Friday, September 30, 2011

6 Reasons why I should be Sleeping

Having trouble sleeping because I'm facing eviction. Haven't had the money for food for a week and ran out of food 2 days ago. Rent is due Monday and I just don't have it. My business is not going well. So, I've been having trouble sleeping. Tonight, I keep waking up, hungry and shaking.

6 Reasons why I should be sleeping:

1) I don't hear my roommate trying to talk someone out of committing suicide by gunshot

2) I don't hear the drunk neighbor girls who locked themselves out of the apartment complex again and are trying to get in by breaking down the door

3) I don't smell the drunk neighbor girls partying on their balcony and filling my apartment with cigarette smoke and covering my car with ash and butts because their balcony is over my car.

4) I am not bothered by the spotlights glaring in the window which surround my apartment to keep The meth addict homeless camp in the canyon 4 blocks away from rooting around in our dumpster and breaking into our cars.

5) I don't hear the ambulance and mercy flights go by every 25 minutes to the two hospitals a few blocks away.

6) I am less likely to see silverfish, spiders, and centipedes in my kitchen and living room (finally trapped one of the damn centipedes in a glass! They are fast!)

Monday, September 26, 2011


Sometimes I wonder what I would say if people asked me what it was like to be homeless for three years and 3 months. I would probably tell them I don't really know. It never really felt like I was "homeless" because I always had a place to sleep. The rest of my time I was too busy trying to get food and basic necessities and medical care to think about it. At first, I didn't really realize it. Sure, I didn't have a place to call home or even my own bed sometimes. I slept on a lot of couches and guest beds and sometimes even the floor. I never stayed in one place much longer than 3 months. But I was more or less happy because I was free to explore and be my own person. Friends and partners and sometimes even family would send me money or feed me or give me a place to crash. I kept myself busy looking for work or reading, or cooking. I struggled with mental health issues, from severe depression and mania, to psychosis, to paranoia and panic attacks, and even multiple personalities. I even tried to take my life once. I questioned who I was and where I came from. I wondered what I was going to become; what would happen to me. The stress was crippling. I wondered if anyone loved me or cared. Those that did, eventually gave up on me, because they simply couldn't help me anymore.

A lot of good things happened too, though. When an opportunity presented itself, there was rarely a reason to turn it down. What was going to hold me back? I didn't have family or friends really that mattered that much. No real roots or attachments. No home base. No commitments. I travelled the world, meet celebrities, worked on the '08 campaign trail, started two businesses, and volunteered my time in non-profits and other organizations for people and issues that I cared about. Sometimes I was lucky and I would get a break. One job landed me health insurance for a few months. Another made me eligible for unemployment payments from the government, which gave me an opportunity to settle down long enough to get a certificate at a vocational school.

It's been almost two years now since I was "homeless". But to be honest, today it not much different. I've sacrificed a lot. In fact, I've sacrificed pretty much everything I ever held dear. I'm on the edge and have been on the edge, for years.... just one small step from that place. This time though, there isn't really much left to sacrifice, to buy just a little bit more time to figure it all out. I am just as much in a survival mode now as I was then. I live in a bad section of town but it is something that I can afford (most of the time!). I have a disability that eats up the few resources I have, but it helps me get resources I wouldn't ordinarily have access too. I get by, but I wonder everyday how long it will last. Will I have a roof over my head next month? Will it still be here in 6 months? In a year will I be in a better place… or a worse one? I long for the day I can feel safe again, and to know that I can depend on being able to "stay" where I am. I sometimes even dare to hope that that place will be full of love. I live on hope and faith and dreams. I provide as much love to myself as I can. I try every day to find something positive and productive that will make things just a little bit better or easier for the next day. It’s a slow building process. And it's also a recovery process; to reconcile with the circumstances that put me on the street… the betrayals, the abandonment, the confusion, and self-doubt, loss of self-worth, and drive to simply instinctually survive no matter what. I dream of the day I can slow down and breathe, not so that I can pick myself up and keep fighting, but so that I can sit down and start repairing and to live for me.

I've reached a new place recently. Its a place that has allowed me to step back and see all this that has happened. My memories that I have suppressed of my childhood and of the past 6 years "surviving" are crashing back to me. Its not been an easy road. All that stuff that I didn't process is now screaming to be processed NOW. I'm struggling to balance the plates and am increasingly feeling the pressure of how close I am to loosing it. I keep staving off loosing my roof and food and medicine in 2 and 3 month chunks at a time. I fear that that may come to an end soon. I hope that I am successful in my business sooner rather than later. Its a race against time. I know I will be successful..... but will it be soon enough? And if I do manage to save the plates before they fall, will I be able to move into a new apartment that I feel safe in? Will I be able to afford seeing a doctor? Will I be able to afford a lawyer to fight my disability case? Will I be able to be well enough again to eat food and exercise ever again? Will I be able to stabilize my life enough to be able to meet people and make friends or find a partner? What about affording a new car to replace the one that got totaled 2 months ago? Or maybe find the money to buy a cap and gown to attend my own graduation ceremony next month?

C'est la vie.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My latest Squidoo Article

I thought I would share since most of my writing these days is over at squidoo.....

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I've been doing quite a bit of soul searching lately. I've been looking for my purpose and for a direction. I've been having a difficult time. Dad is moving back east and the fact that I am graduating in December is getting to me a bit. Its a big time of transition. Friday I ended up in a 2 hour meditation and self-hypnosis. While in hypnosis, I had a past life regression of all of my past lives over the past 250 years. It was an indescribable experience. I was able to resolve some difficult things and understand why I am here on earth and what I am doing. I will be making a lot of big choices that will affect me for the rest of my life really soon. I am working out what to to about my education. I want to go to art school. I found a school here is San Diego county that interests me. Today I realized that what I want with my life means I dont NEED a college degree. I want to own my own business. I want to learn for fun. I want to travel. I want to help people.

I feel like I have found myself. And suddenly I feel more content with life than I have ever felt before. I'm going to be ok, no matter what.

topic #5- Vickie/Alex: would you/ could you choose ONE gender?

Topic #4: Vickie/Alex- Does bigenderism affect your orientation?

Topic #3- Vickie/Alex: Are you planning on Transitioning?

