As The Pendulum Swings

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my blog and the psychology of color.  We are all aware that colors around us alter our perceptions about the place, people, and situations we encounter.  I live in Pittsburgh, and I experience The Grey Season throughout months primarily between November and March.  Part of this is also known as Winter.  In The Grey Season, my perceptions are altered.  Everything is just more, well, blah, for lack of a better word.  It’s depressive but not necessarily depression.

Here’s a run-down of the psychology of color.

  • Black: considered to a serious color.  Usually is representative of any subject that is exclusively serious.  It usually revolves around death.  Invokes feelings of seriousness, gloomy, and despair.
  • White: considered to be a color of purity, cleanliness, and impartiality.  It can be thought of as a clean slate and new beginnings.  White bears no judgement.
  • Grey: thought to be a color that represents mediocrity.  It is not a moving color.  It is absolutely uninspiring.
  • Red: is considered to be a color that represents aggression and anger.  Think of the bullfighters holding the red drape.  The bull naturally feels aggression when seeing the color red.
  • Orange: is a vibrant color and typically represents change.  Orange is a color that is found most in the fall.  It is the color of pumpkins in the harvest, and leaves falling from trees.
  • Yellow: thought of as a joyful color.  Yellow is the color of the sun, and the light that it brings into this world.  The sun brings warmth, and is necessary for plants to grow.  It is considered a high energy color full of happiness.
  • Green: is thought of as an intelligent color.  Green is the color of money, but also the color of plants.  It is often representative of fertility and luck.
  • Blue: considered a color of serenity.  Blue occurs naturally in the world as the largest entities.  The sky is blue.  The oceans are blue.  Many people don’t realize that the water represents the fluidity of our emotions.  Blue water is calm water.  It is healing for the mind in nature.
  • Purple: is a regal color.  The robes of kings and queens were made from precious and rare indigo dye.  It represents wisdom, respect, and stimulates the brain for problem solving.
  • Brown: thought of as a stable color.  It is the color of the very earth we walk on.  It is reliable and constant.

As you may have noticed, my banner changed.  The banner was a hand-crafted graphic of hand selected clocks.  Each clock represents a frame of mind.  And every clock represents the seconds that are passing in our lives, during this very moment.

As the Pendulum Swings is a term that represents a number of ideas and concepts.  First and foremost, it represents the swinging of a pendulum in relation to the nature of bipolar disorder.  For every swing in one direction, I experience a swing in the opposite direction.  Whether they are long swings, or short swings, the pendulum will never stop until I am dead.

As the Pendulum Swings is also a play off of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum”.  If you are interested, the link will take you to the entire text for your reading pleasure.  Poe’s writings have always resonated with me, even as a young teen.  There was something in there that seemed to describe my very nature.  I felt the title of my blog was an appropriate reference to this work.

And finally, As the Pendulum Swings represents the swinging of the pendulum as it ticks our lives away.  Each swing is a second we have either gained for ourselves, or forever lost in the folds of the fabric of time.  It is a constant reminder that we should be constantly aware of our precious mortality.  Our physical lives are actually not exclusively owned. Rather, they are on lease, and we cannot be sure when that lease will expire.  We may lose our mortal flesh, but our souls are ours to keep.

What will you gain today from your mortal seconds to assimilate into your undying soul?

Just A Little Short

“Just got out walked by someone twice my age. Rawr surgery #FML”.

(Shameless self-promotion alert).

All over my Facebook and Twitter. I’ve been relying on these social media outlets recently because I’m honestly too bushed to piece together something resembling a coherent post. Besides, I already have plenty of intoxicated ramblings on the internet if you know what username to look for.

Life during a recovery from a surgery is complicated. I’m not used to following doctor’s orders down the letter. And I’m especially unaccustomed to restrictions.

Restriction #1: No lifting.
The conundrum: I’m a mobile teacher. I have one storage closet and multiple classrooms with varying duties. Typically, I’m a one woman gypsy wagon. I carry everything but the kitchen sink. Maybe that too, I’m not sure what’s inside the void more commonly known as my purse, anymore.

Challenge: Make my purse and my teaching bag lighter and more functional.

Solution: My mother was gifted one of those infomercial purses with dozens of compartments. I shed anything with excess weight. Then, I was able to combine both my purse and teaching bag into one functional bag. And, I think it is under 10 lbs.

Restriction #2: No aerobic exercise.
This is actually a more difficult order to follow than imagined. When they say aerobic exercise, they mean nothing strenuous enough to increase heart rate and blood pressure. Only because that means the activity is too hard on the body.

