Sarah Koster

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since Jun 03, 2018
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duck forest garden fish fungi trees tiny house chicken cooking
Semi-feral pseudo adult human. Intends to establish food forests and incorporate permaculture principles into lifestyle to facilitate non conscience-mangling existence.
Quail hatcher, chicken herder, garbage re-purposer.
SW Ohio
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Recent posts by Sarah Koster

Neat video about Aldo Leopold and family restoring dustbowl wasteland by planting trees. Not sure which forum is most appropriate for this. It also talks about Aldo's philosophy a bit, which I found compelling. I like the writing your signature with an axe bit.
1 month ago
Okay! I got a little emotional and ran away from the thread right after starting it. Sorry. It's hard for me because dating sites and apparently discussing them makes me feel so dejected and anxious that I can't really deal. It has taken me this long to come back and read, which wasn't my intention.

I think a lot of it does boil down to oversimplification vs too much information to assess at a glance. I'm assuming most people using dating sites don't want to spend 20 minutes reading a profile before they decide to "swipe" or whatever. But I also assume that anyone who's "swiping" based on an image and little or nothing more, is not looking for someone they can form a serious relationship with.

Anyway everybody... I think the problem for me is when they say "like minded" with no context I just automatically feel rejected because there isn't a group of people I identify as being of "like mind" with myself. I'm complicated and contradictory at times. My mind changes, sometimes daily, even though my values stay the same. Basically every time I receive new information, I adjust to try and find the best possible solution. For example I used to love certain wildlife organizations until I found out they were forcing aboriginal tribes from the rainforest to try and "protect" the rainforest, ignoring these peoples' place as a vital component of the forest ecology and extant protectors of the forest, LET ALONE their human rights. So my "mind" towards them changed. It updated to reflect the new information. Blah.

Yes, it is frustrating being a lone weirdo in an apparent sea of automotons. I sometimes feel as if the only way to ever get a boyfriend is to pretend to love Nascar and football, jump into the closest bandwagon and try my best to grin and bear it. And to dress like a clown and change my name to Stacy. The mental acrobatics I've done in the past to facilitate such "relationships" has damaged my emotional wellbeing extensively.
The upside is that on the healing journey after, I've found that I actually love my weird self. Many people have tried to change those things about me that make me who I am. The things I love the most about myself. It's a really horrible kind of rejection when someone won't let you go physically, but loathes you emotionally. So if doing things your way has protected you from this kind of emotional violence, I think it's a good strategy, even if it means you didn't end up dating anyone.
Usually when I see "like-minded" used in profiles, it's without any information that would indicate what that person's values or lifestyle are. That's why I get frustrated with it. Just a picture of a random guy making a creepy facial expression with the words "seeking like minded" and little to nothing else. I don't know who he votes for, what he likes to eat, if he believes in a god or anything like that, but I'm supposed to know from this little phrase whether to be interested or not. But the thing is, when I see that, I DO form an image of what his lifestyle and views are; I see him sitting on a couch in his underwear drinking bud lite and watching Nascar, yelling at his girlfriend to bring him cigarettes or something. This is a problem of my own prejudice filling in, not the blanks, but the entire blank canvas. So when I read "like minded" I feel "we have absolutely nothing in common." I automatically feel rejected. Then I feel defensive. Then I swipe left.

That is a very good phrase indeed, "Someone whose eccentricities are compatible with my own." I have similar difficulties to what you describe. I too have some indicators that I'm probably "on the spectrum" and haven't found a mate because... well... basically most people act like science and christianity are contradictory/mutually exclusive. Not to mention mystical things like elves and loving nature. A few hundred years ago we'd probably both have been mistaken for witches and burned or whatever. I'm always the dangerous, subversive progressive person at church, and the backwards religious idiot in science circles. I'm always the outsider.
I think the problem with the personality tests etc, is that they just don't work. Our understanding of psychology is really in its infancy, and the personality tests can't assess what a person really is like, let alone predict what kind of person they'll "click" with. It's similar to horoscopes IMO, using vague concepts and repeating back what information you've given to make it seem meaningful. To make matters worse, my "personality type" is associated with an elevated risk of becoming an abuse victim, since abusers seek people who will work hard to care for them. I've removed both my "personality type" and my diagnoses from my profile to make it more difficult for jerks to identify me as a potential resource.
Sometimes I do still hear the voices of people scolding me, trying to change me. Trying to make me normal. I don't think those people loved me very much in the first place. But now I don't scold myself anymore. If I want to sit on the floor, I sit on the floor. If I want my legs to be hairy, I let them be. I don't have to wear makeup. I don't have to give priority to males. I don't have to "humor people" at the cost of my own sanity. Sometimes I take myself on dates. These have been the best dates ever, because I got to do what I wanted and eat what I wanted and wear what I wanted without being coerced or ridiculed or made to endure some unpleasant condition or watch a movie I had no interest in. I didn't have to be manipulated to get my hopes up, only to be disappointed deliberately. I didn't have to lie and tell anyone how much fun I was having when I was in pain. I guess I'm just so weird that I have to be my own best friend for now, at least until I'm healthy and skilled enough to form and maintain healthy relationships. It's so much harder because I can't "read" people's body language to magically infer what they really mean, and they don't always tell the truth and I can't always tell that they're not telling the truth. I can't infer the important things they're not telling me.
But yeah I think that compatibility probably has more to do with lifestlye than with ideology... I've given up on finding the male version of myself. I'd probably be happy with someone who just didn't turn on the light or the TV at 4am and wasn't hostile towards vegetables, assuming they actually liked me and had some kind of morals. Maybe nobody likes me XD but I like myself so it's okay...
1 month ago
I second the Linux suggestion. I'd go ahead and copy all of my important files onto an external hard drive, and replace windows altogether with whatever manifestation of Linux is trendy and user-friendly these days. I used Debian in 2014 to resurrect an ancient laptop, and while I couldn't use certain proprietary software, I was able to use a word processor and browse the interwebs just fine.
2 months ago
Yeah! I definitely take "open minded" to mean "married person looking to fool around" or "I'm into something borderline criminal for kicks."
I take "drama-free" as "don't whine to me about your problems, I don't want to be bothered" or "every relationship I'm in is dramatic, but it's the other person's fault."
I like the idea of laziness being the source of vague statements, rather than a deliberate attempt to hide pertinent information, although I'm sure there are some people who do the latter. Really trying to restore some degree of faith in humanity.
I get that not everyone is able to communicate openly via text, but it just doesn't seem very safe to make contact with a stranger who might be doing it deliberately because they're trying to manipulate someone into dating them and they'd rather make it up as they go along to try to seem more appealing to their date.

ExMPLE fake conversation
Dater A "So what do you like to do for fun?"
Dater B "Oh you know, go to restaurants and listen to music. And you?"
Dater A "I love drinking tea and spending time in my garden."
Dater B "Oh yeah? Me too I do that all the time."

As you can see Dater B is a sack of lies, and Dater A is a person.

The other problem I have, is that even people who have a *lot* in common are going to disagree on some things. Big things. Things that matter. Maybe I want to live a more sustainable life, but some things I need to be happy (for example, making art using materials that are harmful to the environment) are not sustainable. People might agree on the main idea, but never meet in the middle on how to apply it practically. I might like someone who sleeps with the TV on, but be unable to sleep with the TV on myself. I might be very concerned about racial equality, but be unsympathetic about LGBTQ issues. People are really complicated. And then people on dating sites want to tell you absolutely nothing of meaning about themselves and expect you to festoon them with adorations. I really don't get it.

In the case of REALLY dangerous people, the more you do tell about yourself upfront, the better able they are to craft a false persona that will entice you. The only reason I say this is because, well. It's happened to me more than once. So I'm trying to work out a way to be open about who I am, without making a backdoor for psychopaths. It would help if I had any social intuition whatsoever, but I'm not so gifted.
2 months ago
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned steam. If you have access to a steamer, it's pretty easy to use and just use distilled water and the steam (not vapor) will kill the mold, but not sure how deep it can work into walls or whatever. Of course since it's water it's going to leave the surface damp, which is not ideal, but there are definitely instances where steam is sufficient to eradicate mold, and it's hot enough that most of the water will evaporate quickly. Then bite the bullet and install that new sump pump or whatever you gotta do.
2 months ago
I know we're all looking for people who are "like-minded," but whenever I read this phrase I'm left wondering what it means. Not because the vocabulary is challenging, but because I have no idea what "kind of mind" that person has. Being a very introspective person, I spent a lot of time thinking about thought, and a lot of the time, have minds on my mind.
Nevertheless (or perhaps because of this) I'm left drawing a blank when I read the phrase "like minded people." I wish people would explain exactly what attitudes, beliefs, activities or behaviors they're referring to, rather than just hoping someone will magically "vibe with them" after reading this key phrase.
What do people mean by this phrase, and why do they use it? Is its vagueness deliberate, calculated, incidental? How do I know if someone's mind is "like" mine, and does that mean we'll be friends? I'm curious what other people think about this.

As a group the regulars of this forum are all attempting to live more sustainably, learn and develop better ways of living. But having just that in common obviously isn't enough to make a couple. I tend to try to find a carbon copy of myself (which is utterly impossible) but observe that most of the healthier couples I know feature two individuals who are actually quite different from one another. What actually matters when it comes to getting along with another person, or liking them? In what ways do we need (or not) to be "like minded"?

To be fair, I'm angsting over my seeming inability to find anyone who is even remotely "like" me in the mind category, so I wonder if I misunderstand what is meant by this omnipresent dating-profile tagline.
2 months ago
It would definitely be an awesome service. I don't know how many times I cried in dressing rooms as a teen and young adult before I finally started to understand that a LOT of people have trouble finding clothes that fit, and that there was nothing wrong with my body. That my proportions are correct as they are, and that the clothes are not. Fit issues with mass produced clothing have serious consequences for mental health, self esteem, body image and feelings of alienation for like... most people. I don't want to feel like Cinderella's crappy stepsister trying to shove my foot into a shoe (or dress, or jeans, or blouse) that wasn't made with me in mind.
Also, most seasons the choice of garments available is about 95% total crap. Bad fabric, ugly colors, unattractive designs that are pushed just because "it's trendy!!!" I want clothes that won't make me look/feel like an idiot if I wear them 5 years from now. I can't really find any blouses off the rack that don't look either redlight worthy or retirement home chic. Why womens' clothes in particular look so ridiculous and unprofessional, I will never know. As a consequence I mostly just wear t-shirts, and it's part of what steers me away from a lot of more lucrative jobs. Feeling like I'd have to dress like a ridiculous peacock and stuff a bra so the front of my blouse wouldn't collapse.
Having a set of custom patterns would make it really simple to alter thriftstore finds, too. A lot of things I find are just a size or two off, or just not cut right for my shape. ANY pants that fit my hips have extra inches up at the waist, petite pants drag on the floor until I cut the bottoms off, "maxi" skirts are so long I'd have to wear them as dresses to keep them from dragging on the floor and I can't fit my ribcage into any dresses that fit my hips (although there is a huge a void where there would normally be bosom.) I haven't tried a dress on in... oh.... 12 years because it just makes me feel like hideous prepubescent troll.
Anyway. Yes. We need custom patterns designed and/or altered to our needs, by people who know how to design and construct garments that don't suck.
5 months ago

Amy Arnett wrote:
Mental health treatment is available to anyone, anywhere. They just have to go. Some clinics will pick you up if you need. If you are embarrassed, you can go to the next town where no one knows you. National health insurance is available to everyone and accepted anywhere in the country. All medication is covered. There is a monthly cap on how much you have to pay. Cost is not a barrier for anyone. No referral is necessary, just go to the doctor you think you need. You don't need to convince a primary care physician that you need a specialist, you just go to the specialist.

My experience with Japanese doctors has mostly been positive. They have listened compassionately and never dismissed anything I've said. Of course, I read up on the doctors I choose, so of course there will be some doctors who are not so great...There is no in-network bullshit, I can go to the qualified doctor that's 50 miles away without any insurance problems. And I could likely get there without a car using pubic transportation.

Suicides and hikikomori (staying inside) are issues for sure and complicated. I don't think it's for lack of access anymore. There is still some stigma depending on where you are or who you are with. But if families were found to deny medical treatment, they would be charged with abuse and neglect. I have seen it on the news a couple times, but it's not the general culture anymore.

I am correctly diagnosed and treated thanks to a Japanese doctor. I never have to worry about the cost of medication for the rest of my life. I, even as a foreigner (granted I speak japanese), have experienced less barriers and more compassion in Japan than I ever did in the US. Sorry to jump on your post, Sarah, I just didn't want anyone reading to be put off Japan.

I'm fortunate to have found a very open minded village with new residents coming from all over with new ideas. We kind of joke that our village attracts people who couldn't take the mainstream culture and want to live in peace and heal the earth. The only difference to consider would be that sometimes drugs that are approved in the US take some years to then be approved in Japan, so anyone coming to Japan with medication should check on that.

So maybe the documentary I watched was outdated or just incorrect? It stated that therapy is not covered by health insurance, is very expensive and that there are not enough therapists or doctors trained in psychiatry to be able to treat most of the people who need it. Maybe my source of information is just incorrect? That would be very encouraging. I actually want to go WWOOFing in Japan (I got my degree in Japanese, but I'm still not fluent, how lame is that?) but my concerns about persistent depression and PTSD and potentially being unable to cope have held me back. (And now the virus and such.) I assumed I would just frighten people. My teachers never gave me that impression, in fact I felt a lot of warmth from them and a very deep connection with them, but they were Japanese expats living in the United States.

Like you I just lie on certain questions whenever I'm getting any kind of medical care. If I tell them I have to talk myself down on a daily basis, or that I fantasize about my death and bodily decay in order to stop panic attacks, they'll invariably put me on a useless 36 or 48 hour hold, which means I'll be in a strange place with lights on and strangers milling about and I won't sleep, which lack of sleep will cause me to become psychotic. So it's better to just lie because they don't know how to differentiate between ideation and intention. "No no doctor it's okay, I don't want to kill myself, I just don't want to be alive." But I refuse any meds because they make my symptoms worse so they give up and let me out eventually.
5 months ago

Pearl Sutton wrote:And then's there's the flip side of what has been mentioned about how how society treats someone with issues: I had severe physical illness ignored because of my mental issues

Dude, one time I went to the hospital because I was having a severe asthma attack and it wouldn't calm down on its own. I had taken a shower hoping the water vapor would soothe my lungs, and then not brushed my hair. I hadn't been able to sleep so eventually just went to the hospital to get a breathing treatment. Not only did they NOT treat my asthma attack, they pink slipped me (labeled me as a danger to myself and forcibly kept me in the hospital to be "observed") because I "looked disheveled" after almost dying and not being able to sleep.

Unfortunately, instead of having tribal physician/medical people who have a rich oral history and intimate knowledge of natural pharmaceuticals in the surrounding environment, who know the people they're treating and interact with them on a daily basis. We also have much more complicated ailments because of all the toxins and bizarre experiences we're bombarded with in modern society. SO much physical contact with plastics, rigorous school and work schedules, repetitive activities that our ancestors never had to endure and a plethora of microbes that used to be geographically isolated. Our immune systems and bodies in general are bombarded continually with chemicals, stimuli, physical stresses, biological materials and types of radiation that were not in play when we evolved or were created, whatever line of thought you fancy.

And on top of it, medicine is now practiced primarily for profit.

But... at least in America we have and ATTEMPT at mental health treatment. Things are changing. We no longer lock people up permanently in glorified prison wards for having bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. (Although we do lock a lot of people in actual prisons because of substance abuse related behavioral problems.) Electrocuting peoples' brains is no longer standard treatment. Some doctors are realizing that our minds are an integral part of our bodies, and vis versa. Something that the medicine men and women and shamans have known all along.
So as much as we are in an age of burgeoning new knowledge, we are also in a dark age of medicine, having lost most of the knowledge and wisdom that was preserved for thousands of years through oral tradition. Thankfully we still are able to preserve some of that knowledge. But I guess in a sense we humans are victims of our own species' success. Not the only victims, heh.
Some places like Japan for example, there's little to no mental health treatment available for most people. There are a lot of suicides and people who lock themselves up in their rooms or apartments and don't come out for years. If they ask for therapy or to see a doctor about these issues, there's a tendency for their family to discourage them ("Don't embarrass us!") and they may be ostracized by classmates, co-workers etc. They still have the cultural assumption that mental health problems are a problem of will or character, and emphasize the importance of not causing trouble for others, to the point that people suffer so much on an individual basis that it very negatively affects their society as a whole. I think it's a holdover from the period of fascist military rule that culminated in Japan's involvement in WWII; anyone dissident was killed in the years leading up to that (and there were many fantastic scholars that were dissident!) so even now the emphasis is on tow the line or be totally ostracized. Anyone who struggles or stands out tends to be psychologically abused by basically everyone else.

When I spent some time with a lady with multiple sclerosis, she was really revved up about some research about the blood-brain barrier. She thought that it was the perforation of the blood brain barrier that allowed particles normally excluded from the brain, to enter into the brain and totally ravage the glial stuff on her neurons by inciting her immune system to cause inflammation. Gliation basically being the coating on neurons that facilitates communication via stuff like seratonin and all those other things scientists pretend to understand. I've been taking methyl-b12 for years, I noticed it really helped with my cognition in like 2009 or so. Methyl folate can help with gliation of neurons. SO even though dead neurons cannot be replaced.... neurons that have compromised gliation, can be helped by restoring the gliation.
5 months ago
To be honest I think that going through these painful losses as a child and having loving, supporting adults help them through it, is a crucial part of learning how to cope with loss later in life. I think your daughter is going to be a much stronger (and happier) person for it in the long run.
6 months ago