Topic #2: How do you deal with sudden dysphoria? - Vickie/Alex

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Bigender means to me

This is my first youtube video! My don't have a fancy computer so I recorded it on my smart phone and could only get it uploaded if I broke it into 5 minute clips. After 3 recordings.... its still 20 minutes. Sorry.. enjoy!

Part 1: My background and who I am
Part 2: What is gender, cisgender, & bigender
Part 3: What does it mean to live as two genders
Part 4: Bigender as a social role

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Ok. I've had a breakdown. A shift in priorities. Time for me.....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Please just make it all stop.


- Unemployment $ ran out last week.
- Roommate moves out Friday and can't find a new one.
- I'm on call from two massage clinics 4 days a week.... but am lucky to get 1 client from them each week.
- I've been marketing my own business for 6 weeks and have been doing chair massage every weekend, and have yet to get a client.
- Two of my classes at school are giving me panic attacks and/or making me cry every time.
- I've become severely allergic to massage oil making when I DO work on clients a terrible experience each time.
- I've become allergic to rice which is one of only 4 foods I was tolerating.

I'm becoming very sick trying to deal with all of this.

Please just make it stop.

I'm normally really good at finding the silver lining and focusing on what I CAN change and control. But I've run into a wall and don't have much I can change or control. Help me. Someone. Please.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I'm going NUTS! O_o

I'm going nuts. I'm really struggling to hold it all together. I launched my business last week (officially!) and not only did I open a business account at the bank, but had to get a new personal account too (I lost my checkbook) and thus all of my accounts have been frozen for a week. I'm also in transition to my next extension on unemployment, so my financial state is in shambles! To complicate matters, I have a $900 tuition payment due at the end of this week and I submitted an application for a new apartment today which will mean I have to come up with a deposit and an extra half month's rent by Friday as well. Unemployment runs out in 4 weeks, and so I need to find a job (or 3) to supplement my income until my business is self-sustaining. Plus, I need to find a new roommate before the end of the month. Marketing for the business is not going so well and I've been trying to do all of my financial forecasts (profit & loss statements, balance sheets, start-up cost worksheets, cash-flow forecasts, ect) to finish up my business plan presentation, which I finally present (after 7 months of work!) tomorrow morning! I have two additional final exams this week as well. The new quarter starts next week and I am going to be at school full time (instead of half time like I have been). Plus, I need to somehow keep my health intact, sleep, and dig through the 8 books from the library that I have been putting off because of my business plan and are due in 2 weeks. HOLY CRAP! I'm going nuts! O_o

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ending Extreme Poverty

"Do you think it is possible to end extreme poverty in the next 30 years? If so how?"

It took two days of car trips, charter planes, and precipitous dirt roads winding through mountains and cliffs, and walking, to reach the indigenous towns in the middle of Oaxaca, Mexico. We spent days working in the villages, but it felt like we were tying to put a Band-Aid on a gaping wound that wouldn’t stop bleeding. The more we helped, the more people needed help. After a week it struck me with dismay that what I was doing was the same thing someone else was going to be repeating in less than a month, with the same people in the same places.

What frustrated me the most was seeing thousands of dollars being poured into the villages surrounding our base, yet, the result was hundreds of people now dependent on our aid. Villages were being torn apart with bitter family feuds and village elders struggled to maintain control despite the growing political influence of the people who worked at our base. There was a growing cultural upheaval within the villages because of those who associated with us and adopted our ways and beliefs.

I came to realize that after years of work in poor countries around the globe, I had missed something vital. Everything I was doing, what WE were doing, was obviously not working. Despite billions of dollars being poured into humanitarian projects, the poor keep getting poorer. I realized I had been so busy trying to fix these people’s world with pills and books and lectures, I failed to see exactly what their world was. I missed seeing these people as individuals instead of statistics and trends and demographics. We were coming in and saying to these people that they need to change everything they are doing to reach standards of health and wellbeing that are completely out of context with the lives they had always been living.

Ending extreme poverty is not something that can be solved with a silver bullet. What works in Mexico is not what works in the United States, or India, or even Cuba. These cultures are unique and the people are unique too. It will require a radical change in how we administer aid. This is not just a problem that we can throw money at through organizations like Save the Children and Kiva. We can’t just send hundreds of military personnel as armed humanitarians and expect them to tear down and rebuild everything from scratch. Nor can we continue to administer aid programs costing millions of dollars or more without making sure our programs are evidence-based and results oriented. We need to find a common ground between the people in the field and the academics that research and study poverty. The solution is working with people, one-on-one and village by village. The solutions will most likely be the same solutions we already have, but the difference is the delivery system. A delivery system designed around better information communication and a person-oriented approach.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Martin and my bubble

There is a 7 year old Mennonite boy in Wooster, OH that has Autism. His name is Martin. I met Martin 5 years ago because he is the son of a religions professor, who is also the "host mother" of my then boyfriend (from Pakistan) in College. When I met Martin, he was quiet, focused, had trouble talking, and loved to do the same things over and over again in glorious little routines. To be honest, I loved Martin. He was just about the coolest little kid I had ever met (and that is saying something cuz I don't like little kids all that much). About the same time when I left college, which is when Martin was 4, he was diagnosed with Autism. I didn't think much of it at the time. But both of his parents started blogging about Martin and his "adventures". For years, I have been fascinated with the stories in a way that I have never been engrossed in anything else before. I just don't care about what other people do or write about. Mostly because I don't understand what they are thinking or why they are doing things. But here is this little boy who I UNDERSTOOD. His parents have a lot of trouble with him. Martin is difficult, to say the least. But over the years, as I have read from afar his journey, I have felt a connection with him that I could never explain.

As I have been digging into my own past and realizing how my own difficulties with Aspergers effected my childhood, I have learned a lot of things about myself. This evening when I read a recent update on Martin, it suddenly struck me.... I completely get it why Martin does and says the things he does. Because I said and did the same things. I find myself reading between the lines and seeing the words left unsaid that Martin needed to hear, and the feelings that he had that left him without control, and the things that happen around him that completely overwhelms him and the feeling of being trapped because you just don't know how to grasp it, let alone deal with it, and then be held accountable by someone else. You don't have the words. You can see things and feel things, but you can't describe them or name them. Everything is happening around you in a way that makes you feel like you are in a bubble. The bubble is glorious! Its just you. And your activities. And your routines. You NEED it all to feel safe. You NEED it all to feel like something is in your own control. It is joy to work on your projects and be totally lost in it. You can do things that no one else seems to be able to do. But then, usually no one understands why that is so cool, which is unfortunate. But what does it matter? It makes you happy!

