Saturday, June 26, 2021

No One Is To Blame





We all got our COVID vaccines. For many of the reasons John Green talked about in his video last week, I have not wanted to talk much about vaccination. This is because I understand both sides, personally. We have a history of vaccine reactions, sensory integration issues, and seizure in our home. We also know more people than we should, statistically speaking, who had Guillain-Barre after vaccinations pre-COVID. I have also heard all the arguments, and I worked in science long enough to know how things can sometimes work in that industry.


I figured it is time to speak out because I met a new neighbor who is a retired dentist who seemed like he was kind of confused himself and said that “they passed a law that we are not allowed to say anything against ‘them’ and that “they can now go through our text messages and email.” I couldn’t get him to elaborate on who “them” was, and he did mention that his wife would not be happy if she knew he was talking to me about it, which made me wonder all sorts of things about how our beliefs about things can be sources of shame in our relationships. I didn’t want to add to anyone’s fear of the vaccine unnecessarily, so I have been keeping my mouth shut until I know how my family is doing. I was under no illusion that we would be able to continue on indefinitely alone. While my sudden illness in 2019 had the effect of cutting us off from many people, I didn’t anticipate how isolating it would be.


I understand why people are afraid of the vaccine. They have a right to be. For people who have not noticed a change in their cognition after illness or vaccine, of course they’re not going to think these things are a big deal. But to have a neurological illness is torture. Just like you can’t explain to a woman what it is like to push seven and a half pounds of human being through her vagina before she does it herself, you can’t explain what constant vertigo, arm and leg weakness, fatigue, and feeling cold as pain is like to a person who has not experienced it.


We had reactions to the COVID vaccine. I’m not sure I can say they were severe, because they were different than actually having COVID. They were like apples and oranges, neither particularly enjoyable, but the virus itself was way worse for us. Well-meaning liberal people have shrugged our vaccine reactions off saying, “Well, that must mean you’re getting good immunity.” As far as I know, we know nothing about the severity of reaction to vaccines and how it may be connected to effective immunity. Besides, if they *didn’t* have a reaction, what does that mean for *their* immunity? It may mean nothing at all. I never had a positive COVID test when I was ill, yet I lost my sense of smell and had many other symptoms which distinguish COVID from other illnesses.


My son had a reaction to the MMR vaccine when he was an infant. As a scientist, it has been excruciating having to deal with other health professionals who have never experienced a severe vaccine reaction, which can go on for months or even years because medicine does not know how to treat it. That being said, I am not an immunologist, and I am going off what I have heard from other immunologists and what my gut has told me that what we understand about immunity from the cursory survey I got through molecular biology, biochemistry and cellular biology courses. Our understanding of how to prevent infectious disease at the immunological level is poor at best. We do, however, have a pretty good track record when it comes to life-extending band-aid pharmaceutical interventions, and I think we are missing that opportunity with COVID, because we place too much trust in vaccines as an encompassing solution.


I don’t like being experimented on without my consent, yet because I am female, that’s essentially what has always been done to me.


Much to my frustration, my husband was digging around in the medical literature last year and became convinced that because he saw evidence of gene splicing activity involving furin and coronavirus before the pandemic, that it was a lab leak. Because I had worked on engineering retroviruses and was trained to work in a BSL4 lab, I knew it was possible. When I was in grad school, we had a unit on genetic engineering and ethics in my cellular biology class which informed us about the problems Monsanto had generated in Argentina (this was in the mid-90’s) which had wiped out most of the indigenous corn. Our professor made no bones about the fact that genetic engineering technology came with great responsibility, and that it was possible that humans actually weren’t intelligent enough to make good decisions about how and when to use it. A few years later, I would find myself cutting up pieces of DNA to insert into murine leukemia virus as therapy for osteoporosis in mice for the government. Animals don’t really get out of test facilities, and there are a lot of protocols in place to make sure that doesn’t happen. Many of the animals used for research are genetically engineered and so we need to keep them from the wild populations of animals. People in PETA don’t understand that, let alone the damage their precious vinyl does to the environment over the more sustainable leather that was good enough for the people who came before us. Letting genetically altered animals out of lab facilities undermines the work they are doing to protect natural species. Given what I knew, I figured a lab worker probably contracted the virus. There are a lot of ways to goof as a lab worker, including accidentally sticking oneself with a needle. But I sure wasn’t going to say anything to push forward any conspiracies because the government at that point had no ability to make a calm and cool decision about anything. I’m pretty sure I am right about that.


Furthermore, I understand how the scientific community works, and also that if we looked hard enough, we would probably find information tying the intellectual property back to the United States somehow. We invent a lot of technologies, and we also educate people from many other countries. Scientists work in multi-center global teams. Most of the people I encountered in my career as a molecular biologist were Chinese. Many of them had gone to medical school in China. I don’t know how it was at other research Universities in the United States, or if this was a phenomenon that Colorado, Louisiana, Ohio and California shared. This is not some sort of conspiracy on the part of the U.S. intelligentsia; I know from having worked as staff in a molecular biology department that American citizens just weren’t applying for grad school positions in science 25-30 years ago, because it was a job for nerds.


Nevermind that beyond the stigma of it being a job for nerds, if one doesn’t do a postdoc position, many jobs pay so poorly that a job at a convenience store sometimes pays more. That was my experience. Even after I had found a “good paying” job, it still was barely enough to cover childcare, and that is a big reason I left the profession. And, I realize now that most of the time I was working with volatiles I needed to be using a respirator, but at that time we weren’t aware of that. I never had one until I begged for one because I was pregnant, and that was only because I called the California Teratogen Registry to ask specifically about the things I was working with. There were no specific advisories for the things I was using at the time, only the advice to take precautions if the mother was feeling unwell, which I think was probably the reason I called, even if I wasn’t aware of it at the time.


