Kindled Gratitude

Fatigued and weary, I entered that room. Who knew “it” would become a place of worship? Who knew the God of all creation would flood me with His love. A midst the clamoring weights, a Presence that would break through the dark.

I was reminded of that ditch. How did I not die there? How did I crawl out? Why didn’t he kill me? What made him stop the brutality?

I was reminded of that barrel at my temple. What happened? Why didn’t he pull the trigger? What scared him away? How did I find the will to move?

And, so it went. Picture after picture…none scared me, none made me angry. I breathed, “Why me?” Not “why me”? as in why did such and such happen to me, but in “why am I still here?” “how did I survive, and others didn’t?”

Not everyone escapes

Not every suicide attempt is thwarted

I think of sitting at our dinner table speaking hard things, deep things…not the norm.

I think of sitting with my hubby…sometimes talking, sometimes silent.  Oh, the peace and tranquility…not the norm.

Even my daughter’s last days, last moments…final breath. In her room, on her bed. Me by her side as she took her final breath and her final heart beat still palpable on my palm. Yeah, NOT THE NORM. I think of My Grieving Friend who got “that call” and had to go identify pieces of her precious son. Of that Momma who got “that call” that her son had hung himself. Of that life that ended in a ditch with no one to say goodbye.

Psalm 106:7, “…They did not remember Your abundant kindness…” — Oh God, may I not take for granted Your abundant kindness. May I have a heart of gratitude as I recollect ALL that has been given to me; all that has been granted.

“…AMAZING GRACE, HOW SWEET THE SOUND THAT SAVED A WRETCH LIKE ME…”

May I continue to have eyes to see beyond the here and now. May I cultivate a heart of gratitude and NEVER, ever forget where I’ve been and where I’ve come from. Every tool has chiseled me into the person I am today. My story continues…

 

Expectant

To that new life that is being formed in your Mommie’s womb:

  • May I dream with you and believe in fairy-tale endings
  • May I believe that there is hope for the future
  • May I allow you to wear your rose colored glasses
  • May I laugh with you and cry with you
  • May I be silly and serious
  • May I jump in the puddles, bask in the sun or run in the rain…with YOU

Oh, that I may learn that you will have your own life journey. May I not taint it with my doom and gloom. But most importantly, may you know that you are LOVED no matter what♥

We anxiously await YOUR arrival🌺

Ragged Edges

Thinking it is a good idea to attempt something normal…familiar. Hey, they are safe. They love me and I love them. Venturing out of the home-made shelter to test the outside world, only to be thrown into spiraling thoughts that assault the mind with unending questions. How stupid of me to think it would be “ok”!

Everything has changed! It’s ludicrous to think otherwise. For sure, I am a totally different person. My ragged edges cut and hurt. Not an excuse, just a fact.

Walking on eggshells, I don’t do. My masks shattered by sorrow and pain…not apologizing for this! Filters annoy me. Primp and proper, I am not.

Being around me is incredibly difficult! The sharpness of my ragged edges cut and bruise. I think I’ll crawl back into my home-made shelter where everyone will be safe😢

Shame

“…I couldn’t imagine confessing the anxiety which whispered white noise in my ears. What would fellow Christians think about the black dog of depression often barking louder than the voice of God?…” ~ Steve Austin

I’m floundering. I don’t fit in anywhere. Too “holy” (haha!) for the world. Not “saintly” enough for the church. In God’s providence (yes, I still believe…) I came across Steve Austin on Twitter. No, no magical story, he “just” turned up on my feed. I’m not completely familiar with all that he proclaims, just this quote just hit me raw.

So, we don’t have a “home church”. Since we came to faith we have always “belonged” somewhere. Crazy how that high school mentality of belonging continues even as adults. Yeah, we don’t belong to the popular crowd…anymore. We are outsiders. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s tons of people that would love for me to be in their “group”. I’d be an amazing token to show off what God can do! Sexually abused as a child, raped, domestic violence, alcohol abuser AND now, the cherry on top, the death of her daughter to cancer. Can you read the BOLD letters on the billboard? But no, I’m just a used up, discarded “saint” that has disappointed the masses. No victory story here.