ASD is both an extraordinarily blessing and a curse. Sometimes when I emerge from my bubble, I momentarily have this clarity and find myself fitting in with the rest of the world. I crave relationships with other people. I want to go do things. I want to feel the same emotions and have the same experiences. And then my brief glimpse into the "real" world disappears. I keep following my memorized scripts of what to say and when to say it, and people never notice anything different. I keep my mouth shut when all I want to do is talk about my "projects". I have found ways to talk about myself and my interests in "appropriate" ways. I can read peoples body language and their tones of voice and their energy and I've learned to call them by names of "angry" or "happy" or "sad". I know the right things and wrong things to say and do when people are "angry" or "happy" or "sad". And I keep going along in my little bubble, struggling to stay just enough in the "real" world, because if I do, then people treat me like any other person. And when I am treated like I am "normal", then I have a chance to go after my dreams and be respected and valued as an equal. I'm not "disabled" and "stupid" and "inferior". I'm not treated like a second class citizen or pitied, or excluded.

Sometimes I stop trying. I enter into my bubble. I loose myself. I loose track of time. Its just me and my projects and my feelings and I don't have to try and put words on them. I can just watch. When I want something, I get it. When I need something, I get it. Fuck the world and the consequences. But then I forget how to feed myself and take care of myself. I start getting "sick" and I sometimes forget how to talk. I can't walk straight. I can't remember how to cook a pot of rice. Night and day blend into each other. There is no self control. There is no world outside of my experience. I'm impulsive. Driven. Focused. Lost. Sometimes I break things or I can stop hurting myself. Its not that I want to do it. It just happens. I'm just waiting. Waiting for something to magically make me feel better. Waiting. Waiting. Trapped in my own body.

And then something snaps. I'm better. I spend a few days trying to figure out what happened and pick back up where I left off in the world. Most people don't miss me, cuz I dont really have anyone anymore that close to me. I'm too difficult. But I still have my dreams and hopes. And I'm grateful I have another day to try life again. Cuz maybe today will be a "good" day. I will be happy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dealing with aspergers

I'm quite literally not feeling stable. My body chemistry is totally fucked up!
Been having ongoing food issues again. I woke up this morning at 4:30am and spent the next few hours just rolling around in bed mulling over a business idea! So, how I figure it....

The secret to business is finding a solution to a problem that needs fixed.


Yet, the poor tend to have the most problems.


For some reason, most businesses chase after only the rich or those that are willing to pay.


And yet the richest people in the world are those who have found a solution for the masses, not the wealthy.


So, my question becomes.... how can I use massage to help the poor?

The mounting pressure to write up my business plan and find a job is not helping at all. Its been a test of my abilities to stay focused while managing my health. I found out two weeks ago that everything I am sensitive to is all a subcategory of one type of chemical, or is a chemical that competes for resources in the body that this chemical needs in order to be broken down. It is called Phenols! The chemical is dependent upon a gene that goes haywire with people on the autism spectrum. Funny thing I am learning is that males with this gene tend to present with autism. Females with this gene tend to present with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. The genetic mix ups seem to be all related to a small pool of genetic/proteomic malfunctions. But what "disease" you present with varies considerably and is dependent on the environment. I've been working with my therapist in identifying where aspects of me having aspergers gave me difficulties growing up. I've largely learned to manage it to the point that it doesn't appear I have ASD at all! I just wish I could fix the whole mess and move on with my life. But *sigh*, I will be managing my asperger tendencies and biological malfunctions for the rest of my life. Which, is ok, I guess. At least I CAN manage it. When I reduce the negative factors associated with ASD, there are a whole bunch of positive things about having aspergers! For that, I'm grateful every day!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dreams.... are only dreams?

YAY! New blog. I never stop creating. My dreams are literally the only thing that keep me going. I've been up to my eyeballs in research for the past 5 months and have gotten to a point where I need to start sharing my new knowledge. I'm trying to position myself in the health market. So, here is my new blog on Integrative Health (don't worry, nothing is happing to this one. This one is still my main 'hood, lol).....

One of the purposes of writing a business plan is to discover if your idea is tenable. My idea is definitely NOT. This puts me in an odd position. I've got 4 weeks to write up a plan for school. Do I keep going with what I started 9 months ago or do I work to put together my private practice (the obvious rational choice for financial stability)? My dreams are my soul manna. Forcing myself to write up the plan for my dream health system would really push me to find the holes and cement my idea into something I can keep reaching for. So what should I do? The over achiever in me could always just do both. ....there goes the already dwindling hours of sleep I have. My health seriously cannot sustain this. :-/

Monday, May 02, 2011

I can see my path

I've been running at full speed the past 6 weeks. Much has happened, but despite trying to sit down to write in my blog many times the past few weeks, I couldn't seem to come up with the words.

At school, I am learning A LOT. My mind-body class is a body psychology course and is truly changing the way I see the world and interact personally in it. The psychology of the body rests in the muscle tissue, and taking kinesiology (upper body) at the same time, and devoting four hours a week to psychotherapy (individual and group) is changing my life in a huge way. I am finding the entire greater subject, how to change ourselves and the way we think and feel and relate to ourselves and the world, absolutely fascinating. On a personal level, I am taking it one step further, learning about PTSD and trauma recovery and understanding what happens to the normal body psychology when trauma occurs to result in PTSD. An amazing quote I read this morning was:

PTSD has been described as the failure of time to heal all wounds

My plans to become certified in Trauma Touch Therapy have not changed. My entire drive to getting my business up and running successfully is in part so that I can set myself up to be as successful as possible during the course of TTT certification. An interesting side effect of my body psychology course has been in the realm of gender (of course, I am always looking for that stuff anyway!). I've been reading more about body maps and also a bit about the biological difference between men and women. It became apparent to me that men process their emotional lives much more within their body-mind, whereas women are much more apt to process emotional material in the brain (ie: via talking, crying, etc). After a bit of trial and error and application of energywork and meditation techniques I have learned over the past 18 months, I managed to learn how to CONTROL my gender switches.

