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man's search for meaning, II
December 16, 1999
1:41 pm
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eve
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because all of you are telling their "there is such a vast field of experiences and I can have them all"-stories here comes mine:
I had worked myself into a state. Trying to fit outside expectations, my own expectations - not choosen but grown in some way or the other, feeling that something was enormously wrong, but not able to find it. I suddenly noticed that I was not thinking about if I should do it, but planning very exactly how to do it. When I realized that I didn't "have to" kill myself after all (nothing changed, just my perception of myself and the world), that I can see a whole world of alternative routes: this was my personal very ecstatic moment of spiritual selfconciousness. With drugs I never had anything like that. I didn't dare to try any hard drugs, marihuana made me either sick or scared. Sometimes, when I want to loose control (I want to tell all my little self control rules and rites to get lost), I prefer to do it on my terms, and I can do it completely (but not often). I guess that "horror trips" are what happens when you are not ready to join your altered brain chemistry.

Tez,
I had to laugh when you told about your experience with psychiatric prescription drugs. It reminded me of my grandma. When her husband died, she was very sad and sometimes really depressed, so she got some tranquillizers form her doc. After two days on tranquillizers she threw them away and said: "This feels like somebody hit me on the head with a heavy hammer. Well, I'd rather do that myself if it has to be done." I was overawed!

Seasons greetings (I'm going to bake cristmas cookies this evenig!) Eve

December 16, 1999
11:08 pm
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what kind of cookies? pot? maybe you should pass em around...lol..none for me thanks

December 17, 1999
5:58 am
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Hi angelwings, no pot, just "Lebkuchen" this is gingerbread in english, but our word translates as "live-cake". I'm not interested in drugs, tried it, found it not overly impressing and found most of the people surrounding drugs and drug-use a mess. That's it for me. But I like the idea of baking "live-bread", something that takes my energy that I used for making it and gives it to everybody who eats it (including me). To me this is the difference between homemade and bought. I don't need any pot for that, it's simple everyday magic using time and effort as ingredients. Ah, and a good recipe does help. Eve

December 17, 1999
12:20 pm
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Hi Angelwings, it's me again. I just wanted to say that your last post did make me angry. I read it as a snide remark, that does not give me a lot of options to react to it, except get angry (with myself or with you). If that was your intention, well done. If not: why do you react so touchy to every mentioning of drugs? Would you really find silence the better option? Setting a taboo? I thought that I made it clear in my first post, that i did not like my "drug expierience" so what should I do? Go away and hide in a corner so as not to hurt your feelings? Never talk about it again? Which would mean that others would have to do it again on their own, because nobody told them?

And if you find something that annoys you in any of my posts, I'd rather have a straight forward criticism than something so evasive like your answer.

Pew. That was necessary. Hope I didn't hurt you, but I had to get that out. Peace? Eve

December 17, 1999
12:28 pm
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Well I respect your angry statement eve, you need to express your feelings but my comment was not directed at you. I am rather angry myself at what anyone with a brain would consider 'ADVOCATING OF DRUGS' on this thread am I am frankly disgussted that this conversation continues! Having a loved family member who is suffering the affects of DRUG USE and is DYING from it, gives me full experience and right to say that anyone who says THEY WERE OPENED SPIRITUALLY AND EMOTIONALLY AFTER USING DRUGS IN A PUBLIC FORUM THAT IS ACCESSED BY CHILDREN, DRUG ADDICTS AND THOSE WHO MAY BE CONTEMPLATING DRUGS TO DULL OR RUN FROM THEIR EMOTIONAL PAIN is a completely IRRESPONSIBLE AND IGNORANT ACT!

December 17, 1999
12:48 pm
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eve
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Angelwings,
thanks for your quick answer. I understand it is your own sorrows that made you react this way. But I'm still not happy with your post, even if it wasn't meant as a direct reply to my post. You still leave a lot of room for misunderstandings, for who should feel adressed by your statement. I think it would help, when you adress these person(s?) directly then you will get a direct reply. I think you are entitled to one! But I think they are entitled to a clear statement from you, because my sentence that your statement "does not give me/them a lot of options to react to it, except get angry (with myself/themselfs or with you)" is still valid.
And I personally do not think that keeping mum about drug use, and not to talk about ideas why or why not to use drugs here will help any addict out there. This is what drug use is all about, isn't it? Somebody has a problem, and thinks drugs can save it? Well, they can't (at least that's my opinion). I was even able to quit smoking without batting an eylid, after I understood that. Eve

December 17, 1999
12:56 pm
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Angelwings & Eve,

I'm tossed, because I believe there is value on both sides of the fence:

side 1: talking frankly about experiences, even those which are harmful, dangerous and socially unacceptable. If you can't do it here, where can you?

side 2: protecting the eyes and ears of vulnerable readers. I do agree that actions like drug use need not be advocated here on these threads, and the NEGATIVE does also need to be fairly heard.