That all being said, I want to make sure that I say that the effects of long-haul COVID are much, much worse than the vaccine. Yes, I wish we had something better than vaccines, too, for sensitive individuals. There are so many problems with relying on vaccination to protect ourselves from infectious disease. For most “vaccine preventable illnesses” the burden has mostly been on developing children, whereas adults can carry disease silently as immunity from vaccines is usually not permanent. Only people working in the healthcare industry might bother to get titers done to see if boosters are needed, because they are costly. So with COVID, the shoe is kind of on the other foot - the elderly population at risk has to be protected by the voluntary actions of people who would otherwise be unaffected by the disease and develop natural immunity. Getting compliance out of the adult population is extremely difficult, as evidenced by our sub-50% COVID vaccination rate in the United States. Vaccination only ever worked because children are not given a choice. The symptoms of autism and spectrum disorders are subtle enough that it would be easy to attribute them to something else.


I understand this perhaps more than most people because I took the time alone to really comb through my perceptions. Essentially, I took up the study of phenomenology which is the in-depth study of consciousness. I studied my perceptions and how they changed, and I learned how to control my consciousness to feel happier. I paid attention to the things that altered my perceptions negatively and how they altered other aspects of my health. I learned a lot about how our environments conspire to produce different states of consciousness. My sensory issues are greatly affected by metabolic stress, which includes toxic exposures, emotional stress, and illness. They were absolutely affected by the vaccine, but as I am addressing my mitochondrial health, I am slowly improving.


What our government needs to understand is that we will never get COVID out of control relying on vaccination alone, because of the impossibility of adult compliance. Until people understand that the vaccine reaction is preferable to long-haul COVID, and children are vaccinated, we will continue to be bothered by COVID, and its effects will burden our society and our healthcare system.


Leave it to me to figure out how to voice several unpopular opinions at once! I might as well put a target on my head.


Here is the most recent paper I could find on what we know about vaccine reactions. The researchers do state that a significant number of cases of vaccine-induced epilepsy (which is rare) were in people who had "pre-existing neurologic or neurodevelopmental abnormalities."


COVID shed an interesting light on these things for me. Early on I, along with many other scientists, were keeping a close eye on the discovery of the mechanism of the virus’ action. I wondered if we know it binds to the ACE2 receptor and we know the sequence for that, why we didn’t come up with some therapy taking advantage of that knowledge? Preventing viral entry into the cells in the first place, while giving the immune system a chance to recognize myriad targets on the native virus would mean the body would be given a chance to develop proper immunity, before the virion were ultimately phagocytosed and eliminated. I’m willing to bet an approach like this would have actually addressed most of the symptoms, too.


Theoretically, we should be able to come up with a safe biologically-based substrate to block the entry of any virus into cells, rather than having to work with the complex immune system and exposing so many scientists to native virus. If it’s furin that is helping COVID enter cells, why do we not have some furin-based technology to block entry?


The Salk Institute has found that COVID ultimately does its damage by causing mitochondrial fractionation. The mitochondria are what make energy in the cell. The part of COVID that does this is actually the spike protein itself. The different vaccines contain different portions of the spike protein. Pfizer is the mRNA encoding just the spike protein. Moderna is a few fragments, and also mRNA. I had the Pfizer vaccine, and my post-vaccination reaction was very similar to having COVID. I had more psychiatric issues, however, which I think has to do with the nanoparticles helping the spike protein cross the blood brain barrier.


When I say psychiatric issues, I am going to broadly say that it made me anxious and afraid. More than just the background COVID situation was making me. I’m not exactly sure what was making me anxious or afraid, but I had to meditate all the time. My sister is a doctor who ended up with long-haul COVID and she was telling me she was pretty sure it messes with the autonomic nervous system somehow. When she said this I had been reading about Polyvagal Theory and was trying to be more mindful of my autonomic state.


I need to explain what the “nanoparticles” are, because my next door neighbor was totally brainwashed by conservative propaganda. It is possible to make fake cells using fatty acids. We call these micelles. They are “fake” because they don’t have any cellular machinery like mitochondria, ribosomes, or golgi apparati, so eventually they will just degrade. With the fake cells, it is possible to insert different augmented cellular components and see how it affects the concentration of various things inside and outside the micelle. Essentially, the mRNA in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are packaged in these micelles. The lipids they used in the micelles for the vaccines were man-made, and not a lot of testing has been done on them. I am wondering if some of the symptoms I had from vaccination were actually from those man-made lipids because I am sensitive to oxidizable lipids. There shouldn’t have been that many, though. It really puzzles me how such a tiny amount of something could make me feel so crappy. But anyway, these lipids do end up being eliminated through the liver completely after 40-60 days.


Anyway, I’m really thankful for the vaccines. I read the paper the European Medicines Agency prepared for approval of the Pfizer vaccine, and it’s nothing short of miraculous that it came together the way it did. I do hope we do not use this as an excuse to discontinue research on other methods of prevention, because the virus is surprisingly small and elegant, and it has given us a good model to work with which might benefit our approach to other infectious disease. It’s pretty clear that at least in the case of COVID, mitochondrial support is critical. I think if more people understood what this was, our population might actually become healthier overall, and we may be less susceptible to infectious disease.


The whole reason we have vaccination is to protect the weakest among us. But what if it’s not doing that? What if it is doing further harm to certain people, overall? We really need some alternatives, and we need to be more understanding about people’s concern about consent. Neurological illness is life altering. I have seen people use vaccination as an excuse to behave fairly recklessly, specifically around the flu season. In Asia, it is customary to wear masks when one is not feeling well, and it’s not cool to show up to gatherings sick. But people here have a runny nose and write it off as allergies, because we’re too proud to admit we may have gotten a virus. This strange American ethos we have around hiding our weaknesses, casting blame, and failing to listen when others are hurting is just going to perpetuate divisiveness.