The result of being able to control my gender has led me to feel more in control of my own life and my own body. For the most part, I don't interfere. If I wake up as one gender, I don't force it. Its just not necessary! But it has helped me adapt better in social and professional situations. I am starting to work with my therapist to identify ways that I can choose to be a certain gender to take advantage of skills as one gender or the other, or as a coping mechanism. The whole thing is very exciting for me.

Despite the enormous amount of personal change, and time devoted to it, I am spending the majority of my time putting together my business ideas. In school I am taking a career development class. It's essentially an outline of all the million things that can be explored in building a career. It touches upon dozens of topics each week. I feel very thankful I have spent the time that I have before this quarter started on business development, because I am just barely keeping up. My weeks consist of multiple trips to the library and skimming/reading piles of books, weekly meetings with my employment counselor/mentor, volunteer work with a local non-profit holistic health clinic, site visits and competitor research, and writing. My father has decided to help me on the project and is taking on design and infrastructure plans. Working with my dad has been extraordinary. We don't have the best relationship and being able to work with him on a project that he is passionate about (healthcare design) has become very rewarding. We have been meeting regularly and spend a lot of time going over how my business ideas fit into current healthcare management and design challenges. It is great to be able to bounce my ideas off of him, especially since he is considered one of the experts in the healthcare design field in the US. Working together is allowing us to work out a viable innovative healthcare solution to todays healthcare challenges looking into the future, and not back at the past. Seeing my ideas in physical space layout instead of abstract clouds in my mind has launched the project to a whole now level and allowed me to conceptualize what is needed to truly integrate healthcare systems.

I feel as if I am racing the clock though. My unemployment runs out in mid-July. This quarter ends mid-June. I get my license to practice massage as a certified massage therapist any day now, and once I get it, my time will be even more stretched as I race to get all the pieces together so that I have an operating practice by mid July. My solution to a difficult question over the past year (the scalability and organization of my business ideas) has been to open a sole proprietorship immediately, and start a corporation for my main business ideas separately at a later time.

With only two quarters left of school, and the help of my dad, by January 1 I could realistically have a proposal ready for contract and bidding. However, I have decided that I will not launch. I have decided that I will seek part time employment as a Massage Therapist (MT) and work on my sole proprietorship while enrolling back into Mesa College and taking my time to get my Associates Degree (I still wanna learn languages and study art and music!!!). Once I accomplish my AA, I plan on going on the Bastyr University and realize my lifelong dream of studying there, to get my bacholor's degree. After that, I would like to go on and study integrative health. By the time I am nearing the end of my schooling, the market for integrative health will be much better (right now it is a little too preemptive.... there isn't enough demand yet) and I will be ready to launch with all the right variables in place (or at least more than I have now).

Since I was in junior high school I have dreamt of studying health and bringing a new way of health care management to the public. With so much personal and professional transformation happening, doors are flying open for me and my path is illuminated for me for the first time in my life. It is looking to be evermore transformational over the course of the next 7 months.

I have hope!
I have purpose!
I have taken back my life and it is mine now!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Transformation (Alex)

I've had it. Its time for change. I've gone through an enormous personal transformation the past 3 months and its forcing me to live in the world in a new way. I did something today that I should have done years ago. Today, I finally found the courage to move on and live my life for me! This is my life.... financially independent, emotionally mature, dreams ready for the taking. I'm ready to take a huge leap. I am at a point where I have nothing to loose.

In 9 months I will be a business owner, run my own non-profit, pursuit my passions, get the medical health I need, and run property management/rental units.

I know this all sounds vague and idealistic. But I know this is my path and I know that something extraordinarily has happened to me since the start of this year.... and there is so much further to go. This is just the beginning!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wow I've been busy!

The quarter at Mueller is drawing to a close and I am looking back and seeing how rapidly I have have changed. Therapy and DBT is moving along and is a constant source of self-change. My classes at Mueller have really challenged me this quarter as well. My Thai massage class has challenged me to not only learn a new massage modality, but also overcome my PTSD with being touched and receiving massage! My lab class (working on the public giving massage) has pushed me to become a massage therapist and market myself and start building a client list. My Reiki class has challenged me to face a lot of inner daemons and emotional issues, and because of it I have gone through an enormous transformation.

Outside of class, I have been doing research on Integrative health and putting together my business plan and finding ways to accomplish my professional/employment plans and goals! This has taken me to seek out seminars, workshops, and classes, as well as stacks and stacks of books. It has also inspired me to network and reach out to others online and in the community. I have taken on responsibilities in volunteering and moderating and/or running several sites online.

My health has also stabilized. I now know WHAT makes me sick and at a minimum what to avoid. I am slowly making new discoveries to improve my health. I have started seeing a hypnotherapist and meditating regularly, which has helped tremendously too.

This upcoming few months I am looking forward to getting my massage license, starting to exercise regularly, and building my clientel list. My goal is to raise $950 by June 1st to attend a week long certificate program in Vegas for Medical Massage and a weekend workshop in tibetian bowl healing. In DBT we will be leaning about interpersonal effectiveness. My classes are in career development, upper body kinesiolgy, and the body psychology. No doubt, I will learn a lot about myself and continue to grow and be challenged emotionally, intellectually, and professionally.

Finally, I look forward to getting out into the community and volunteering and meeting new people doing activities that I enjoy, like cycling and star-watching. Last week I was offered a position on the steering-committee of the San Diego HRC chapter and will co-chair the diversity committee! I am also working to land a volunteer position with the Alternative Healing Network, a non-profit Integrative Health clinic serving the low-income populations of San Diego. These next few months will be critical as a transition period, because in June/July I will most likely start working again.