I already knew that I’d have to leave early so I could halve my speed. The walk was more strenuous than I imagined, and it was all downhill. I felt inadequate. Normally, I tore down those streets and played frogger while jaywalking across four lane roads. You know, jaywalking is a Pittsburghian birthright. (Although I wasn’t born here, I still cash in on that!)

And then, a woman who was easily twice my age power walked past, leaving me completely in her dust.

Sigh.

And when I got to the stop, I was relieved to settle onto a bench to ease the soreness.

Restriction #3: Restricted use of stairs
The conundrum: My typical classroom is on the third floor.

Challenge: I had to make copies in the third floor office. This office is not connected to the other third floor, nor is it accessible by elevator.

Solution: Typically, I am hesitant to ask for help. I am self-sufficient. But, not right now. I considered just sucking it up and doing it myself. However, I am terrified of hemorrhage or further damage in that area.

My boss is a wonderful woman. I approached her and explained I had some limitations and errands to run. The elevator is key operated only, and she was much obliged to send me up to my classroom. She even sent a couple of teen workers to check in on me and do my errands.

Restriction #4: No standing for prolonged periods of time.
The conundrum: I’m a vocal teacher in the middle of putting together a musical.

The solution: I sat with a CD player next to me. I assigned children to pass out certain music. And I conducted from a hard chair.

The other conundrum: I have cafeteria duty. Standing provides maximum visual observation. And I am solely responsible for seventeen fifth graders, two of which apparently had a fight during school. Ugh…

The solution: I repositioned myself between the kids with hot-heads. Still nearly maximum visual. I explained to the kids that I had surgery and I was feeling poorly. And I warned them that if I were to be antagonized, that they would face my full wrath.

Oh kids!

I’ve had other shortcomings. I can’t lift T.D. It’s made caring for him and disciplining him much more difficult. Dressing him is a task.

I came home sore today. I do know one silver lining. It will be easier in future days as I heal. The more I sleep, the more I heal.

Good night!

Mind-Reading: A Futuristic Possibility

I’m not typically one to report the news.  In fact, I tend to keep my opinions on religion, politics, parenting, and most other volitile subjects to myself.  But, this was entirely too disturbing.

An article on CNN’s belief blog entitiled Keep Government Out of Mind-Reading Business caught my eye this morning.

How would you feel if someone where able to reach into your brain and extract any information that they wanted to?  I would feel pretty violated.  I’ll admit, I still feel pretty violated after an invasive exam.  But, mind-reading goes above and beyond any procedure.  My mind is my mind.  The end. 

I see the practical applications of this technology.  It would provide more accurate lie detection in law enforcement and aid in national security.  It could solve crimes without sufficient physical evidence and out possible terrorists.  All of these things could help make our society safer.

But, how invasive is too invasive?  I agree with the author, Paul Root Wolpe, in his sentiment that our legal system is already incredibly invasive when it comes to violating our human rights.  Once we are a suspect, it seems as if our civil rights go out the window.  We become subject to searches in every aspect of our physical and internet lives.  In fact, there was just a story about how a judge ordered a divorcing couple to swap Facebook passwords in order to collect evidence against one another.  It goes down to even providing DNA samples.  We are fingerprinted for jobs now.

Again, I see the useful and probably life-saving application of these measures.  But, it’s completely unnecessary.  Some may retort, “Why would it be a problem if you have nothing to hide?”  This is where mental health concerns come into play.  The differences in brain chemistry between a typical brain and an affected brain would become apparent in these mind-reading brain scans.  Then, do we become profiled?

It’s already bad enough that many of us hide in the corners of the internet, safely writing behind our screens.  This is all out of fear that someone will discover that we have (insert disorder here), and then the sensitive information is in someone else’s hands to do whatever they want with it.  We can go on about how this information is protected under HIPPA and The American’s With Disabilities Act.  However, we’ve seen people circumvent the law before.  I’ve seen people use the knowledge of my disorder against me in many different ways and make my existence unbearable.  Why should I be in favor of someone extracting this information by accident?  Ben Franklin once said, “The only way to keep a secret between three people is if two of them are dead.”

We would become profiled.  I’m sure it would be notated in some government file somewhere that would come back to haunt us.  I can only imagine it.  I go to renew my clearences for work, and I’m denied.  Why?  Because someone, somewhere in the chain of command sees me unfit for my job.  Ridiculous, but true.