You'll Feel Like Yourself Again





A few years ago, my sister-in-law asked me if I would like to see a psychic with her. She had seen one in Florida and was feeling like she needed to see one again, and wondered if I knew any. I did end up knowing a few, but not in that capacity, so I set up some readings for us with the one which seemed the most convenient.


My sister-in-law had her reading first, and from the waiting room, I thought she was laughing the whole time, but when she came out, her eyes were red and watery. I entered the room and sat down across from the woman I had once discussed homeschooling kids on the autism spectrum with. While I had once been a member of the Skeptics Society, I was never an atheist. I had experience with precognition and had also had near death experiences.


I now know that there are other neuroscientists and even doctors who have had these experiences. Not much attention has been paid to the experiments that were being run at Stanford, MIT and Harvard in the 1960’s, but they are critical to understanding psychic phenomena. The CIA was involved in these experiments, which were about remote viewing and altered states of consciousness produced with LSD.


Around that time I was using cannabis for relaxation. I had never thought about states of consciousness before, but I did realize that cannabis produced a more preferable state of consciousness. I had been wondering about this idea of mind over matter that I had tried myself for years, but which sometimes failed. When I was depressed I received a lot of ableist advice about how my lifestyle might predispose me to depression. I call that “mind over matter” because a conscious choice has to be made to not let matter interfere with one’s happiness. But I knew people who were doing everything right and still battling more illness than I had. When I adopted the standard advice of medicine, I was depressed and tired, too. Cannabis helped in a number of ways. It helped me feel my body. Sometimes I am tense, and I don’t even know it until I actually relax. Cannabis helps me relax. It showed me where I was mentally by slowing my thoughts down and helping me identify cognitive distortions, too. The trouble with that, though, is that once one identifies them in oneself, it’s hard not to see them everywhere else.


In my psychic reading, I sat down on an easy chair across from the reader. The room was decorated with Eastern ephemera. She had oracle cards out in the waiting area. She asked if I had any specific questions, and I probably said no. Somehow we got on the subject of my grandmother, who said she had a long death and that it “would have been better to get hit by a bus.” She said this in a Long Island accent, and there is no reason she should have known any of those things. I was told that I needed to write about narcissism, and that my grandfather was a narcissist. I don’t really want to get into that here, but just know that we didn’t know him. He passed away in 2015, and things have been too crazy to reach out to his kids.


Around this time, I was chatting twice a week with a sculptor friend I had studied with about why the world is the way it is. I lived for these conversations. He had opened his class the previous semester with a study of Giacometti and existentialism, and I think that is probably when I fell into the quicksand, although it wasn’t obvious at first. Shortly after that, I started having dreams about him all the time. We cannot control our dreams. So, during the semester I took his class and thenceforward I would wake up most mornings feeling fairly hot and bothered, and totally not sure how I was going to manage myself around him, and that went on for three semesters, but I was only his student for the first one.


I was like a puppy. I hung on his every word. I was simultaneously feeling embarrassed, guilty and loving it at the same time. I was really excited to tell him what happened during my reading, because I had asked him if he knew any psychics. A few weeks earlier, I had given him my copy of Joseph Campbell’s Hero With A Thousand Faces, and a note asking him if he’d like to go for coffee. He had said he didn’t think of me as a student. He was always saying things which could have been interpreted as flirting, but were just statements. It really didn’t help matters. Ultimately, I couldn’t handle the ambiguity of the whole thing, but I was having a heckuva time trying to figure out what to do. So I went for coffee with him and told him my marriage was falling apart. He didn’t know what to tell me.


I’m not sure that was the truth. Maybe the truth was more like I was falling apart. That’s kind of what my art was saying. He and I had kind of connected over that - how difficult it is to be an artist. Not to be taken seriously by others because they don’t think you work as hard as they do, because you don’t earn as much, and art is unimportant.


I once had a short-lived career as a scientist. That makes it difficult to talk to a lot of people, because much of mainstream advice is shaped by policy rather than science, and most people don’t know enough science to understand why that is a problem or recognize when that has happened. There are a lot of reasons that didn’t work out, but the primary ones were my chemical sensitivity and the cost of childcare. I think chemical sensitivity was always a problem and that it is a major factor in my life. My problems with expressive and receptive aphasia and memory are known sequelae of exposure to many chemicals. I’ve had to do a lot to forgive myself for not continuing on in my profession. It was hard to be stuck at home during the pandemic just trying to figure out how to feed us while I was trying to regain my speech. It was really humbling. I hear about what other people did, and I want to feel like I contributed during this time, too. But I also know that everything I say and all my actions change things, and as a scientist there is even more pressure on me to say and do the right things.


I’m not sure that my marriage was actually falling apart, but I was feeling less connected to my husband. I was reading about narcissism and covert manipulation and was recognizing things I read in myself and others around me. It was like the more materialistic people were, the more narcissistic they were. I had always considered myself an anti-materialist because in my mind, my stuff was not more important than another person’s health or life. But what I learned was that I had people in my close inner circle who felt the opposite. These people tended to only talk about their stuff, where they were going, who they were going to see, and what was happening with those people. It was doing nothing to solve the problems of the world. And it was keeping me bound to a world of thought where what brand of jeans I wear was more important than working toward equanimity.


Well before Joseph Campbell or the coffee shop, the sculptor told me he’s never cared about weight on women.


At the time I was also trying to lose weight for my health. I was doing it really carefully because I had lost weight before in ways that affected my health negatively. I had also read about Ancel Keys’ starvation studies and what extreme fasting can do to metabolism. All I was doing was trying to eat 60% of my calories from carbohydrate (to take the load off my kidneys). I was avoiding polyunsaturates. I was also trying to walk 3-4 times a week, at least 20 minutes. I had some great body weight exercises I had learned from Christy, my personal trainer, which I also tried to do three times a week. I didn’t really care about losing weight as much as I wanted to feel well. I knew he could tell that I was losing weight, because he obliquely brought it up once, when I had lost about 30 pounds. My goal at that point wasn’t to lose more weight, but to maintain a healthy lifestyle and see where my weight was naturally. I had recognized that a lot of my metabolic damage was from dieting, and so for me the primary focus was my mental health.


