Last night, addiction #2 made its unpleasantness felt, nothing but incomprehensible nightmares all night long. I'm tired and, thankfully, bewildered. I used to spend hours and days trying to suss out what those intoxicated dreams meant, but they really don't mean a thing, they're just the low side of the high I was looking for but pretty much never get. The last last dream (I woke up many times) was all ants and sawdust that I could never vacuum up, just a mess in the midst of an irritating chaos that was accomplishing nothing.
It's the time of year when my old memory FB posts are coming around to the place where I finally became overwhelmed with the care Maggie needed and made the moves to get her into assisted living - and out of my house. Sparing all the details, one came up today where I was making tours and squeezing in everything that had to get done. Not trying to, but actually doing it all.
Unless you've had to do something like it, not sort of like it, but Really Just like it, I don't think you can actually understand what all I was doing meant, what all it required from me, and what the effort was doing to me. Maggie had never taken care of her own mother, and she had callously left a kind and generous friend behind when that friend had needed her to step up and just be around as a safety measure for her. I've heard it said that bullies are also cowards. In any case, I'm sure Maggie had never had a clue how much effort it took to tend to her and she never returned the favor, either in kind or with joy and laughter in better times.
What I had written four years ago was full of enough details and comments that, for a moment, I remembered the day, the hot sun, the trouble at work, the finances, the contracts, the negotiations with Maggie, the repeated moves, the late nights, the way I had begun to twitch violently when I lay down to sleep from the anxiety, the pressure of care that had no hope of ending... and for several minutes, how it all felt wrapped around me again, like a shroud tightened with bindings. My heart changed its beat, the air in my lungs became pressured with the weight of what I had carried then, and my emotions began to calculate unseen threats the same way you count thugs in a beat down.
I became so alarmed I had to consciously move my mind into awareness of where I stood, how my surroundings and circumstances were completely different now, and nothing of what was happening then was going on now. I'm probably writing this now to make sure I'm not in a nightmare, this sunny, safe place here is real, and that dark place is so far behind me that it can't be traveled to again.
About five or six years ago, I had a season where the Lord would give me the first song of the morning as His gift and word to me. Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, as I lay in the bed waiting for the alarm clock radio to start playing, He would tell me to listen, this song was His word to me. One of those songs was Little Big Town's first big hit, Bring It On Home. You can imagine how much that meant at the time and how much I've treasured it since.
This week, I've cued in on a couple more of their songs. The first one (which I won't name here) because it speaks to my addiction, but the second one has grown on me over the week as I learned the words. It's a song about real, committed love, although it never uses the word.
"It's a get thru what you got to, 'cause it can't stay the same."
I've had this conversation a number of times in the last few years with God, each time knowing we were both committed to getting thru what we had both committed to going thru, but, I've always thrown the "it can't stay the same" back at Him hard and angry, because it can't, and only He can fix it. As it turns out, a huge part of the same that has to change is my addiction, and until this year I didn't even know I had one. Who knew knowing you're an addict is good news? Even at this late date, dealing with an addiction is still better late than never.
"It's a knowing that you love me - more than anything."
I know it. It's the only way I can remain with Him. I know that He loves me more than He loves the whole of creation. I know that He loves me more than He loves himself. I know that He loves me more than He loves being perfect and right and having everything pristine and innocent.
Did you know God isn't proud?
No matter how low I go, no matter how wounded I am, no matter what kind of noxious, disgusting mess I'm living in, He's already committed himself to be here with me in this mess I'm in. When I ask for His help, it's not coming from afar off outside this universe, He's here eye to eye with me, knee or neck deep in whatever I'm in - and He's not ashamed to be here with me. That's what the incarnation is all about, God expressing his own Self right here where we are - in rangy flesh that has to be bathed and fed and take a shit and get tired and get frustrated and get angry and get scared and need care and need and need and need.
I've been thinking about that for awhile now. It takes awhile to get our heads out of our own pride that would have God afar off and pristine, so we could lay claim to ascending to His heights. But He is isn't afar off, He is near, standing in the muck of my life right along with me, fighting with me in the blood and the shit better than any soldier, driving away more dangers than I ever knew came down the pike, and doing it all with a grin and a sparkle in His eyes that says, "Hang on and watch this!"