However, as someone so eloquently put it someplace else recently on another thread,

"It was a great lesson to learn that disagreements can be resolved without the introduction of angry statements or behavior" -- something like that.

Did I make any sense? thoughts?

December 17, 1999
1:11 pm
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sc, thanks for coming into that discussion.
I didn't want to get angry, and it is not really serious, but what if I am? I guess my issue is the style of the discussion and Angelwings issue is drugs. I agree that drugs are the more serious issue, because they really can kill or irreparably maim people, and not only the users and dealers but bystanders, too.
Should we start two new threads? One about drugs / the other one about what to do when one or more of your discussion partners make you angry? I mean: Angelwings, I really can feel that you are angry, and from your viewpoint you are right. I just found it hard to read that out of your first post.
Eve

December 17, 1999
1:48 pm
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Anger is a normal feeling, and an indicator/meter if you will, for things that we feel endangered or frustrated by.

But angry feelings don't have to be translated into angry behaviors, ie: statements/other behaviors like yelling, hitting or passive agression (ie: not calling someone back, throwing away someone's dinner šŸ™‚ , that kind of stuff).

Actions to our feelings we do have a choice over. I'm just throwing this in, not that it's necessary to go into it here.

- SC

December 17, 1999
6:31 pm
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I wasn't going to respond but since the discussion has gone on, I will. Angelwings, if your comment was directed at me, that's ok. If you read it you have noticed I said it was an experience I had no desire to repeat. It was 25 years ago. I understand your feelings considering the situation you have and really didn't take offense. It was just something that happened to me that I chose to share since that was the discussion going on at the time. Peace to you.

December 17, 1999
7:10 pm
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Eve and Cici.

Thank you both for your great responses.

I hated the effects of anti-depressants and threw them away. They seemed to suppress all feeling into a grey neutrality. Yuk!!!

What has always interested me is the practices of some of the natives of some countries. It seems that they can induce altered states of consciousness that gives them heightened awareness. I guess that I am talking about the shamans not the average person. They use drugs in a controlled way just as modern medicine does today. Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, Dr Richard Alpert of Berkley etc did the same thing years ago. I know that the brain can do the same thing naturally. I used to get high from adrenalin by power lifting in the gym and in competitions. No inspirations or heightened awareness of the spiritual nature though. šŸ™‚ Just heaps of body consciousness; the oppposite.

The yogis in India told me that meditation, like certain drugs, can disconnect our awareness from constantly monitoring our sensory inputs. However, with meditation it costs nothing except time and is much easier to control.

What really interests me is hearing about experiences from people like yourself, and Cici who have experienced that 'disconnected' consciousness.

I really love reading about NDE's (near death experiences). It seems that such more extensive 'disconnections' from monitoring the body sense organs also produce heightened awareness that is reportedly more real that this 'reality'. I guess I will have to wait for that experience. šŸ™‚ It mightn't be too long a wait.

I think that the prospects of finding a deep meaning in life can be enhanced by reading of all these experiences had by others and pondering them. I guess that this pondering is just another experience with its own intrinsic value.

December 17, 1999
7:38 pm
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VRJ.

I appreciated your sharing very much.

As I said on another thread we all seem to have unique emotional memories and associated triggers. It seems that we read into the postings of others what we expect to see and then 'fire' off the recall of an emotional memory. We then attribute the cause of our anger to the misinterpreted present event; rather than to a past event that laid down that emotional memory.

Site Coordinator.

You said, "Actions to our feelings we do have a choice over. I'm just throwing this in, not that it's necessary to go into it here." I just can't help myself. šŸ™‚ Forgive me.