It was frustrating to have to diet, because I had watched other people around me constantly going on fad diets and seeing how it affected the way they interacted with others. They were often less patient and overly particular about things that didn’t matter. I think the kind of dieting that makes people pretty on the outside but ugly on the inside is a big problem we have in this country. I have also had to navigate a lot of food intolerance issues with myself and my kids, and so I worry about eating disorders. We already have a fairly limited diet because of genetic factors. I’ve gone through periods where I try to open up my eating repertoire, and that always results in me getting sick.


Anyway, we talked about other things during our coffee, including his experiences with altered states of consciousness, and what we’re going to do when we grow up. He expressed worry about his own future, and I broke down, telling him I thought he was perfect just the way he was. He couldn’t look at me after I said that, and it was probably one of the only times I noticed him do something like that. Ultimately he needed to go work on his art, so we rode back to school in his truck. He dropped me off by the building we usually were in, and before we parted ways, we had a little side hug in the car, and said we would see each other later.


Sometime later, I asked my husband if he would be willing to learn the tantra with me. I thought perhaps if we added some spice to our sex life my feelings for this other man would cool down. But he was perfectly satisfied with our sex life and too tired to learn anything new, and so he said no.


The sculptor had to move away. I tried to connect him to people in my network to see if he could get help or opportunities, but nothing panned out. After he left, I made a couple other guy friends. I was still really hung up on him and married, and so I wasn’t attracted to them that way. I just can’t handle that much complication. It was nice to be around guys, though. I’ll be honest. Being a stay at home mother hasn’t been easy for me because I have never gotten along as well with women. We can be so hypersensitive. With guys, what you see is what you get for the most part.


It appears that I have lost several female friends over the course of the pandemic, and I can only attribute it to pettiness. It’s actually mortifying to me, because these are people with whom I discussed how what’s wrong with the world is people being petty. They are all people who had discussed with me struggles with depression and anxiety. Well, I can only hope that they just don’t have time for me because they are having too much fun.


I had to stop seeing people during the pandemic. I knew we were really vulnerable to the virus because of the water heater problems. It meant that I couldn’t support the businesses of people I cared about. I was having constant panic attacks, which was partially from stress, and partially from our backdrafting water heater. It took all of my energy to calm down. I felt like I was going to die.


Luckily my husband knows a woman who is a biochemist and a nurse who had struggled with the sort of tachycardia I was experiencing, so I had someone to email with who had some idea what I was going through. Everything was so much worse during the end of my menstrual cycle and around ovulation. It was so hard to not lose my mind. For years, people hadn’t listened to me when I said I needed to rest during those times, and I paid for it.


Ultimately, it would be these factors that would lead to me purchasing Diane Richardson’s Tantric Sex and Menopause, and my husband and I learning the tantra.


I’ve been following John Green’s vlogbrothers channel, and listening to him talk about how he has managed his anxiety over the course of the pandemic. I’ve been trying to think of a way to reach out to him because of what I’ve learned about anxiety. I’ve thought of all these angles - that I began writing in the third person and it altered the course of time, that my sister is his wife’s doppelganger, and that he went to college with my brother-in-law. I mean, it’s hard to not look like a creep when I say what I need to say to people about mental health and its inverse relationship to pleasure. My way out was through the tantra. Get your game on, man! That’s what I want to say to him. Also, I want to say that even if he doesn’t think he was, he was writing in code. That’s how the unconscious works.


Wilhelm Reich was an overlooked student of Sigmund Freud who postulated that sexual energy was healing. His writings, along with those of Timothy Leary, were important in starting the sexual revolution of the 1960’s. The most controversial thing Leary wrote which threatened the religious establishment is that we are all connected by the subconscious, and that we receive simultaneous insights through it. These insights, or Starseed Signals give us guidance in how to proceed with our lives. Reich was trying to detect subtle energies that the body makes. Eastern philosophy has tried to describe these energies. Reich attempted to connect this energy with both intelligence and compassion and felt strongly that sexuality needed to be destigmatized in order to combat frigidity and violent thinking in people. His philosophy arose from being in Vienna for both World War I and World War II and being a conscientious objector.


When I was hanging out around my sculptor friend, I felt this incredible energy. I always felt relaxed around him. I could tell he had said things to put me at ease. He always seemed to know the perfect thing to say. I figured this was because he had learned transcendental meditation. He recommended a teacher to me, but ultimately, I found a different way “in” as they say. This teacher was really expensive (over USD$1000), which made no sense to me. Why does classism have to be a barrier to enlightenment? Another friend was attending yoga nidra classes, which were $15. I have another friend who is a young man (don’t get the wrong idea) who is interested in these things but could never afford that, so as I was learning, I tried to share what I could. Of course this Wilhelm Reich stuff is pretty weird, so I haven’t shared it with him. He has come along far enough in his studies that he can feel the energy, and had intuited that with enough people it could be used for healing purposes.


Before studying the tantra, I studied reiki healing. And I had been farting around with the Tarot, and took a Tarot class.


You’d think that would be where the rabbit hole would end.


I turned down working for Dr. Komisaruk on female orgasm not just because I couldn’t imagine how I would talk to people in my community about what I did, but also because when the grad student showing us around stopped at a nearby gas station in Newark, there was a man with a gun. Just a few years earlier, I had an experience at a gas station in Denver where a man drew a gun on a homeless guy who wanted to wash my windows. I knew I wanted to feel safe wherever I lived. I had been in New Orleans for three years, and had lived in central Denver for eighteen. Southeastern Ohio studying Alzheimer’s, quilting and fishing on the weekends seemed like what I needed at the time.


