Quimby’s Bookstore

Quimby’s Bookstore has Marie Kube’s books and zines!

Dearest Readers,

Quimby’s Bookstore has our books and zines for sale now! Quimby’s Bookstore sells the most progressive, forward-thinking publications. Please stop by Quimby’s and ask for Marie Kube’s books. Our goal is to offer our books for sale at bookstores for the same price or much less than on amazon.com online. This is because I have a special understanding of the need for independent bookstores since my grandfather owned a bookstore in Berlin, Germany that was destroyed in World War II.

Please visit Quimby’s Bookstore at:
1854 West North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
(773)342-0910
http://www.quimbys.com

“Unusual publications, aberrant periodicals, saucy comic books, assorted fancies…plus tons o’ zines”

And if you are in the Detroit, Michigan metro area, then you can also find our books for sale at the Book Beat in Oak Park, Michigan (click here for more information).

Thank you for your support!

Love,
Marie

DSC06398

Three Centimeter Incision

WARNING:  This story contains graphic descriptions of medical procedures gone wrong!

Most Intimate Reader,

Most people get PTSD from an event.  It was the circumstances around the second surgery on my right Bartholin gland cyst that caused my nervous breakdown and the biggest challenge I have faced yet in my quest to survive and make this world a better place.

Sure, I got drugged and raped starting when I was 15 until I got married at 28 years old.  And I’m sure I’m not the only one.  Sure, I got beat up by a gang of kids in grade school and ended up with a concussion.  That’s typical.  Sure, I got beat up by the first boyfriend I lived with when I was 18 years old.  It was so bad that the police came, thankfully.  It happens all the time.  Sure, I was impregnated against my will when I couldn’t even take care of myself let alone a baby, and he paid for the abortion.  Again, I am far from alone in that hell.  Sure, I got laid off, along with myriad others.  Sure, I woke up during my hysterectomy because they had to yank so hard to get my uterus out it was so riddled with fibroids after they waited too long and let me bleed until I was anemic before they finally removed it.  But it was the circumstances around the 3-cm incision in my vaginal mucosa years later that really pushed me over the edge and ended my marriage.

When I finally got together with the Archangel Michael himself, I fell so madly in love with him that I stayed with him and only him for 20 years.  Extreme circumstances finally broke us apart, and that’s what this story is about.

When Michael and I started dating, neither of us had had enough sex for way too long.  We, therefore, had a lot of sex together for extended periods of time.  He was a bicyclist and I was a dancer.  Even though Michael was quite ill and had profuse sweating and gastrointestinal distress, we managed to have as much sex as two graduate students could have, which was a lot for such a young and physically fit couple.

Just as Michael was becoming too ill to sustain our active sex life, I woke up more than a little sore after sex the night before.  In fact, it hurt to walk.  I went to the student health center on campus.  The doctor examined me and told me to drive myself directly to the hospital where he would meet me to perform surgery to save my life.

“But I have a final exam,” I informed him.

“You’re not going to be taking any exams today,” he assured me.

We didn’t have cell phones in those days, but I was able to leave a message for Michael with the technician in the laboratory where he worked.   

As graduate students, we did not have health insurance, for all practical purposes.  I remember the burden of paying a mandatory $300/year fee (that was a lot of money in the 1990’s), but that fee only covered the part where I saw the doctor on campus and he told me to drive myself to the hospital, which I did.  He met me there and he, or his resident (trainee), performed an incision and drainage of my right Bartholin gland cyst.  Michael showed up just as they were taking me into surgery, and I loved him even more. 

Have you never heard of a Bartholin gland before?  Well, don’t feel bad because neither had we and we were graduate students working on our PhD degrees, and Michael had already completed the first half of medical school and passed the boards.   

Bartholin glands were first described in the 17th century by the Danish anatomist Caspar Bartholin the Younger (1655-1738).  The Bartholin glands are two pea sized glands located slightly posterior and to the left and right of the opening of the vagina.  Bartholin glands secrete relatively minute amounts of fluid when a woman is sexually aroused.  The fluid may slightly moisten the labial opening of the vagina, serving to make contact with this sensitive area more comfortable.  It is possible for the Bartholin glands to become blocked and inflamed resulting in pain.  This is known as a Bartholin gland cyst.  A Bartholin cyst in turn can become infected and form an abscess.  Marsupialization is the surgical technique of cutting a slit into an abscess or cyst and suturing the edges of the slit to form a continuous surface from the exterior surface to the interior surface of the cyst or abscess.  Sutured in this fashion, the site remains open and can drain freely.  This technique is used to treat a cyst or abscess when a single draining would not be effective and complete removal of the surrounding structure would not be desirable.  Wikipedia 

What I am trying to explain is that I sustained a life-threatening injury from sex due to the nature of his anatomy together with mine necessitating special care and extra lubrication, especially during prolonged sexual activity.  We rubbed each other the wrong way, you could say. 

We had no idea. 

The surgeon gave me a special deal of only $500 to pay for the surgery, since he had a penchant for dedicated graduate students like me or felt sorry for me, however you want to look at it. 

I soaked in the bathtub, refrained from sex, and took care of my wound until it was all healed up.  I arranged to make up my final exam and I got an A+.  I married the love of my life.  Everything was fine, or so I thought. 

What the surgeon only told Michael and not me is that all of the cyst could not be removed.  It would inevitably, eventually become inflamed and infected once again and require another surgery once we had enough sex to irritate the gland again sufficiently so that the remaining cyst could be visualized and removed.   

Maybe Michael tried to tell me what the surgeon had told him, but my mind rejected the horror.  We lived under the threat of irritating my gland forever after.  It hurt, it was sore, it was festering.  We would wait for the angry gland to settle down before having sex again.  Sometimes we waited a long time.   

It was 20 years before I had to have the second surgery of my right Bartholin gland cyst.  My gland finally got taken care of for good, but in the process, I ended up with a whole new problem:  PTSD.  It’s like taking your car to a crooked mechanic who fixes one thing and breaks another to make sure you’ll be back soon, especially if you are a girl, and even more especially if you are a cute girl.   