I've also heard it said never to share a foxhole with someone braver than yourself. Too late, He's done jumped down here in it with me and He ain't leaving. He stayed thru Maggie. He's doing something about this addiction and, because of that, I believe He's doing something about all the rest of "it can't stay the same." He is so present with me that when I look at the evening news, I'm not all that upset over it. I'm fantastically incredulous at it, to be sure, I'm just not upset about it. He said it was going to be this way and that He would be here with me all the way thru it, and when it was finished, everyone would see Him the way he really is.
Be an early adopter, learn from Him one on one now. It's always more expensive when it goes mainstream.
This morning, I'm happy to discover that objects aren't relationships to me, that I can obtain and discard with pleasure and without guilt. This isn't how I was brought up by either parent. Each had their own attachment forms to either family property handed down or newly bought items that couldn't be released until ever, either due to the irreplaceable nature of money or the "love" of ancient, dead relatives. Of course, even more enormous sums of money were spent hauling great piles of stuff around, and who knows how the dead relatives really felt about that table or clock, they were just the barely usable bits still remaining.
Also this morning, in a less happy yet satisfying manner, I am settling down within myself dealing with my addictions. I don't do substance abuse, but I have a couple of behavioral addictions that I've never recognized and untangled until the good Ms. Pia Mellody thoughtfully pointed them out. Big time, obsessional, death dealing addictions that no one ever admits to publicly. So, with any luck we won't be watching comedy sketches on television about it and no memes on Facebook, so there's that then.
The photo is of a little Limoges plate I picked up yesterday at an estate sale. It will go perfectly with the next theme that is developing for my kitchen - vintage blue and brown in flowers. It's a weird little collection to gather up, but I keep coming across this stuff and it's talking to me, so I get it. I enjoy it. I have no idea what it's saying until it's all put together and it's all out there where I can see it. Which also seems to be a repeating theme in my psyche, but we have to work with what we have, y'know?
I'm harping on confronting my delusions at the moment. I don't know how many I use, but they generally ring around giving a loved one more credit for loving me than they deserve, OR, giving myself a brighter prospect for the future than I should expect. It's more than optimism, it's a deep, repeating habit of accepting the feel good gaslighting of my childhood. Quite a bit of that gaslighting was intended to be a short term answer to other people's lifetime problems, but no one ever stepped up to deal with anything honestly, and the years of my growing up just tripped on past, leaving me still believing the pacifying bullshit.
I just read this article at PsychCentral, and I'd like to see some elements in it explored for adult survivors of a narc family, especially after decease of the dominating parent.
"As the victim’s mind scrambles to discover what one has to do to
acquire a positive response from her abuser, cognitive dissonance sets
in and the desperate urgency to discern a rhyme or reason becomes a
At this point, the victim evidences signs of
Stockholm Syndrome, a form of traumatic bonding in which victims are
pathologically attached to their perpetrator. She is caught up in an
addictive cycle and deifies her abuser, dependent on her tormentor to
pathological attachment is a survival strategy, which enables the
victim to dissociate from her pain. By disowning the horror of her
reality and taking on the abuser’s perspective, the victim wards off the
threat of helplessness and terror she actually experiences.
Her locus of control centers around appeasing and pleasing the abuser,
so as to mitigate danger. Over time, the victim becomes over-identified
with her abuser, ignoring her own needs and assuming responsibility for
the abuser’s `suffering.’ She begins to believe the abuse is her fault."
"Therefore, the duped therapist can be complicit in a delusional
set-up, which has severe repercussions for the victimized partner.
Sadly, this posturing only encourages the psychopath to promulgate his
deleterious maneuvering and reinforces the notion that the victim’s
suffering, brought about by gas lighting, lies, infidelities, violence
and myriad forms of deception is somehow faulty and exaggerated.
with the therapist’s endorsement, the victim regresses into dissonance
and deceptive fantasy believing she has newfound agency and legitimate
expectations of happily ever after. Inevitably, idealization gives way
to devaluation and the cycle of emotional rape recurs, leaving the
victim even more emotionally, psychologically, physically, financially
and socially devastated."
I am so sorry to say that all of this plays out in the church and every other religious and corporate endeavor on the planet year in and year out as well. It's ENDEMIC within the human race, don't be so surprised. It isn't that God Himself is an abuser, but leadership with a personal, self serving agenda hidden on the side routinely use the same mind games to trigger passivity, excessive donations, self doubt, and generalized confusion among the flock.