I feel like despite my choice back then, the Universe sort of forced me into learning about sex drive. Mine has come and gone over the years. For me, its presence is an indicator of overall wellbeing. And it totally seems to be one of those “use it or lose it” things.


One of my favorite subjects is Jeanne Calment. She lived to be 122 years old, and even met Vincent Van Gogh. She used to eat a kilogram of chocolate every week. She outlived her husband, children and grandchildren. She always lived alone, and never owned a car. The major tip that I learned from reading her biography was that she never suffered fools wisely. It is my observation that there are a lot of suffered fools out there who stay in a state of morose thinking because they deny themselves actual relaxation. When one’s life gets a little overly complicated, it’s a bit painful. The easiest way to transcend that layer of psychological mud is to make one’s existence simple. This is certainly a helluva lot easier on the environment. I don’t remember anything about Jeanne Calment’s relationship with sexual pleasure being mentioned, but I do remember that she smoked until she was 114. She stopped because her nursing home started requiring smokers to go outside.


But who really wants to live that long and be alone the whole time?


After my sculptor friend moved, I found my uncle who had been put up for adoption through DNA. We had known of his existence because we had his baby photo, but we didn’t know who or where he was. He’s an artist and he does landscapes very similar to my style. He’s also a poet and into meditation. I knew a lot of this journey, from reading Joseph Campbell, was about me more deeply understanding my role as a woman, and my family story contributed to that understanding. The Primal Wound was an important theme in our reunion; my mother, her sister and brother all discussed what it was like to grow up without family. We were all weird in similar ways. Nobody was a materialist. They were all avid readers and incredibly progressive in their thinking. My other uncle, who I hadn’t seen since I was in middle school was a huge fan of John Waters. My cousin was employed at the David Zwirner gallery. My “new” uncle was also a book reseller. They had participated in the 60’s counter culture when my mom and dad were part of the Air Force.


At another point, my cousin had informed us that her grandparents (my mother’s mother and her last husband) had been swingers. Again, this was not something that was new to me, as I learned that there is a swinger’s network in my parents’ neighborhood. I am a long time ally, so this didn’t bother me. By the time I was sitting in the hotel room listening to what my cousin had to say, I was already all too familiar with the pain of being a stay at home mother and having societal expectations to uphold. Monogamy wasn’t feeling right to me. Sometimes the problems we had felt bigger than we could handle, and we knew from having other homeschooling families as friends that we weren’t the only ones facing the problems of isolated child rearing and property ownership.


It was some time after that I started writing in the third person in order to get into my subconscious. I ended up just writing a book about my daily life in which I asked the sculptor to marry me. It’s certainly the craziest thing I have ever done in my life. I wanted to show him that I knew what was important, but that I also knew how to blend in. It came together really easily because I wrote about the struggles I had in doing it, which was mostly communication struggles I had with my husband and issues with getting my chores done which are now largely tackled.


We were just telling my daughter that being an adult means constantly feeling like you’re behind the 8-ball, and it’s doing a lot of pointless things. My kids missed out on the conditioning that the educational system provides in this regard.


This life is more than just a read through.


I wrote in my crazy novel about how my sculptor friend helped awaken my awareness of the kundalini energy. I suppose it was a little dramatic, but the point that I was trying to make was that I felt his job was important. That he was a William Blake of sorts. Understanding the energy was important. I knew that there was something about the energy between us that was special, but I didn’t know how to talk about it. I didn’t know what the energy was until I learned reiki. Ultimately, I’ve been trying to maximize that energy. When it’s flowing well, I’m calm and I feel creative and hopeful. I think meditation helps move lymph or activate analgesia or something, because it certainly helps with that vital energy. My husband is doing it, too, and we find we are much better connected than we used to be. We have been able to read each other’s minds a little bit which is amazing.


In Christopher Ryan’s TED Talk, he mentions how in humans, chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas, there is one live birth for every 1,000 matings. Also, these species all give birth on average once every 3-4 years. This means the average great ape is having sex once a day. Ryan postulates that sex must serve some other function than just reproduction in these species, and that it must be to facilitate social connection. After reading the health benefits of orgasm in Dr. Komisaruk’s book, I think its function is much greater than that, and if more people knew about the health and mental health benefits of orgasm, they would pay more attention to their sexual health.


I was really open back in those days. My friends and I talked about how we managed our sexual desire. We just knew that sexual satisfaction was an important facet to our lives and wanted to give each other tips. On my end, it all felt very Grace and Frankie, so I’m hoping that nobody took it as more than that.


I mentioned that I made a couple male friends after the sculptor moved away, and one was my friend’s boyfriend. I was under the impression that it was platonic. We hung out and talked “stoner talk” which was essentially about what we saw in the A space. He had been abused and struggled with anxiety. We always had really interesting conversations. He reached out to me, but I was so sick I was unable to see anyone at that time. They have since broken up. Anyway, I mention this because I was having the kind of conversations that I had with the sculptor with him, except I didn’t feel the physical attraction. This guy came along when I was mourning that loss.


Eventually my husband was able to fill that need. And from the standpoint of most people on earth, he’s all I really need. I wish things were that simple.


By the way she looked, I should have calmed down.


Living with a disability is strange. The sculptor had asked me what had gotten in the way of me doing things. I honestly didn’t think anything had gotten in the way, and that I was simply where I was on my journey. Furthermore, I had told him that I felt ambition was evil. Then I played his little game with him by writing my books. It was fun. I wouldn’t change it. I enjoyed questioning reality with him.


I wonder if my husband will remember this time. How will we know if he did? He still swore to kill Gregor. I do hope he is not serious.


Stop calling me a dirty hoe.