It seems to me that this choice, of which you speak, comes with realisations of the nature of processes involved behind the generation of emotional responses and subsequent awareness of these responses which we call feelings. Put simply, it seems to me that when we realise that the 'threat' that we perceive is coming from our emotional memory not the person who is the stimulus, we are able to dissipate the emotional energy without frustration, or worse, without blindly acting it out. This is where 'reality checks' help, eh. Nice job of 'hosing down' you did. I hope someone else helped you put the 'fire trucks' away. šŸ™‚

December 17, 1999
10:49 pm
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Tez,

Such a poet! Excuze me, when is that book coming out?

Only teasing...now that the finals are over, I'm back to annoy you!!! I have a NDE to share with you, but at the moment I am extremely tired (burnout) and wish to do nothing but sleep.
Oh, and it's odd you should talk about lifting, I just posted on the Karin, Ceci, Tears, etc, something about that very subject. Amazing...
Will post later.
k

ps. did you get The Crone, yet?

December 18, 1999
6:01 am
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eve
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Tez, first and foremost I think that natives have a whole different view of the world they live in and about how things are, about causality and spirituality. For me this means that they have another state of conciousness right from the start. And maybe When somebody takes drugs to get there it is plain logic that this person ends up confused, and that some people tell fascinating stories about it is also plain logic. then they can use mescalin or whatever to go somewhere else from there and return from there. I think what you call "altered" state of conciousness does not begin with the drug nor end with it. It is a totally different life and a totally different society we are talking about. And of course this is fascinating, but to me drugs that alter consciousness are not the place where to start from and sometimes people don't find a place to come back to. And I can't see a short way to go there "safely", to me it looks like wanting to exchange your life for somebody elses (do you?).
And I did quite a lot of talking with somebody who claimed to have higher insights brought back from such a trip and - here comes - got rather demanding and even aggressive when I asked him to explain why he thought that I should try it, too. That to me was the reason I didn't start: somebody trying to lecture me how to lead my life whithout being able to give reasons (other than stating it would make me acceptable or it would be cool, or then I 'd be one of the whatever). I loathe it, I hate it, I can't have it. When that (disrespecting people who don't do it) is even a very small part of it: I will not go there.
Quite a lot of the tripping literature to me reads as: I'm better than you, because I went where you dare not go. A lot of it reaches me as posing. Now is that a defense mechanism against something I don't understand? Doesn't feel like it, because I, too can sense the fascination. Eve
Eve

December 18, 1999
6:51 am
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eve
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oops, there is one sentence that I must have mislaid in my above post. Must have happened when my cat walked over the keyboard (it wasn't me, it was him!:)
The third sentence should read:
...And maybe then they can use mescalin or whatever to go somewhere else from there and return from there...

the stuff with people taking drugs and telling stories was meant for the trashbin.

December 18, 1999
10:33 am
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Eve,

to add my own two cents...I've done some youthful drinking and a little in the way of drugs, but nothing heavy. It was a long time ago. Maybe because I worked for a drug company in my early college days(20yrs ago), I never wanted to put anything in my body I didn't know what was in it. If it wasn't in the PDR, forget it. It would be like picking something up from the ground and eating it; you don't know where it has been or what is in it. My second reason for not doing drugs is the control thing. Why let something control your own thinking? If a person came up to you and said let me control all your thoughts for a few hours and maybe you will do things with me and others you wouldn't do in a rational state...I don't think most of us would do it. And it's our own ego that let's us think when we are under the drugs influence we are still in contol of ourselves. We are not! Any chemical changes the equation in our brain functioning as well as many other things, including a possible effect on our DNA. My own husband, the few months before I became pregnant with my daughter, was heavily into coke. I was very niave and not a drug user, so I believed all the lies he told me. Now, eighteen years later, I find out his drug use (he was most likely doing other things too) has left me with a retarded child. Her whole future is going to be in a group home under the care of others; she will never be normal. And where is my husband? Killed himself--and again drug use was involved. So, who benefited here. His altered state of consciousness left it's mark on everything. The legacy of his ego desire to see the other side left behind much pain for others to deal with. Every day when I look into the face of my beautiful(she is indeed physically so), mentally handicapped daughter, I wonder if my husband's trip to the other side was worth it. Did he find what he was looking for? I hope so, cause my baby will never have the same chance...

