The Alexandria Papers

By Dr. Alexandria Szeman

The Alexandria Papers Newsletter

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The Alexandria Papers
The Alexandria Papers Newsletter
By Dr. Alexandria Szeman  • Issue #3 • View online
I finally got some good news I’ve been hoping for. The last two years, my car (a 2007 Cadillac that I’ve had for 4 years) has cost me several thousand dollars in repairs. In June, when I paid off the loan, I was told the car’s value was only $2400. Ouch. I’ve been looking for a newer used car, and I wanted to trade in the Cadillac – Caddie, as I called her – before it needed any more age-related repairs.
I went to the same car dealership where I’d gotten Caddie. They work with credit unions only, not banks, so the vehicles aren’t priced very much above their actual value. That’s the good news. The bad news is that their inventory moves so fast, it’s hard to find a car you like. And you certainly can’t order any cars. Since I’d already been watching their site since June, I jumped when I found a vehicle I could actually afford – and a 4-wheel-drive, at that, which is an absolute necessity when living on a mountain.
Long story short: I fell in love with the Jeep immediately, and the credit union financed it 100% because of my payment record on Caddie’s loan. I took Jeep on a test drive at 10 a.m. Thursday and pulled into my driveway with Jeep around 3:00 p.m. I am so relieved I found something before winter, which sometimes starts as early as September up here on Big Rock Candy Mountain.
I can’t keep calling my new car “Jeep.” Got any suggestions for names?

My new-ish 2019 4WD Jeep Cherokee, who needs a name!
My new-ish 2019 4WD Jeep Cherokee, who needs a name!
Mindfulness
I practiced mindfulness and being present a lot on Thursday as I waited through all the vehicle inspections (the final one on Jeep and the trade-in-value estimate on Caddie) and for the completion of all the paperwork for the car loan. I was already severely anxious (agoraphobia), but medication wasn’t helping so I was on the edge of a panic attack. I walked around a lot and kept reminding myself to concentrate on slowing down my breathing.
Using the Body and Breath to Get Out of Your Head | Mindful
Migraine
I’ve been told to do the craziest things to “cure” the migraine disorder (that runs in our entire family): get married and have children (when I was 13), drop out of high school and get married (when I was 14), don’t go to college but get married and have children… you get the idea. And those were just the suggestions from doctors. Hmm, I wonder if that’s why I still have migraine…
"A Neurologist Told Me I Don’t Have Migraine, I Have Tension Headaches Because I’m Fat" | Migraine Again
Trauma and Sexual Abuse
In Rachel Thompson’s Tuesday #SexAbuseChat on Twitter, I learned that most victims of childhood sexual abuse don’t disclose. Since I told everyone about the “bad things” that were happening in my family from the time I was 3, I thought every victim of these terrible crimes told, but that no one ever did anything to help us. I was wrong about the “everyone tells,” but right about others not helping us victims of these crimes.
Telling is, of course, up to each survivor, and you have to do what’s right and comfortable for you. I just know that I tell people because I’m not the one who did anything wrong.The abuse was something that was done to me, not something for which I am – or ever was – responsible.
Why Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse Don't Disclose | Psychology Today
Mental Health
I have been trying to expand my definition of “self-care” the last few years, so new things are in my self-care basket. Self-compassion, walking, eating only when hungry, journaling: these are things my therapist taught me and urged me to practice regularly since I never learned anything like that in my childhood. I’m trying to do them all more often.
5 Self-Care Practices For Every Area of Your Life
Books
I love crime fiction, I love suspense, and I love literary fiction best of all. What do I love about Agatha Christie, whose books I started reading when I was a little girl? She combines suspense and crime-ish fiction (okay, it’s always murder as far as I can tell) with absolutely beautiful writing and flawless storytelling. She’s one of my favorite authors.
When Exactly Was ‘The Golden Age’ of Detective Fiction? It’s a Mystery. | CrimeReads
Cooking and Baking
I’m still working on my sourdough bread starter. It smells divine, and I think it will be ready to bake with today (Sunday). We’ll see how it turns out. Meanwhile, I’m reading about lots of other cooking techniques and tips. I’ve learned some of the most amazing things, like why my grandma told me to add a pinch of salt to baked goods. My great-grandmother Stella (née Lili) Hirsch made all the yeast breads, quick breads, cookies, and cakes for my great-grandfather’s corner grocery store. Some of my favorite recipes were passed down to me from her personal collection.
10 Basic Cooking Tricks You Should Know | The Everygirl
My Books
We’re still in the pandemic. I’m still trying to finish that new poem. I’m still keeping my ebooks at 99¢ where I put the sales price in March 2020, when lockdowns started in most of the US. Maybe I’ll just keep the ebooks at 99¢. What do you think?
Amazon.com: Alexandria Constantinova Szeman: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle
Till Next Week
The best place to reach me is Twitter, but you can also contact me via my blog/website: The Alexandria Papers. And if you have any names for Jeep, please toss them to me.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Dr. Alexandria Szeman

Alexandria shares articles on Mindfulness, Migraine, Trauma & Childhood Sexual Abuse, Mental Health, Books, and Cooking & Baking.

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