In early Spring of 2020 I was having panic attacks whenever the water heater would backdraft into my studio space. I got kind of desperate. I had to lay down all the time, like Frida Kahlo. Well, not that bad. I could at least get up and go to the bathroom or spend time watching television. I’ve been on bedrest a lot. It will drive a person mad. I was doing whatever I could to combat the madness. I made a lot of art. I wrote a lot. I learned a lot about myself. I learned how my mental states correlate with my physical states, and what my basic needs are. They are really quite simple. It turns out that sexual pleasure reduces my symptoms significantly. It quiets my mind and stops the pain.


The thing about hanging out with the sculptor or my husband when we have no pressure on us is that time totally stops. I think on some level we’re all looking for that person who can help us stop time. Relationships fall apart when we forget how to do it.


When I was having these panic attacks, I had to learn how to stop time for myself. I had to learn the factors that cause them, and what can prevent them. For a while, I thought they were related to blood pressure, but then I got my blood pressure under control by taking CDP choline (I feel like I can go on the record now and say that). They seem to be some sort of seizure disorder. When I get them, my mind gets super busy, and then my body gets really tense before I feel compelled to lay down and take a nap. I’ll take a nap for several hours, and then wake up feeling disoriented. My nap usually involves pretty vivid dreams. Sometimes I will be really sore. This all started during the wildfires last summer. I haven’t had a break from them long enough to seek treatment. I also haven’t had the words to characterize these episodes appropriately until just now. I’ve had to practice expressing what’s going on to my family and friends. Fortunately, there was a production about Harriett Tubman which covered the aspect of her having epilepsy from a head injury inflicted by her master. It was the visions she had during her epileptic fits which enabled her to guide slaves to freedom. I was able to share this movie with my family so they could understand what is going on with me.


I’ve had so many of these episodes that at some point I realized that the dreams I experience during sleep, the samskara I experience during meditation, the visions I have leading up to orgasm, and the near death experiences I had were all trips into the collective consciousness. I’m constantly having visions. Right now, I keep my visions to myself. But there was an article in Neuroscience News showing that about half of dreams are from the past, and the other half are anticipating the future. I am assuming they were talking about precognition. I am assuming there is going to be a mass awakening because of the combined efforts of physicists, neuroscientists, psychologists and light workers, and that more people will discover their hidden psychic gifts.


I thought it might have been diabetes causing the panic attacks because at one point my blood sugars were down in the 70s, but my blood sugar levels and HbA1c are fine. I think it had to do with the water heater and other chemical exposure, and then I just got really unlucky and figured it all out in the middle of a pandemic. In any case, my attacks have gotten much better and I am having fewer problems with word recall. My auditory processing is a bit better, too, and I have been writing and painting again. I let the house go a bit. It’s just too hard to keep up with it. I just try to keep it safe.


To get better, I had to recognize my autonomic nervous system state and be mindful to rest when I was showing early symptoms of distress. This is still hard for me to recognize because I tend to go out of body when I get stressed out and not recognize increases in my breathing rate or muscle tone until it is too late. This can happen even just doing things around the house. So, I have had to reach a place of acceptance with the level of order around here because I just can’t control everything, and I never wanted to.


I am always behind the 8-ball with housework. Sorry if I made your guitar weep. Living in Colorado is kind of like that. It is dusty here and things dry out or freeze and break. The less stuff one has to maintain, the better. One of my good homeschooling mom friends and I have talked extensively about how our job is to maintain the material world in our homes, and how much of our time it takes. We were trying to teach our kids everything, so we accumulated a lot of stuff. Now that they're older, there’s a lot they don’t need. So my friends and I are going through this collective purge as our kids head off to college. Things are rapidly simplifying because even the kids recognize the strain of the stuff. All these things need curation, which requires time and attention.


I’ve been purging my home of things. This is actually how I developed confidence in the Tarot. There were a lot of items I felt like I needed to keep out of guilt and the Tarot kind of helped show me which items those were. Additionally, it helped me to place things in my home so that my movements through it were more efficient. My home is a “Cabinet of Curiosities” as it contains things that tell a story about the world and about being human, because I am curious at heart.


I know that there is a lot of family trauma around chores and division of labor and how we divide tasks by gender, and so I have tried to be pretty relaxed and gentle about these things with my family. When I was young, I was invited to participate in whatever my parents were working on, so I often helped my father with traditionally male tasks like changing tires and oil, working on the roof, and fixing toilets. My dad sometimes cooked for our family.


All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.


The process of writing is kind of like traveling through Dante’s Inferno. There are at least two schools of thought on how to approach it. Some people are like Stephen King and write diligently every day. Others are more like George R.R. Martin and write only when inspired. Inspiration is never a problem for me. I am comfortable traveling my planes of consciousness to see what they yield. Consequently, the Universe granted me an existence which requires a certain amount of maintenance, so I don’t have the choice of writing whenever I want. I don’t have a paying job, so instead I contribute by being the janitor around here (which is actually a big job even though I try to have relaxed standards). The same was true for my mother until she got a poorly paying job working in education so she could be home with us over the summers. In any case, the frustration of having to do as much housework as I do ends up being useful in my process. There is no gold without mud.


My process for writing involves getting into my stream of consciousness and just sitting down and recording it. It’s freewriting. It’s just that it comes together in the end so it seems like it is more organized than it really is. Anyway, I used to get really frustrated back in the day because it was so hard to get the time to do it. Writing kind of helps me take an inventory of my psychological wellbeing. It’s my self therapy. Right now I really need it because I have been ghosted by a bunch of people.


I’m no stranger to having to let people go. Writing is pretty solitary business, anyway. These friends were working women and no doubt since things are opening up again they are probably needing to focus on their businesses. Friendships should be easy. I got a lot of messages about Mean Girls over the weekend. I always think this means one thing, and then it ends up meaning something else. I always held on to this notion that we are all the same inside, but apparently Mean Girls are put here to challenge that idea.