So, in summary, I really have been very, very busy. But I am enjoying life and moving forward with hope and love. :-D

Monday, February 28, 2011


Wir rannten beide durch das Leben,
voller Zuversicht und stark,
die ganze Welt gehörte uns
und das Leben war ein Park.
Von allem nur das Beste,
ganz hoch hinaus,
von allem nur das Beste,
so sah es aus.
Und dann bin ich aufgewacht,
mit dem Rücken an der Wand,
ich hab so viel falsch gemacht,
unser Park ist abgebrannt.
Von allem nur das Beste,
ist schon lange her.
Von allem nur das Beste,
das gibts nicht mehr.
Hilf mir,
ich fall immer tiefer runter,
Hilf mir,
siehst du nicht ich geh schon unter,
Hilf mir,
du hast soviel Liebe übrig gib mir deine Hand und rette mich.
Ich weiss nicht mehr was es war
unsere Wege trennten sich
ich dacht ich komm alleine klar
und ich brauch dich nicht.
Auf alles was glitzert
ich hab drauf gezielt
und was wirklich zählte,
ich habs verspielt.
Auf der Suche nach dem Besten,
hab ich mich verletzt,
denn du warst doch am besten,
das weiss ich jetzt.
Hilf mir,
ich fall immer tiefer runter,
Hilf mir,
siehst du nicht ich geh schon unter,
Hilf mir,
du hast soviel Liebe übrig gib mir deine Hand und rette mich.
Hilf mir,
ich fall immer tiefer runter,
Hilf mir,
siehst du nicht ich geh schon unter,
Hilf mir,
du hast soviel Liebe übrig gib mir deine Hand und rette mich.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Life Beyond School

I seriously have had a multimedia & computer technology explosion. I've been learning computer skills at a free workshop/continuing education program at the City Career Centers. All the technical skills that I never knew were holding me back are suddenly allowing me to do things I have *always wanted to do* but didn't really know how.

Like have an online art collection.... now at deviantart! (I'm MoralAnimal0369)

Like launch a campaign to help youth that are dealing with difficult life challenges. I've seriously been asked dozens of times over the past 5 years to write a book or do public speaking. I now have the rudiments of a non-profit put together. Sweet (for me.... happy dance)! Check it out.... To be honest, I am surprised at how easy it was to put together. I guess I've been contemplating more than I thought.

BTW... Since I am starting a non-profit, I am looking for people to be on the board. Let me know if you are intersted.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

THE BEST 101 PHOTOS of my year abroad

I just put together my DeviantART site.... I can't believe that it has taken me so long to do so. Now I have a sizable collection of my art and writings there. Check it out! (link is on the right hand side)

I also redid my company website and created a second website for the parent company of Willow Tree Retreat Center. Links are on the right too.

THE BEST 101 PHOTOS of my year abroad

These photos have been taken across Eurasia, including the countries of France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Turkey, and parts of the German and Holland North Sea. *These photos are the sole property of Rebecca Volzer and may not be copied or distributed without written permission*

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Seven Stages of Healing (alex)

We've all heard of the stages of healing. It varies some from model to model.

Stage 1- Denial
Stage 2- Pain & guilt
Stage 3- Anger & Bargaining
Stage 4- Depression
Stage 5- Acceptance
Stage 6- Rebirth
Stage 7- Creating New Life

Learning to be healer, the first order of business is learning to heal myself. Boy, do I have a lot of healing to do. Its been 3 1/2 years now since I made the commitment to live for myself and heal myself. I'm still working through some major issues, but fortunately, I know what most of my issues are now. Things are coming together. I'm not in denial anymore.

What am I working on right now and where am I right now?

Loss of my childhood and sanity from trauma (Stage 3)
Loss of 22 years living as a male (Stage 2)
Loss of my family that won't accept me for who I am (Stage 4)
Loss of my health from a damn tick bite (Stage 1)
Loss of my significant relationship last year (Stage 4)
Loss of my freedom (Stage 5)
Loss of security (Stage 6)
Loss of my dreams (Stage 7)
Loss of my education (Stage 7)
Loss of my diet (Stage 6)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Be Kind to Yourself & Others- Reiki Principle

Compassion is an elusive term for me. What is compassion? It is a form of love, but not really love. It is also a form of empathy, but its not empathy either. Compassion comes from the heart and from the heart chakra. It is green. In fact, the first time I ever felt compassion was while meditating on my heart chakra and surrounding myself with green energy. It has not been an emotion that I have been exposed to much, and if I have been, I probably didn't even know. Apart feeling sad about that and about my past, looking forward how does one be kind to yourself and others if compassion is such a foreign concept?

My new years resolution for 2010 was to learn how to love myself. Over the course of the year, I think being compassionate to myself was a much bigger part of that resolution. I have learned how to deal with crisis, I've learned how to enjoy my 6 senses (vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell, and energy), and I've learned how to meditate. I've learned how to take care of myself. I've learned that I don't have to punish myself when things go wrong or don't go my way. And I have learned that it is ok to be happy. Its ok to be ME.

While I would definitely say I am a happier person now than I have ever been in my life, but I also know that there is a lot more I could do. I still struggle to have compassion for myself when sad or struggling with the challenges of life. As a massage therapist, learning how to be compassionate for myself is key in having compassion for others. If I don't have a healthy compassion for myself, I loose a healthy boundary, which can be dangerous when working in a service industry. I have a history of over compassion and over empathy that leads to co-dependency. But every day, I try to do something for myself. A bath. Sit in the sun. Dream. And day by day I will chip away at the ice block in my heart.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I am

I am intuitive
I am judging
I am introverted
I am compassionate
I am a thinker
I am a fighter
I am a defender
I am a healer
I am a servant
I am a leader
I am neither male nor female, yet I am both
I seek truth
I seek justice
I abhor self-righteousness and megalomania
I respect the higher being in all of us
I honor the humanity in us all
I speak
I sing
I hear
I feel
I see

Food is my sustenance
Water is my comfort
Music is my passion
Color is my experience
Knowledge is fountain
Wisdom is a gift

My body is my shell
My soul is my connection
My mind is my vehicle
My gender is my filter
My higher self is my guide

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Loosing it again (Vickie)

I am stabilizing at about 800 calories a day and able to adequately sustain myself. But, in order to have enough brain energy to do my math homework, I need to eat more food. Unfortunately, eating more food means that my brain stops working because of the chemicals that I am now sensitive to in them. After two weeks of trying to do math review work from last semester, and miserably frustrated because I just don't understand them, I have realized that I might need to drop out of math. This makes me incredibly sad. I was so happy to finally be doing something to get back on track to finish my major. I was finally going to school, and succeeding! I'm in a scary place right now. I'm loosing feeling and sensation in my lower body again. I can't feel my feet anymore. I'm dissociated most of the day. Panic attacks. I feel lost a lot of the time. I am having a hard time determining what gender I am in, and that is causing major dysphoria. I just want to cry. The further I get down this path, the worse the chemically induced depression gets. It gets harder to search out help and advocate for myself.