Just this Sunday we visited a church. It’s a small crowd of smiling welcoming people. Maybe this one? I thought. After service they were having lunch together. We were invited. I panicked. We rushed out. Once in the car, I felt “safe”. Where they mean and snotty? No! Far from that. But my brain went to all kinds of scenarios. Some, real and others, well, made up…I guess.

Back in my “corner” with thoughts of how messed up I am and wondering how in the world I got here. And, thinking this is how it’s going to be…sigh😔

Land Mine

Learning how to not get stuck in my Scrambled Mind and to accept my Brain Explosion Let’s just say, “I’m getting better at it”.

I guess I’m a sucker for punishment…I ventured into the black hole (FB). Yup, self-control went out the door. So, who knew there was a National Daughter’s Day? Is there “a day” for everything? Goodness, gracious! Post after “beautiful” post oozing with inspiration. Allow me to let you into my brain:

what?! seriously! did you have to post that? what if your daughter was dead? I know, I’m going to post a picture of my daughter’s gravesite with “Happy National Daughters Day” and see how you like it —- wait, hold on, what if my daughter was still alive? I’d probably be posting an oozing post as well. it’s not their fault your daughter died and their is still alive —- LOG OUT! No! Why? You’re being triggered. So! Sobbing I lay down and lick my wounds…

Land mines are all around me. I’m aware that some I step in by mistake. Others, well, I see them and step right in. Navigation system is so complicated. Short circuits here, short circuits there, but we continue…

 

Diet

What are you feeding on? Yeah, no, not going into a post about Nutrition although We Need Food I’m talking about what are you feeding your brain?

PTSD has “a mind of its own” and can be pretty chaotic, however, I’m continuing to learn (key) that if I’m gorging on “negativity” this adds to the mess. Being off social media was a prescriptive-order from my therapist. I honestly didn’t think “it” a problem. However, as I was being inundated by news of people ending their life, I can now say this wasn’t helping my already ongoing thoughts of ending mine.

When my daughter passed away, I went on a reading binge about people who had lost loved ones. Now, there is a time for all things and it was good for a time, but a constant preoccupation with the subject keeps me STUCK on death with no space for living. I’m currently in a place where I can dimly see that this not only hurts me but also hurts those that are left behind. Now, was this a purposeful action? NOPE! However, it was happening and I’m aware of it, now.

Back when I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia I remember being so desperate for information that I was reading everything about the subject. Goodness, was this a downer. Am I saying you don’t educate yourself? Not, in the least. All I’m saying is that I was borrowing from tomorrow and forgetting about today. And, for some reason I was focusing on the worst case scenarios. Something about my brain that does that.

Anywho, I desire to choose wisely what goes into my brain. My Frail Frame needs to be cared for as a whole. My brain needs a healthy diet as well. Am I saying I’ll never read the ugly? Nope! Just not obsessing with it. Am I going to live with my head on the clouds? Nope, but a bit of an aerial look never hurt anyone. Is this life all their is? Nope, but I’d be foolish to not enjoy the beauty of today.

My mind is a beautiful, intricate part of my whole being. Choosing to care for it well.

 

 

Trying to Get Back

Ya’ll still here? It’s been a L-O-N-G “minute” since I last posted. Goodness life just tumbles through, doesn’t it?

My laptop has taken “ill” so I am attempting to type on an IPad…yeah, not working as smoothly and speedily as I’d like, but I was itching to get back to my writing routine.

An update (in summary): I’ve been “down”, pretty crazy how dark it can get. Made more changes in the pursuit of caring for my mental health. We moved. Adjusting to a new town. I lived in the same town since we came from Mexico in 1975, so theirs tons of adjustments. One being trying to reconcile, in my chaotic brain, that I haven’t abandoned my daughter since the cemetery where her remains lay is further away. Yeah, working through things that might be “normal” to some, to me seem like huge unsurmountable mountains. But learning and trying is the name of the game, and, at the moment, I’m ok with that.

”Routine” is my friend, but it seems to be hiding. And, again, learning that the dictates of my brain, at times, need to be silenced. Trying not to be so hard and rigid so as to flow and enjoy those blessed moments of sanity.

OHHHHHH, guess what? We are expecting our first granddaughter in February! Oh the joy! Yup, the sweetness of a life bringing us lots of sunshine! Hearing her heartbeat for the first time was surreal.

Our life journey continues. Whoever is still here, I’m glad we are walking together. Your companionship is a gift.