I wrote the story below when I was a freshman in high school after getting dumped by my good friend who ended up going to astronaut training school a few years ago. She had gotten an upper class boyfriend in the cool crowd. And he was upper class in all senses of the word and she and I were not. I apologize for any misrepresentation of what it’s like to live in China. I have no way of knowing if the picture I drew was accurate.


I don’t want to be a Mean Girl. I do understand how my critique of society may have irked some people. I have always had a problem with arbitrary moral authority, and I think because we didn’t understand what the whole point of life was (just to be), we let the Universe be run by it.


My problem with arbitrary rules is so ingrained that I have difficulty staying present when I am reading the directions to board games. I am an outside the box thinker. That involves considering solutions to problems that challenge arbitrary rules. Frigidity is just such a problem. I have a whole new experience with this because of COVID. Frigidity is a real thing. Scientists have actually studied it. Every woman I know has struggled with it, but it’s some sort of dark secret. Furthermore, people vehemently defend the things that cause it - chemicals and unnecessary stress.


If I sit here and type long enough without eating or moving my body, I too will become frigid. It makes getting together with people really difficult because it is so easy to lose track of time, and then I get sick, and by “sick” I mean frigid. Yes, I lose my sense of humor. I have difficulty understanding subtleties. It’s like aging. I’ve been gauging my progress by how I am doing with getting estimates on home repairs. I am so sensitive to the unfairness of the world I need a lot of time to decompress after talking with people. Inevitably they have faced some sort of impossible situation over the past year and are broken on some level from feeling like they had been left high and dry. A lot of us were behind the 8-ball the whole time. My nervous system is still expecting an emergency to pop up at any second.


*****


The morning I originally wrote this, I woke up feeling not so great. Like I mentioned, I had been having to wake up early to have a bowel movement, and this can happen any time from 4:30 onward. I can get back to sleep after them now, which I am thankful for, because there was a time in my life when once that happened, I would not be able to get back to sleep. That morning I woke up sometime around 5:45. I slept in the upstairs bedroom. I know it was a long time before my husband came to bed. He was up with the kids talking about our experiences with the Akashic Space. Like other psychics, we can get in and out really easily. We were kind of explaining our awakenings to them. Anyway, I got tired around 1:30 am and went to bed. If I get up too early, I’ll usually slip on some more clothes (it’s hot upstairs and cold in my studio). I am like a tropical fish these days, which is another symptom of menopause.


I was able to get in a couple more intervals of sleep, under a heat lamp in the studio, but it wasn’t very deep. Infrared light in the 660-880 nm range can help activate the cytochrome p450 complex in mitochondria, so that can help individual cells relax. Cells tend to take on extra fluid when they are under metabolic stress (which happens in darkness or under blue light). I wake up feeling rather tense. It sucks. So I spend quite a bit of time meditating in the mornings under a heat lamp and figuring out what I might eat or take to help the feeling go away. If I don’t do this, it’s not good, meaning I’m likely to have a panic attack or seizure later. This morning I changed my routine a bit with respect to what I ate and took.


It’s important to note that I have been under the care of a physician and had labs run recently and they are all normal. I have also told my doctor that I am doing most of these things. I haven’t had the energy or attention to write these things down before this time. I’ve come a really long way with respect to the expressive and receptive aphasia - my recovery is nothing short of miraculous. I had a few brief setbacks, which at the time I found really annoying, but the general progress has still been in a positive direction.


Sometimes I wake up feeling nauseated. It feels a lot like morning sickness, but I am not pregnant, just going through menopause. There is very little with respect to conventional medical advice on how to handle this. I haven’t ever thrown up, but I can get the dry heaves. Nausea is almost always caused by elevated serotonin. I have asked my physician for some ondansetron, but I don’t think she has prescribed it this way before. So instead, I started treating myself for the excess serotonin by taking charcoal before bed. After 7 or 7:30 every morning, I have a little bowl of yogurt with some honey.


It usually takes me a while to get up and running in the morning. So this morning, instead of meditating on every little thing, I decided just to throw the kitchen sink at the problem. I keep some things down in the studio, so right away I used some topical magnesium oil, guafenesin and cimetidine. Magnesium relaxes cells similarly to infrared light. I take guafenesin because I get mucousy and it affects my breathing. I take cimetidine because it is a treatment for some types of porphyria and seems to help me a lot, not just with heartburn (which as far as I know has nothing to do with porphyria), but with my panic attacks. It actually slows the cytochrome P450 complex.


Then, I had a little bit of indica and stood at the window listening to the sounds outside for a while. This was around the time I realized I needed to try a different approach with my breakfast. I decided to take a stack of the things that have been helping me the most lately, eat my bowl of yogurt with honey, but also have warm milk with glucose, sugar, rhodiola, ashwaganda, lion’s mane and marshmallows. This is usually the drink I have in the evenings before I go to bed. I have a lot of the same genetics as my mom, and she sleeps pretty well. She has always had warm milk before bed since she was a kid. I read that most sleep problems in older people have to do with cortisol levels rising too much by 4 am or so. Having some carbohydrate before bed can suppress cortisol release. Note that my sleep problems have to do with gut motility. I had my cortisol tested for my renal workup and it was fine. Here are the supplements I took in addition to my food.


Aspirin

Vitamin K2

CDP choline

Benfotiamine

Calcium gluconate

Progesterone in mixed tocopherols


I take aspirin because it also relaxes the cells like magnesium. It’s also a mitochondrial uncoupler, which means it can help the mitochondria make heat without having to use ATP. Whenever I take this, I always take Vitamin K2 because aspirin can thin the blood and I am coumadin sensitive (meaning I bruise easily with blood thinners because there is a defect in my vitamin K metabolism, and I can’t convert K1 to K2). So don’t argue with me about eating kale because my body doesn’t benefit from it the way someone else’s might.


