Tag Archives: psychologist

Remembering my mother, Dr. Dorothy G. Kockelmans

Greetings, readers. Tomorrow marks the fourteenth anniversary of my mom’s passing. I was going to do a blog entry to mark the occasion, but realized we did this last year. That entry turned out so well, there was no need to do another one, and it is definitely worth a repeat post. That is something I hardly ever do, though WordPress has a handy feature to copy an entire post, tags and all. It will be linked to Twitter, Facebook, and the Bear Spring Camps Facebook page. Mom, this is for you.

Thirteen years ago today my mom went to her eternal resting place

Greetings, readers. This is an emotional day for me. I lost my mom thirteen years ago this afternoon, June 15, 2003. It was Father’s Day, and Pop was having an unusually happy Father’s Day. He liked the gift I got him, and we were looking forward to a special dinner. Mom had sent me to the store to pick up an item that she had forgotten. I got the item, had a quick cup of coffee at the coffee stand, and when I got back she was gone. My mom was my dad’s primary caregiver, and after discovering her, I had to go and wreck his world.

My mother and I were joined at the hip. After years upon years of having things done for me and having my life made easy, I was now the one who had to help Pop and take over other responsibilities in the house. I was only 37 years old, relatively young to lose my mother, and I faced more years without her than with her.

I was indeed able to grow up that summer and I got a lot done, including helping Dad arrange home care and getting myself to Maine for the annual vacation at Bear Spring Camps. I was able to keep the same cabin and do all the same things that Mom and I would do. There was also a touching porch party in her honor which everyone who was in camp came to; only two people had prior commitments.

My mom was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1923. We moved from Pittsburgh to State College, Pennsylvania when I was three years old. Mom, a psychologist, had her private practice downtown in an office over a bank. Many a summer afternoon I spent in our car listening to the radio waiting for her to come down from work at 3:00. It quickly became a ritual. Sometimes on a Friday afternoon we would go to Burger King for milkshakes. I would usually get strawberry and she would get vanilla, her favorite flavor.

My mom was extremely independent and organized almost to a fault. Every evening she would have the preparations laid for the morning breakfast, so that all she had to do was turn on the tea kettle and oatmeal would be ready in minutes.

One thing I didn’t like about my mom was that she despised doctors and would never go to them. She died of congestive heart failure from smoking. If she had been on medication and under a doctor’s care there is a chance that she could have lived a few more years. But she did things her way and she chose how she lived her life.

One of my fondest memories of my mom was the song we shared from Percy Faith called “Theme from A Summer Place.” Back in the 1970s there was an easy listening radio station in Waterville, Maine. Every summer going back to camp for the evening, Mom would turn on that station and at least two or three times during those two weeks we would hear that beloved song. I currently have that song on a Spotify music playlist, and I listened to it this afternoon in her honor. I know, I know, I am just sentimental that way.

Mom, I said it the day you died and I’ll say it again. Thank you for being the best mom in the world.

Here is a picture of my Mom, which we photographed in the frame, since we could not get it out without risking damage to the picture. It might be a little grainy, but you can certainly see her.

Picture of a picture of Mom from the 1990s, as far as I can guess on the year.
Picture of a picture of Mom from the 1990s, as far as I can guess on the year.

June 14, 2017 Rebecca will have a blog entry up sometime tomorrow. I am still having computer issues. There is a slight chance I will be purchasing a new computer tomorrow, and if so I might chime in myself with a small entry giving you details. Wow, perhaps a double entry day. Until soonest, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

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Thirteen years ago today my mom went to her eternal resting place

Greetings, readers. This is an emotional day for me. I lost my mom thirteen years ago this afternoon, June 15, 2003. It was Father’s Day, and Pop was having an unusually happy Father’s Day. He liked the gift I got him, and we were looking forward to a special dinner. Mom had sent me to the store to pick up an item that she had forgotten. I got the item, had a quick cup of coffee at the coffee stand, and when I got back she was gone. My mom was my dad’s primary caregiver, and after discovering her, I had to go and wreck his world.

My mother and I were joined at the hip. After years upon years of having things done for me and having my life made easy, I was now the one who had to help Pop and take over other responsibilities in the house. I was only 37 years old, relatively young to lose my mother, and I faced more years without her than with her.