Your thoughts?

Silence in Disillusionment

I’ve attempted to write this post about a dozen times now.  Maybe more.  I don’t know.  The words aren’t coming out right.  It feels like there is nothing to write and everything to pour out, all at once.  There’s this battle going on inside myself between what I want to write, what I should write, and how to convey all of these thoughts.

I’m just going to blurt it out.  My blog, my rules.

This has started at work and with blogging lately.  For some unknown reason, I’ve been getting the feeling that I’ve been talking about myself too much lately.  I’m not self-absorbed, at least not in the way that my interests and motives orbit my being.  People seem to give me these blank stares of intense disinterest when I’m relating a situation to them.  The objective is to relate to someone else, not grant my pity.  I feel strongly against pitying people.  It’s insulting to some and enabling to others.

This has been the case with my blog, I’m sure.  I don’t often look at my stats, and when I do, it’s only to see what topics are the most popular.  If I’ve run a topic out, say about my upcoming surgery, then I’m done with it.  There is all that is to be said on that front, and I move along.  My stats are consistant with days that I write, and there is no immediate drop off.

However, there is no dialogue.  This is not incinuating that every post sparks something within each reader that makes it relevant and interesting.  If there is nothing to be said, then so be it.  But, I’m not running a blog to whine about my life.  It was never my intent to create a blog that dissects every situation and magnifies it to intensely overdramatic levels.  My objective was to become relatable in my trials and tribulations.  That does not to seem to be the case.  At least, not to me.

It seems that my comments and insights into other blogs are not enjoyed and in certain occasions, seem less than welcome.  It was my assumption that I was among a community of bipolar bloggers, to say the least.  I’m sure there is a mishmash of alphabet soup among us, and I can accomodate that.  Perhaps, I was mistaken in certain aspects of how these relationships work.

My goals were simple.  First and foremost, write a blog for me.  As my reader base increased, I had decided to narrow it down to important topics in my life.  As the community grew, I attempted to welcome everyone with open arms.  I was pretty sure everyone started their own blog with similar objectives, so my next goal was to provide insight and occasionally suggestions to other writers.  And finally, to bring our community closer together.

Maybe I was wrong, and I’ve failed in some fashion.  Or, I’m delusional with depression.

That’s what I wanted to write, sort of.  I wanted to include something to the effect of my suspicions of an on-coming depression, that is coloring this entire ordeal in my mind.  But, that can wait.  It’s not something I’m considering dissecting at the moment.  I am too disillusioned to be remotely objective.

I’ll write when I’m ready.  Whenever that is.

Judge William Adams

Warning: The following footage may be disturbing in nature.  Viewer discretion is advised.

This was so disturbing to me that I started shaking and crying.  The abuse, both physical, verbal, and emotional, was so graphic that I couldn’t get it out of my head.  I know what it feels like to have a parent hit me and tell me that I’m bad.  But, I’ve never been brutilized to that extreme in that fashion.

I could only imagine it.  The horror, the pain.  Both parents were ganging up on her, hitting her with full force in the front and back of her legs, thighs, and buttocks with this belt.  I know there were excrutiating welts.  He probably hit her so much and so hard that she bled.  There was nowhere to run to, and nowhere to hide.  And seemingly, no one to confide in, since this video was taken in 2004 and has only recently emerged at the end of 2011.

In the video, the father is standing over his daughter screaming about how she used to be a nice little girl and now she’s disobedient, lying, and stealing.  He screamed about how she would be grounded for six months.  And even worse, they wouldn’t even let her sleep in her own bed.  The bedroom is a child’s sanctuary.  He violated her in more ways than one.  All of that struck a nerve with me.

I grew up feeling unloved because of abusive situations.  I have had problems as an adult with self-worth, self-esteem, and self-love.  It helped create a hole inside of me and gave me a faulty foundation to build my life on.  It took a lot of years to undo that damage.  I’m not claiming my parents were vicious and intent on harming me.  I don’t think they even really knew the damage that they were doing until it was too late.

This is not about me.  This is about justice.  Worse, an article on Seattlepi.com announces that the these were regular attacks and the mother claims to have been brainwashed by her husband, William Adams, who she claims had a secret addition.

Bull@#$*!  The most horrifying part of the video was the fact that the mother was in on it.  I’m calling you out, Hallie Adams!  Brainwashed is the lamest excuse I have ever heard for abusing your child.  Shame on you!