I take CDP choline because of something I discovered by accident during the pandemic. I believe that taking this has enabled me to go off my blood pressure medication. When I started taking it, I immediately noticed a decrease in the frequency of my panic attacks. I have a lot of writing on this subject which I can post later. My blood pressure is often in the 110’s/60’s and I have been off my medication since May 25, 2020. My initial excitement about this came in February, but when our dishwasher failed and spewed smoke into our home, my blood pressure went up again and I questioned whether what I was doing was working.


I wasn’t the only one who had health effects from the dishwasher incident. It produced the same kinds of effects as the water heater backdrafting, but we’re all more self aware now, so we got along a lot better. I am rather tired of hearing people say they are not chemically sensitive. The effects chemicals have on people and animals are actually pretty well studied, and people aren’t immune. It’s just that one’s genetics determines the outcome of the poisoning, and for some people, the effects are more subtle. I found this information buried in textbooks for neuropsychiatrists. This is not information that should be buried in a specialist’s textbook for fear of industry retribution. This affects every living thing on the planet.


Years ago I had this neuropathy in my feet. This is when I was trying lots of different supplements. I knew neuropathy was a feature of diabetes, and had found information that benfotiamine could be effective for that kind of neuropathy. On a whim, I took it and my neuropathy totally disappeared. This was a long time ago, so I don’t know if I had labs drawn at that time. In any case, my fasting blood sugar was a little elevated in the beginning of the year, and I thought it might have something to do with the panic attacks, so I decided to try benfotiamine again. It is definitely helping. It is a fat soluble form of Vitamin B1, or thiamine, which is critical for [nerve transmission]


*****


Yes, that’s kind of how it goes. I had an interruption, and then the whole day went along. There was a big nap in the middle, and my husband made fried rice for dinner, and I watered the garden while he turned and moved the compost. At some point I worked on a piece of art that I made about 18 months ago when I was working with acrylic and before I had purchased air quality meters. I used hot glue on it. I got a terrible migraine after working with the hot glue.


I was trying to make something that looked like stars or a nebula and working in transparent layers incorporating Pearl-X (sparkles!). I am obsessed with incorporating shimmering elements into my art. Ultimately, I think my art is making a commentary on what is missing from the Ghost In the Machine. My approach to the layers was mimicking the CMYK process used by printers. Each work I did informed the next and they were a record of my stream of consciousness. Each one imparted a lesson to me about some quality of stoicism and perseverance. I got to understand the therapeutic quality of art on a very deep level - how healing it is to be able to have a vague vision of something and playfully shape it. What’s special about the works is that they are not reproducible with our current technologies and their qualities as they interact with the viewer’s eye and external lighting sources.


They are tools for divination. That was the whole point of the abstract impressionist movement and the work of Pollock and Rothko. I had to write a paper on Pollock and found information that he was seeing a Jungian therapist at his own insistence, and had an obsession with depth psychology. It is THE rabbit hole. They were just making their own Rorschach Tests.


I realized what “woke” really means this week. It’s the awareness that there are different planes of existence in the mind, and the understanding of the important differences between them.


I sort of gave up on that piece of art when I realized I couldn’t peel off the hot glue. I was trying to use it as a masking fluid. I should have just used masking fluid. Anyway, I found it in the garage last weekend and decided to see if the hot glue would come off, and it would with some elbow grease. I ended up leaving marks from the scraping, which I liked. It had been sitting on my drawing table for a few days in its scratched up state and I didn’t know what to do to it, so I added some lines with ink pencils.


I spend quite a bit of time perusing a major online book retailer’s offerings. I started this years ago because of homeschooling, and now it is informing my understanding of myself. Last night I found a bunch of cool books about sexuality, and also some on parapsychology. There are books on the neuroscience of religious experiences as well.


I saw that the last chapter in Dr. Komisaruk’s book was about Orgasm and Consciousness. He wondered if we would ever be able to explain the god experience orgasm brings, and he referred to the 5D. I decided to reach out to him with my story to see if he would like to talk.


I have also tried reaching out to a choline researcher.


I ended up hitting the sack pretty late again last night. My intention was to go to bed earlier, but my son came down to do a meditation and we ended up listening to a crazy playlist instead. We were both feeling really itchy and wiggly.


I think I probably took two more aspirin over the course of the day, and another choline, and I used more topical magnesium. I think I took a B6 complex around lunch time. I ate pretty consistently yesterday. I didn’t end up cooking dinner, but I did make my husband and I braunschweiger sandwiches for lunch.


There’s a whole layer of stuff going on in my life that I don’t write about, and that’s the stuff that is going on with our household discussions. We talk a lot about politics and philosophy.


*****


My work is informed by the paranormal. That’s the best way to explain it. Like Kandinsky, I receive a lot of my messages through music. The music that I listen to creates an echo in my mind, and because I almost always have a song in my head, I’ve noticed over time that the song often relates to what I am doing or something that is about to happen. It took a while to figure out the code, but it turned out that a lot of it had to do with ways I had misheard or misunderstood lyrics over the years. That’s how I discovered I was clairaudient. It was through writing about it and slowing down and noticing. But also I had this weird thing happen where whatever was coming through Spotify was related to my thoughts or discussions. It’s not limited to Spotify.


I primarily get my ideas through meditation. I then ask myself questions about how to proceed using the Tarot. So my art is technically channeled work. I write about this in my second book as “working with Vincent” because my clairsentience is a little borked from porphyria. The Tarot helps me not interpret all the anxiety and upset stomach as warnings, so it helps me to be a bit braver in my experimentation and self-expression while also not wasting materials.


Many of my art explorations came about because I was trying to not let something go to waste, and were an exercise seeing beauty and potential in even the smallest things. Art has been a great gift which has helped me reconnect with the natural world around me and feel like myself again. These connections come from the slowing down required to create peace.