[But, Pastor is such a Nice man, he would never Really Lie, he's just trying to grow the church.]
And it plays out in senior leadership of businesses.
[We used to be a team, but now we're all on edge because the directors have run out of ways to manipulate the spread sheets and get their bonus checks, while the VP level plays... you get it.]
It's psychotic, and no one steps up to deal with the abuse.
People who were raised in sound households know how to recognize the BS when they see it and they learn to ignore it and go on with their own lives. They don't take it personally, they don't do what they don't want to do, they aren't easily intimidated, and if they decide the atmosphere is too toxic or not profitable to what they want to do with their time, they just leave and go do something else.
Those of us who were trained to hold on to the bitter end don't recognize the abuse as abuse for years, we feel compelled to stay and try to make the entire rancid thing "better," even when that's not our job or anywhere within our personal capacity, and even after it's over and we don't have contact with the abusers, we stew in the abuse through memories or grieving patterns.
I noticed myself walking thru the house the other day - I was tense and folded up from my shoulders all the way down thru my fingertips in a particular way, and my gait was odd and familiar. I was mimicking Maggie's* physicality. I was walking and moving in the strangest imitation of her, and it served no useful purpose. I wasn't reacting to anyone, I don't recall what I was thinking, I was just manifesting her presence in my house! I am continuing to identify with her thru her mannerisms, her voice, sometimes a turn of phrase, and thru a slew of emotions and attitudes that just seem to slice themselves in when I'm not looking. There are all sorts of hunts that I don't have a dog in, yet I find myself running hard to keep up with the pack, and after which I can't understand how I got there in the first place. In a way, I am being her - so I can still respond to her - because that's what I've done all my life and what else can I do now?
I don't know any other life than the one I've lived for the past 50 years, and there are NO ready doors of access to a new life at my age. The same mind that has to fight everyone else to create a new life for me is also the mind that is persistently taking me back to the old life and fighting to see to it that I die there. You would not believe the thought swings I have on a daily basis between confidently creating new horizons and a new future, and understanding that the biggest likelihood is that I will do nothing but work a job I don't like and am less suited to by the year, live alone with cats, and die unnoticed until the light bill goes unpaid. I used to get cranky at all the Facebook friends who complained on a rotating schedule of [whatever], yet they lived very well, were happily married, and have extended networks of family and friends for support. Now I just have to ignore them as whiny little brats.
I don't have the time or emotional energy to spare for nonsense. My brain runs hobbled even on my best days with the ADD and introversion, how will I ever pull out of this roundhouse of codependency and abuse recovery and actually get somewhere productive and alive?
I dunno. I truly do not know. But I know if I don't keep scrambling for even the little things, death is going to shut down my years before my years have even ended. I'm so damned familiar with being the living dead that I'm more at home in a cemetery than I am at a party, and that is an absolute moral wrong and a stinking, grotesque offense to the God who made me and this entire, wonderful universe.
So then, here's to a good head of steam and finally getting on track. It's a thing of beauty.
I'm barreling thru my stack of books, plus I received the last of Pia Mellody's CD lectures, so now I have them all. The result has been a flood, and I do mean it's all coming out, of note taking, identification with this and that as I read or hear about something, and journaling of issues and new understandings. It's all good, Pia says you have to get your history straight so you can begin to deal with the effects of abuse. We all have a lot o'history.
Remember where I told you there was a day in my youth, maybe about age 11, when I stopped calling my mother Mommy or Mom, and called her Mother ever after that? It was my way of distancing myself from her physically (the voice is audible, heard with our ears) and emotionally (no longer an affectionate name, but her official title.) As I was writing today, I realized it's time to stop calling her Mother, it just really demeans that title and that role in a persons life. She wanted the power and prestige of being "Mother," but she dropped the responsibility and accountability for it consciously and willfully when I was still in my single digits. In the end, it was nothing more than a trump card to be played when compliance was required.
So, I've started writing her actual given name in my notes and journals, but here I will refer to her as "Maggie." I don't know anyone with that name (no Margaret anywhere,) it sounds a bit like a fictional harridan (any famous drunks with that name, maybe in Faulkner, dunno,) or screeching crow (Magpie?), and, oddly enough, it makes her more human. She was just a woman - with serious issues. It's time to get her off the pedestal, out of the cloaked magic that is motherhood, mark and remove the structures that are her build in my soul, and dethrone her power in my life.