December 19, 1999
11:28 pm
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I reread my post...it was hard for me to write as well as read. I do not condemn others for their rites of passage, nor do I believe it right to glorify them. We all do things in life that are misguided. I think talking about them puts them into perspective. And not talking about them keeps them bottled up until we start to feel guilty and self-critical. So, I think the only solution to the whole thing is to acknowledge we have done certain things and move on. We certainly can talk about times in our lives without including the info about drugs. That isn't why we are here. We are here to help one another process our thoughts and concerns. I'd rather be kitten; the one who needs insight into her sorting out process than the kitten who has a wooden leg, or entertained the 7th fleet, or smoked pot with President Clinton. None of those things matter.(And no, I haven't done any of them) Just me and my desire to ask for help when needed and to offer help when asked. That's the thing we need to remember...we are all here to help the other.

December 20, 1999
11:50 am
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All,

I suppose I didn't understand that my points would be misunderstood. I thought that although I DO NOT use drugs anymore, I could discuss my experiences freely in a public forum. I don't advocate the use of drugs. I never will. They played with my moods, emotions, self-control. But I value every experience I have ever had in my life, for what it's worth. I always believed that I went through everything for a reason. That's how I prevent myself from becoming bitter or angry.

I try to avoid being judgemental. I know I have no right to tell anyone else what to do with their lives, or how they should express themselves. But I also know that I should not expect that from everyone else. I just followed an interesting thread of discussion and since no one else seemed to be interested but Tez, I assumed I was only discussing this with him. I apologize for offending anyone, but I don't apologize for expressing myself.

I suppose I was just hoping that this would be a non-judgemental thread. It is about man's search for meaning...whatever form that may take.

Oh, well.

December 20, 1999
12:18 pm
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I want to clarify...

To Angelwings:
I was hurt by your comments. I understand that you are offended by this frank discussion of drug use, being that you are personally affected by the negative side of drug use. My point was that I didn't understand why I chose to use drugs. I wanted to understand why I did what I did. I don't want to just accept that I was stupid and move on. You have to get the the root of the problem, as you told me about my sexual assault trauma. I would hope that if you were offended by me and my comments, you would address me directly. Any other route smacks of passive aggressive tendencies which inevitably arouse reactionary anger in the other person.

To Tez:
I am grateful for your openness about the subject, even though you haven't used drugs extensively. Not very many people can claim to be as open-minded as you. In fact, no non-drug user I've ever spoken to has been as open-minded.

To Eve:
I appreciate your calm and logical approach to ending a discussion that you feel uncomfortable with. I apologize for continuing the discussion when others were nothappy with the subject matter.

I think that one of the reasons I chose to use drugs was because there was so much censure attached to the subject. I always heard that drugs were bad, no one told me why. I wondered why so many people used them if everything was so bad about them. In America, we too often revert to Puritan restrictions when discussing taboo subjects. No one frankly and openly discusses sex, STDs, drugs. We complain about being repressed when we propogate the very culture of repression that has made many people unhappy within themselves. I hope

December 20, 1999
12:24 pm
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Cici,
from my viewpoint you didn't impose any judgement or pressure "how to" on anybody here, at least not on me. I always like your posts, because they seem so light and airy compared to my "down to earth" views that sometimes seem to tie me down.
I think valuing all of your experiences is the best you can get and you seem to be quite good at it. The thing about this written communication is, that you don't have all the other non verbal signals that you get when you discuss with people who are bodyly present.
For me it is usually much easyer to get my point across, when I can use gestures and modulation of my voice, too.
Is that enough discussion about how to discuss now, or should we really make another thread to discuss that further? šŸ™‚

What I'm going to say now is propably much worse, although I will try to put it as non-judgemental as possible:
About man's search for meaning: I'm here on this thread mainly trying to figure out why I don't seem to find this question so important (the question "what is the meaning of life). But I am fascinated by man's search for meaning, because it seems most other peole do it, I normally don't. To me it either seems to be so simple, that I don't quite get it what others could possibly have done to be able to overlook something that to me seems well, not even obvious but built in somehow. And then again there is this nagging feeling that you may all be right and there is something so full of meaning out there and I haven't even got a glimpse of it yet. What is it that makes this question so important for you? Eve

December 20, 1999
12:47 pm
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Cici, your second post of today crossed mine. So here comes some more clarification. Phew. I never was unhappy with the discussion here except with the statement from angelwings. But I told her, so that's ok by me. My comment of "I cant have it, I hate it" refered to a discussion that happened ages ago (well, ten years or so), and I didn't mean to say that this discussion here is the same as the discussion ten years ago just because it has the same topic. To the contrary, I agree that I find this discussion very open. And "open" to me is associated with value.