Maybe if I don't go to Mesa and take these math classes, I can devote more time to building my business and being able to afford health insurance. I have another hypno appointment this week. I hope it helps. Its the only hope I have to hang on to right now.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Hypnotherapy (alex)

Today I became a huge fan of hypnotherapy. There is a new hypno program at school and their new lab is short on clients. So I offered to get a session. During the session, we talked for a while, and then the practitioner hypnotized me. It was like a guided meditation that induced a dream. I felt like I was dreaming. It was amazing.

Today has been a rough day. My ex called me on the phone upset at me because I had gotten a new phone and terminated my half of our contract without telling him. Then at class tonight, we were practicing deep abdominal massage. My partner is NOT good at the whole massage thing. But I made it through everything today. And I had some really good moments too.

I highly recommend trying out hypnotherapy. Its pretty awesome. :-)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Head in a Cloud Business explosion (Alex)

My head is swimming. I have been doing research on my business. I've been on a marathon for the past 10 days, finishing nearly 10 books and I'm in the middle of a half a dozen more. I've got a 2" binder stuffed full of notes and research. Its been my dream since I was a child to get involved in healthcare and specifically alternative medicine. Over the years I have waxed and wanned on my enthusiasm for different aspects of health, from public health to a mainstream medical degree to naturopathy to herbalism to massage therapy. But if I have learned one thing over the past few years, it is that I am an entrepreneur. I love learning but hate school. I love running a business and figuring out how to make it work, but I hate working for others. I get a thrill off of training others to succeed. Over the past year I have been rolling around an idea for a holistic health "hospital". I want to start my own business. So, I've been diving head first into a concentrated research effort the past few weeks. I've been collecting info and resources for 6 months already in a random effort. But I'm full steam ahead now.

My head honestly hurts. One of the books I'm working my way through is a 700 page small print publication for health care administrators on the integration of complementary medicine in health care systems. It has been making my head explode because practically each chapter has been paradigm shifting. It takes me hours to get through something that would take me less than an hour. Its been great. But overwhelming. My goal is to understand the basics of what I need to know to design a large group medical facility that is insurance reimbursed. Obviously I don't have the experience or knowhow to start a facility like that, so I'm putting together a timeline that will start me out small working on one small part of the grand scheme and have me grow it over the next 10-40 years. This is what I want to devote my life to. I'm applying for my Massage License in 2 months. I am going to start volunteering in integrative health centers around San Diego.

What hurts my head so much is designing a system or at least an idea that can be grown in a direction that becomes a final vision. And the final vision is hard to wrap my head around! How do you design an entire "bricks-and-mortar" hospital based, primary care integrative CAM facility that is different than anything ever done yet? There are some outstanding models around the USA. And lots of little clinics too. But it is still a new field and requires reinventing the wheel each time.

Bring it on!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rammstein Zwitter (Alex)

I am not a huge fan of Rammstein. In fact, I don't really like Rammstein at all. I think there are much better German bands. That being said, there is an interesting song they did that is a retelling of the Greek myth of Hermaphroditus (found in Book IV of Metamorphoses by Ovid). It is from the perspective of Hermaphroditus (who was born a bio-male!!!!) reflecting back upon the moment when the water nymph, Salmacis, was overcome by lust for the boy and tried to seduce him, but was rejected, so she pleaded with the gods to let her become "one" with him. The gods granted this wish, and Salmacis and Hermaphroditus became two souls in one body, with a mixed male/female body.

Hermaphroditus recounts in this retelling how he has grown to accept himself and love who he is. He also reflects on how being of "two genders" has changed how he interacts with the world. Unfortunately, english translations of the song badly butchers the meaning behind the words and totally do not take in account the story that inspired the song, so therefore they interpret many of the lines wrong. It results in an incredibly crude and disgusting translation. The song, instead, is meant to be one part a celebration of self-acceptance and one part "fuck you world! for seeing me as a disgusting (derogatory) "hermaphrodite!". He describes the subtle meaning of what it means to be of two souls that are now one person and how that changes who he is.

Although I do not see myself as two distinct people in one body, like Hermaphroditus did (and the way many who have multiple personalities), because I am only one soul, I still connect with the situation of moving through the world as two genders because I have to pretend I am two distinct people that are of two different genders (at least on the surface. My surface identity does not change who i am underneath). I feel strongly that if culture and society did not insist on me choosing one or the other gender, I wouldn't feel so pressured to adopt two identities and presentations. I could just be me, without judgement! There have been many cultures throughout time that have recognized this type of person. In some cultures, such as the native american "two spirit", these people often become powerful leaders and shamans. Obviously, the greeks felt a similar way. Hermaphroditus is a God.

Word of note: The literal translation of Zwitter by Rammstein hides the complexity of the double meanings in the german language. Rammstein specifically uses words that have double meaning and are inflammatory interpretations and is being extremely abstract. This is part of the premise and reason to fame of the band. This song is written to be intentionally interpreted as jarring and disgusting. What amazes me (and the reason I am posting it here and talking about it) it that the song is also written in a way that exposes the subtle perspective of someone who understands the plight of Hermaphroditus and can see it from a somewhat neutral and/or good place. Rarely is the story of Hermaphroditus told from that perspective. It is always told from the perspective of a "normal" person, which is like an alien trying to describe what it is like to be a human or vice versa.