She wasn't a dear sweetie and she wasn't a demon possessed madman, she was a willful human being who shall be known here from now on as Maggie, or as "my mother, Maggie."
And in other news, I recommend again giant Post-It notes that you can stick on the wall and write notes on. (Staples, etc., will have them, too.) They are good with dry erase markers or fine Sharpies, so you can write big or small, with your glasses on or without (!), and you can keep your subjects together and seriously accessible all the time. It might be an issue if you have other people around wanting to read or critique it, but by yourself, it works great. Getting a journal, finding the page, trying to make it read just so can be taxing.
Just dash it off on the Post-It, add things on the margins, draw arrows, draw a picture, then go on to the next part of the lecture or book and come back and add something later. You can add the final edition of the note page to a digital journal by taking a readable photo of it, good for long term storage of the note anyway, or use the information to make some longer, coherent journal entries. I've got Pia's co-dependence workbook coming tomorrow, so I can take the things I've dashed off on the posters and reorganize it for the exercises in the workbook.
Kind of like this, but NOT THIS PERFECT!
Mine are vastly less colorful, but you can see where subject matter, mood, and emotion level change the outcome. Some are scribbled lists, some are a bit flow charty, some are lecture notes, some are life notes. I thought I'd take a picture of my own post-it posters, but I can't figure out how to blur them. Y'all don't need to read that mess, you got your own mess to straighten out.
Oh, I went looking for the workbook for Pia Mellody's book, but I ended up with a bunch of other addiction and codependency books. Starting on Dr. Drew Pinsky's book, Cracked. If you aren't sure about how all the personality disorders and addictions line up, Pinsky's descriptions of actual cases and how rehab and recovery works will shake all that out for you. Nothing like a pro to make things clear.
My recovery travels with Pia Mellody and Stevie Nicks continue. Pia nailed me so hard in a set of lectures called Co-Addicted Relationships, it's taken three days to stop blinking at the light. Yes, it's worth every penny and, no, you shouldn't make a video out of it and post it on youtube. That's just major league wrong. Stevie Nicks comes into the picture because so many of her songs are about the kind of love affairs I used to have - and used to think I was supposed to have! Drama and heartbreak and grieving and rinse and repeat are not love, but that's all we know, so that's all we do.
[I will give you a great big revelation out of that CD set: love addiction and codependency are NOT the same thing, although the codependency obviously feeds into it. I think quite a few of the bloggers out there that are dealing with recovery from narcissistic romantic partners would benefit from some real clarity about love addiction. It feels like everything is all mushed together, but Pia knows how to sort the layers out so you can deal effectively with addiction as addiction, and then go on to deal with the primary issues of codependence. She sounds like she's making it complicated, but she's really being respectful of what our experience truly is. She and I have the same goal - deal with all the mess and get on with the business of living. I've been chained on an emotional trash heap all my life, I'm willing to do the work to move on.]
I've found that there's a local CoDA 12 Step meeting, I'm not sure that's what I need or want, but if I can cobble some courage together, I'd like to go see. I tried a different 12 Step group 25 years ago, and it was massively depressing. Dark room, clinically depressed people, no hope in sight, and the guy leading it set off major warning bells in my spirit. I didn't go again. I think I'm just wanting some acquaintance with others who understand by experience what the deal is and who can keep me grounded about continuing to be aware of how this thing is and has worked in my life. One of my greatest frustrations has always been looking thru old diary entries and finding that I'm doing the same damned dance and repair work over and over again.
I found this interview with Stevie Nicks very interesting this morning. I've never been a following fan of hers before, although I bought her albums way back when. The longer I listened to her talk here, the more I liked her. She is, just in herself, a great encouragement to be yourself and be creative.
There's something about writing here that sets things to rest. Well, it settles them down a bit, and that is worth something over time.
I once had a boyfriend sexual obsession who was equally obsessed with me, and we danced around each other for a number of years. He was my first and we were absolutely wrong for each other, so naturally we proceeded to seduce each other for quite some time. It had all the best elements for fantasy and lost hope - we were complete opposites in every way, our friends and families could not know about it lest it cause an uproar (we were in our teens and barely twenties), and he was vain, handsome, and posturing, and I was naive, hormonal, and emotionally non-existent. Perfect!
