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life!

Posted on 2008.03.21 at 12:10
My Mood: contentcontent
travling all over for the new sales rep job, and chris and i's relationship going good. finally got my health insurance, dr's appt next wed. :( ugh!

snaps!!

Fundamental Philosophical Issues

Posted on 2007.11.20 at 13:34
My Mood: amusedamused
Fundamental Philosophical Issues


Lecture Outline

I. Introduction
II. Mind-Body relationship
III.Determinism vs indeterminism
IV. Value-free science
V. Mental health and morality
VI. Autonomy vs conformity
VII.Conclusions

-------------------------------------------

I. Introduction:
Adherents to the different theoretical orientations take sides on
numerous philosophical issues concerning the nature of humanity. These
issues lie at the heart of some theoretical controversies and the
conflicts between professionals. These controversies and conflicts
reflect implicit, unexamined, gut-felt metaphysical beliefs, in addition
to scientific knowledge. To understand the various theoretical
paradigms and why there are different paradigms, we must understand
these beliefs. As we progress in this course, these issues will arise
again and again in our discussions. By way of introduction, we will
make them explicit now. (This discussion is based in part on Weckowicz,
1984)

II. Mind - Body Relationship

A. Overview: Philosophy of Mind

Numerous positions have historically been held and perhaps
just as many positions are currently held, regarding the
relationship of the mind to the body. These include dualism,
materialism, identity theory, and others (Churchland, 1984).

1. Dualism (eg: Descartes): The mental and the physical are
two distinct realities, composed of fundamentally different
"stuffs" - irreducibility. The real you is not your
physical/material body, but a nonspatial, ghostly, perhaps
spiritual thinking substance: "mind stuff" (Churchland, 1984).
(Descartes: "I think, therefore I am"). This does not
necessarily mean that the physical world and the mental world
do not interact. But it does commit you to the position that
the mental can not be explained or understood by reference to
the physical. This position is certainly consistent with
various religious beliefs regarding the existence of a soul.
There is no way to understand the soul by looking at nerve
cells and the organs of the body. Cells and organs are
something utterly different from a soul - as such, they
certainly can't explain how the soul works or even what a soul
is.

2. Materialism (eg: Paul and Pat Churchland): In contrast to
dualism, this approach states that there is only one reality:
the physical. No matter how much we believe there is a soul
or an otherwise nonphysical-something-about-us, there is not.
This position sees the only reality as that of the nerve cell,
the organ, and other physical (ie: "material") things. There
are variations on this idea (eg: Classical (Skinnerian)
behaviorism, where all that is actually real is the
observable/physical behaviors of an organism); but they all
argue that there is no purely mental, mystical or spiritual
reality existing alongside the physical world. Thus,
psychological theories that talk about mental-type things
(like beliefs, desires, love, unconscious conflicts, etc) are
wrong - these things (beliefs, desires, etc) do not actually
exist! Some of the evidence for this position comes from the
fact that theories that attempt to explain human behavior
using these mental concepts often do a really poor job of
predicting, let alone explaining, that behavior. Materialists
argue that this poor showing is because these theories are
using concepts that have nothing to do with the real world.

3. Identity Theory (eg: J.J.C. Smart): Each and every type of
mental state is identical with some type of physical/
neurochemical state. Eg: Just like "light" is identical to
electromagnetic waves, "pain" (a mental state) is identical to
stimulation of nociceptive fibers of the hippocampus (physical
state). NB: This is claiming more than mere correlation of
states; there is an identity. The identity theory is similar
to eliminative materialism in its emphasis on the physical
side of things, but here there is no need to throw out all our
mental terms and theories that refer to them. These theories
and concepts can still be scientifically very useful. In
other words, mental terms can be "translated" into physical
phenomena ("love" is actually the firing of these neurons).

B. Abnormal Psychology

1. Basic Question: Is the cause of mental illness in the mind
or in the body?

2. The Body: Medical Models of psychopathology.
a) disease models - an altered state of the organism, a break
with its natural state caused by some etiological agent.

b) constitutional models - inherited disorder, an inborn
characteristic.

c) diathesis-stress models - a constitutional/inborn
vulnerability plus environmental factors (ie: general or
specific stress) (Meehl, 1962).

d) combination - some combination of (a), (b) and (c).

Sum: Psychopathology is caused by physiological and biochemical
activities of the body and especially the brain. Mental
phenomena are a) symptoms, and b) epiphenomenal (for the
most part).

3. The Mind:
The causal factors are in the mind: desires, conflicts,
motives, attributions, delusions, dreams, plans, implicit
theories; whether conscious or unconscious. Thus,
psychological phenomena are meaningful (causal) in their
own right. These inner experiences are necessary to
explain psychopathology.

There are various theoretical orientations that see the
mind as important: eg - psychodynamic theories (Freud and
others), where it is argued that unconscious psychological
conflicts and the various psychological processes we engage
in to deal with these conflicts accounts for who we are and
what we do.

Note: There are also theories that focus on neither the mindnor
the body:

4. The Environment: Behavioral models.
The cause of psychopathology is unique sequences of
environmental events: contingencies and conditioning.

5. The Social: Interpersonal approaches.
The roots of this orientation are with the school of
Symbolic Interactionism (eg: G.H. Mead, Cooley). The
emphasis was on reflected appraisals and the "looking glass
self" - we come to see ourselves as others see us. Thus,
the Interpersonal approaches today perceive the cause of
psychopathology to be in our interpersonal communications.

III. Determinism vs Indeterminism
A. Basic Question: Do humans have free will? Is there such thing
as free will, or is it a myth?

B. Determinism: Medical models, Behavioral approaches.
Events have causes, and by altering the things that caused the
events you can influence the course of future events. Behavior is
predictable and controllable. Typically, this position is
expressed thusly: A combination of heredity and environment causes
human behavior. (ie: Nature and nurture make us do what we do).
Therapy is therefore directed at discovering the underlying causes
and changing them: through drugs, surgery, or behavioral
engineering.

C. Indeterminism: Humanistic and Existential approaches.
Human beings possess the capacity for free will and they are
responsible for their acts - this is the essence of our humanness
and dignity. (Sartre: "I am my choices". Weckowicz (1984): "We are
the architects of our own lives"). This emphasis on freedom and
choice means people are unpredictable, and therefore
uncontrollable. Indeed, to control someone is to deny them what is
essential to their humanness - their free will.

D. Intermediate positions: Psychodynamic, Cognitive, Interpersonal.
Behavior is caused by various events, but also their is to
some extent a degree of indeterminism.

eg: Freud: On the one hand, there is determinism:
psychological determinism (unconscious drives, motives,
conflicts). We experience this when we feel compelled by our
compulsions and fears - our free will feels restricted. On
the other hand, psychoanalysis allows more conscious control
and the ability to make free(er) choices. The patient moves
from being a slave to his/her passions to being a rational
free individual. However, Freud does admit that we are rarely
completely free of the unconscious forces.

IV. Value-Free Science
Abnormal psychology is a branch of Scientific psychology. A
science strives to be value-free so as to provide veridical accounts and
explanations of reality. However, it is increasingly recognized that
values do influence the scientific process (Howard, 1985; Kuhn, 19 ;
Weckowicz, 1984). Different values are espoused by the various theories
of psychopathology, either explicitly or implicitly. This is especially
important when the science is an applied one, such as Abnormal
Psychology (Weckowicz, 1984).

The role of values in the science of psychology George Howard, in
American Psychologist, 1985:

A. Making value judgments is an essential part of the work of
science. The question is not whether but how values are embedded
in and shape science, and what that means in fields like Psychology
where the subject matter is human beings. Current beliefs,
assumptions and values influence what you choose to study, the
findings you expect, the results you actually obtain, and how you
interpret the results. For example: Shields (1975) reviewed sex
difference research of the past century and found that instead of
correcting society's misperceptions, the research findings
reflected the dominant values of the period. Howard is not arguing
that science is actually just values in disguise. But he is
arguing that values play a part in the scientific process, even
though scientist rightly control them as much as possible.

B. Traditionally, the scientist is supposed to just observe nature.
Nature is not supposed to react to being observed. However, as
quantum physics has taught us, it isn't always so: the nature of
what the physicist observes depends on being observed and how it is
observed - depending on the physicist's assumptions and methods of
observation, he/she will either see a particle atomic phenomenon or
a wave atomic phenomenon. Or let's look at an example of this in
the field of psychology: Why do psychologists like to observe
people through one-way mirrors? Obviously it's because if the
person being observed is aware of the observer, his/her behavior is
likely to be altered. [Of course, it's not so certain that the
presence of the mirror and the person's knowledge that someone is
behind it watching them doesn't also effect the person's
behavior!]. So, when the "things" being observed are people, it is
very possible that the mere act of observing them will influence
them.
The role of values becomes particularly salient given the
unique nature of psychology's subject matter - human beings.
Humans, argues Howard, are active agents in the world; as we watch
them, they are watching, deciding and acting based on their own
models, scripts, and implicit theories which they construct. Given
this unique nature of the human being (the watcher/actor/theory-
maker), an interesting thing may be happening in our science:
There is a reciprocal relationship or interaction between the
scientist-observer and the individual-object.
Analogous to the observations the physicist made of atomic
phenomena, the observations psychologists make of humans and the
theories psychologists construct will affect humans. For example,
humans may come to believe the results, the models and the theories
and act accordingly. If I'm observing you, and you are aware of
that, and if you also know that I believe you are mentally ill or
that I think being emotionally expressive is the best way to be,
then after awhile you may come to act accordingly, especially if
you believe me to be an Expert a scientist, psychologist, etc). My
beliefs and values can influence you.

C. The issue is this: If human nature is influenced by how science
views it, not only should we consider whether values can be removed
from psychological research (which is unlikely), but we must also
consider if they should be removed. There are many who argue that
"yes, we must remove values from any science". However, to do away
with values (what's good/bad, the shoulds/oughts, ideals) we may
run the risk, argues Howard, of constructing an impoverished,
overly rigid vision of humanity, ignoring what humanity could
become.

D. Howard's solution: Because values and thus theoretical
orientations inevitably influence our findings, psychological
research findings should be looked at not as demonstrating what
necessarily occurs in the world (some objective reality), but what
is possible if human beings are considered from a particular
perspective. Each perspective has something to offer; no one is
the correct perspective.

E. The theoretical controversies we will confront in this course
arise largely because each perspective is claiming itself to be the
model of objective reality. The controversies and debates are seen
in a different light, perhaps less hot, when viewed from Howard's
position.

V. Mental Health and Morality
A. The terms "mental health" and "mental illness" are entangled in
moral and legal issues. Can mental illness/abnormality be
distinguished from sin, crime, and immorality? "Mad or Bad?" Here
is the dark side of the humanist's coin: if people have free will
and are responsible agents, then are they not accountable for all
their actions?

B. The Insanity Defense: Freedom of choice/free will is
constrained and distorted by mental illness - the person acts under
duress and is therefore not responsible. With most crimes,
conviction requires proof of the particular act (actus reus) plus
proof of a particular mental state (mens rea = culpable mind)
(Ennis, 1982). In other words, in addition to showing that the
person did the crime, it must also be shown that the person had a
conscious objective to commit the act. This is the heart of the
Insanity Defense used with people like John Hinckley, Jr. (Hinckley
tried to assassinate President Reagan on March 30, 1981 - he
succeeded in wounding both Reagan and an aide. He was tried and
found not guilty by reason of insanity. He was confined to a
mental hospital).
The controversy is concerned with how you tell whether an
adult has free will? It is a highly subjective judgement - there
is no clear criterion. Expert witnesses contradict each other.
"One person's delusion may be another's religion" (Cohen, 1982); or
in the words of Lily Tomlin: "If you speak to God, it's a prayer,
if God speaks to you it's schizophrenia". The question is: does
mental illness impair free will? This is an unresolved, inherently
philosophical question.

VI. Autonomy vs Conformity
A. The basic question: What is the basis of mental health?
Autonomy of the individual or conformity to society?

B. Conformity: A model of humankind and society which argues that
the best world is one in which there are few disruptions, where
conflict is rare or even nonexistent. The best way to achieve this
is for people to conform to particular ideals or ways of acting,
etc. The goal is for smooth, undisrupted functioning.

C. Autonomy: An "open system model", with a goal of growth,
development and change. (eg: humanistic psychology's emphasis on
self-actualization; conformity leads to mental illness).

D. A Combination: Some people claim (C) is the "best" - especially
in the U.S. where so much value is placed on individualism. But
imagine what life would be like if there was no conformity?
Imagine what your life would be like if you never attempted to
conform. Most theories of mental health (explicitly) take the
position that a combination of conformity and autonomy is important
for mental health. However in practice (ie: implicitly) there is
still much debate whether the various theoretical orientations are
taking a combination approach (Rappaport, 1977).

This leads us to the issue of the rights of individuals (especially
mental patients) vs the rights of society. Sometimes these may be
incompatible. What choice the clinician makes is crucial for defining
his/her role as clinician.

VII. Conclusions
We have discussed 5 philosophical issues that are fundamentally
intertwined in the topic of Abnormal Psychology: The relationship
between the mind and body, determinism vs indeterminism, the place of
values in psychology, mental health and morality, and autonomy vs
conformity. These issues will arise repeatedly throughout this course
and it will be important to explore them as they do. Such explorations
may help us clarify some of the confusion across the different
theoretical orientations.


welcome to my life

abnormal psych- lecture 1

Posted on 2007.11.20 at 13:32
My Mood: pleasedpleased
Lecture 1

DEFINITIONS


Lecture outline

I. Introduction
II. Definitions of abnormality
A. Statistical deviation
B. Social norm violation
C. Maladaptive behavior
D. Personal distress
E. Deviation from an ideal
F. Medical disorder
III.Problems with the definitions
IV. Conclusions

------------------------------------------------
I. Introduction
What do we mean when we talk about abnormal behavior? The
definition of abnormality has gone through many dramatic changes through
history: Demons, gods, and magic; bodily fluids and wandering uteruses;
astral influences; physical illness; etc. (Chapter 2 of your book looks
at many of these early theories).
How we conceptualize the nature and cause of abnormal behavior has
important implications for 1) how we conceptualize treatment, the
clinician's role, and the client's role; and 2) what we see in research
and treatment, and perhaps more importantly what we don't see.
eg: "possession" definition logically leads to trephining.
"Bodily fluids" definition logically leads to bleeding.
If you see witches, you won't see social causes such as
oppression.

II. Definitions of Abnormality
Today there are various definitions that are used by psychologists
and people in general for defining abnormal behavior (Bootzin &
Acocella, 1984; Carson, Butcher & Coleman, 1988; Sarason & Sarason,
1984; Weckowicz, 1984). These definitions are not necessarily mutually
exclusive.

A. Statistical deviation: The defining characteristic is uncommon
behavior - a significant deviation from the average/majority. Many
human characteristics are normally distributed. Handout 1-1
illustrates a normal distribution. Basically, we're talking about
a nice symmetrical bell-shaped curve along which we can rank
people: more people fall around the average; the farther away you
get from the average, the fewer the people. Example: Height is a
human characteristic. Most people fall around the average height
of 5'8" (I just made this value up, I don't know if it is in fact
the average human height). In this example, height can be said to
be normally distributed.
Characteristics falling beyond a particular distance from the
average values are sometimes seen as abnormal. This distance is
defined in terms of "standard deviation units" - these are values
that tell the scientist how many people fall beyond the average.
For example: The percentage of people 1 standard deviation greater
than the average is about 34% (see Handout 1-1). A convention
selected (arbitrarily) by scientists is to see people falling
beyond 2 standard deviations as abnormal (95.4% falls within the 2
sd boundaries). This is perhaps the most straight forward
definition: collect data, calculate averages and sd's.

Eg: Intelligence - there is a normal distribution of IQ
scores. Those whose scores are 2 sd's below the mean of 100 are,
by this definition mentally retarded (ie: abnormal). See Handout
1-2.

B. Social norm violation: Breaking social "rules". Most of our
behavior is shaped by norms - cultural expectations about the right
and wrong way to do things.

Examples of norms: proper dress, how/what to eat, behavior on the
first date, eye contact with strangers, student/instructor
behavior, in fact, all aspects of our lives.

Someone who frequently violates these unwritten rules is seen as
abnormal. This is a very powerful and persuasive definition. It
is seemingly common-sense. Norms are so deeply ingrained they seem
absolute.

C. Maladaptive behavior: Two aspects to this: 1) Maladaptive to
one's self - inability to reach goals, to adapt to the demands of
life, and 2) maladaptive to society - interferes, disrupts social
group functioning.

Eg: John, a 38 male, drinks every day to the point of losing
consciousness. He is argumentative with his family and friends,
and has gotten into frequent fights at work. Last week he swore at
his boss, and as a result has been fired. John does not seem to
have any motivation to find further employment. Nevertheless, he
spends what little money he has in savings on alcohol and
unnecessary items such as candy, video tapes, and what ever else he
might want at the moment. John often dwells on how worthless he
thinks he is, but also on how others do not treat him properly.
When not aggressive, he is frequently depressed.

This is a "practical" definition: it identifies those unable to
cope. It is also a "flexible" definition: it takes into account an
individual's context, recognizing that maladaptive is a relative
term - it depends on the person's life circumstances (Sarason and
Sarason, 1984).

D. Personal distress: Put simply, if the person is content with
his/her life, then s/he is of no concern to the mental health
field. If, on the other hand, the person is distressed (depressed,
anxious, etc), then those behaviors and thoughts that the person is
unhappy about are abnormal behaviors and thoughts.

E. Deviation from an ideal: This perspective requires
specification of what the "ideal" personality is. Falling short of
this specified ideal is an indication of mental illness. (Certain
Psychological theories attempt this specification, especially the
humanistic and existential orientations). Thus a person may be
seen as "abnormal" even if they seem to be functioning alright.
Indeed, from this perspective, we are all striving for some ideal
(personal or cultural), and many of us will never reach it. We all
at some point deviate from or fall short of the ideal. So, in this
sense, we are all abnormal to a certain degree, at least until we
reach (if ever) the ideal (whatever that may be).

F. Medical disorder: Abnormality exists when there is a physical
disease. Abnormal behavior is a symptom of a physical disorder.
This is a biogenic definition. The person is qualitatively
different from the unafflicted (Weckowicz, 1984). For example:
Alzheimer's Disease - The major cause is atrophy of certain regions
of the brain, typically occurring during the forties or fifties.
The individual suffers from difficulties in concentration, leading
to absent-mindedness, irritability and even delusions. Memory
continues to deteriorate; and death usually occurs 10-12 years
after onset of symptoms.

No one definition is the "correct" or the "best" definition. To a
certain extent each one captures a different aspect of the meaning of
abnormality. When we talk about Abnormality, or when we study it, or
treat those suffering from it, we inevitably invoke one or more of these
definitions, either explicitly of implicitly -either we're aware of the
definition(s) we're using or we're not. But we do use some definition.
All of you have some definition in your heads about what psychological
abnormality is, whether or not you could clearly state it. In any
event, it is important, especially as scientists, that we make as
explicit as possible the definition(s) we use, and acknowledge any
limitations. To operate implicitly hinders our ability to develop as a
science - our awareness is limited because as long as our definitions
are implicit, they remain unchallengeable, we ignore alternatives, we
don't "stretch" ourselves. And each definitional stance can certainly be
challenged...

III. Problems with the definitions of abnormality
There are exceptions with each stance, or in other words "counter-
examples". Identifying counter-examples is a useful exercise: it allows
you to uncover a definition's logical flaws.

A. Statistical deviation: This definition would mean a genius
should be termed abnormal. Reliance on means and deviations
implicitly sets up the identity "average person" = "ideal person".
Is the average the ideal? Are deviations from the average a sign
of abnormality? In many respects, think how boring life would be
if we were all "average" - all basically the same - no dramatic
differences. Indeed, many of the wonderful advances made in our
history (be it in art, science, culture...) resulted from people
who took chances and tried new ways of doing things - people who
deviated from what was the average way of doing things. Deviations
can lead to flexibility and progress (cf. Dobzansky, 1962 for a
discussion of genetic theory and the importance of variability for
survival).

B. Social norm violation:
a) Social reformers, protestors, etc. This definition would
require that we label all social reformers as abnormal, people like
Susan B. Anthony, a feminist leader. She wanted social rules
changed - she rejected the norms of society.
b) Cultural relativism. As natural and absolute the norms of
our society seem to us, Sociology and Anthropology have taught us
that there is in fact nothing absolute about them. What's abnormal
(read "norm violating") in one society may be perfectly normal
("norm consistent") in another. The raw behavior hasn't changed,
but the society has.
eg: Sex and Temperament in New Guinea tribes - research by
Margaret Mead (1963): Three tribes, each with very different
norms.
1. Arapesh: Both males and females are mild, parental, and
nurturing.
2. Mundugumar: Males and females are fierce, oppressive
and cannibalistic.
3. Tchumbuli: Males are catty, wear curls and pretty
clothes, love to go shopping. Females are energetic,
managerial, unadorned.

Each of these culture is different from the other. By which
culture's standards do we judge a behavior to be abnormal?

In addition, even in a single society such as the U.S., there are a
myriad of subcultures. Add to this the fact that norms change
through the years so that what's normative in one generation, may
not be in another. We are left with a single society where there
are no clear norms that apply across all individuals. This
definitional stance implies that normality is the same as
conformity to the mainstream, when in fact there are many streams.
The term abnormality thus loses any firm referent.

C. Maladaptive behavior: This position ignores the possibility
that there may be abnormal situations. That is, perhaps there are
situations in which it would be abnormal to adapt. Eg: Germans who
were unable to adapt to Nazi Germany (Bootzin & Acocella, 1984); A
woman unable to cope with a husband who abuses her. The risk here
is that we will end up "blaming the victim" (Ryan, 1976).

D. Personal distress: To say that abnormal behavior is behavior
that causes a person distress/discomfort is to say that it is
normal if there is no discomfort. Thus, it logically follows that
someone like Charles Manson, a mass murderer, is normal: he feels
no guilt or discomfort about the killings he is responsible for.
Similarly, a psychotic patient who hears voices from his dead
mother that make him happy.

Conversely, distress may not always be a bad thing. Indeed,
perhaps people who can easily express their fear, depression, or
other forms of distress end up better dealing with their problems.
Or some types of distress may actually be very useful: anxiety,
for example, can signal you that danger is afoot and that you
better prepare for it!

It seems clear that the definition of abnormality must go beyond
the limited confines of "distress" and "discomfort", at least in
certain situations.

E. Deviation from an ideal: Whose ideal? The ideal for the
individual? the species? the culture? god? (Weckowicz, 1984). What
if the ideal is unrealistic or unobtainable?

Ideals, like social norms, are relative across groups and across
time, so all the problems discussed above apply here as well.
Here's an extreme example of the time-relative nature of ideals:
Pythagoras founded a religion with its own clearly defined ideals,
which included: don't pick up what has fallen, don't break bread,
don't walk on highways, and abstain from beans (Russell, 1945)!

F. Medical disorder:
a) Historically, some hoped that biological causes would be
found for all psychological problems. But as we will see, there is
a growing body of evidence that certain abnormal behaviors cannot
be fully explained without looking at the psychology of the
problem. Eg: Conversion hysteria (symptoms such as paralysis,
blindness, deafness, which have no physical causes) results from a
person's attempt to unconsciously cope with strong unwanted
emotions such as anxiety.
b) Implies "health" = absence of disease. According to the
World Health Organization, "health" = "a state of complete
physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence
of disease and infirmity" (Zubin, 1961, emphasis added). In other
words: The absence of X doesn't necessarily mean the presence of
Y.

IV. Conclusions
Using a definition is unavoidable and it is necessary. But
choosing one is inherently unscientific - a value judgment in the final
moment. When we choose a definition, we do so in part based on feeling,
emotion, convenience, custom, appeal, ethics. There is an inherent
nonscientific arbitrariness in this choice. The potential result is
that psychologist Y and psychologist X could be talking about very
different things when using the word "abnormal" Confusion and
controversy ensues, especially if the definitions remain implicit.
However, as a science, we ideally make our definitions explicit and
then attempt to clarify and modify these definitions through
scientific/methodological rigor, with an eye always open to the
exception and alternative explanations.
It remains a philosophical debate whether the uncertainty of our
definition of "abnormality" is surmountable or is an inherent fuzziness
of the field.
Finally, the definition we use in this course is multifaceted -
using aspects of each definitional stance. Their individual
shortcomings and mutual incompatibilities will create tensions in our
discussions that we can use to explore some of the important issues in
the study of psychopathology.

crying

RIP KENNEDY AND MAGGIE

Posted on 2007.08.21 at 14:04
My Mood: gloomygloomy
WHETHER U HAVE HEARD OR NOT, THIS WEEKEND WE HAVE LOST 2 YOUNG ADULTS IN A FATAL HOUSE FIRE IN ST MICHAELS, I KNEW THEM VERY WELL, AND HAD A FEW CLASSES WITH MAGGIE AND KENEDY WHILE IN SCHOOL, THEY WILL BE MISSED VERY MUCH, AND THEY'RE FRIENDS ARE PRAYING FOR THEIR FAMILY, AND THEY'RE OTHER 4 SIBLINGS


RIP KENNEDY AD MAGGIE FITZGERALD


the reason

UPDATE

Posted on 2007.08.14 at 23:59
My Mood: contentcontent
JUST A QUICK UPDATE, NOTHING MAJOR CHANGED, GOT PLANS FR 6 FLAGS WITH BRITT AND RYAN ON MONDAY, AND THATS ABOUT IT, ALL IS WELL, AND I COULDNT BE HAPPIER WITH MY LIFE!


only thing that matters

ugly

Posted on 2007.08.12 at 01:45
My Location: mike's and my house
My Mood: drunk, loving living with mike
My Music: the exies "ugly'
Tags:
Are you ugly?
A liar like me?
A user, a lost soul?
Someone you don’t know
Money it’s no cure
A Sickness so pure
Are you like me?
Are you ugly?

[Chorus]
We are dirt, we are alone
You know we're far from sober!
We are fake, we are afraid
You know it’s far from over
We are dirt we are alone
You know we're far from sober!
Look closer, are you like me?
Are you ugly?

Turn a blind eye
Why do I deny?
Medicate me
So I die Happy
A strain of cancer
Chokes the answers
Are you like me?
A liar like me?

[Chorus]

I don’t care, you don’t care
I’m bitter, you’re angry.
You don’t care, I don’t care
You love you, just like me
I blame you, you blame me
I’m bitter, you’re angry.
You don’t care, I don’t care
You love you, like me

[Chorus]

Are you Ugly? [X3]


fall in love

long summer nights

Posted on 2007.08.01 at 03:07
My Mood: highhigh
well, since my last blog, much has changed. Mike called me that night, and just explained he was workin a lot, and had band practice. All is well. He since then has been coming over almost every night after work, and God i love spending time with him!!!! Yes, I really like him. and so much is different this time.Its fun and flirty, and its everything i have looking for. Its relaxing. I dunno, u all prob thinkin im talkin dumb, but i dunno, i really like this guy!! Much props to jason!! Good choice for me

snaps!!

An ode of best friends~ me and britty song

Posted on 2007.07.04 at 04:09
My Mood: creativecreative
Current mood: creative
Category: Friends

this is our story, its really rather boring. brain farts and writers block, and lack of guy she has in flocks. sitting with the bestest reminescing bout the good times, thinkinback on all the crazy (crimes). life seeming like one big oxy moron, but we always have something to look back on... taking the good times with the bad, and realizing what alll we really had. heart aches and true love, broken noses come with all the above.. there to share the updates of life, and knowing shes there thru darkness and light. looking for love like the notebook, and working toward a new outlook. . wanting a love like the suns burning desire, but only finding the spark before the fire. . one blue eyed babe, looking for someone to fill her days. one blue eyed babe, waiting to stop the daze.. one with her life planned, while the other is still waiting for her chance...................


fall in love

happily wedded.........

Posted on 2007.06.15 at 12:17
My Location: greensboro, md....bitches
My Mood: anxiousanxious
Tags:
yep thats right!!! im getting married in august!!!heather margaret de la cruz....... well soon enough!! he asked me last week!!! and of course britt is my maid of honor........... you kno!!! but the best part is gonna be my bachelorette party she's throwin me!!! yay me! anyways we havent decided if were puttin it in the paper or not, for some family members may not agree with me marrying the puerto rican.....o well i love him and thats all that matters to me, we have our house, thanks to my parents (early wedding present), so im all happy!! plus the money im makin now... lifes good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

sexy fairy

2 months later....................

Posted on 2007.05.26 at 12:17
My Location: into the wild blue....
My Mood: hornyhorny
My Music: hilary duff "with love"
Tags: , ,
well. its def been a long 2 months, i moved into my new house and have almost all the painting and stuff done. i only have to paint my room, but im waitin till peter moves in, so he can help me. Speaking of him....things are going great!!! we have been together for almost 3 months, and a few weekends ago, we spent the weekend in OC. we stayed at the carousel resort hotel, and went ice skating, walked the boardwalk, went to the club, ya kno------the normal OC stuff. we decided about a month ago that he would move in with me, and i couldnt be happier!!! on another note-- my court date was this past wednesday- and all i got was 2 yrs probation, and restitution. DAMN IM GOOD!!!! hahahha Pam wanted me to have jail time, but i represented myslef- and my 3 years of teen court finally paid off- i took a plea bargain- and walked outta there!!!!!hahahahah but anyways- peter and i are going to get some tattoos done and im getting a piercing or 2 done, so ill update when i can!!

with love!


snaps!!

UPDATE

Posted on 2007.04.28 at 17:02
My Mood: excitedexcited
JUST A QUICK UPDATE...GOT MY CAR AND ITS RUNNIN FINE NOW AND ALL INSPECTED, AND IM GOIN OUT TONIGHT!!!!WOO HOO! WE BE BALLIN!!! I LOVE MY BRITT!! LETS GET FUCKED UP TONIGHT- NEITHER OF US GOTTA WORK TOMMORROW MORNING- JUST THE NIGHT, AND DAVE AND I ARE GONNA GO TO OC FOR THE WEEKEND OF BRITT'S BDAY- CUZ SHES HAVIN HER PARTYS THE WEEKEND BEFORE CUZ SHE GOTTA WORK THE WEEKEND OF HER BDAY!!!


LOTS OF LOVE!


snaps!!

hmmm

Posted on 2007.04.25 at 02:27
My Mood: contentcontent
well i cut again today- not bad just once, and only a small one, jst to releive the built up pressure, i feel better now!


welcome to my life

its been long overdue!

Posted on 2007.04.23 at 16:39
My Location: to where i should be!
My Mood: energeticenergetic
My Music: "there it go"-juelz santana
Tags: , ,
ok, so lemme start by saying that i lost a friend in the v-tech shooting and i care ot to say names, for my own sake. i am starting to deal better, but all in all it hurts...alot!!! the past week has been ok otherwise- with the exception of the lil argument CD nad i had- im sorry i have been stressed. i have 2 jobs in middle river, and as soon as i move all my stuff up here, i will start them, im very excited!!! i also have been accepted into BIC(baltimore international college) to obtain my applied associates degree in bakery/pastry chef. im very excited to start my new life and get away from the eastern shore, i have been adapting very well to the city life, and i love it!!! well thats about it for now, im about to cook dinner for heather, kenzie, mom terri, and grandmom. ill update more later...




love always......
heather

carebears

going, going, gone!

Posted on 2007.04.10 at 23:55
My Mood: gigglygiggly
98% chance im movin to bmore by the end of the summer!!!


welcome to my life

5 ADULT VIDEO STORES, 3 CHICKS, AND A FROZEN MILKY WAY.....

Posted on 2007.04.09 at 18:38
My Mood: chipperchipper
Tags:
well, this is the end of a great weekend! As u all know i went to bmore(middle river) with my Heather (naughty girl). I was supposed to leave the house at 915 saturday morning, to meet her in town, but my aunt called and said it was snowing, so we werent gonna meet her, so when she called me, i gave her directions to the house, OBOY!!! lmao, 2 hours later, she gets to my house, after being lost on my farm, lmao. anyways- the ride up there was great- no traffic, and lovin the crazy ass drivin!!! The area was gorgeous!!! we went all around the city- passing 5 ADULT VIDEO STORES, lmao! we first went and visited her g-pa, who owns a coffee shop in Havre de Grace- it was such a great shop, and thats where we got a frozen strawberry drink, and a frozen milky way coffee drink- AWESOMENESS! it was so good, and her g-pa was so nice and just a great person. Then we went to see her uncle who owns a pizza and sub shop. That is where we tried for the first time" wheat pizza" I thought it was ok, while heather disliked it very much. Mackenzie seemed to like it though. her uncle and aunt are so nice too! the entire family was very nice and welcoming!! something i wasnt used to obviously! then we got dinner and went home for the night. Sunday---hmmm- it was an early morning cuz danny came up at 10 to see mackenzie for easter, which i had no prob with, but he stayed all day- which kinda stopped me and heather from goin out and doin stuff. :( but it was all good, Today- we went to walmart, and mcdonalds for lunch- then came home- got into kent island, and this cute guy in a red chevy s10 was next too us, we waved and was flirtin just for fun, we would play cat nad mouse all the way to 404, where he turned, omg- we were laughin so much- it was just good fun!! the entire weekend was great!! im goin back in a few weeks, to go to the inner harbor with ms. terry, heather and kenzie! its gonna be a blast!!! lmao! o and heather if ur reading....JIMMY BRAVO AND THE THONG!!! LMAO

snaps!!

pain forever

Posted on 2007.04.05 at 16:26
My Mood: crushedcrushed
im not liked
im not valued
nobody cares
nobody notices
pain eating my insides
only pain can distract this corruption
i stab myself a thousand times
i still feel my soul burning
i stil feel darkness corrupting my mind
stab a thousand times more
the blood trickling from my wounds
the saddness flowing out of me
flowing in my blood, now running out of my body
my hands are turning red
my breath gets deeper
my heart pounds faster
more blood gushes out
its runs like a waterfall
nonstop
never ending pain
everlasting suffering
the cancer i still feel
it still devours my well being
enslaves my mind
twists my feelings
i live with pain
pain runs through my blood
i live for pain
pain forever...


believe

College Life...

Posted on 2007.04.05 at 11:54
My Mood: excitedexcited
I have done my application for Baltimore Intn'l College, for my bachelor's Degree in Baking/Pastry Arts!!!!! Well see what happens!!


---Heather


sesame street

JUST FOR YOU.....

Posted on 2007.04.04 at 19:55
For that certain someone- STOP RAINING ON MY PARADE!!!


carebears

An Edifice Of Idiosyncratic Happiness

Posted on 2007.04.01 at 17:06
My Mood: energeticenergetic
All quiet, feverish, all pains and aches
physical existence inferior to mental states
electric currents running from head to toes
the heat in the face just add to my woes

Trying to focus the inner eye on positive things
in the wonderful world – but the throbbing
reducing the soul to mindless nothing
completely erased all things uplifting

Now that I need to kindle the fire of life-sustaining desire
with firewood gathered for days of meaningless ire
I find the eyes cannot focus, covered
by a membrane of terrible shame

Made up of negative events and opinions
the mind cannot recall the happy thoughts
I have assembled wherever I went -
experiencing a well-known phenomenon again:

The world conforms to inner perception
nothing outside being stable – not a face or a voice
everything being determined by inner choice –
The settings of my mind’s satellite dish

Blown off-course by chemical chaos – yet it
should have been within my control – but I find
my TV-set mind now only portraying life
in black and white and colourless grey -

While knowing the condition only temporary
it still remains a scary experience - besides
mental state determines where we wake up
at the moment of death, says Arthur Findlay

So if I die now I could wake up in Darkness
this physical pain is destroying my plans:
now it is time to construct an edifice of
idiosyncratic happiness in jubilation and laughter

Based on humour and the farcical barter
of the soul vacillating between heaven and hell -
my life was Paradise until I fell
into The Seven Dark Nights Of The Soul:

Time to change ALL the settings and reach
upwards again!

all i ever did

What About Now?

Posted on 2007.03.22 at 23:45
My Mood: contemplativecontemplative
My Music: DAUGHTRY- SELF TITLED LP
Tags: , ,
Shadows fill an empty heart
As love is fading,
From all the things that we are
But are not saying.
Can we see beyond the scars
And make it to the dawn?

Change the colors of the sky.
And open up to
The ways you made me feel alive,
The ways I loved you.
For all the things that never died,
To make it through the night,
Love will find you.

What about now?
What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?
What if our love never went away?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?
Baby, before it's too late,
What about now?

The sun is breaking in your eyes
To start a new day.
This broken heart can still survive
With a touch of your grace.
Shadows fade into the light.
I am by your side,
Where love will find you.

What about now?
What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?
What if our love, it never went away?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?
Baby, before it's too late,
What about now?

Now that we're here,
Now that we've come this far,
Just hold on.
There is nothing to fear,
For I am right beside you.
For all my life,
I am yours.

What about now?
What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?
What if our love never went away?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?

What about now?
What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?
What if our love never went away?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?
Baby, before it's too late,
Baby, before it's too late,
Baby, before it's too late,
What about now?









**DAUGHTRY- WHAT ABOUT NOW**


believe

TOMMORROW

Posted on 2007.03.22 at 23:21
My Mood: curiouscurious
My Music: "ITS NOT OVER" DAUGHTRY
Tags:
Every morning without delay
The sun comes up and brings with it a new day
A new chance to succeed
A new chance to cry
A new chance to laugh
A new chance to dance
A golden glow of hope and promise

And then vanishing beneath our reach, the sun must sleep
The moon arrives its watch to keep
One by one the stars appear from under their veil
Through the night sky lost stars sail
The night brings rest and dreams

But no matter how dark it seems
Rain, sleet, or snow
We can close our eyes and know
That the sun will rise as if on cue
Tinting the morning sky with a pinkish hue

The moon once again sinks under its haven to wait
And the stars temporarily retreat beneath their curtain
Of one thing you and I can be certain

Until the end of time, life will go on……there is tomorrow

snaps!!

give a little- take alot

Posted on 2007.03.16 at 22:08
My Mood: depresseddepressed
Tags:
Give a little..
take a lot -
that's the way it happens
isn't it?

'Cause when push comes to shove
you disappear
and the only evidence
of your existence
or your presence
is the empty bottle
or pack of cigarettes
or the talk of what you said
when you were there..

Everyone hug the free spirit
the one with the problem
gather around the victim
don't tell them that
they're not perfect
it might cause a scene
or a tear

Being honest
this thing of the past
everyone cut off
but it's still the best thing to do
or at least you heard that
a long time ago

Don't care
don't ask
don't give a damn
'cause you'd be..
shot down for it
chastized
provoked
damned
pained
anything...

Honest opinion
feelings - what the hell were you thinking?
what world are you living in?
the one with the honesty
the giving
the genuine folk
go home

To the place where no one exists
anymore..

Play a game
the cards are drawn
although you didn't ask for any
somehow
you're still sitting at the table
your play is next
hide your thoughts
your reactions
or you might "lose"

Be careful
what you say
what you do
the game might say you're cheating
just give up

'Cause the honesty
will kill you
or so they say
in the age where we live

Shut yourself in a dark corner
cut your heart out
or pretend it's not there
the pulse is pretend
the blood is really black
or white
or whatever color
makes it not real

Just don't show it
call their name
and die...


all i ever did

"i do" ?!?!?!

Posted on 2007.03.14 at 23:24
My Mood: contemplativecontemplative
My Music: "BROKEN" SEETHER FT AMY LEE
Tags: , ,
OK, SO BRITT AND RYAN AND I WENT AND HAD OUR FINGERS SIZED FOR RINGS TONIGHT, BRITT AND RYAN ARE DOING THE PROMISE RING THING, AND BRITT AND I ARE DOING THE BEST FRIEND RING THING. I GAVE UP MY ENGAGEMENT RING TODAY, ITS BEEN A YEAR AND A HALF SINCE THE BREAK UP- AND IT WAS TIME, I WAS FINALLY READY FOR THE PART OF MY LIFE TO FINALLY END. I GAVE IT TO BRITT, AND HER KNOWING ALL THE LOVE AND MEANING BEHIND IT, DESPITE HER STRONG DISLIKE FOR COURTNEY ANYWAY, TOOK THE RING AND WILL WEAR IT AS A TOKEN OF OUR LOVE WE HAVE FROM THE PAST 9 YEARS. SHE IS A TRUE BEST FRIND, AND SHE ALSO GRACED ME WITH THE NEWS TODAY THAT WHEN HER AND RYAN GET MARRIED, I AM HER MAID OF HONOR! YAY
! AND SHE WILL BE MINE- GIVEN I CAN ACTAULLY FIND A GUY AND ACTAULLY BE ABLE TO BE WITH HIM, BUT I HAVE NOW STARTED THINKING THAT I WILL NEVER FIND THE RIGHT GUY FOR ME, CUZ I HAVE ALREADY FOUND HIM, BUT THERE IS NO CHANCE OF ME AND HIM BEING TOGETHER RIGHT NOW- SO THATS OUT OF THE QUESTION.


snaps!!

Because of you

Posted on 2007.03.13 at 18:00
My Mood: productiveproductive
The Other Night I Almost Gave Up My Life
In The Form of Selfish Suicide
But You Talked Me Out Of Dying
With All The Tears You Where Crying

You Begged Me To Stay Here With You
Because I Don't Judge You One Of The Few
Your Heartfelt Tears Helpled Me To Stay
And Helped Heal My Heart So Fray

Because Of You I'm Still Alive
Because Of You I Can Smile Again
Because Of You I Can Tell You I Love You

You Also Hold The Key To My Heart As Well
I Feel As If I'm Under Some Kind Of Spell
Now Because Of You I'm Still Alive
And Now I'm Glad I Didn't Die

Because Of You I'm Still Alive
Because Of You I Can Smile Again
Because Of You I Can Tell You I Love You

Now I Fully Intend To Never Give Up
I Know If Your Here With Me It Will Be Enough
I'll Be Ok As Long As Your Here WIth Me
Than Some Day From This Depression We'll Be Free

Because Of You I'm Still Alive
Because Of You I Can Smile Again
Because Of You I Can Tell You I love You



u kno who u are


snaps!!

UNHOLY CONFESSIONS

Posted on 2007.03.10 at 20:36
My Location: RIGHT HERE
My Mood: depresseddepressed
My Music: a7x
Tags:
"I'll try," she said as he walked away.
"Try not to lose you."
Two vibrant hearts could change.
Nothing tears the being more than deception,
unmasked fear.
"I'll be here waiting" tested and secure.

Nothing hurts my world,
just affects the ones around me
When sin's deep in my blood,
you'll be the one to fall.

"I wish I could be the one,
the one who won't care at all
But being the one on the stand,
I know the way to go, no one's guiding me.
When time soaked with blood turns its back,
I know it's hard to fall.
Confided in me was your heart
I know it's hurting you, but it's killing me."

Nothing will last in this life,
our time is spent constructing,
now you're perfecting a world... meant to sin.
Constrict your hands around me,
squeeze till I cannot breathe,
this air tastes dead inside me,
contribute to our plague.
Break all your promises,
tear down this steadfast wall,
restraints are useless here,
tasting salvation's near.

Nothing hurts my world,
just affects the ones around me
When sin's deep in my blood,
you'll be the one to fall.

"I wish I could be the one,
the one who won't care at all
But being the one on the stand,
I know the way to go, no one's guiding me.
When time soaked with blood turns its back,
I know it's hard to fall.
Confided in me was your heart
I know it's hurting you, but it's killing me."



"UNHOLY CONFESSIONS" BY AVENEGED SEVENFOLD

snaps!!

secrets

Posted on 2007.03.10 at 20:21
My Mood: depresseddepressed
im sick and tired
of putting on a show
its time to stop
and for my friends to know

with a quick glance,
a passing bye
you'd think im happy
and never cry

with a deep stare
into my inside sorrow
you'll see im screaming
from my low and hollow

sometimes i sit alone
starring at one thing
thinkning of the past
and feeling my heart sting

the tears build up
and come to my eyes
the state of depression's coming back
the repeating torment of the lies

Rivers of pain
coat my face
letting out the feelings
I had in the frist place

Hours of weeping
come from my secret distress
No one sees this,
my lost life as a mess


snaps!!

without YOUR love

Posted on 2007.03.10 at 20:18
My Location: unfortunatly here
My Mood: depresseddepressed
My Music: "victim" by eighteen visions
Tags:
My heart bleeds
Eternally from your deep stab of rejection
My life now shrouded in despair and depression
You said you love me
But i found those words to be cold and untrue
My soul
Compressed in a small box filled with your constant abandonment
My screams
Pain and agony go unheard to the outside world
I slit my wrist to get your attention
If only for a moment
I failed
Now falling abruptly
I lay here emotionless
Dead broken

snaps!!

All i have is nothing

Posted on 2007.03.03 at 13:29
My Mood: crushedcrushed
It s going on since forever
the man who makes me cry
doesn't seem to change
nor him or this sad situation
it feels like i m alone and worthless
but i know i m sweet
and i let this poison out
all by myself
it s so easy to write about despair
words come out
with these tears
i m so used to them they ve
become my best friends
but they can't help me and
nobody can maybe except from death _ death
visits me every day with disillusionment killing my dearest dreams
all i have is nothing and
i hold on strong to it.
virtual kisses they re a relief that fades away when i look into my life
a tender love
whispers my name
through the trees moved by the wind.
this is all about my frail hopes
my hopes are half broken but they re still here with me so betrayed.
Paper bathed in salted drops_ *


snaps!!

Dont hug me

Posted on 2007.03.03 at 13:27
My Mood: draineddrained
Love words pronounced
to fill the void
and i look for a flesh that feels sincere to me.
Images of empty eyes
beat me like train window flashes
in a gallery
where my blood is not cold
there is me
i ve been looking for trouble
and i found it everywhere i went
i m not evil though you know?
you know? you know that?
screams of paranoia fill the sky
that s the lullaby i grew up with
hug me if you can. i ll always
slip away with a smile and a thank you.


crying

If I...

Posted on 2007.03.02 at 20:56
My Mood: crushedcrushed
if I love you to the moon and back
You will leave me here alone

if I trust you with all my heart when I am falling
You won't catch me

if I tell you all my secrets
You'll pass them around like a cold

if I try to get close to You,
You will turn the other way

if I don't stay with You another day
You will forget me tomorrow

so why am I still here?

He will never leave me
He will always catch me
He will always have open arms
He will never forget me


You
are
no longer
part of
My life


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