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The headline hit me like a punch in the stomach: a Domestic Violence Victim fired from teaching.  Nothing like being victimized twice.  This article is an eye opener and sadly, so are some of the comments.  I think the one that really took my breath away was the one that said she could collect unemployment and take the time to consider where her bad life choices put her.  Oh, yes, she went there.  

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Fri May 03, 2013 at 08:13 PM PDT

And So It Goes

by RoCali

My surgeon has released me.  He says that there is nothing more he can do for now. He will perform that last procedure, a neurotomy, again annually.  The only value of the neurotomy is that is makes the pain (somewhat) manageable.

My regular physician is managing my symptoms.  She prescribes my pain medications, signed the paperwork for my disabled parking placard, maintenance issues and so forth.  She wants to send me back for more physical therapy.  I agree and understand why she thinks it is vital, but heck, how do I tell her I cannot afford it?

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Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:49 AM PST

Bank On It - It's an Uphill Battle

by RoCali

I know, there are so many problems facing us right now, it gets a bit overwhelming.  but, just in case you got distracted by some other worthy issues, here are a couple of reminders about how, for Big Banks, the risks... well, the risks usually belong to the little guy, who has very little recourse.

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KosAbility is a community diary series posted at 5 PM ET every Sunday by volunteer diarists. This is a gathering place for people who are living with disabilities, who love someone with a disability, or who want to know more about the issues surrounding this topic. There are two parts to each diary. First, a volunteer diarist will offer their specific knowledge and insight about a topic they know intimately. Then, readers are invited to comment on what they've read and/or ask general questions about disabilities, share something they've learned, tell bad jokes, post photos, or rage about the unfairness of their situation. Our only rule is to be kind; trolls will be spayed or neutered.
After the recent, horrific tragedy in Sandy Hook, Americans are contemplating how to stop this seemingly unceasing stream of similar killings. As with most of life’s serious problems, in my opinion, there are no simple answers.  Complicated problems require complex, multi-faceted solutions.  The sick phenomenon of these types of killings must be peeled like an onion, layer by layer, and each contributing issue must be addressed in a holistic approach.  Mental illness has a role in the discussion and search for answers.

One question I hear often in the aftermath of these incidents is: “Why didn’t anyone intervene sooner when the shooter clearly had issues?”  I am not a part of the family at issue here and so cannot tell you why that didn’t occur in this case.  I do know my family’s experience with mental illness and the mental health system was not an anomaly and what we endured and encountered may give some understanding and insight with regards to this question generally.

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Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 10:29 AM PST

May I Make a Gentle Suggestion?

by RoCali

A good part of what makes this place great is not only the intelligence so frequently on display, but also the diversity. I admit, I enjoy both those qualities which are so evident here. Another great quality found here in abundance is passion.  Yes, I often enjoy that also.  However, sometimes, that passion and intelligence fires a bit quickly, without stopping to consider the diversity factor. May I gently suggest, take a moment before shooting off at the keyboard?

If you'll bear with me and follow me past the orange squiggle, I'll give an example.

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Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 11:52 AM PST

Better Safe Than Sorry

by RoCali

Better safe than sorry has rather been my motto for most of my almost six decades in this world.  It is definitely my steadfast position when it comes to one of the driving forces in my life, children's advocacy.  I've been active in children's advocacy for about 25 years now.  Whether I'm working on a case for a CASA file, interviewing a survivor, or researching and drafting pleadings for litigation arising from child abuse, I always go to my fallback position, better safe than sorry.   Perhaps that is why in the "real" world, when someone who knows me has a question or concern on the topic of child abuse, they frequently come to me with it.  Often, the person with the question is a friend or associate who also does work in the field but sometimes it is a friend who has seen or heard something that rings warning bells.

I will disclose up front, I suspect that theme stuck with me because when I was routinely being abused, I attempted in my timid, naive, seven-year-old shy little girl way to tell someone what was happening.  The person I tried to confide in did not believe in better safe than sorry and the issue got blown off.  As a consequence, I did not even attempt to tell anyone else and the abuse continued.

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I've always considered communication to be one of the gems in human abilities.  In truth, it may often appear to be a very rough and unpolished stone, while for some other individuals and instances it is a precisely-cut, elegantly faceted brilliance.  Although the majority of us often strive for the latter, the former happens to us with frequency.  

Let's face it, good communication is a prize.  When articulated well, even if agreement is not achieved, some sense of understanding may still be accomplished by the effort of communication.  Great movements have been fired and inspired by great speeches.  Hostile and dangerous situations have been defused by skilled communication geared to bring the participants back from the brink.  Effective advertising, therapy, diplomacy, and a host of other endeavors we are exposed to are based on good communication skills.  We all engage in communication throughout our daily lives, with our friends, family, co-workers, the cashier at the grocery store, ad infinitum.  