I was finally able to confirm last week that he was the shooter in murder-suicide several years ago. I'm angry that he would or could become so base that he would murder a good woman who by all accounts supported him and deserved no such thing. But I also mourn the young man I once knew and occasionally hoped that one day we would casually cross paths again and laugh together at our youth. Flee self pity, people, it's a killer - of your own soul, and in truth, it seeks the destruction of others to satisfy itself. Just let your failures go. Forever.
For the last four or five days, I've been seeing his image standing somewhere near me, not as a ghost, but more like those blended photos of history and a modern photograph. I see him in that precious camel hair coat, smiling at me, wondering and double dog daring me on what I'm going to do next. It's just old memories floating up to the surface as I recall more and more of him and more and more of me way back then. I'm not fond of all these ghosting experiences, but it does bring back parts of me that I've long forgotten.
I won't let him stay long, but before I put him away I'd like to send out a long distance dedication to him wherever he is. He ran away to find himself in the Navy and never came home again. I don't know at all who he was when he died, but I remember him as I knew him. I hope he sought and found the peace of God.
I think I have found the answer to the teapot riddle. It's too straightforward to leave as a mere comment, but like so many other riddles, I had to have some patience to let it reveal itself.
Dad came up this past week to help me with some things and spend some time together. He likes it here, the bed in my guest room is a very good sleeping bed and I don't really have too many chores for him to do. He's in his eighties now and I think he may have done his last chore for me, he's gotten a little weaker and a little less sure footed, so it might be best to just think of this as a little holiday from home from now on. He never aged a day until he was over 75, now he needs a bit of watching over. He thought I was joking that I would call him on the phone and make sure he was drinking his water. I wasn't.
Somewhere in our conversations and many catchings up, Dad happened to mention that he and I went out to tea together one time, just the two of us. Dad had an accompanied tour overseas once (he was an officer in the U.S. Navy), and we (Mom and us kids) got sent home early. Dad stayed on there another six months, then when he got a transfer approved to Vietnam, he stopped by where we had moved to in the States on his way to Vietnam. While he was with us that week, he and I went to some little restaurant and had tea, probably according to whatever my little child's ideal of having tea would be. He thought it was very sweet and I was quite adorable. I was six, about to start the first grade, and I don't remember the occasion at all.
He was deployed to Vietnam MACV for 18 uninterrupted months and I watched the war on the 6 o'clock news, Huntley and Brinkley, every night. I thought sure we were winning with all the people being killed in each battle, and I strained to see some glimpse of him in every newsreel of Saigon city. He was there during the Tet Offensive and I'm sure I was nearly exhausted with the waiting and worry by the time he came home.
The first seven years of my life, I was waiting for Dad to come home from the sea for at least four of them, maybe much more. Looking on the big map in the kitchen and wondering where Daddy's ship could be was a daily fixture in my life.
I was two and a half in this photo sent to Daddy away on a cruise, showing that I loved him and was being a good girl waiting for him to come home.
Of course, when he came finally came home to never go on a cruise again, we were all older, it wasn't the happy home I thought it was going to be, and the only way to spend time with him was to be his little helper around the house or go to work with him. And so began almost two decades of waiting for when things were better and we would all be happy then.
Of course, that time never comes and it never came, but I've still been waiting for it. Bracing, prepping like a survivor cultist, unspoken prayers no different than wishing on a star, unconsciously thinking that I have to keep some sort of time gate open just in case that storm front moves in and things that went wrong can be make right in the end. It's magical thinking, it's believing that fairy tales do come true, it's the endless mind maze of great science fiction, and it's the thoughts of an isolated child who gets her ideas about how life could be from classic movies.
Or, as Pia Mellody has pointed out, it's delusional thinking, and it was deliberately trained into me when I had no power to think it out on my own. It has lain quietly and mercilessly within me all this time, only whispering a word or giving up a rush of nostalgia at regular intervals to keep me bound within it.
I am truly, truly shocked at how much of this sort of thinking I've been engaged in all my life. It's never out in the open, but my thinking processes have never been out in the open before, either. This kind of thinking is the dreaming I do when I'm helpless and distressed on every front, I just keep it tucked away as a comforting talisman, a kind of dream that lulls me to sleep at night after a hard day of grinding reality. It isn't particularly about my father, it's about any thing or any place in life I can't get to right now. I just plan and dream and make very small preparations, like cups of tea in a Victorian drama, and wait for something to change because I can't see any way to change the situation myself.