Ich hab ihr einen Kuss gestohlen ...............(I had stolen a kiss from her [the nymph])
Sie wollte sich ihn wiederholen ..................(She had wanted to keep him [She was overcome by lust for the boy, and tried to seduce him, but was rejected. So the nymph she called out to the gods that they should never part.])
Ich hab sie nicht mehr losgelassen .............(I did not let her go)
Verschmolzen so zu einer Masse ................(Melted together into one)
So ist es mir nur allzurecht .......................(I am now at peace/it is ok)
Ich bin ein schönes Zweigeschlecht ............(I am a beautiful "Two Spirit“)
Zwei Seelen unter meiner Brust ..................(Two souls in my breast)
Zwei Geschlechter eine Lust ......................(Two sexes/genders but one desire [as in one want, one mindset, or life goal and direction in life, not sexual desire]

Zwitter, Zwitter .....................................(hybrid/two soul/double embodied)
Zwitter, Zwitter

Ich gehe anders durch den Tag ..................(I go through each day differently)
Ich bin der schönste Mensch von allen .........(I am the most beautiful person in the world!)
Ich sehe wunderbare Dinge ........................(I see amazing things)
Die sind mir vorher gar nicht aufgefallen .......(that [each day] I did not/could not see before)
Ich kann mich jeden Tag beglücken .............(I can make myself happy every day [referring to the inner relationship he has with himself, and perhaps a more physical double meaning too])
Ich kann mir selber Rosen schicken ..............(I can send myself roses! [this is a subtle play on words referring to the rigid gender roles in german society and is meant facetiously and sarcastically])
Da ist kein zweiter und kein dritter ..............(there is no second or third [body; but left open to be interpreted as person to play out the dual story line for the rest of the song])
Eins und eins das ist gleich ........................(both souls are the same me; literally one and one is the same)

Zwitter ...................................................(hybrid/two soul/double embodied)
Ich bin so verliebt .....................................(I feel so loved)
Ich bin in mich verliebt ...............................(I love myself! [again, another sarcastic play on words that has a double meaning… I can make love to myself, and figuratively, I love who I am. It means both.])

Eins für mich .............................................(There is only one for me [refering to the original himself and now the one body and one mindset/direction in life)
Eins für dich ..............................................(There is only one for you [referring to the original you of the nymph and now the one body, and one mindset/direction in life)
Gibt es nicht .............................................(there is nothing [other])
Für mich ...................................................(for me [me as in the wholistic person, the both of them now being “the same”])

Eins für mich
Eins für dich
Eins und eins .............................................(both of “us”)
Das bin ich ................................................(that is me!)

Ich bin alleine doch nicht allein ......................(I am alone, but I am also not alone)
Ich kann mit mir zusammen sein .....................(I can just be here with myself [also a play on words which can be doubly interpreted as being able to sleep with himself)
Ich küsse früh mein Spiegelbild .......................(In the morning I kiss my reflection in the mirror [a subtle reference to the rigid gender roles in german society and the expectation of men to be romantic with women and how looking in the mirror in the morning is self affirming when he sees both "souls" in the reflection in the mirror)
Und schlafe abends mit mir ein ......................(At night I sleep alone/with just myself [the grammer refers to an acknowledgment of a second person])
Wenn die anderen Mädchen suchten ...............(when other [men] are chasing women)
Konnt ich mich schon selbst befruchten ...........(I [don’t need to because] I can have a relationship with myself [this is another play on words and is meant facetiously both as an entire phrase and with the use of the word befruchten, meaning both literally being able to “fertilize” himself but referring also to the more abstract reality of having an intimate relationship with a someone else which is inside of himself])
So bin ich dann auch nicht verzagt ..................(so therefore, I am honestly not bothered)
Wenn einer zu mir "Fick dich" sagt ....................(when others tell me to “fuck myself” [again, said in irony. The germans have a very subtle, dry humor])

Ich bin so verliebt
Ich bin in mich verliebt

Eins für mich
Eins für dich
Gibt es nicht
Für mich

Eins für mich
Eins für dich
Eins und eins
Das bin ich

*** I use the male pronouns because Hermaphroditus is bio-male and although some versions of the myth/story refers to an eventual change in gender identity, I don't know the myth well enough to feel like I can wade through society and time's (often derogatory) interpretation of which gender pronoun is the "right one". Therefore, I don't feel at liberty to change it to a gender neutral pronoun or to a female pronoun. I intend to use the male pronoun in the same way one would use "mankind" to mean people****

Note of some of the gender terminology: Zwitter translates literally to hermaphrodite and it is often used to refer to those who are "hermaphrodites", but it's actual meaning translates more closely to "double embodied", "two souls" or "hybrid". It can also be applied to situations where twins in the womb, for example, share a hybrid set of genes from one egg being fertilized by two sperm, producing "zwitter" twins. It is typically interpreted as something relating to the physical/material world, but also could be used metaphorically to describe something more abstract if care was taken to emphasize the more abstract interpretation (like rammstein has managed to do in their song lyrics!)

German also does not differentiate "gender" from "sex" and often use the same word. "Geschlecht" is usually interpreted to mean sex, more than gender. Furthermore, there is less of a distinction between gender identity and sexual identity and sexual orientation than there is in English! There is often one word that can be used for all three depending on context. German has been importing english words in an attempt by the LGBT community to make a distinction between definitions. (For example, Bisexuell for bisexual)

"zweigeschlecht" likewise translates to "two sexed" or "having two genders" (remembering that gender actually means sex, not the gender in your head), "Zweigeschlecht" orignially means something akin to bisexual, but the meaning is shifting to a narrower definition because of the importation of english words.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Museum of Man (alex)

I've been pretty miserable. I feel like I am putting out fires, one day devoting all my energy to starting my business, then the next day throwing myself into feeding myself, then the next refusing to get up from the couch to try and pretend I have nothing important. Today, I've been making an effort to read the ENTIRE nearly 4 year history of a Salicylate Forum ( After 3 hours, I only made a dent in the first half of the intro post! So, this might take me a while. But I'm learning a lot!

In an attempt to give my eyes a rest, I went to Balboa Park and ended up at the Museum of Man. There was a tiny little exhibit called Strange Bones, documenting how our bones are living tissues and how they grow and change over the course of a lifetime when confronted with fractures, disease, binding (corsets, foot binding, head shaping, etc), wounds, environmental factors, nutrition, etc. I took pictures of two things that scared me. First, syphilis is the 1st cousin of Lyme Disease. Seeing that Lyme can be even more destructive than syphilis, I was a bit disturbed by the fact that my bones could be doing that! The other is a bone when exposed to excess fluoride (which we get from our drinking water, toothpaste, etc). Although I haven't ruled out that I am having fluoride problems, one of the members on the Salicylate Forum that has helped me a lot DOES have fluoride issues and I wanted to share this particular bone with him/her.