Although communication is such a vital mainstay in our lives, the majority of us don't engage  in much thought about it.  We just do it.  Well, I'm of the school that believes that may not be the best way to go about it.  For me, I realize that many of the conflicts that I have been engaged in throughout my life arose from less than sterling communication at the outset.  Being human, sure, I'm prone to speak first and think later; therefore, there are some things I try to remember.

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Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 03:45 PM PDT

Our Last Father's Day Is Tomorrow

by RoCali

I am going to drive north tomorrow to spend a few hours with my Dad.  It will be our last Father's Day.  I confess, I am a stew of mixed emotions. He is my Dad, and I love him, so there is a lot of sadness here as we face the inevitable.  He is suffering, so there is a small thread of dread that wafts through our encounters.  But I am also grateful, because we are getting a chance to have one last Father's Day together.  So many other emotions, as well. Then again, my father is a rather complicated person, so it is no surprise that my emotions mirror that.  

If you would indulge me, I'd like to introduce my father to you below.

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Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 10:10 PM PST

We Are All Partly To Blame

by RoCali

My heart is broken tonight and my cheeks stained with tears.  What happened today in Tucson is beyond words.  Right now, the grief is almost overwhelming.

We don't have all the facts yet.  There are still people fighting valiantly to cling to life.  Families are in terrible pain.  In a perfect world, we could focus on respectfully supporting the victims, mourning, and empathy.  Of course, this world is far from perfect.

A lot of finger pointing is going on and blame is being placed.  Even a diary that had nothing to do with this has come under fire, into the media glare, and was deleted by its author today.  We are saddened, angry at the loss of life, and frightened.  In response to these understandable emotions, we lash out and place blame.  I know this won't be a popular idea, but I think we all bear a little blame.

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Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 08:18 PM PDT

At Long Last

by RoCali

It's been quite a week, eh?  I felt a great deal of relief at the passing of the health bill.  Yes, I'm aware it is controversial.  For me, it was quite personal.  I frankly tried to stay out of the flame wars on the topic, because it was so personal for me.  It is my only hope of getting health insurance again.  Blue Cross simply priced me out of the market entirely and, as a woman in her 50's with several pre-existing conditions, the odds of me ever getting insurance again without some type of legislation that would not allow private insurance to make me a pariah, well, the odds were slim to none, generously speaking.  I know we are all not in agreement on this, and I respect that, so I only bring it up as background as one of the two reasons my mood tonight is, well, a mix of jubilation and overwhelming relief.  For the second reason, see below:

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Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 07:03 AM PST

I'm Not Above Begging

by RoCali

When it comes to certain issues and priorities, I have no pride.  I'm not above begging without hesitation.  So here I am, hat in hand, begging Kossacks unabashedly.

TexMex, SallyCat, DallasDoc and their crews have done some superlative work to get the rabble roused and provide assistance to our brothers and sisters suffering in Haiti. These fine Kossacks prove that we have heroes in our midst. It's been one week since the quake initially hit, but the catastrophe continues to roll on.  As expected, life continues elsewhere, new headlines rise in the media, and distractions ensue.

Poll

Have you given to Haiti today?

21%3 votes
0%0 votes
7%1 votes
0%0 votes
21%3 votes
35%5 votes
14%2 votes

| 14 votes | Vote | Results

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What a week, huh?  Fear, grief, sympathy, joy, frustration, relief, gratitude, anger, exhaustion, I think the entire spectrum of emotion has been run.  In fact, at moments it has felt like running a gauntlet.  

Well, first things first here.  So I have to ask a question, have you done anything for Haiti today?  We really need to keep this at the forefront.  Americans can be very generous when their compassion is aroused by tragedy, but sometimes they tire or forget in a fairly short time frame.  Let us make sure that Haiti is not forgotten in the way some other disasters have been.  Let us make sure that the aid for Haiti isn't just given in the first moments of the nightmare, but in the long, sometimes tedious, recovery process that will stretch so very far in front of us.  We need to set a standard here that can be followed in the future when another disaster will inevitably occur.  Special kudos to DallasDoc and TexMex for all their fabulous, stunning efforts for Haiti.  Talk about role models!!  It would be great if we all keep recc'ing those diaries and keeping them up top.

Poll

What emotions did you feel this week?

0%0 votes
5%1 votes
5%1 votes
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21%4 votes
10%2 votes
0%0 votes
31%6 votes
21%4 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
5%1 votes
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| 19 votes | Vote | Results

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