(I've been trained
to wait for some other day, because I've had my own agency usurped by
the needs of my parents. I can't "go and do" because my job was to not
cause trouble at home EVERY DAY and be always available to take care of
my parents' emotional needs. I was an emotional counselor and comforter
to both of them, neither one of them had a Clue that was grossly
inappropriate or that mutual support was between husband and wife only,
not parent and child. While Dad was in Vietnam, Mother had me come home
from school for lunch every day, sleep in the bed with her at night so she
wouldn't be alone, and never thought to see I went to parties or friends houses to play because she was busy finishing her college degree. Can you see how making friends in school got short
circuited that way? I could go on and on... )
Strangely enough, it's about having small vision, although it masquerades as grand dreams. While "someday something big will happen" is happening, nothing at all is happening - year after year - and my life just kept slipping on by. I needed much better help than I got, much better counseling that I ever had access to, but life just isn't fair like that, so I'm deliberately being thankful that I'm getting a clearer head now. It's a bit of a mixed blessing still, however, because I'm at the stage in life now that I half wonder if I wouldn't be better to just remain half asleep. Youth is absolutely gone and I must actually do something effective about my life now or become profoundly grieved or bitter. It's extremely dangerous territory, really, and I have no patience with platitudes about it.
Well, all that said I'm still working out the new way of thinking.
* It means I feel easier about getting rid of old, not really valuable at all, just sentimental family items. For the most part, they are actually memory tokens for one of my parents or grandparents, not a memory of mine. Both of my parents have somehow felt that sharing their memories of family or experiences have been a means of sharing the actual family or experience - and so they defaulted on making sure we kids had friends and experiences of our own. I've settled for that in all my relationships, I've permitted friends and lovers to treat me the same secondhand way, and it's completely wrong and dismissive.
Mother went to San Francisco for two weeks for her job. She generously brought back a silver charm of the city as a memento and the first charm on a new bracelet I wanted to start collecting. She really thought her experience was a valid memory for me, after all, wasn't I just an extension of her existence?
"Friends" in high school used to go to parties or camp out on the weekend and habitually did not invite me to anything, yet they felt no shame about it and would still hang out around me every day in school. I can't count the number of times they would tell me about how good the S'more's were around the campfire, yet I've never had a S'more 'til yet. "Friends" in high school are quite the story in themselves, but we'll leave that for some other day.)
*It means I feel better about dumping projects and plans of my own that went nowhere and just seem to have accumulated in my soul because at some point or for some reason it seemed good at the time. Being habituated to holding on to someone else's thoughts for them has kept me in the habit of hanging on to my own plans or projects for much too long. It's part and parcel of not being in the present, but living in the delusion of the past or the delusion of a daydream. The present is the only reality that I have access to, there is plenty to do here, and I'm not precluding a different future by just being right here right now.
(There is some quality of betraying the past or future that I've attached to being fully present in the right now. I think it's a tag habit leftover from grieving the loss of my sister, as if moving on with my life without her is a betrayal of my love for her. It's pure emotion, not reason, but it's a lie that has to go.)
*It means I've got to be deliberate and fierce EVERY DAY about not letting memories and day dreams suck up any more of my time. It's such an easy thing to do, but I think I'd be better off watching a new movie or listening to a book on tape while I do some absent minded activity (clean house, paint a room, walkies) rather than let my mind float away in its old habit of entranced distraction. How well I'll do with it, I couldn't begin to guess, but this is an issue of life and death. I have a loooong track record of letting time go by unnoticed, daydreaming inside my head was my only defense against profound boredom and mental/emotional invasion by others as a child, but all those people are gone and I'm safe now. I can "go and do" whatever I want (for the most part), but only if I am actually spending much more of my time outside than inside.
I said earlier that God is ready to write the next chapter in my story, and I really feel like this is what He is saying to me right now. Nothing about it is has to be what I've ever expected or planned for, although I'm also not saying it will be grand or exciting or "important" to the world's way of thinking, it's just going to be not the same chapters I've had always had again and again.