Stinging Words

I thought by now you’d be better” and so began a conversation that is often avoided. Already riddled with anxiety, the body responded with further tension and frustration.

‘Thinking before speaking’, what a concept! It has been said, “if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all.” Is there a ‘mute’ button anywhere? Maybe the “walking-dead” is not such a far fetched concept.

My Grieving Friend has said, “it is a constant teaching moment.” Somewhere along the line I would like to stop teaching, please!

If I’m in a good-place, I might simply smile or even mumble a cordial reply. However, if I’m already depleted from fighting my own personal assaults then I’ll yank you right into my struggle. Verbal punches and blows will be thrown…be forewarned. Then, I’ll either walk away victorious having dodged another bullet or I’ll continue the barrage of self-hatred due to my inadequacy of properly handling another encounter poorly. Yeah, people encounters are just not “my-thang”.

I am constantly told that isolation isn’t good for me. Ha! Are you kidding me?!?! At least when I am alone my opponent is one not a multitude. I am seriously contemplating a bungalow in a deserted island…just sayin.

Explaining…explaining…explaining…

Defending…trying to make people understand…is

E-X-H-A-U-S-T-I-N-G!!!

The Mind

The human mind, many a war has been fought and won within its hidden chambers. The battles can be fierce and unrelenting. Its doors can be unknowingly opened, allowing ferocious enemies to come in and wreck havoc.

Ghosts have no power to hurt, yet somehow I’ve given them the power to haunt and torture me. Dismissing these ghosts does not nullify the reality of past events. However, inviting them in and allowing them to set up permanent camp is a choice.

Have you ever contemplated digging up a corpse? Yes, you read right! Well, I have. In my chaotic spirals that thought has entered my mind. As the spinning stops, the reality hits like a boulder and the onslaught of questions floods…would that bring her back? would that bring you comfort? would it make everything ok? would this…on…and on…and on…

In a sense, a sort of “digging up” has been happening around here. Now, this has been a much needed endeavor, however, there comes a time to move forward beyond dissecting that putrid muck. I refuse to allow any more abuse to happen at the hands of ghosts. NOW, I HAVE A CHOICE!!! NOW, I HAVE A VOICE!!!

“…Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” ~ Phil. 4:8 NLT

Grateful for days or even moments of clarity of mind. For moments that allow me to breathe without restraint. Today, I will choose to think and meditate on TRUTH.

Daddy-Issues

Another holiday in the books! Social media in tip top shape with all its Kodak moments. The endless flow of post card perfection. With all them filters who can go wrong, right? What lurks behind the scenes? What if we could peel off every “filter” and were allowed into the rawness of life?

I read a blog post which was originally posted on June 6, 2018 entitled “Gravity and Stars: A Father’s Day Reflection for the Fatherless” by Sammy Rhodes. Within his post Rhodes quotes Michael Chabon:

…fatherhood is “an obligation that was more than your money, your body, or your time, a presence neither physical nor measurable by clocks: open-ended, eternal, and invisible, like the commitment of gravity to the stars.”

“Obligation” and “commitment”, words packed with a punch. Words that enter the recesses of my mind and turn up with an “ERROR-MESSAGE“. Rhodes says, “There are a lot of ways to lose a father, each with unique pains.” and “…[his father] haunts the land of the living with the presence of their absence…his absent presence…” — Wow, this hits hard! (emphasis mine).

Thoughts of my own father “missing” yet there. Remember Dad? Yeah, The Runaway has deep “daddy-issues”.

Memories of my Dad are few. From that trickle flow, one looms the size of Gibraltar. His “presence” was painfully absent when his little girl needed the protection of her Daddy. In a sense handing over the preciousness of a soul to abuse. With his “absent presence” came others that would step into his abandoned role. However, this proved to be disastrous. One said that “he loved me as his daughter”, only to cowardly bury the truth. The other said, “I love you like a daughter”, as he denied his thwarted attempts to violate her body.

In the mystery of this life journey there are turns in the crooked road that bring you to ponds of fresh water. Waters that quench and satisfy a thirsty soul. I have been given eyes to “see” A Father. The only one and perfect Dad. I am so grateful! And, by the grace of God, my husband has been that Dad that has been and continues to be always “present” for our children.

~~~Gratitude in the midst of pain~~~