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i don't know :(
i have stopped writing lately because my sister said that i was...self-absorbed and wanting people to commiserate with me
i thought i was just trying to figure things out, the only way i knew how
i love my blog
but i don't think i can have it public
: /

Kitty...you know what I feel...go for it......let it rip and if you feel better...all the better..and I have never known you to be anything other then kind, diplomatic and gentle even when upset that someone upset you and is it so horrible to say, "I feel upset by what so and so did or said?" Are your feelings not valid? Of course they are..and today you may feel upset...tomorrow you having embraced upset, let it go...if you get a chance go read "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom..very therapeautic....I found it helped me a lot:) and blogging about your experiences and feelings is healthy. I read your other blog entry about the earth quake.....you just can't catch a break...the poor kitty kats too..I hope you are all ok:)

I bet you would make a great journalist.....and I bet you would make a great editor if you could find other Katrina survivors to help write one amazing book:) just a hint/suggestion..besides you have a great photographic eye...Mother Michael signing off...

Rainbow Hugs to you and the Kitty Kats..I really do hope you are all ok:)

Marlaine, I'm sorry that's happened and I miss hearing what you have to say. For what it's worth,I never got the sense of self-absorption or complaining from what you wrote in your blog.

Michael, as usual, thanks for your support. It's been in my mind that I'll be writing a book (maybe more than one book) about this, and you've given me a great idea that I hadn't considered :). And even though getting my life back in gear is a bit challenging, I am SO glad that I made this move. I remember you saying (back when I first talked about moving here after the hurricane) that I was like a pioneer, and someone recently said the same thing to me. I've been smiling this weekend, thinking "I did it! I'm here."

thank you

Kitty, thanks so much for your blog. I found it searching for folks writing about their Katrina experiences. I live 250 miles north of the coast in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. You write so wonderfully about what you've been experiencing.

From my perspective, as somebody involved in the "relief work" aspect, I would really appreciate a dialogue about what you experienced with those who aimed to help you. Even in the midst of doing the work that I did here in the shelters, I became very aware at times of how the people doing the work, including myself, did it as much to serve themselves as others. This became most evident to me when, for example, somebody would show up at the front desk, complain about having waited and nobody helping them (they got behind some people from the coast actually checking in to the shelter), then demanding to be deployed to a volunteer post immediately, doing this that or the other, regardless of where the need for help was at the moment.

This is a teeny tiny minute example, but it opened my eyes to the ways in which, as individuals and organizations, we showed up not so much wanting to find out what was needed and do that (selflessly), but wanting to do whatever it was we had in mind we should or would do (selfishly). So much energy was expended in ways that ended up not being very helpful at all, again, from individuals to organizations. And, of course, this continues.

I hope I'm making sense. I have observed this tension playing out on every level, and have longed for some discussion about it which included the perspective of the people we call ourselves trying to help.

Just my 2 cents worth! Many thanks again for taking us on this ride with you. I'm so glad you're happy where you are! But also sad about so, so, so many people who ran for their lives, so much suffering, so many who are gone and will never be back.

Kathy, thanks for writing and for reading what I've written, and yes, indeed, I would appreciate dialoguing with you about this.

I've talked about it with other Katrina survivors (I call us the "first line", those of us right on the point in the Katrina experience), but now that I think about it, being able to work it through with someone in the "second line" (our helpers and the relief workers) is going to give life to the discussion.

It feels like there's something very important going on with this that wants to be looked at, for all of us (all human beings, not just those involved with the hurricane). It's been fermenting inside of me for several months, and I hadn't figured out how to approach it, until you posted. I've wanted it to be more than just me speculating or expressing my feelings ... I want to go deeper with it than that.

Anyway, I'm working on a blog entry to start things off and will post it in the next day or so.

BTW, I just checked out your blog and will be reading back through your posts. I was just talking with my Dad tonight about the things we miss about New Orleans, and we both mentioned the beauty of the swamps -- so I go to your blog, and there's a picture of one. Look at that Spanish moss! :)

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