Once a Bartholin gland cyst gets really bad, it gets really bad.  You cannot even imagine so much pain in the part of your body that’s the most sensitive and intimate.  We went to the emergency room after speaking with representatives of our insurance company, the state employee group insurance program.  We also spoke with a representative of our insurance company’s preferred provider.  We asked them to send us to a hospital where we could have same-day surgery.  Instead, they sent us to the hospital with all the homeless people loitering around in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota.   

I was violated in the emergency room (ER) after they forced Michael to leave the room so I could be questioned about rape.  At the same time, the ER doctor shoved a speculum into my inflamed vagina, pressing the cold steel hard against the painful cyst on the right side.  Then he torqued the handles to open my vagina up wide.  I didn’t give him the satisfaction of screaming, even after he poked and prodded around in there just to make sure I understood exactly how much medical doctors hate philosophical doctors.   

Even though we requested same-day surgery, the ER doctor treated me like a drug-seeker.  He refused to prescribe me morphine, even though they would make me wait 10 days for the surgery.  Michael and I both thought the cyst was way larger than the ER doctor claimed it was.  Perhaps he did so in order to justify the wait while I had to take antibiotics to see if the cyst would go away.  I wonder if the doctors get paid a bonus based on how well the healthcare organization does financially? 

The ER doctor told me there was no such thing as morphine that was not tainted with acetaminophen.  I told him I discovered drugs at pharmaceutical companies and of course there were pills that were only morphine, without acetaminophen.  I cannot tolerate acetaminophen because it is very damaging to the liver.  But he refused to prescribe me morphine and would only prescribe morphine tainted with acetaminophen.   

During the 10-day waiting period, I quickly became so desperate that I took the prescribed morphine poisoned with acetaminophen.  Then I suffered from liver poisoning, with nausea and vomiting, for days afterwards on top of the already unbearable condition I was in.   

After 10 torturous days, Michael drove me to the hospital for my surgery.  He had to work.  I had to wait all day and then a different surgeon finally showed up because the one who was going to do my surgery was sick that day. 

Description of operation:

Patient was met preoperatively (for the first time).  Consent was signed.  She was taken to the OR where satisfactory anesthesia was established.  She was placed in dorsal lithotomy position using Allen stirrups ensuring proper positioning and cushioning.  A time out was performed. 

A 3-cm incision was made in the vaginal mucosa down to where the cyst was.  The cyst was incised and straw colored thick clear fluid was noted.  A culture was obtained.  The cyst was then irrigated with betadine and normal saline.  A small piece of the cyst wall was sutured to the vaginal mucosa with interrupted 4.0 vicryl.  Approximately 8 stitches were placed.  The site was noted to be hemostatic.  The procedure was then completed. 

There were no surgical or anesthetic complications. 

When I awoke from the surgery, I had difficulty talking because my lip and tongue were so swollen from being bit so hard during the surgery because it was so incredibly painful even under full anesthesia.  The surgeon did not even talk to me afterwards.  The nurse told me she had had a Bartholin gland cyst, too.  Michael took me home.   

During the follow up visit with the surgeon who was originally scheduled to perform the surgery but didn’t because she was sick that day, she shoved her finger deep and hard into my wound while saying to me that maybe I could at least refrain from having sex for the next two weeks.  Almost two years later now, it still hurts when I think about it.  She also emphasized nastily to me that it was two different cysts, not the same one for 20 years, although that is so rare, even by her own admission.  It seemed like she was bullying me because they were so afraid of a lawsuit about this case.  Now that’s hitting below the belt! 

From the perspective of a PhD, who trained even longer than MDs and worked more hours for less pay and no job security, it seems like what doctors really care about is their large incomes and any threats to them, like malpractice lawsuits.  They don’t really care about you so much.  If they do, then why don’t other medical care practitioners who have as much life-or-death decision-making responsibility get paid almost as much?  Or maybe it is the ability to perform emergency work under pressure, in which case it is not understandable that first responders get paid so little or are even volunteers, especially when they are putting their own lives at risk far more than virtually all doctors.   

When I was first diagnosed with PTSD not long after the surgery, no one believed it, least of all me.  I thought I was being insulted, as usual.  I was shamed and blamed.  I thought, see, I’m fine.  I started reading the literature to prove them wrong and eventually had to face up to the fact that I do have PTSD.  I was badly injured.  I needed help for the first time in my life.  That was perhaps the hardest part for me, especially since the only one who ultimately could or would help me, Michael, was the last person I wanted to be dependent on because he was a primary trigger of my PTSD! 

It has been rough, to say the least.  People with PTSD kill themselves every day because it is so unbearable.  I have stayed alive because I believe that consciousness survives physical death.  Death would, therefore, take away only the physical pain and not the mental anguish.  I decided that the way out is the way through.  It’s working!  I am just fine and can still enjoy sex just fine, too, thank you! 

I believe I am still alive because I love God above all, because Michael and I are doctors, because our love is true, and because of dancing.  I am also alive because medical marijuana is so helpful for PTSD as well as chronic pain, especially pain with underlying neuropathy, which I also suffer from after being hit by too many cars and drunk drivers.  I was t-boned one Christmas, I was hit by a speeding vehicle and knocked into the air while walking across the street in Basel, I was rear-ended by a drunk and drugged driver in Brooklyn Park and again by an antique driver in Denver, none of which was my fault!  I found chiropractors (even a specialist in PTSD), physical therapists and massage therapists who help immensely.  You can check my first blog post for more advice about how to survive PTSD.   

Mary is free of original sin because of immaculate conception but still must deal with all the same temptations of this evil world as everybody else.  I need a savior as much as anyone or even more. 

Thanks for reading my story.  May God bless you. 

3 cm incision crop

Ever wonder how real estate developers got so rich?

When I met my ex-husband, Michael, in Indiana, we both had a house.  Mine was half burned down, poorly patched up, and cleverly covered up, it turned out.  It took four PhDs, including a rocket scientist, plus a dentist and his old, left-over steel I-beam to fix that one.  It was like a crash course in home inspections and home ownership and homeowner’s insurance.  I find that men who are handy and do real work are hot, and I love to work with them.

DSC02769

Why not just rent?  Because I had pet dogs until recently.  In retrospect, I am a long-term sufferer of PTSD even if I wasn’t diagnosed until it got so bad that I finally had a nervous breakdown.  Now there are lots of service dogs that are recognized as such.  In the past, it was much harder for me to keep dogs.  Nevertheless, I loved them all dearly and they helped me as I helped them. 

Over the more than 20 years we shared, Michael and I owned and worked on five houses together.  We also shared five different apartments in five different cities in two different countries.  I had to borrow the down payment from my father for the last house we bought in St. Paul when I moved there from Rochester.  I’m so grateful that I could pay him back before he died.  Michael was still working in Rochester and living in the house we had bought there.  Eventually, he found a job in the twin cities and we sold the house in Rochester at a significant loss. 

I will never forget the first day of my new job in the twin cities.  My new boss asked me where I was living.  When I told him where I had bought my house, he said I should not have done that because I may not be able to do the job to his specifications, in which case I would be fired.  In fact, he seemed quite sure that I would not measure up as there were several examples of others who hadn’t.  He thought I might lose the house if the job didn’t work out.  I told him that surely that job was not the only job in the whole twin cities area!

As my gift of writing became apparent, things only got worse for me.  Perhaps it was jealousy that attacked me.  It’s not that the greed and exploitation weren’t sufficient, but that jealousy seems a more accurate description as it is a form of hate.  I worked until I was hospitalized for the second time before I managed to quit. 

DSC02780

We bought the house after the old, sick guy died there after his wife died there before him.  The old man could not take care of his yard as evidenced by the overgrown trees, bushes, and weeds we spent years rehabilitating.  Indeed, the house was barely visible from the road it was so covered up with overgrown bushes full of mold and bird shit that were planted way too close to the foundation of the house.  Then there was the rotten awning and an enormous, rotting Russian olive tree threatening the whole structure.  That the old man had not make it downstairs for some time was obvious by the rodent infestation and dog stains.  Apparently, he wasn’t good about letting the dog out the back door anymore either.  The packets of artificial sweetener I found stuck behind the built-in revolving spice rack really solidified the realization that PhD-level scientists were now living in houses ruined by blue collar workers who assembled motor vehicles at the Ford plant beginning in 1925. 

DSC02701

They kept a shed adjacent to the house full of feed for geese.  It was a dream come true for rodents even long after the feeding of the geese finally ceased.   Still, we had already looked at 21 houses, and this was the best one by far.  We had to bid against two other couples for the right to buy the place at the peak of the housing market, but like I mentioned, we had already visited 21 houses that weren’t even worth working on. 

It truly is remarkable how many messages we leave behind, even unwittingly, for the astute observer. 

Villager

Another legacy of the Boomers is to sell condemned properties to anyone who can afford to tear down the old houses and build huge new houses covering the whole lot that are supposedly worth more money.  Sadly, to increase profits, some builders build new houses on rotten old foundations.  This means that the “new” house is already infested with the rot from the old house, including infectious agents like molds and bacteria that grow and spread all the time.  Nobody should have to live in such unhealthy conditions, especially not children.

Michael and I spent more than 10 years and tens of thousands of dollars renovating our property inside and out into a much healthier sanctuary.  We got used to the trains hauling the newly assembled Ford Rangers out of the neighboring plant via the railroad spur behind our backyard.  We endured severe and relentless increases in property taxes and huge levies for the school systems for things like one-time purchases of iPads for every student that year only. 

DSC02785

When the Ford plant finally ceased its operations in 2011, enormous industrial buildings were torn down and jack-hammering of concrete foundations and pads and parking lots pounded my head and triggered my PTSD all day long for years towards that inevitable nervous breakdown I suffered around the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016.  Cleanup of the toxic waste that caused this Superfund site is still going on, yet has only scratched the surface. 

DSC02672

After all, Ford has been contaminating this site and the Mississippi River with toxic waste (like car paint) for 86 years!  They even housed a dump site, a landfill, next to the Mississippi River and stretching from Hidden Falls to the dam.  This is all not so far from the mouth of the mighty river, especially from the perspective of someone in Arkansas, for example. 

DSC02754

As many as 1800 auto workers were employed by the Ford Motor Co. manufacturing plant sitting on the bluff alongside the Mississippi River.

No one should have to live there.  What are the risks, especially for children and those who want to have children?  Cancers and tumors?  Autoimmune diseases like MS?  Deformities?  Executive function disorders?  Learning disabilities?  Thyroid disorders?

DSC02750

They are still hauling out toxic dirt by the truckload from the site.  Plus, there are buried drums of toxic waste.  How can they not be rusting out and leaching into the river by now?  Wasn’t that the plan all along – to get rich by exploiting natural resources, making a toxic mess, taking all the profits, and leaving the mess for others to bear the consequences of?

DSC02686

The problem is that these sorts of business practices have inevitably led to the principle of mutually-assured destruction, or MAD, or the Apocalypse.

DSC02733

Instead of finally cleaning up the mess and the precious river as best as it can be, the plan is to levy additional property taxes on current residents to provide $275 million in corporate subsidies to private developers to build 10-story high-rise buildings along the Mississippi River. 

DSC02741

The existing infrastructure cannot even support the current traffic load, let alone up to 10,000 new people on less than 135 acres, not even 0.2 square miles!  Ridiculous! 

DSC02716

The footings of the bridge over the river and into the neighborhood are getting washed out!

DSC02702

The city just wants to increase its property tax base without providing the necessary infrastructure! 

DSC02706

Ford is going to put a restriction on the sale of the land so it can’t be single-family homes, according to City Council member Chris Tolbert.  Why?  So people can’t dig there?

Tolbert crop

Nine percent green space is the maximum the city can require, also according to Tolbert.

I declare, by eminent domain, a transfer of this land from poor stewards to good stewards.  The river and the land should be cleaned up by the responsible parties. 

The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever (Psalms 37:29). 

DSC02736

CenturyLink Cancelled

Unbridled greed spurs societal collapse.

Most Faithful Readers,

The CenturyLink trilogy ends here (see part one, CenturyLink Triggers My PTSD, and part two, CenturyLink is Damned, posted earlier in this blog). 

I received this bill and that is when I knew:

CenturyLink, I don’t need you!

centurylink296dollarbillp1_edit

centurylink296dollarbillp3_edit

centurylink296dollarbillp4_edit

And here’s what else is true:

They sold me a modem, they charged me an installation fee, and my monthly charge went from $59.00/month to $79.00/month (minus the sweetheart deal of $10 off/month for 12 months for being a loyal customer) when all I asked for was (1) the first name on the account to be changed from Gunda to Marie and (2) the sweetheart deal they promised.  How can you give a Loyal Customer Credit on an allegedly new account? They even charged $5.00 for the name change.  This now $296.09 bill is in addition to the previous bill of $219.08 I paid just 16 days before, which equals $515.17!

I used my comcast.net email to email CenturyLink and let them know that they charged me $219.08 to cancel a service I never ordered.  Further, I cancelled within the first 30 days, in accordance with their cancellation policy.  I received a response on March 16, 2017, stating that my account has been credited in full.  However, I have not received even a single penny back from CenturyLink as of April 3, 2017. 

I cancelled all of CenturyLink’s services to my address, both by email and phone call, and within the 30-day guarantee period.  They promised to send me a mailing label to return the modem they sold me without my consent, but I have yet to receive anything but bills from CenturyLink.  [Note added later in the day on April 3, 2017:  I finally received the return packet for the CenturyLink High-Speed Internet equipment.  Now I have to mail the equipment back and hope I get my $99.99 back someday for that.]  [Note added on April 22, 2017:  I received a check from CenturyLink for $219.08 in an envelope postmarked April 11, 2017.  I tracked the receipt of the modem, which was successfully delivered on April 6, 2017.  I am still waiting for the refund for the modem and additional unused services.]  [Note added May 11, 2017:  I received a check for $47.03 from CenturyLink, dated April 17, 2017, in an envelope that was postmarked May 2, 2017.  This is a credit for account # 303 936-  647, but I have no idea which part of the erroneous $296.09 bill this is a reimbursement for.  An 800 number is listed on the check stub for any questions.]

Monopolies are forbidden because absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I am publishing this story online by tethering my computer to my T-Mobile cell phone service.  So cool!  And as you can read, it works, too!

I love you!

DSC00222

CenturyLink is Damned

For part one of this story, see the previous blog post entitled “CenturyLink Triggers My PTSD” on this website.

Most Spiritual Readers,

I promised to do my best to keep you updated on new developments of the previous story “CenturyLink Triggers My PTSD,” and do I have news for you!

When my sister got a new job and moved to another city, I asked CenturyLink to put the bill in my name.  Instead, CenturyLink chose to violate me multiple times.  They opened a new account for me but did not close the old one.  Then, service was upgraded from copper wire to fiber-optic because copper has become so expensive.  The new service was connected to the new account.  Meanwhile, the old technology was disconnected, but the billing was not.  I was double billed and over-charged, and when I asked for the new account that I never authorized to be closed, my internet service was cutoff.

I talked to four people on the phone to get a technician out to the house to re-connect my internet service and try to straighten out this mess.  Apparently, though, the consumer is to bear the cost of upgrading the technology against their will or need in a futile attempt to satisfy malicious narcissism and rapacious greed.  In reality, the technology should be getting cheaper over time.

CenturyLink now sent me a bill for $219.08 for early cancellation of a service I never ordered or authorized or even wanted.

early cancel fee p1 edit

early cancel fee p2 edit

Even worse, CenturyLink set up a third account for which I have no idea what the terms or conditions are because I never asked for it or authorized it or ordered it or wanted it or anything.

third acct crop.jpg

This seems criminal because I called 866.450.6152 to cancel within the first 30 days as detailed in the cancellation policy below and my previous blog post entitled “CenturyLink Triggers My PTSD” on this website:

30dayguarantee p1.JPG

30dayguarantee p2

P1010192 blurred light.JPG

 

CenturyLink Triggers My PTSD

And here’s how…

Dear Believers,

You are the future.  You are the leaders.  Keep the faith.  I love you!

As you know from my previous blog stories, I got divorced last year and was living with my sister.  I am so proud of her because she finished her master’s degree and got a job as a special education teacher in another city.  I have been paying the internet bill since last August.  When my sister changed her address, I had to change the internet bill into my name so it would not get forwarded to her new address with all the rest of her mail.  Luckily, I got this nice letter from our internet provider:

loyal-customers-redacted

As you can see from my handwritten notes on the letter above, I first spoke with Greg when I called 855.320.0472 as the letter says to do.  I asked Greg to simply change the first name on our account from “Gunda,” my sister, to “Marie,” myself, since my sister had to move to another city and, therefore, had to fill out the change of address form with the United States post office.  I wanted to make sure I would continue to receive the bill so that I could continue paying it.  Unfortunately, Greg could not change the name on our account, so he transferred me to Chris in customer service and I had to tell my story all over again.  Unlike Greg, though, Chris assured me that our account would be switched to my name, that there was no term agreement or commitment, that I would not be charged a deposit, and that I would receive the sweetheart deal detailed in the letter above.  Chris seemed so very nice over the phone, and I thanked him sincerely for the great service I had been receiving that I was happy with.

I did not share this with Chris, but I will let you know that I do think that $50 a month is plenty to pay for internet service.  In fact, since the internet was dependent on public funding, it should be available to every citizen, just like healthcare and education.  But I am not like a Jehovah’s Witness who goes around trying to force their beliefs on others.  I feel no need to, and I think it is wrong to knock on doors on Saturday morning, especially to tell people that gay is not okay.  That is all wrong, and that is another story.

Imagine my surprise when, a few days after calling CenturyLink, a couple of CenturyLink contractors were banging on my door, upset that I was not expecting them, and insisting they were there to fulfill an order.  I have PTSD and the whole incident scared and upset me a lot.  I told them I did not order anything and did not know anything about it and did not need anything because my service was working fine.  They called CenturyLink and we told them the same thing over the phone.  Finally, the contractors said they would leave but that I should not be surprised if an actual CenturyLink employee showed up.  That was nice of them to give me the heads up.  They seemed to recognize how upsetting it all was for me.

Sure enough, it was not that long before the CenturyLink man himself was knocking on my door.  As fate would have it, he was a very fine example of a very appealing phenotype to me:  tall, not white, not too old or too young, very sharp, a soothing temperament of one who at least understands even if his hands are tied, very physically fit and very handsome, at least to me.  His whole presence stunned me so that I had to focus on his wedding ring and the 10 commandments of our Lord, particularly the one forbidding adultery.  He said my service had to be upgraded to the latest, greatest technology, even though I assured him it really was not necessary since everything was working so well.  Also, I was looking to pay less, not more.  He didn’t really know anything about billing and such, he said.  He was just trying to follow his orders.  And why should I obstruct him?  He gave me no reason whatsoever.  On the contrary, I liked him.  My service was virtually uninterrupted the whole time he worked.  When he was finished, I connected to the Wi-Fi without a problem.

Then I got a letter entitled “Your Order Confirmation”:

order-confirmation-redacted

On February 8, 2017, I called Customer Service at 1-866-450-6152, as it says to do in the letter.  I did not order any of these services; I just asked for the first name on account # 303 936- 647 to be changed from Gunda to Marie.  I spoke with Elizabeth.  I told her the whole story you just read.  She transferred me to William and I had to start all over and tell him the whole story you just read again because he did not even know who Elizabeth was.  I guess William could not help me either because he transferred me to Sandra in Financial Services.  I told the whole story for the third time to Sandra, who said she could help me if I wanted to pay my bill.  I tried to explain to her that my bill was incorrect.  You see, my previous bill looked like this:

old-bill-p1-crop

Why were they now charging me $74 plus a $9.99 modem lease fee for the same service I was paying a total amount of $62.99 for?  Even with the mysterious one year discount of $34.05, the new bill for $66.82 was more than the $62.99 that I had been paying:

first-bill-crop

Look, they even changed the account number from 303 936- 647 to 303 922-9 75.  Sandra transferred me to Ivory, and I told the whole story for the fourth time.  By now my PTSD was triggered pretty badly once again by CenturyLink.  Thankfully, Ivory was the best customer service representative by far.  She made the corrections I requested and gave me a new balance due amount, but she was unable to issue me a new bill for my account # 303 922-9 75.  Why not?  The bill was not due until February 18, 2017.

Then, believe it or not, I received another bill for account # 303 936- 647.  Now CenturyLink is sending two different bills under two different account numbers to the same address for the same service.

double billed p1 crop.jpg

Receiving this bill in the mail on Saturday evening triggered my PTSD and upset me so badly that I had to call my ex-husband and have him talk to me over the phone and help me make it through the night.  Neither one of us slept that night.  I could not stop crying once the mental trigger released a cascade of signals throughout my body that could not be turned off.  I sweated until my whole bed was soaking wet.  I cried a river of tears.  I probably said terrible things that I do not really mean to my ex-husband, and for sure he was upset too, and we prayed and prayed and prayed.  I could not sleep.  I felt like my livelihood and ability to work were once again being cruelly, greedily, and unjustly threatened.  All my muscles tightened up and every one of the myriad injuries I have sustained screamed in pain.  I felt oppressed and frustrated and violated and fucked with.  At times, I could not even walk.  PTSD is a nervous breakdown, an injury from too much stress and trauma.  It is extremely painful when triggered.

This is what PTSD looks like:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

During the worst of it, it is not certain whether or not I will make it.  PTSD sufferers kill themselves every single day.  During the worst of it, I just want it to stop.

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.  (Luke 23:34 KJV)

We made it through once again.  In fact, I am getting much better all the time.  All the hard work and faith and love are paying off.

I was pretty unsuccessful at getting any customer service on the weekend, so I sent two emails to CenturyLink through their website.  I have received no record of either of my emails so far, let alone any response or indication they have been received or anything so far except the boilerplate message that appears after you hit the send button assuring you that CenturyLink will get back to you in a few business days.  In the first email, I asked that account # 303 922-9 75 be closed, since those services were never requested nor authorized by me.  In the second email, I once again asked for the first name only on account # 303 936- 647 to be changed to Marie as was agreed on January 23, 2017.  If they cannot apologize to me and make it up to me and fix their errors of over-charging and double-billing me, then I asked that their service to my address be cancelled.

I will keep you informed as best I can, my beloved readers.  There may be some upcoming interruptions in my internet connectivity, but you know how ingenious and tenacious I am, so keep the faith!  The Lord always lights the way for us…

Crazy ≠ Dumb

Cherished Readers,

I love you so much and I am always thinking about you, even when I am busy, which is always.  You motivate and inspire me and keep me going.  I hope I can make you happy.

I had planned something different for this time.  I have incredible stories to tell you that show how the “Instructions for Helping to Improve the Human Condition” really work.  But as fate would have it, I was rear-ended on the day that would have been my 21st wedding anniversary.  Instead of flowers or dinner or chocolate or even companionship, I got smacked in the ass by a huge pick-up truck and, when I got home, there was a notice in the mail that my divorce, or dissolution as some refer to it apparently, is final.  Wow, what a challenging day, especially for someone with PTSD.

The good news about getting divorced is that it gives you a chance to change your name.  So now my name is officially Marie Dagmar Kube, instead of Dagmar Marie Kube.  This will change my life.  No more:

“What is your name?”

“My name is Dagmar.”

“What?!”  “Huh?!”  “Where did you get a name like that?”  “What kind of a name is that?”  “What does that mean?”

or

“Mr. Dagmar Kube”

“Oh, I thought you were a man.”

“Dagman?”

or even

“Fagmar!”

Go ahead and go through the alphabet putting almost any letter in place of the “d” in “Dagmar” and see what you get; everybody does it.

I have now been hit by cars four times.  Twice I have been hit by drunk drivers, once while I was driving and once while I was a passenger.  Another time I was hit by a car while crossing the street.  And now a good smack on the hitch, which is better for the vehicle but worse for me.  Did you see how broken my back is in my picture on the homepage of this website, or were you too busy just looking at my ass?  If so, then wake up, please!

Of course I just bought this car after having saved up for it ever since I paid off my last car, a 2003 Nissan Sentra Spec V that my ex still drives.  Luckily I bought a Subaru Outback that stands up well to crashes, and luckily the guy who hit me was a very nice gentleman.  His insurance company, on the other hand, was not so nice at all.  The way that company has treated me, it is apparent that it does not realize that I am the temple of God.

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”   (1 Corinthians 3:16 KJV)

The imagery of your inner light described in blog post “Pierce the Veil” on this website fits well with the above verse.  You are so special that you are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you, don’t you know?  You are to be cherished, not taken advantage of.  And that is why I worry about you and I am writing this post to warn you against potential mistreatment in this evil world, even if you are not at fault.

In case anyone gets offended, know that I forgive you and I love you anyway.  And please see the blog post entitled, “Pierce the Veil” on this website about repentance and remittance.

Maybe it is just me because I am crazy, but if you ever get rear-ended, through no fault of your own, and then receive a letter like this from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, then I would say get a lawyer or, if you are unemployed like me, be a lawyer.  These days, though, in the United States of America, you will need to hire a lawyer to force the insurance company to pay for damage done, even if it is not your fault.  The insurance companies have resorted to every trick in the book to avoid paying claims, apparently.  You uphold your end of the bargain, in fact you are forced to pay for car insurance by law, but the insurance companies renege.

Medical-Authorization-p1-web

Medical-Authorization-p2-web.gif

I want what the Lord wants, and I just cannot believe that the Lord wants me or any one of us to be treated this way, namely guilty until proven innocent.  How did things get so turned around?

Please do not sign anything like this.  And please do not sign anything you have not read and understood and agreed with.  I personally cross things out that I disagree with and refuse to sign things I disagree with whenever possible.  Also, I never give out my social security number, especially not to any company as adversarial as this!  And can you believe this document asks you to waive laws, regulations, and rules of ethics?  How can that be legal?

What in the world could a psychiatric and psychological report and information have to do with me being rear-ended?  It was not my fault!  How is this not discrimination and bullying?  And just because somebody hits me, an adversarial insurance company should get access to ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING MY PHYSICAL, MEDICAL, MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, OR PSYCHIATRIC HISTORY, CONDITION, OR TREATMENT?  That is draconian.

I have been asked several different times now to describe the accident in detail.  I always say “no way.”  Right after the accident, the at-fault driver and I pulled over.  Now who are you going to call, ghost busters?  You bet!  See the “Instructions for Helping to Improve the Human Condition.”

I called my insurance company.  Both the at-fault driver and I spoke to my insurance company together to report the accident until there were no more questions.  Forever after I refer to that singular report.  Generation of any additional report(s) is not necessary and will probably result in some discrepancies between different reports that can be used against you.  Further, it seems to me that details can be less accurate the more time passes after the accident, so I stick with that initial report.

Luckily my sister, Gunda (sounds feminine at least), assured me that the damage to my brand new car is hardly noticeable.  Even better, she took me out for a mezcalrita, which did the trick to console me.  That is what sisters are for!  I love you!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

la flaca y la gordita, the superstar

First blog post

PTSD PhD Marie

(see last part of this article for discussion of what can help with PTSD)

Which of the following is true about the woman pictured on the homepage of this website?

(a) this woman has PTSD

(b) this woman is 49 years old

(c) this woman has a Ph.D. degree in microbiology and immunology

(d) this woman has been unemployed for 6 years

(e) all of the above

Is it true that I have post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD?  No one would believe it anyway.  Even if I got the best scientists and doctors in the world to “prove” that I have PTSD with a mountain of data sure to roll your eyes all the way back into their sockets, no one will believe me.  After all, people can deny climate change even though they are experiencing it themselves, even though 99% of climate scientists agree and have offered up all the best data that funding will allow and then some, and even though the predictions that climate scientists have been making over the past decades are proving true!  Check your recent history if you are surprised by the previous statements.  If you are offended, I am sorry, I pray for you, and I understand if you cannot bear to read any further.  For those who are ready, though, have I got some stories for you…

I have to warn you that even if people did think I might have PTSD, they would not feel sorry for me.  Am I that horrible?  Some would say that I am the most generous person they have ever met.  Others would say I am a member of the evil German race.  Another might say they have a hard time loving another after loving me.  One says I am the best scientist in the whole world while someone else claims that women cannot do math and should be chained to the kitchen.

Apparently women blame other women for their men’s transgressions rather than placing the blame where it rightfully belongs.  If I claimed to be raped, most everyone would agree I had it coming.  Yet much as women hate me, if they see me being tortured (e.g., undergoing spinal decompression therapy, which is totally worth it), I hear them ask the doctor what they have to do to get what I am having.  If it sounds crazy to you, then how come I am the one labeled with a “mental disorder”?

I did not fully understand these facts of life until recently, most probably because I was raised to have no sense of self-worth.  Sadly, my life experiences have only reinforced my feelings of worthlessness and powerlessness.  Yes, I am 49 years old now and incredibly misunderstood, even by myself.  Abuse, neglect, bullying, jealousy (a form of hate), violation, oppression, denial, invalidation and other negative emotions constitute the vast majority of my overall experience with other people.  At this point I cannot trust anyone.  Everyone says that all the time, but for how many people is it actually, literally true?  Unimaginable, I know, even for me, and even as I am experiencing it.  Rebuilding trust with everyone or anyone seems daunting to me, yet I believe I can achieve it.  In particular, I think group lessons for partner dancing are very helpful where one learns to dance with many different partners (see more below about what can help for PTSD).

To make matters even worse, I believe I may be the smartest person in the whole world.  At least I can say I have not met anyone smarter yet, and I have met a lot of smart people.  I have traveled all over the world searching for them.  I can assure you there are smart everywhere.  So far I am the smartest, however, because I am closest to the Lord.  It is through the Lord and service to the Lord, and putting the Lord above all else that one can gain intelligence and wisdom.  Faith, or intelligence, comes through charity, or serving the Lord by serving others and loving thy neighbor as thyself.

The bad news about being the smartest person is that no one can help me.  This means I must figure out how to help myself.  Also, knowing the things that I know may make me simultaneously the most dangerous and the most endangered person on the planet.  It truly is a miracle that I am writing this story.  Sharing just parts of my life has converted atheists, without my intention or even realization until much later.  And to think that there are people who do not even believe in miracles.  If there is one thing everyone agrees on, though, it is that everyone seems to want me dead.  (Of course there are always exceptions, and they are often extraordinary, stunning, to live for.)  I certainly do not deserve all of this hate.  I believe my life has been a tragedy because the Lord wants me to learn the hardest lessons to share with you.

Even though I am a Ph.D. scientist, I attribute most of my most important wisdom to the fact that I am a whore.  This was done to me from 15 years of age.  Nevertheless, I love men.  Without men, I would have been dead a long time ago.  Men have given me love, even if it was not the right love.  Men have given me money and employment.  And men are the ones who have provided my food and shelter and most of my education. So I love men, a lot.  I admit it.  And I have loved a lot of men.  I have also been abused in every way by men.  But I love them anyway.  Call it what you will, but I call it love.

So where does the truth lie?  Well this much I know: people believe what they want to believe.  Is that what is meant by free will?

In my crazy mind, I have PTSD because this world is evil and I cannot dehumanize or depersonalize my enemy.  In particular, I believe I have PTSD because not enough people are following the ten commandments of our Lord.  I know I have violated each and every one myself.  Do you know the 10 most important things?

1) I am the Lord your God.  You shall have no other gods before me.

There is one God.  The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one thing, not three things.  Why must this be so?  Because the minute you have at least two people, you have politics, and the same must be true for gods.  If we have gods battling it out over politics, then what do we need them for when we already have congresses full of lawmakers?

If you believe in more than one God, it is a slippery slope leading to everyone being a god.  Why not?  If he or she is a god, then why can’t I be one, too?  Indeed, there is such a thing as a debate among scientists over the existence of God.  Incredibly, most scientists have no need for a god since they have so much pride in their own intelligence, just like satan.  Personally, the more I have learned, the more I have realized how much I do not know, and the closer to the Lord I have come.  From a strictly scientific point of view, the existence of God has not been proven or disproven.  Therefore, it seems quite foolish not to believe in God, at least until or unless the existence of God is disproven (please do not hold your breath).

Top scientists say you cannot be a scientist if you believe in God.  The truth is that you cannot be a scientist at all if you do not believe in God, because truths can only come from our Lord.  And only truth that is united with good is good.

When people play god, atrocities happen from the top down in this evil world.  For example, a very personal example, overproduction of Ph.D. level scientists thanks to greed and exploitation of human resources.  They lied.  They said there was a huge need for molecular biologists.  Now they say molecular biologists are a dime a dozen.  They said scientists who earned a Ph.D. degree would be prioritized over those with less education when push came to shove.  Now they say we are over-qualified.  I have been forsaken by the job market for over 6 years now.  It is high time to take matters into my own hands.

2) You shall make no graven images.

We are spiritual beings living in a physical body in the physical world.  Yes, the physical world as opposed to the spiritual world.  What?  You don’t believe in things you cannot see?  If that is true, then you are certainly not a microbiologist, have never even had a course in microbiology, you poor thing, and you have little imagination that could benefit greatly from some insight into my crazy mind.

It is best to prepare for death, since there is something afterwards, namely our uninterrupted consciousness.  When we die, we leave our physical bodies and, hopefully, continue our soul’s journey under the love and guidance of our Lord.

So knowing that we are spiritual beings, if you have some definite image of our Lord in mind, then you might miss Her the next time She incarnates in this evil world!

3) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

Respect your Creator always; never disrespect your Creator.  It just seems like common sense.  In other words, do not bite the hand that feeds you.  Recognize and look to the Lord, rather than yourself, as the source of intelligence and wisdom.  Then things here on earth will be more as they are in heaven.

4) Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

Everyone is working too much and not getting enough time off.  This is a very unhealthy lifestyle that causes too much stress which in turn leads to or worsens many health conditions.  For example, too much stress is a contributor to PTSD.  After all, PTSD is a trauma and stressor related disorder (not an anxiety disorder as was previously claimed).

A lifestyle comprised only of work, with no spirituality, no time to raise kids or relax or take care of yourself or spend the whole day making love, has proven itself unhealthy, unaffordable, and unsustainable.  Most importantly, though, it is not sexy or fun.

5) Honor your mother and your father.

How are you supposed to honor your parents when they are not being parents?  Most are too busy working to play board games or read stories, let alone cook dinner.  Our society is too greedy and too materialistic to allow parents to spend enough quality time with their children.  Parents can also be selfish in wanting their children to be somebody different from who they actually are.  No matter what, though, the commandments must be followed because your parents are your parents for a reason.  You may not understand the reason or you may not understand it until later, but that does not change the fact that there is a reason.  Hopefully your parents are wonderful and honoring them is a pleasure.  If not, then it may be necessary to remove yourself from an abusive, negative, or harmful situation.  Even in the worst case scenarios, however, it is important not to give up on anyone in the longer term if possible.

6) You shall not kill.

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (1 John 3:16 KJV).

After completing my Ph.D. degree, the next step was to start a long career as an indentured servant, also known as postdoctoral researcher.  I went to a lab in an ivy league school because that was where my Ph.D. advisor wanted me to go.  And it seemed like a good idea to go to such a renowned institution given that you really had to get lucky and make it big to make it at all.

But the science there was unlike any I had seen before.  Rather than the expected 1% success rate, this lab was confirming the boss’ hypotheses at a near perfect rate.  Could it have to do with his habit of sauntering down the aisle of his enormous, open laboratory early in the morning reminding us that all 35 of us were competing for the same one position that could be expected to be available by the time someone managed to do just the right experiments to get breakthrough results?  Did he think he was motivating us?

I was so suspicious and disturbed by the anomalies in the proceedings of this laboratory that I made an appointment to meet with the boss in person to discuss my concerns.  He asked whether I felt that he was being bamboozled by his own researchers.  I had to confess that yes, his understanding was perfectly correct.  Nevertheless, he rejected my warnings, and I rejected him for fear of sharing the inevitable blood on my hands.

I went crying back to my Ph.D. advisor with an even more feverish plea to stop this megalomaniac before he inevitably kills someone.  Much to my shock and horror, he replied calmly that he would lock me up in an insane asylum himself if only he could.  If someone were going to die from gene therapy, he contended, it would have already happened.  Well I could not stay with him.

I ended up fleeing, or being exiled depending on your point of view, with my lover to Europe.  But that is entirely another story.  Anyway, about a year and a half later, I remember sitting in my laboratory one morning overlooking 500-year-old or even older church steeples and opening my email.  Even though I had known that it was inevitable, still the news of the actual event from one of my thesis advisors was shocking and devastating.

An 18-year-old boy died in a human gene therapy experiment.  The experiment was the cause of his death.  Otherwise, he was expected to live a life, although not in perfect health.  Is this an example of human sacrifice for the sake of progress in science, or reckless homicide by a man with a god complex?

As I already mentioned above, I believe people believe what they want to believe.  I also believe that those who ask the right questions can be oppressed and punished.  If no one speaks up, then things like rape do not exist.

7) You shall not commit adultery.

At the root of adultery is insecurity.  Insecurity, in turn, can result from so many different things as well as combinations of things such as ego, pride, envy, hate, anger, frustration, vengeance, fear, and anxiety.  A need for power to control and dominate seems to be inextricably linked as well.  Bearing the brunt of all these negative and destructive emotions is what rape feels like.  These problems are also responsible for most of this cutthroat economy that we have suffered for too long and that is fundamentally unsustainable.

You should also know that the most intelligent people have the fiercest sex drives.  Freaky, yes, but true nevertheless.

It is difficult for insecure people to be good lovers, at least in the longer term.  If a man cannot satisfy a woman, then she must be a whore.  Further, men are hooked on penis size as the all-important characteristic.  This must be a scapegoat for lack of technique in lovemaking, for any experienced woman knows that that is as far as the importance of size goes.

Size is something inherent that really cannot be changed.  So blame it on that.  Or blame it on the rain, or anything other than the true culprit.  Because we cannot take responsibility.  We cannot even consider the culprit could be ourselves.  It is so unthinkable that it is sure to be the last place an answer will be sought.  And rightfully so since the answer may not be easy to swallow, at least not immediately.  Yet let me assure you would be lovers that it is so worth your while you could not even imagine.  You really have to be there.

The answer lies in developing technique, patience, even servitude of your lover.  With an unselfish lover, this can be the best ever, trust me.  In this day and age there are books and websites to read, sex therapists to consult, movies to watch, and lovers to love, so no excuses.

8) You shall not steal.

That is correct: the 1% shall not steal 99% from the 99%.  In particular, natural resources (like water, oil, gas, coal, black dirt, land, food) do not belong to anyone; natural resources belong to everyone.  Marijuana and all natural products are not for anyone to regulate; marijuana and all natural products are gifts from God for all of us.

9) You shall not lie.

About genetic engineering, climate change, food and drug safety, marijuana, shortages of natural resources, antibiotic resistance, overpopulation…

I confess that I lied about my age to serve alcohol when I was 20 years old.  I was driven out of the house and on my own from 18 years old, and I was having a hard time surviving while trying also to earn a chemistry degree.

10) You shall not covet.

To covet is to have a blameworthy desire for the possessions or qualities of another.  Coveting involves feelings of discontent and resentment towards the possessions or qualities of another that feels like hatred, or racism.

Coveting by greedy and materialistic narcissists leads to exploitation the likes of which has destroyed me and will destroy us all.  The epitome of coveting can lead to the most intimate betrayal, but that is another story.

If we are really honest with ourselves, then I believe we are all guilty of coveting.  I admit that I covet happy, loving relationships.

So, the best answer to the question at the beginning of this story is “e, all of the above.”

What can be done to help PTSD?

See “Instructions for Helping to Improve the Human Condition” on this website.

I think there is a lot of information (as well as misinformation) about PTSD out there.  Wikipedia has a pretty extensive summary of the current state of research and understanding.  Clearly, it is a new frontier and there is so much understanding to gain, all the way down to the molecular level.  This will require time and resources, making it even more critical to discuss things that can help with PTSD in the meantime:

Appeal to all senses in a very positive, loving, validating, non-judgmental manner.  Below are some examples borne out of my own experience.  The list is certainly not exhaustive!  And I am not saying all of the below will work for you personally, especially if you are a guy and I am a girl.  I am just giving examples in case something could work for you and to inspire you and yours to find examples that suit your personality, needs, and style.

Tasting –healthy foods, whole foods not processed foods, foods free of chemicals, additives, and preservatives, delicious and nutritious foods, marijuana, herbal extracts, organic, natural, and local, mezcal in moderation if you can handle it.

Feeling – massage, pedicure (I have seen men there, too, just can do without that clear coat honestly but up to you and yours), love, safe, hot bath, sauna, spa, knitted socks, relaxed, high on marijuana, attention of friends and loved ones.

Smelling – essential oils, fresh air, delicious food, cute puppies, candles, flowers and buds.

Seeing – flowers and buds, friends, and beautiful sights which for me is all about nature and being close to God.

Hearing – music, words of encouragement, forgiveness, apologies, friendship, validation, appreciation, good news, gratefulness, praise.

Doing – hobbies, moderate exercise every day, taking care of yourself, resting, relaxing, dancing, yoga, meditation, building trust, believing you can get better, believing in your will to live and inner strength, knowing there is nothing you can do to make the Lord stop loving you, knowing the Lord is there waiting for you to turn to, entertainment, vacation, having something to look forward to, daring to dream in spite of the nightmares and knowing that everything is going to be okay, and of course writing…