I was indeed able to grow up that summer and I got a lot done, including helping Dad arrange home care and getting myself to Maine for the annual vacation at Bear Spring Camps. I was able to keep the same cabin and do all the same things that Mom and I would do. There was also a touching porch party in her honor which everyone who was in camp came to; only two people had prior commitments.

My mom was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1923. We moved from Pittsburgh to State College, Pennsylvania when I was three years old. Mom, a psychologist, had her private practice downtown in an office over a bank. Many a summer afternoon I spent in our car listening to the radio waiting for her to come down from work at 3:00. It quickly became a ritual. Sometimes on a Friday afternoon we would go to Burger King for milkshakes. I would usually get strawberry and she would get vanilla, her favorite flavor.

My mom was extremely independent and organized almost to a fault. Every evening she would have the preparations laid for the morning breakfast, so that all she had to do was turn on the tea kettle and oatmeal would be ready in minutes.

One thing I didn’t like about my mom was that she despised doctors and would never go to them. She died of congestive heart failure from smoking. If she had been on medication and under a doctor’s care there is a chance that she could have lived a few more years. But she did things her way and she chose how she lived her life.

One of my fondest memories of my mom was the song we shared from Percy Faith called “Theme from A Summer Place.” Back in the 1970s there was an easy listening radio station in Waterville, Maine. Every summer going back to camp for the evening, Mom would turn on that station and at least two or three times during those two weeks we would hear that beloved song. I currently have that song on a Spotify music playlist, and I listened to it this afternoon in her honor. I know, I know, I am just sentimental that way.

Mom, I said it the day you died and I’ll say it again. Thank you for being the best mom in the world.

Here is a picture of my Mom, which we photographed in the frame, since we could not get it out without risking damage to the picture. It might be a little grainy, but you can certainly see her.

Picture of a picture of Mom from the 1990s, as far as I can guess on the year.
Picture of a picture of Mom from the 1990s, as far as I can guess on the year.

Another short week for us, so if there is no blog entry tomorrow, I’ll try to put one up on the weekend. Until soonest, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

Taking stock of my life

Greetings, readers. Over the last few days, I have experienced something which I must admit is worrying me. I was going to call this blog stop the world, I want to get off, but realized we already have two entries by that title. Here is what is going on.

I’m depressed and I shouldn’t be. I have everything I need, minus a car. My financial situation, though not ideal, is doable. I have plenty of free time, and good friends in the building who care about me. I also have a therapist who I see once a week. Couple that with me being on anti-depressants and I should be as happy as a clam and bouncing off the walls. I am not.

I feel like time is slipping away from me. I’ll be 51 years old in a little over a month, and the realization has hit me that more years are behind me than are in front. The three books that I have written weren’t big sellers at all and new material is once again stuck behind a brick wall. I vividly remember when I was in my 20s sitting down and cranking out 10 pages a day sometimes. I fear the well has dried up. If my seizure problems have truly affected my creativity, I’m in trouble.

Recently, I’ve found things I like to watch on YouTube and they consist of full flight real-life airplane videos. You read correctly. A man gets on an airplane, straps the camera to the armrest of his seat, aims it out the window towards the wing of the plane, and you get to experience the entire flight gate to gate. It is actually quite beneficial as background sleeping noise. The other night I watched one of his longer videos, a nine and a half hour journey from Helsinki, Finland to Tokyo, Japan, via Russia. It was an overnight flight, which afforded viewers a new perspective. Once the airplane was airborne, he aimed the camera towards the ceiling and you got to experience the flight attendants walking by, serving drinks and dinner. Ultra realistic. I also continue to watch and listen to nature sounds and other white noise.

I keep thinking of my parents and my old home. I ask myself what they might be doing at this time of the day or evening. Though reminiscing is fun, I’ve been doing a lot more looking backwards than forwards. I feel like I am going into a shell, not wanting to experience life anymore. I see my psychologist tomorrow and this blog entry will be the first thing we discuss.

Lastly, I’ve begun to make short YouTube videos, a vlog if you will, but no format or schedule has been set up. I enjoy making those videos, but fear not, I will continue writing this blog.

Rebecca and I may put a blog up tomorrow, because I have a doctor’s appointment on Friday during work hours. So until then, enjoy your day, take care, and happy reading.

Too much of a good thing is a bad thing

Greetings, readers. I’ve been watching reruns of Forensic Files on YouTube the last several evenings and have found one distressing thing. Although it is a marvelous program, that shows how criminals can be apprehended and convicted by forensic evidence, which I love, the episodes are depressing. If it’s not a murder, it’s rape, torture, kidnapping, or something else that is grizzly. The other evening I watched twelve straight episodes and went to bed feeling like crap. My psychologist will have to hit me on the wrist with a wet noodle.

I don’t know if this is a form of self-punishment or abuse, but something psychological is going on. This is not the first time I have done this type of behavior. I can sit for hours on end and watch the best of YouTube marriage proposals, service men and women surprising their loved one, and all kinds of tear-jerking events. I suppose I get some entertainment out of it, but I just basically get depressed because of it. That much is emotional overload.

What to do, what to do? My doctor will have her work cut out for her. She’ll probably suggest watching these things in small numbers or perhaps not at all. With my morbid fascination with air plane disasters, crimes, death, and carnage, there must be some underlying reason why I am drawn to such things.

This morning, before Rebecca came to work, I purposely stayed at home, made my coffee in my Keurig, and played a game on my PS3. Nothing depressing about playing MLB15 The Show.

I’m sure when this blog entry will be posted to Facebook and Twitter, my family and friends will offer advice on how to help me. That will be most appreciated. For the most part, I’m feeling better in years past. I’m keeping to my early morning schedule, and seem to be getting a lot more done. I just have a few rough edges to work out and I will be a happy person around the clock.

Can anybody really be a happy person around the clock? I fully understand the answer is no. But I hope to be one of the people who can be cheerful, pleasant, and thankful about 95% of the time.

Before closing, welcome back Rebecca, missed you. The blog entries suffered. {From Rebecca: I missed you and being at work, too. *waving* Hi, readers!}

Until Friday, when I hope to have a top ten list ready to go, take care, have a good day, and happy reading.

Yes, yes, yes and right, right, right

Greetings, readers. Something new has been added to my list of quirky and annoying habits. It has become so bad that I am keenly aware of it. Oh, what my poor friends must be going through.

As the title implies, I have been catching myself saying the phrases “yes, yes, yes” and “right, right, right” way too often. I can’t honestly say how long I’ve been doing this. I would estimate six months to a year. I have no memories of this verbal tic as a child or a teenager. If it is annoying me this badly, I can only imagine what my friends think.

Now, how to stop it. I’m going to talk to my psychologist this coming week to see if she has any suggestions. I am quite sure that she will. Rebecca is a good enough friend that I might ask her at some point to very politely point out to me if I revert back to the bad habit. I think if I put my mind to it, I can stop it myself. I don’t do it during dictation, but if I am around people, having a conversation, it rears its ugly head.

I’ve always had nervous tics of some type or another. From my early teenage years on, until just last year, I had an annoying head twitch that could only be stopped, oddly enough, by wearing glasses or a hat. It was either putting pressure on a certain pressure point, or was psychosomatic. This whole year from camp on my head tic was virtually gone. I was so happy. It seems to be coming back a little bit. More work for my psychologist.

The other nervous condition that I can remember as a younger child, in my elementary school years let’s say, was a mild stuttering problem. My mom used to make fun of me a little bit, which just made the problem worse. Being a psychologist herself, I believe she was trying to use reverse psychology on me. Big mistake. By my mid-teenage years, my self-confidence improved enough that most of the stuttering issue was gone.

Other issues too personal to mention are personal skeletons in my closet, but I think everyone has those. We must all deal with them in our own way and in our own time.

In closing, I will wish all of you peace if you need help in healing any ailment, I wish you also a good week, and as always, happy reading.

The search for my identity

Greetings, readers. As far back as I can remember, I would wonder what it would be like to be somebody else. Many possibilities crossed my mind. One day I wanted to be my father. Another time it would be my friend, Dave, who always had all the answers and was super athletic. Heck, I even wondered what it would be like to be a female version of myself. Perhaps this is normal. Perhaps it isn’t. I found that when I was with other people, I knew my role in the group and I knew better who I was. I think this stems from low self-esteem.

I’ve spoken to my psychologist. Apparently I must work on liking myself more. That’s the key, I guess. I think that’s also why I do not have a girlfriend currently. If you don’t like or love yourself, how can you expect others to like or love you?

I’ve made strides with a lot of my personal demons. My apartment is cleaner, trash goes out and dishes get done. The biggest successes I’ve had are a big improvement on my hoarding issue and being able to get onto a sleep schedule which is much healthier for me.

Now, an embarrassing tidbit. When I was nine or so, I carried a brown folder to school. It contained all my homework and such. A joke I made, which didn’t go down very well, was that I was Jim Rockford and my folder was the Rockford files. Luckily only a small group of people got wind of that one. I look back now and think oh my God, how dumb was that?

With help now, I shall continue working on my strengths and kick my weakness in the butt. Time will tell if I truly find myself and become comfortable with the man that I have become.

Until Friday, take care, enjoy your day and happy reading.

My brain fart from last night

Greetings, readers. Last night something happened to me which has only happened once before. I went to a place of business without my wallet. Here’s how it happened.

On my mother’s credenza, sits a wooden duck. It’s sort of a bowl for storing things. I use it specifically to put my wallet and keys in; that way I know exactly where they are at all times. Last night my keys were on the dining room table. So after putting on my hoodie and loading my pockets with cell phone, keys and bus tokens, I thought, okay, I have everything, let’s go. After getting on the bus at the downtown stop, I plopped my bus token into the payment slot and took my seat. Off I went on the forty minute ride.

When I got to Denny’s restaurant, my friend Jim had not arrived yet. I meet him there every week to catch up on the week’s happenings. I ordered a Coke with light amount of ice, looked at the menu, and then ordered. My food arrived while I was waiting for Jim. I emptied my hoodie pockets to be more comfortable and to my horror, my wallet was not with the things in my pocket. Jim arrived and we started talking. unfortunately, the conversation dealt a lot with my missing wallet. When I am upset about something, I tend to not be able to let it go.

Did I lose it on the bus? Or did I forget to take it with me? From that moment until I got home, I did experience a junior nervous breakdown. It is a hopeless feeling knowing this money, debit card, and driver’s license could all be lost forever, and would then have to be replaced. What is worse, my security pass card to let me back into the apartment building was also in the wallet. That meant that at 10:00 at night I had to call a friend inside the building, have him walk down, and let me in. A wee bit on the embarrassing side. But I suppose these things happen.

To my relief, when I got home, there was my wallet sitting safely in the duck. I actually remember saying out loud, “Oh goodie, I’ll be able to sleep tonight.” If the wallet had really been gone, I would have been too angry and frustrated to doze off. Danger was averted, as well as a lot of paperwork.

What was so funny was, I went to a psychological testing that day to see what is wrong with my memory. It was the first of three testing dates. Rachel, the technician, is a sweet person and the testing is not too tedious. Hopefully they will be able to find out why I am beginning to forget things and not retain information. As I told my accountant this afternoon, I think it is a combination of age, slight brain damage from seizures, and my seizure medication. In four to six weeks, I’ll have my evaluation and hopefully there will be an answer to what is wrong with me. Please keep your fingers crossed for good news.

Until Friday, take care, enjoy good weather if you have it and happy reading.

Busy wet Wednesday

Greetings, readers. Oh, what a rain storm we just had. For about an hour and a half it came down in a deluge. Roads were flooded and my usual Wednesday meeting took place late. This threw my whole work day’s schedule off. Rebecca and I are working hard to get this mini-blog entry done by 3:00.

A quick update on what is going on with me. Tonight or tomorrow morning I shall begin writing the first draft of the first story for Bear Spring Camp book #3, tentatively set to come out the end of July 2015. I want that book done and out before I go on vacation again. That goal is important to me.

Also, I am working with my psychologist on some personal issues that shall remain private, but suffice it to say I am making great progress. My confidence is up and my depression is down.

Finally, I am completely hooked on two simulator games. Train Simulator 2014, and Euro Truck Simulator 2. I’ve been watching plenty of YouTube videos of the truck sim; I must tell you I don’t have the computer good enough to run that game. And as far as Train Simulator, it only runs on my laptop if the settings are low. You know what? That’s okay with me. More on Friday, for we have to leave time to edit this entry.

Have a great Wednesday, take care, and happy reading.

Blog entry #300!

Greetings, readers. It has been almost a year since my 200th blog post. On these milestones, I usually share about how the blog is doing, but I recently wrote about the most popular entries in a different post. After much thought, I’ve decided to share with my readers how this past year has gone for me from camp last August to camp this August. I did plenty of writing for the blog and that work is shaping up wonderfully. Other writing projects, however, not so much. This was the worst year I’ve suffered through in a long time when it came to writing a book. No one is to blame, it just happened that way. When I returned home from camp last August, Rebecca and I agreed that I should broaden my horizons and write a mystery novel or some other bigger work. At the time I was all for that; it never happened. Fiction is not my forte yet.

Also last fall, I was battling through depression and really not feeling all that great about myself. Recently I’ve taken appropriate steps, i.e. finding a psychologist and I’ve made strides toward having a much better mental outlook.

Yes, this old worry wort continued to get grey hair this past year, sulking over many things, but I recently have come to understand that I should only worry about things I can change, not about what I can’t. After much reflection, I have had quite a wonderful life, including a fabulous childhood. Sometimes I think kids don’t know exactly what they have at the time. I can remember not liking junior high or high school, and now wish that I can go back to those carefree days. One thing’s for sure, at least in my opinion, music and TV shows were more to my liking then.

This past year I did all the things that I told myself I would do while I was at camp; including watched the Thanksgiving parade, took my traditional Christmas lights ride, watched the Christmas Yule Log with lovely Christmas music, watched the New Year’s Day bowl games, continued to perform my shows, visited Godmother while she was still alive, as I tried to keep up with my writing.

I can’t believe that it’s this late in the summer already and it’s time to go to camp once again. Even though it is only for one week a year, I really do live for it. Recently I told myself that perhaps this will be my final year there. Time will tell, but the biggest factor will be my monetary situation. Money permitting, I will probably always do something every August.

To close this 300th entry, I would like to thank each and every one of my readers for your loyalty, and both Rebecca and I hope that you have enjoyed the entries since our 200th post. So far this is the only entry that is going to be saved to a draft until it is time to be published. I wanted to be sure to do this before I went away to camp. Again, many thanks, and look forward to another 100 blog entries and more.

While I am away at camp, Rebecca will be keeping up the blog. She will post at least two entries.  Have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

My therapy is going well

Greetings, readers. After many years of trying to deal with my life’s issues, which include depression, I finally gave in a few weeks ago and found a rather good psychologist. I’ve only met with her three times but already I know that it’s going to be a huge success. Just having someone to talk to is a tremendous help. And being a trained professional, she knows the right things to suggest and say.

I must admit, the first week I went there I was nervous. I wasn’t sure it I wanted to go, so I called my friend Dave and posed this question to him: “With my mom being a psychologist, Dave, do you think she would have been proud of me or not?” He told me that in his opinion he was certain that if I was getting the help that I needed that she would be all for that. I tend to agree with his assessment. Although Mom always was a very proud person, she always did look out for her only son and what was best for him.

So, to therapy I go once a week. I already am feeling very much improved as far as my depression goes. I seem happier, I’m telling more jokes, and believe me it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this happy. Was I depressed to the point where I was wearing black clothing and black nail polish? No. But depressed I was. I know that in my life I have done some things that might not have been the best choices for me, especially in money management, but what I have to do from this day on is concentrate on making different choices.

I am extremely pumped that summertime is here. Yes, the humidity can be a bit oppressive from time to time. But I like warm temperatures, as you know, and green leaves on the tress. This past winter there were days where I stayed inside about 98% of the day. Now, I’ll walk from a bus stop and take a listen to the birds. It’s is so enjoyable to do so without having to bundle up like a polar bear and still freeze. But, like I said in my last post, here we are already in late June. Someone once told me the theory for the reason why time seems to be going more quickly, and that is: If you have already lived more than half your life there is less ahead of you, and somehow that alters how you perceive time. I don’t know if I buy in to that, because the last time I checked there were still 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. But something sure happened, because I remember being 20 years old, blinking, and here in two weeks I’ll be 49. Arg.

Please readers send good wishes for me with my therapy. I have a good doctor and I like her. Until next time, take care, stay well, and happy reading.