I am a mother.  I would put myself between that child and that belt any day of the week.  And likely, I’d find the heaviest thing in that room to crack him over the head with.  If you are any kind of decent mother in the entire world, you would lay your life down for you child.  I have bipolar disorder, and even on my most vicious day, I never hit my child.

Nor would I ever allow anyone to harm my child.  That wasn’t just a spanking.  That was violent, malicious, merciless beating.  In the article, it states that the police are investigating whether there was a crime or not.  EXCUSE ME?!  This is video evidence of severe child abuse!  She was 16-years-old!  They will lock mothers up whose children are above or below a certain percentile in weight calling it “neglect”, but they won’t punish parents who are videotaped brutilizing their child?!

Judge William Adams should be stripped of his authority and at least do a little time.  Then maybe, he’ll know what it felt like when he made his own daughter sleep on a hard sofa in a public room.  And as for Hallie Adams, for shame.  I don’t know whether she should even face punishment.  I think being publically humiliated as the second worst mother in the country, next to Casey Anthony, might be appropriate enough.  At least we don’t actually know if Casey Anthony did it or not.  Hallie Adams is immortalized on Youtube.  (For now, anyway).

There is a special place in Hell for parents who intentionally harm their own children.

Green, Silver, Yellow and Orange

Are you wearing any of these colors today?

It was brought to my attention by Manic Muses’ Post.

The statistics are sobering. Per NIMH, 26.2% of American adults are afflicted with a mental illness. (I only use the term mental illness when referring to symptoms causing significant dysfunction correlated to a diagnosis). That is more than one in four! In addition, 1 in 17 live with a serious mental illness. So, I’m not a 10. I’m actually a 17. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you are too.

Those statistics are compiled from census data. That means, people who were already diagnosed. Can you imagine the numbers if the people who are falling through cracks had a head count?

I’m at work, wearing my silver sweater and my green t-shirt today. I have love written on both of my arms over the beaten path of scars past. I will be happy to explain if I am asked directly. I am taking my first baby steps out of the shadows. Because, it breaks my heart too much to see people fall through the cracks because they lost their voice.

I have a voice. From this point forward, I vow to use it. Not just for me, but for everyone who is struggling too.

Why should I hide when the numbers are so big? Chances are someone may whisper, “Me too.

My Sitter’s Spare Time is an EPIC Fail

I’m always all about leaving some funnies on my site.  It’s a nice pick-me-up when things are crappy.

I happened to be on IRL FB last night and saw a status from my good friend.  She was talking about how sick she was but how she and her roomate were still going to the bar.  Yeah, that’s while her kid called off for the entire week.  So much for getting her fine paid off so she could get off of probation.

Apparently, that’s not a problem.  This is what my sitter does in her spare time.

Comments, questions, and hilarious laughter are welcome.

Easy Like Saturday Morning

Every other Saturday, C.S. and I make a family outing to the grocery store for our big stock up. Our local Walmart is not a Super Walmart (meaning there is no grocery section), so we trek about 9 miles out to get one. Sure, we have our options of various Shop N save and Giant Eagle stores, but I’d rather not spend $400 a month to feed a family of three.

In our community, we see all manner of silly things. I’d like to share something that we saw.

Nom Nom Nom Car

If there’s a problem with the link, let me know.

I always love a good drive.

Pendulum Page Renovations

When I first started Pendulum, I chose a very minimalist theme. I wanted to keep things clean and straight forward. But, I won’t lie. I was new to WordPress, and I want very sure what I was doing.

I decided that it was time for a blog overhaul. As you may be aware, I do a lot of alt=””>graphic design and am pretty familiar with html and css. Clearly, I don’t have the time to design my own theme. But I will do my best with what I’m working with.

New Additions

    * I have changed the theme and layout to allow better navigation of the site. In addition, I am working on providing graphics to the pages.
      * I have added a page called

Luluisms Dictionary

    .
      * I have added a blurb about

A Canvas of the Minds

    on the front page.
      * Also, I have added

a page

    dedicated to more information on Canvas, providing links to Canvas’ about page.

If anyone has any suggestions to improve the site, I am open to suggestions. What do you think?

Graphic Media Additions

More Pendulum Renovations. I promised at one point that I would add graphic media to the site, and I’m making good on it now.

Edit – 8/31/2011
Many pages have had graphic media added to them. These pages are:

 I have plans for new additions today.  Keep checking back for updates.

Edit – 9/1/2011
I have added more graphic media to these pages: