Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Recovery: God's Way.

Since I have a major traffic spike over the holidays, (all of us loners trolling the net, while we wait for the Christmas music to stop), I'm going to try and leave more content, as I wonder through the grief work I've arrived in. Monday night was an interesting combination of fighting the urge to cry and having some kind of body overload. I'd be lying in bed and suddenly my heart would start pounding and racing, like I was having an anxiety attack. I had some breathing trouble, but mentally I felt nothing. I'm not any where near done with this process.

So, I ran through Monday's events with sweet Maria, who lovingly tried to explain my friend's (and her own) viewpoint. I'm poor, they aren't and it is wrong to take from someone who is so poor. I just continued to feel cut off from humanity. Like I'm not allowed in the game.

In a way its a relief. I can scale back on gifts, radically, or fore go them all together. Why am I trying to step out of reality? I don't have to sacrifice for anything but God. I can postpone my trip to Boston and get the G5-super-duper computer I need. Maybe this is another time when I have to face what is real. I don't have the money to share. So, I'm done.

At church, Tuesday night I was angry and joked about finding my purpose. "The poor ye shall have with you always" I find job security in being poor. And "when you have a banquet, don't invite your friends, for they will just invite you again. But invite the lame, the blind and the poor. For they can't recompense you, but your Father will reward you". Yeah, I have a liscence to be selfish: so hand it over! I got asked if I was able to have a pity party alone. Actually, yes, quite comfortably, thank-you. Compared to the torture of AA meetings and their abandonment methods, this was a mild rebuke.

The lesson was on the two greatest commandments. Love God and love thy neighbor as thyself. I honestly confessed I felt shut out on this gift-giving business. Pastor brought up the idea of putting the other person's needs above my own. It suddenly hit me, people don't like me sacrificing my meager resources on their behalf (my pride), but I can sacrifice my pride on the alter for God by letting them have their way and not fighting their wishes.

We also talked about the pride on the part of the "refuser". But that isn't my problem. Although having some kind of explanation, other then just being pushed away by people I care about was comforting.

I have to rise above my hurt, anger and fear. Unlike my marriage, where my husband demanded emotion and affection out of me I had no idea how to give, backing off from sharing is easy. I'll still share, but not using my money.

When I got home from Church I logged on and started this post. My friend then emailed me, responding to my last post. I had the reasoning wrong. He, senses I try to spend more then I have. He figured this out with my declaration that he'd get his Christmas gift in Feb.! Too much sacrifice and something is out of balance. As I was reading his kind and encouraging response, I suddenly realized where my hurt really sprang from.

I use money as a front to hide behind. I may be a jerk, but I know you'll LOVE my money! My real friends are keyed into who I am as a person and don't care about the money thing. I realized I'd made money into a really filthy idol. I worshiped it because it fed my illusion of having control over my life.

This is one of the reasons God hates pride. Pride drives one to lie, to themselves first, and then to everyone else. I had to admit that I truly don't have the money I intend to spend, right nowe Therefore I have to change some of my plans. Then I was able to really cry about all the years of holding up this false front. Just like the betrayed wife, I was the last to know that I was believing a lie.

The terrific news, however, is: I'm NOT IN CRISIS! At no time did I feel the need for emergency medication, or a trip to the hospital. This was normal tears. Lasted about five minutes and my body began to relax. I was then very thankful that God has been so patient and kind with me. I still love to do the Peacock-strut, even though I'm missing all the pretty feathers! I then began to unravel why sacrificing beyond all reasonable limits seems so right to me.

My family had two basic messages for me. "God, you're EXPENSIVE! We hate you" and "Damn I wish I could make you just LOOK normal!" These two messages combined into a lethal combo which has mesmerized me until now. The message I got as a child and a teenager was the old guilt-inducing ploy: "We've sacrificed EVERYTHING for YOU!" I will literally give up food to make something happen for someone else. Is this out of balance...? Naaaah. How about absolute hysterical insanity. Looking back as an adult, the drunken speeches were not true. For sure nobody went hungry because of me!

I have always believed that two additions to my childhood would have stopped all the abuse. A credit card and several fake body parts. The credit card would have stopped the torrent of their simpering sacrifice speeches. Fake eyes and an artificial right leg would have kept my mother from her antics. She would attempting to make me look normal by scotch taping my eyes fully open, and at times, beating me senseless.

I almost could feel years of guilt and a self-imposed prison of fear dropping off of me. It is alright and even praise-worthy for me to truly care properly for myself. I rejoice when I see other troubled people begin to pull back and help themselves. So, I will give, but on a much smaller scale. An e-card will be fine until my financial situation is altered by God's guiding hand. I don't have to try and be something I'm not. I don't have to feel so damn guilty! Oh, I rejoice!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Recovery: Reality Check For Us Child Abuse Rufugees.

Holiday time again. I'm not hanging in as well this year as I thought I would. A friend of mine unintentionally has thrown me back into some extremely painful Reality Checking. This is not a mature, all-together post. I'm distraught, angry and very unhappy. This is the stuff no body has the guts to tell. Well, since nobody has thousands of dollars for real therapy, this is my contribution to the literature. Friends, I haven't lost my recovery.

"weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning"

I attempt to believe that.

Some of you will not recognize this kind of agony. For the rest of us, check out the best description of a manic depressive's depression I've found anywhere. Notice the all-or-nothing attitude? The anger?, despair? Isolation? But through it all, he knows tomorrow will be another day.

Gi' Me Wings
(Rod Stewart, Steve Harley / Chen, Savigar, Cregan, Grainger)

Driving in my car
There's nothing on the air
Play a song that'll ease my pain
D.j.s telling me
That this is what'll be
Help me I'm depressed again

My best friend disappeared
With the girl I had for years
My life's going down the drain
The skies are crying
Everybody's lying
Oh God I'm depressed again

Give me wings I'll fly away
Magnificent and free
Far away from the madding crowd
There's gotta be a place for me

The boss is on my back
I know I'm gonna crack
Looks like I'm paranoid again
Can't do nothing right
See only black and white
Oh God I'm depressed again

Give me wings I'll fly away
Magnificent and free
Far away from the madding crowd
There's gotta be a place for me

How can I plan ahead
With this hanging round my neck
Looks like I'm coming down again
Thought about it well
Analysed myself
Yeah, I'm depressed again

Give me wings I'll fly away
Magnificent and free
Far away from the madding crowd
There's gotta be a place for me

I'm down, I'm coming down again
I'm down, looks like I'm coming down again
I'm down, I'm down
Looks like I'm coming down again
I'm down, I'm down
Looks like I'm pissed off again

Now, why am I in this swamp? I'm being a butt-head, immature and HONEST! Most of the time I work really, really hard at finding all the ponies in the piles of horse shit that make up my life. Most of the time, I almost believe my rose-colored approach. With it I ignore a few basic, hard facts. (Please don't comment about self-pity, I already said I'm being a butt-head).

I'm living alone because I have found it impossible to successfully live with other people.

Most of my "friends" are people who I've never met, in the flesh. We either speak to one another over Skype, or text message one over Adium or Firefox.

I have one (sort-of) close friend, when I remember to not tell most of the truth about who I am, or what I like, or feel. But, I do know her in the flesh.

I have an amazing capacity to ignore reality and replace it with fantasies I "live in" and add to as I go along. This works great until someone reacts differently then I'd imagined they would act.

I'm getting along better at my present church, then I have anywhere. But, I am VERY careful to tow the "party" line so as to be accepted as "one of us". When depressed I want to laugh at all things religious. I want to laugh as I fill out a form as #153,724 on the Berkeley Housing Authority's "Housing Voucher Wait List". (to let them know that I still want to hang out on the list and continue to wait.) To wait for housing with people I dread being around in an area I pray I never have to live in again. The area I dread, namely a drug-infested ghetto. But the one good thing about crashing into a depression like this, is I get angry and scared enough to act like the disabled, impoverished and wretched (it helps for the workers to see me like that) person I am.

When I get upset enough to throw more begging papers at the government, Mick Jaggar captures my general sense of how life "really" is.

Out Of Focus by Mick Jaggar

I saw a glittering moon
I saw a beautiful morning

Shining on the hill

And I grabbed the cat by the tail

The future with my finger nails

But now I live in fear

It's all out of focus

It's all, baby, so unclear

It's all out of focus

It's all, baby, so unreal 

I saw towering spires,
I heard beautiful chimes,
I heard them peal

I saw visions of grace,
I saw heavenly place,
then it disappeared

Maybe I lied a little bit too much

Maybe I cried a little bit too much

I saw the future just shatter in glass 

It's all out of focus

It's all, baby, so unclear

It's all out of focus

And nothing is revealed 

I was walking on clouds,
yeah and talking so proud,

but I did not hear

Voices singing so loud,
said you're tumbling down,

to the streets of tears 

It's all out of focus

It's all, baby, so unclear

It's all out of focus

It's all, baby, so unreal

Sometime I lied a little bit too hard

Sometime I cried a little bit too hard

I saw the future just vanish like glass 

It's all out of focus

It's all, baby, so unclear

It's all out of focus

And nothing is revealed

A while back, a friend declined my offer of a birthday gift. This caused me a great deal of pain because for most of my life people want to give to me, but don't want anything I want to give to them. Somehow, an e-card feels so empty. Why don't I like e-cards by themselves? Only contact between my drunken father and myself , once I moved to California, was through letters. Then my relatives saw fit to block even that small communication. But, that's me and not my friend. He says he's happy with an e-card.

So, I figured I'd try it again at Christmas. No dice, same reaction and a polite request not to send a gift certificate. After I protested I got the: "fine, do what you want," (oh, no, I know what THAT means - 'scuse me, I'm out-of-here!) I had to let it happen. I couldn't not cry. I loathe it when I cry. I had to get to the bottom of this.

Here's my warped view and the screaming agony I'm in at the moment. It is not my friend's doing. He is just "another one" in a continuing series. I'm having trouble with the "series" aspect. The real problem is I want to be a part of his life at a level he is not comfortable with and therefore, blocking. I've done the same thing. Pushed some folks back to where I was comfortable.

I had a whacko, homeless guy bringing me all sorts of gifts. I flatly turned him down, why? I didn't want the involvement. In his case, when he found out I wasn't going to come across with the sex he wanted, he took his trinkets with his passion and moved on to the next "girl". I've also refused gifts when I felt I couldn't give anything back, usually a money issue. I like to give gifts because it is one of the ways I feel like I'm a part of something. The mail, or an e-card is like paying a bill, or trying to have a deep emotional involvement with say, my bank.

Here's the really, really irrational part. He takes gifts from his mom, his wife and kids. See, I have to face it, I ain't a part of his family and will never be a part of his family. Not like I want to be. I am not finding total relief from this maddening drive, even though I am moving farther and farther into "sanity". The other maddening drive which is not lessening is looking for a father-figure. My Pastor is stuck with that part of me. I just am having to face the reality of being alone.

Oh, I have a physical family, but just after I got married, my cousin flew into a rage when we gave her a Christmas present because:"Oh shit, now I have to buy you something. I don't want you to give me anything anymore. I don't want to have to buy you anything." I finally gave it up and have had nothing further to do with my relatives. But, hope still springs up from time to time (damn!)

I guess I still can't accept all the pain of not being wanted by my parents, my aunt or my cousin. My x-husband wanted me because he thought I was "good breeding stock". Before he discovered I refused to be a mother. Our marriage also proved (for awhile) that he really wasn't a homosexual.

I just have that sickening feeling of being "out". Oh, sure, I'll meet you, your family and I'll act appropriate. We'll engage in simple small talk. I will be so very careful. I will pass myself off as more-or-less normal. But, I'm "out".

Problem is I still long to be "in" somewhere. God is cool, but its a bit abstract. Somehow snuggling with my bedding and talking to God, at times, feels a bit empty.

The reality is when you come from severe abuse you will over react to stuff like this. Some of you may not like this post. It may upset your carefully constructed denial. You may realize that you aren't as "happy" as you thought. Give it a read in a couple of months. This blog is to document the crazy-quilt patch-work of recovery. Some days are better then others. Right now, I don't feel so good.

"But, you must have FAITH! God will..." Pardon me, right now, I say: "put a sock in it!"

I keep hearing how we Christians are to prosper and all of that "abundant life" rheetoric. Somehow I don't recall the Apostle Paul having a condo with a hot tub. He had so much crap to deal with, he openly toyed with wanting to kill himself! Now, he decided to hang around for the benefit of his "flock", but he was really, really not a happy camper in a few places.

I prefer not to do to much looking into the future. It is all I can do to keep from being in this kind of down, tantrum-esk state more often. Because the reality is I'm disabled enough that the Government has deemed it okay for me to live off your taxes until I die. (or until they change the rules - sarcastic giggle). I'm on housing lists because there is a very real chance that I won't be able to continue to pay my own rent, without help. I used to buy my own insurance, until I had to go begging to the system for help. It is only a matter of time before I'm forced to return to the world of the "drug-house in the ghetto" life-style.

I'm a tither, I am dedicated, try to be honest and not totally bullshit my church. I do, however lie about my extra income. I know what would happen if I could even find the office to write to, in order to "declare" my income. I'd be "punished". I'd have to pay out 250% of my extra income in paying my own insurance again! I played this game when I was working part-time. I even tried to declare a lousy $70 and the letter was returned. Even the Post Office couldn't find the office address I was given to write in for my "declaration"! Screw it. I am going to keep doing what I've been doing and if I end up in prison, I'll end up in prison.

I will survive and even thrive. Pastor really got on me for "lying" until he attempted to talk his landlord into taking a 50% rent reduction to "help me out". She sold the property and ignored his pitch for the "less fortunate". If I don't say anything, nobody else will say anything either.

The only time I take crap from people is when I dare to act like I might be able to get off the system. Maria knows what has happened and what will happen if I try to play by middle class rules. So, I work part-time, under-the-table and everyone (including the bureaucrat who manages all my files) is happy.

When I come face to face with how isolated and "out" I really "feel", I get a bit crazy. I'm bone tired of a whole lot of things I can't change. So, I choose to take my anti-depressants and put a happy spin on things. I am still gagging on not having that damn imagined closeness of being "in" somewhere. My friend actually admitted that "family isn't always so great". Yeah. I'll be able to ignore all of this in the morning. But right now, Neil Diamond captures my mental state.
Shilo by Neil Diamond

Young child with dreams
Dreaming each dream on your own
When children play
Seems like you end up alone

Papa says he'd love to be with you
If he had the time
So you turn to the only friend you can find
There in your mind

Shilo when I was young
I used to call your name
When no one else would come
Shilo you always came
And we'd play

Young girl with fire
Something said she understood
I wanted to fly
She made me feel like I could
Held my hand and I let her take me
Blind as a child
All I saw was the way that she made me smile
She made me smile

Shilo when I was young
I used to call your name
When no one else would come
Shilo you always came
And you'd stay

Had a dream and it filled me with wonder
She had other plans
Got to go and I know that you'll understand
I understand

Shilo when I was young
I used to call your name
When no one else would come
Shilo you always came
Come today

So, here's the deal as I see it. From time to time "reality" will bring you up short and drive you to your knees. I have always felt rootless, abandoned and rejected at a real deep level. No human being in your life can ever really fill up that hole. Sometimes God seems to be able to provide real comfort. But you will continue to chafe at the holes which still cry out, but aren't getting filled.

This is what makes the "holidays" a living hell for many of us. It is the one time of year when we get a real in-your-face, reminder that we "know" no one and belong "nowhere". Even though I'm a Christian, this song still speaks to me when I'm grappling with all of the above.
Wandering Spirit by Mick Jaggar

When all the twelve Apostles try to ring me on the phone

Take a message but I won't return their call

For I have no eyes to see him and I thought I lost my way

And I know I've lost the keys to your door 

And I climbed the highest mountain and I looked down on the sea

And I saw a ship a-sail to the shore

I took a passage to the East and I journeyed to the West

I made love from Battambang to Baltimore 

I said, oh, am I running in a race

I said, oh, am I getting anyplace

I said, oh, can I make it 

I'm a wandering spirit

I'm a wandering spirit

I'm a wandering spirit

I'm a wandering spirit, yes I am a restless soul

I'm a wandering spirit, there's no place that I can call my own 

I was a glutton at the banquet and I spilt the finest wine

Trod the pyramids and ruins of Angkor

I kissed the Mona Lisa and I breakfasted with kings

And I touched the nerves of nature in the raw 

I said, oh, am I running in a race

I said, oh, take that smile right off your face

I said, oh, I can't make it

I'm a wandering spirit

I'm a wandering spirit

I'm a wandering spirit, no escape, no parole

I'm a wandering spirit

I'm a wandering spirit

I'm a wandering spirit, there's no place that
I can call my home

I said, oh, am I running in a race

I said, oh, take that smile right off your face

I said, oh, I can't make it 

I'm a wandering spirit

I'm a wandering spirit

I'm a wandering spirit, looking for a place to go

I'm a wandering spirit

I'm a wandering spirit

I'm a wandering spirit, no escape, no parole

I'm a wandering spirit, I'm a lost and lonely soul
And now, I want to show you a song by Bob Dylan that captures better then anything else I've found, why living in the ghetto is so bad. This is a raging hard-rock blues tune. Truly a work of truth.

The Groom's Still Waiting At The Alter by Bob Dylan

Prayed in the ghetto with my face in the cement,
Heard the last moan of a boxer, seen the massacre of the innocent
Felt around for the light switch, became nauseated.
She was walking down the hallway while the walls deteriorated.

East of the Jordan, hard as the Rock of Gibraltar,
I see the burning of the page, Curtain risin' on a new age,
See the groom still waitin' at the altar.

Try to be pure at heart, they arrest you for robbery,
Mistake your shyness for aloofness, your shyness for snobbery,
Got the message this morning, the one that was sent to me
About the madness of becomin' what one was never meant to be.

West of the Jordan, east of the Rock of Gibraltar,
I see the burning of the stage,
Curtain risin' on a new age,
See the groom still waitin' at the altar.

Don't know what I can say about Claudette that wouldn't come back to haunt me,
Finally had to give her up 'bout the time she began to want me.
But I know God has mercy on them who are slandered and humiliated.
I'd a-done anything for that woman if she didn't make me feel so obligated.

West of the Jordan, east of the Rock of Gibraltar,
I see the burning of the cage,
Curtain risin' on a new stage,
See the groom still waitin' at the altar.

Put your hand on my head, baby, do I have a temperature?
I see people who are supposed to know better standin' around like furniture.
There's a wall between you and what you want and you got to leap it,
Tonight you got the power to take it, tomorrow you won't have the power to
keep it.

West of the Jordan, west of the Rock of Gibraltar,
I see the burning of the stage, Curtain risin' on a new age,
See the groom still waitin' at the altar.

Cities on fire, phones out of order,
They're killing nuns and soldiers, there's fighting on the border.
What can I say about Claudette?
Ain't seen her since January,
She could be respectably married or running a whorehouse in Buenos Aires.

West of the Jordan, west of the Rock of Gibraltar,
I see the burning of the stage,
Curtain risin' on a new age,
See the groom still waitin' at the altar.

Copyright © 1981 Special Rider Music
My friend is still my friend and the wonderful Dylan lyrics are beginning to pull me out of the worst of my mood. It does pass. I wish it wouldn't come at all, but at least I'm not spending months in a depressed and self-absorbed state. It really is getting better. My natural denial is coming back, which means I can sleep tonight and be civil with the world tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Stupidity Factor: Why Can't People Design Things Properly Any More?

(Finally, here is a post! I wrote most of it on 11/4. I'm just now getting back to speed after that nasty, nasty flu. If you get it, be good to yourself, it can really lay you out. I will try to get back to posting something once a week. Thanks for your patience.)

This is going to be a bit of a rant. I clean houses and hand mop large areas of hardwood flooring. I am not complaining about the task. With my low vision doing a floor on hands and knees gives me a chance to 'feel' where the dirt is. Using a mop, I just glide over the stuck-on stuff, never the wiser.

About eleven years ago I bought some serious knee pads. They were thick rubber with two sets of attachment straps. Due to wear, they no longer attach properly. So, I went to the local hardware store to replace them. After carefully describing what my needs are to a clerk, he came back with one choice. An unbelievably badly designed, thin rubber atrocity that I had to assemble. So ten bucks down the shoot. I mean, these things just don't work. The one strap is placed incorrectly causing the pad to drift downward while walking. But what really made me angry was the total lack of protection this device gave my knees. I would have been better off folding up one of the bathroom rugs and sliding around on it!

That last idea is also sold by my hardware store. It is called a kneeler. After trolling the Internet, I got a good look at said device. It is designed for GARDENING! Where crouching gets you to the perfect height. Now, friends, there is a design problem here. People who are up and down, on and off their knees all day long don't want to have to worry about moving their kneeling platform. People who are on and off their knees all day need more then 1/4 inch of cheap rubber between their knee and a hard surface. I can not believe my hardware store sold me what they did.

After trolling the net and being relieved of almost thirty bucks my new knee pads will arrive by November fifteenth! One of those secondary sellers on As a California resident, my state government has seen fit to force amazon and this other poor seller to warn me about the dangers from my product. (Knee pads - this I gotta see). Yes, friends this is no joke. Thanks to something called Prop. 65, I was warned that while working in dusty areas, or with wood and construction equipment, I might breathe in something harmful! Perhaps if I hold the knee pad over my nose and inhale, I might also get a rubber buzz! As David Steinberg used to say: thanks for clearing that up!

(Flash! Update. Since I didn't publish this when planned, my $30 knee pads arrived and they are worth every penny! I now can both do my job and still walk the next day. Now, I return you to the remainder of this post)

But, alas, there are mountains of stupidity out there. I own a walker. I love my walker and use it unmercifully through all kinds of weather and terrain. It is held together with various bolts and "#2 Phillips" screws. For those of you who don't know, the Phillips is the screw with a cross type head. it looks like a plus (+) sign. So, every so often one set of screws work themselves loose. The pharmacist who sold me the walker hands me a twelve inch long screw driver and I get the screws tightened up.

Twelve inches long? Yes. See the screws in question are buried deep within the handle assembly. People have difficulty looking at them, not to mention trying to tighten them, due to their insane placement. Since my x-husband worked on cars and TVs, he showed me one of the greatest inventions known to man: an angled, or 'bent' screw driver.

Take a screw driver and bend the end into a ninety-degree angle. (It forms one corner of a square). This is used a lot with wrenches. It is amazingly cool. I now own a little tool about two inches long that is bent at both ends. A Phillips on the left and a standard screw head on the right. Oh, how sweet it is!

But, why do mechanics and the like have to be understudies to Houdini? Somewhere, someone had an idea for, say my walker. After the device made it through the proof of concept stage it had to be built. Proof of concept: can/will it benefit the patient enough so that someone will buy it? Building it involves an assembly-line and efficiency.

Efficiency is in the eye of some of the workers. My troublesome screws probably go in very nicely on the shop floor. What one has to do to them once the product has been bought? Who cares?

We have the same thing within the technical / computer world. Entire careers have been spawned attempting to overcome some one's lousy design which wasn't supposed to stay in "production" for twenty years. There is some VERY bad code floating around from, oh say 1986 that some businesses have "patched" to where it still works on the Internet! Sure, there will be a day of reckoning, but the coding monkey who did the last set of revisions is gone, gone, gone!

I long for the day when people again know more then just their little slice of reality. Apple had a great idea, they'd have their computer talk to you. It would read text from the screen. This was back in the eighties. This was wonderful for the blind, right? Not quite. In order to get the computer to "read" text, one had to use a mouse to "select" the desired text. Huh? So totally blind folks are locked into the PC environment because, at least Microsoft didn't require a blind person to select things with a mouse! Somebody wasn't thinking. Oh how I hate it, let me count the ways.

But alas, I am also capable of being stupid. While acquiring the worst flu bug in years, I felt I could crank out a post on this blog. Oh how wrong I was. I had typing problems. Not because I didn't use a spell checker, but because I didn't proof it after the spell checker gave me a clean bill of health. Bat and bet are both correctly spelled words. However, context determines which one is actually correct. Well, after I thoroughly check this post, I'll go back and re-check my last post!

But, I have one last product lament. Right now, men's deodorants are pretty straight-forward solid stick affairs. But, gentlemen, your day is coming. I present the dumbest innovation I've ever had the displeasure of using.

I won't name the product, to hide their shame. It looks like a regular solid stick roll on. But upon opening it, I discovered a grill work over the top of the container. I figured it was a decorative way of keeping it fresh until I purchased it. After much serious tugging, I removed the second 'top' to discover the 'pond' of product underneath.

Folks, this stuff is like a bad hand lotion in consistency. So, now I comprehend what the grill is for. See, this is a system where I can neatly apply a wet version of what I thought was a stick solid. This is totally inane! You "notch" it up by clicks. One click per arm pit. I have to really fool with this set up to evenly spread this clop. For those of you who wish to avoid all this fun. Don't buy any deodorant labeled "soft" solid.