AM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Hey Pattie and Sue...

Thanks for the support and hugs.

I certainly didn't intend for you guys to feel sorry for me...

I just felt compelled to explain why I am the way that I am.

How it is that I come from a different perspective than most.

I am cut from a different mold, so that makes me different in a lot of ways.

Does that make sense?

And Sue, I always have this nagging feeling that I am offending people all the time by the things that I say.

Albeit a lot of what I say is a little twisted I guess.

But I love how you phrased it...

*spin*

;+ )

Pattie, I think that I would be a more socialable person if things had have been different.

I watch my children and they have so many friends. The telephone rings all the time for them. In fact, I never answer the phone any more. Lots of invites to different activities and the like. It's all good.

So yeah... I probably wouldn't have this tendency to hide from the world if I could have learned to engage with it more and of course...

Learned how to trust in it.

Thanks guys for being 'great blogging friends'!

later...

September 20, 2006 11:52 AM  
Blogger Lea said...

TJ, I'm sure it took a lot to open up to the blogging world about your childhood and the personal things that make you who you are. I think you are very brave and have endured many cruel acts that should never have happened.

I have really enjoyed reading your posts for the past three months. I can always count on you to speak your mind about political issues and find myself agreeing with you on most accounts. You know I am an animal person and love when you post about yours as well as those you encounter at work.

I suppose my whole point to this is to tell you that I like who you are and if I didn't live half way across the US, I think we would be friends.

September 20, 2006 12:16 PM  
Blogger Dreaming again said...

I get what you said, 110%. Different reasons.

That's what's great about blogging, we can socialize without the exhaustion of eye to eye interaction. It has taught me wonders about friendships.

I get ya TJ.

September 20, 2006 7:16 PM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Hey Lea...

Thanks for the very kind words. I'm glad that you have enjoyed my posts!


Hey Peggikaye...

I'm so glad you do!


later...

September 20, 2006 8:01 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

TJ, tried to reply last night but had problems with blogger - you have misunderstood (lol) I don't feel sorry for you, I feel for you.

Urgh, I wish I knew how to use bold and italics in these comments!
I would embolden "sorry" and italic "feel" - do ya get me? :)

September 20, 2006 11:37 PM  
Blogger Jan said...

T.J. -
I often tell my friends that what I love about blogging is people get to be who they are - who they want to be - without all the physical things that cloud judgments. We get to know the insides of people - and your insides are beautiful.

I totally understand what you mean about trusting. It is hard to walk out there not knowing who you can trust. But, it is worth the effort. It really is. You actually have an advantage, if you think about it. You aren't going to attract superficial friends, you're going to attract real friends. Really.

This may seem a bold thing to say if you think I don't know what I'm talking about. But the thing is, my mom had a brain tumor, too. She is partially paralyzed on one side, has her eye sewn shut (because it won't blink), can't walk straight, is deaf in one ear and required years of therapy just to learn to walk again. I watched the "friends" drop away and dwindle down to one, who was barely hanging on. It was incredibly sad and disturbing. Talk about sifting!

But my mom, bless her, got back out there. Her employer had fired because of her new disability, so she went and found a new career and a new job. She doesn't have as many friends as she used to, but the friends she has are true friends. The greatest thing, though, is the inspiration she is to so many people. Especially me. I am more inclined to retreat (like my dad did when he got Parkinsons), but she has taught me the value of moving forward. She believes attitude is everything and I only hope I will continue the tradition.

I hope this doesn't come off as a lecture. I mean it to be an encouragement. I hope to meet you in person one day and look upon the beautiful scars that made you who you are today.

Jan

September 21, 2006 7:23 AM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Hey Sue...

"Gotcha"...

Blogger is certainly being a real pain *still*.


Hey Jan...

Thanks for the encouragement, and no it doesn't sound like you're lecturing.

Do you think your mom and I had the same type of tumor? What you are describing about your mom could be me! Balance issues, etc, and I have had my left eye partially sewn closed too.

I'm glad that she is doing so well.

That's encouragement in and of itself.


Thanks guys!

later...

September 21, 2006 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Angela Ferreira said...

Very pleased to mee you.. :-)

September 21, 2006 3:17 PM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

And very nice to meet you Angela!

September 21, 2006 7:32 PM  
Blogger Jan said...

t.j.
It was an acoustic neuroma. Same thing?
J

September 21, 2006 8:16 PM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Yep!

AKA...

vestibular schwannoma.

Mine was the size of a golf ball and had developed a cyst beside it as well.

It was also displacing my brainstem.

Jan, your mom's must have been a doozy too!

later...

September 21, 2006 8:42 PM  
Anonymous wolfbaby said...

Sorry so delayed in reading this T.J. I have been behind and hitting blogs at random... I was very similar but for different reasons.. had plenty of scars just not ones people could see.. funny thing is they seemed to anyway... kids seem to have a sixth sense about those who are "different"... and take it to it's full advantage..

hope to make sure my kids don't do that... i pray to.

Personally i think your perfect just the way you are and am very glad i have gotten to know you...

again im sorry it's taken so long getting to your blog.. this psych class is just like killing off brain cells one by one.. urrggggg

hugs

September 21, 2006 9:26 PM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Thanks Wolfbaby...

No need to apologize. You're a very busy lady and I truly understand!

later...

September 21, 2006 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Moof said...

TJ, I've been down for the count blog-wise for just over two weeks, and I'm must now getting caught up on my blogrunning. I'm sorry to be reading this so late.

Thank you so much for sharing all of that with us. I was in tears reading it. TJ, I always wondered where you'd gotten all of your wisdom ... and now I know: pain makes willing spirits wise.

I want you to know how much I admire you. Thank you for being my friend.

October 09, 2006 10:47 AM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Thank you, Moof, for being mine.

October 09, 2006 8:50 PM  

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