All that being said, I have a whole new appreciation of health and human skeleton. I also spent some time examining the skeletons of other hominid species too. With my new anatomy and kinesiology knowledge from school, I was fascinated by how much I could learn about the different human species by looking at their bones. The human body will never cease to amaze me!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Moving forward in a New Year (vickie)

Life has been pretty hectic the past 2 weeks. I have been spending a lot of time thinking about who I am and where I am going. I have to say, giving up has certainly been on my mind. Going home for Christmas, back to Ohio, was stressful. I got really really sick and am struggling (still) to get back on my feet. I feel like I am just emerging from a fog. I'm reacting to so much in my environment, I wonder if it will ever come to an end. What has kept me going is my Rotaract group and In Rotaract, I am taking on responsibilities to bring a public showing of Under Our Skin, a documentary on Lyme Disease. I bought a few copies of the film last week. While watching them, I cried through the entire second half. It gives me so much strength and hope to see others go through this, but at the same time, so much dispair. It seems such an impossible task to get better. There are so many challenges to overcome, I honestly wonder if I have it within me. I am a fighter. I wouldn't be alive if it weren't so. I wouldn't have gotten through the past year if it weren't so either. But the film really hit home with me that there is so much more ahead, so much more pain. And I am only at the BEGINNING of the journey.

Looking back at this year, what has amazed me the most and made the biggest impact on me is the the forum I spend a lot of time on. It has provided a safe place where we can all "evolve" in our own ways as gender queer indviduals. has changed my life and literally saved my life several times this year.

It has really been a journey for me this past year. I am just past my one year anniversary of coming out to myself! I have seen my identity as a multigendered individual evolve and mature. I have seen my different modes become their own thing and be what makes ME happy and not what others want to see me as. I have also grown as a person. As an independent, NON-codependent person. Being alone this year and recovering from a relationship has been hard, but it has been one of the greatest things that has happened to me. A true blessing in disguise.

I finally got my new Social Security card with my new name this week. Now I need to go to the DMV and change my name there. I am waiting for a day where I am in male mode, because I need to get my picture taken. It feels like male gender is kind of a innocent until proven guilty kind of thing. It is a lot easier to disprove being male than prove you are male, so I want to get my ID to look as masculine as possible. The point of changing my name to my initials is so that I don't "out" myself with my name. It would be pointless to change my name if my picture wasn't "neutral".

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my identity as a woman. I recently finished a book on communication between men and women ("You Just Don't Understand" It has really changed the way I view the world and where I fit into it. I came out of the closet to my grandmother while in Ohio and she took it really well. In fact, I couldn't have asked for anything better! She recognized that I was still the same me and that in the end, gender doesn't matter. It wasn't something that she was negative about or something that she would tolerate; it was simply love and acceptance. It made me very happy. It was such a powerful experience.

What was much more difficult, however, was "coming out" about my illness. I have come to understand recently what that means to me and have finally been able to get to a level of acceptance and faith in journeying forward these past 2 weeks. I discovered when visiting home that my family here in San Diego (that I have been relying on to communicate with the rest of the family as to what I have been going through while I was too sick to communicate on my own for the past 3 years) has been covering everything up, and in some cases lying and saying I was ok, when I am not. In many ways, I think (subconsciously), I wanted to perpetuate that.

I wanted to perpetuate that because it has been critical to my identity as a woman. I have been ashamed to be a female because I feel like I am always "loosing". Being sick is just one of many ways of "being weak". As a bio-female, I have struggled to live in the "female world" because I act in a more male and competitive way much of my life. This book helped me recognize in my heart that the female world is much more egalitarian, rather than just intellectually recognizing that; that that type of world organization is not in competition to the "male world" but simply a different way at looking at the world and a different and just as valid place to be. I have been trying to prove that I am who I am (multigendered) and prove what I am going through, instead of relating and sharing what I am going through and who I am. In addition, I have struggled with the concept of being beautiful and also with feminine power coexisting with what I have often viewed as female subservience and victim-hood. That has manifested in a way that I have always struggled to be "better" or "more" than my partners, family, and friends; everything is a competition, even when that is not what I intended.

However, I have learned an extraordinarily humbleness and inner strength this past 2 weeks that comes from a femininity that I never understood before. That overcoming the challenges I have gone through can be expressed and be a part of who I am as a female and be something to be proud of. It can be a part of how I present and not something to hide. I can be PROUD of my "weaknesses" because my greatest weaknesses are my strengths! This has allowed me the past few days to go out presenting as a female the way that makes ME feel beautiful and strong, not the way society says beauty is. My female side has evolved to a place where I can peacefully live in my own skin and the rules that I judged myself on don't apply anymore. Despite living in the world as a bio-female, for the first time I have actually been able to access the feminine world.

As a male, however, I have learned to stand my ground and stand up for myself. To be direct and how to take the floor. I have learned that some of my feminine ways of talking and relating put me in a one-down position and I inadvertently demasculinate myself when I am trying to prove that I am just the opposite. I discovered what the heck is the big deal about sports teams and found a way to make me feel like I have control and comradery without being needy. This has been just as empowering too.

I am amazed at how lucky I am to live in both the male and female worlds and that I am learning how to gracefully glide between them instead of living in a mish-mash of both worlds, and hence my own little world.

I started classes at Mueller again this week and for the first time, I openly talked about how lucky I feel and how truly blessed and gifted I feel to be bigender. I feel that in many ways, being bigender is a special place that is an honor. I hope that I can cultivate that. I am taking Thai massage, Reiki, and a lab class. Thai totally freaked me out. This is the first bodywork class I have taken since the Trauma Touch Therapy. I still dissociated during class and had a hard time working through it when I got home, but it wasn't as bad as it normally is. So, I guess there is progress! But I am NOT going to give up on this! I will NOT let my body shackle me in chains for the rest of my life! I am going to keep doing what I am afraid of and ashamed of over and over and over again until I get through this!

I had my Reiki class this morning. I think that this class is going to be very difficult, emotionally, for me. But I think it will also be hugely positive too. Lab is on Saturday. I am looking forward towards that, because I want to start building clientle. I want to get my business running and I need to pay for my massage room space too, asap.

So, that all being said, Happy belated New Year! May the upcoming year be full of challenges and tears and love. :-)