By the way, this pattern of mine, to hit the ground running as soon as I think I spot manipulation directed towards me is nothing that I'm particularly proud of, it comes without thinking. And when I find the situation interesting enough I have a hard time to convince myself to go back there again and have a closer look.

Well, to be interested and open - those seem to have been your reasons for trying drugs? I's say that those are not bad reasons at all. But our present society and drugs don't seem to go together, at the moment drugs seem to be a sure way to unhappiness. Because you can't go anywhere from there. You just come back to normal life and then normal life seems without colour. And I'm not sure that this is much better in native cultures, at least a lot of indian culture was destroyed by alcohol (Which is a different kind of drug, but I think this mechanism of unhappiness is common to most drugs). Eve

December 20, 1999
2:23 pm
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Hi Eve,

thanks for your response. I'm glad you clarified everything on your side, because I was a little confused. as far as the happiness through drug use goes, I understand. But I also think that what the DEA and the government has termed "the epidemic" of drug use is a symptom of far deeper misunderstandings in our society. I mean to say, in a country founded by puritans and based on rather restrictive values, there is a lo of dissatisfaction and unhappiness, which is manifested in the drug epidemic and the increasing popularity on therapy. America has the most schizophrenics (which is not an entirely genetic mental disorder).

I think I don't search for meaning necessarily. After all, Viktor Frankl revealed in the same-titled book that the point of living is to live. He said that it is life that questions you, and if you spend your time questionin life, you will never be able to reach that point of serene tranquility and self-acceptence. But I am one who constantly questions the world around her. I enjoy lively intellectual discussion (although i admit to feeling out of my league at times here!). I want to here what others besides myself have to say about the question.

December 20, 1999
2:59 pm
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Cici, hi there, sometimes talking really helps. Glad we sorted some things out :-).
I don't really know the US. From what we believed as teenagers it should be all about freedom and the pursuit of happiness (god's own country, or the country that good hippies go to when they die?). But from the news and from what you write it seems to be quite different. Well reality as always will be found somewhere in between.
I think the "whitch hunt" that sometimes hits drugs and drug users comes from people who have difficulties with other addictive behaviors. (No, I definitely don't mean anybody here in this discussion! It's more like a general comment) These people cannot understand parts of their own life and when they see something that is similiar, but also far enough away, they go at it. With addictive behavior I mean a lot of things that don't have anything to do with substances, but with relationshsips be it private or in work. At the weekend I read a book about motivation. The author claims that every measure that a company takes to motivate their employees is leading to addictive behavior towards the tool of motivation (money, awards, rank lists), and reduces the intrinsic motivation of all employees - especially the ones that feel manipulated, thereby forcing the company to use more and more manipulative measures of external "motivation". I think this can be very true for relationships, too. And sometimes I have the feeling that I do that to myself: I try to motivate / manipulate myself into doing / feeling / believing something that I'm unconciously not quite happy with and I do have some parts of myself, that I don't really choose to be like they are, it's more like I'm addicted to them. Do you know that feeling?
Eve

December 20, 1999
5:19 pm
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Yes, I'm familiar with the feeling. I also wanted to note that you're right on the money about judemental people. We always pick out the faults in others that we can see within ourselves. I suppose because we are so intimately familiar with our own faults (ha ha).

I've noticed the same thing in my relationships as well as others around me. I try to reward myself for doing things I don't necessarily like, especially in my relationships, even with family and friends. I suppose everyone has an emotional barter system going. That is, "you do this for me, I do this for you, everybody wins." But that's unhealthy. I mean, you should get the motivation to do things for your loved ones because they ARE you're loved ones. But everyone does it. It's something we learn from a very young age when Mom says you don't get dessert until you eat your vegetables. I guess when you're young, eating veggies doesn't have intrinsic value!!! Then again, maybe I need to grow up!! (haha)

December 21, 1999
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kitten, thanks for so much of your own story. I'm sorry to hear that your daughter is mentally handycapped, and I wish you all the strength you need, for yourself and for her, and I wish you the eyes to see the good sides of her, even when times get rough.

I think we all are a singular mixture of our past experiences, our present needs, of opinions and beliefs, and of the opportunities that nature / god gave us. Sometimes it seems a miracle that we can live our lifes and communicate with others at all, and then again sometimes I get frustrated when I don't get every aspect of a communication "into position". I'm afraid I caused a lot of upset here on this thread, and still trying to understand how I did that. But also interested in watching the responses. Eve

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