The most difficult thing about novels or long stories is the ending. How will the author bring things together and make everything that came before integrated into a whole that came from somewhere and arrived at its destination? I gave up fiction novels many years ago because I kept plowing thru reasonably good stories that the author couldn't finish. The elements were there, the writing was good, the pacing was effective, yet when it was time to bring the thing to an end and get it published, the author had lost his way and run out of steam. Somehow the last few chapters were little more than the mush of an editor pushing for The End to finally arrive.
I don't want mine to be a grand story, I just want it to be a coherent, graceful story. I've had all the mush I can stand, certainly more mush than a child deserves. I want my wounded inner child to have grown up and released me from all her debts at last.
"Somebody’s gotta pay for this.
Nobody gets away unless somebody dies.
And it’s confirmed that there’s been pain
enough to satisfy the rage
from the losses she sustained by age thirteen.
Only then can the rest go free."
May you all find your own resurrection in Jesus, the Messiah.
Somebody’s gotta pay for this.
Nobody gets away unless somebody dies.
And it’s confirmed that there’s been pain
enough to satisfy the rage
from the losses she sustained
by age thirteen.
Only then can the rest go free. - See more at: http://stevebell.com/2007/06/somebodys-gotta-pay/#sthash.M39XqfPP.dpuf
Somebody’s gotta pay for this.
Nobody gets away unless somebody dies.
And it’s confirmed that there’s been pain
enough to satisfy the rage
from the losses she sustained
by age thirteen.
Only then can the rest go free. - See more at: http://stevebell.com/2007/06/somebodys-gotta-pay/#sthash.M39XqfPP.dpuf
In the 14 minutes it takes to get to work, my head exploded. Trying Allegra for the first time.
Meanwhile, I bought my first Fleetwood Mac album this morning. Unbelievable, I know, they were on the radio 24/7 all thru high school. Listening this morning I realized they are all codependent. Seriously. Rumours is all codependent relationships gone wrong. In my teens, I just thought it was how love was done and had no idea how screwy it all was. Of course, I couldn't understand half the lyrics I was singing along with anyway, but it made me feel deeply. Or so I thought.
Take heed (pay attention) to what you hear or see daily. I have no doubt the reason my house is decorated in ocean blues and sands is because I bought a blue and natural rope door stop for my bedroom. It's what I see as I stumble to the bathroom every morning.
It seems to be a theme with me lately, doesn't it? Anyway, I have a mixer, but it isn't in Bordeaux. Go ahead, try to tell me this color doesn't just give you a shiver. I want it in the 7 qt. size, so I'm going to write them and see if there isn't some kind of bribe they'd take to make one in Bordeaux just for me.
(Guys! Just spray a 7 qt casing in Bordeaux next time you do a run on that color. I'll wait! I'll pay in advance!!! Ooh, baby, wouldn't it just shine like a jewel? I'm going to put it over where you can see it from the living room. KitchenAid and chill, it could be a thing... if you wanted it to be a thing. Yeah?)
[But first, sexy as the dickens, now I'm finding the stuff everywhere, and I Love it! See that curvy little base? Like a shapely little bum wrapped in a pencil skirt, I tell ya!
aaaand back to the subject...]
I went thru quite a phase this week when I thought about deleting the current content of this blog, doing a radical change towards shopping, decor, and nothing but cheerful trends, and monetizing the thing with ads. There are no known readers here and I'll need to keep the things I'm exploring about my past now completely off the web, so what's the point of having it?
Or, I could just string up a third blog to share my shopping finds and interior design opinions, monetize it, and risk this one being found. What a Debbie downer for the random pinner, eh? If there is anyone actually reading here that wants it left up, speak now, for it may disappear soon.
I guess I'm torn between my traditional way of dealing with people. Do I keep everyone in their lanes by splitting myself into parts, just like I've done with these two blogs, or do I ask the heretofore impossible and bring everything together into one - as all these radically disparate elements live quite casually as one in me?
The past couple of weeks have been rather rough as I've realized, yet once again, how easily I make people uncomfortable, and how easily they leave. It's particularly galling from people who hold their reputation for Christian love or being all around great guys so dear. I don't pick fights, I don't accuse people of this and that or their failures, I don't do drama of any kind, I just don't fit into a pre-measured, standard box that they can compartmentalize into their lives - and so I'm not in it, at all.
It's a problem. I don't know how to fix the problem. I don't want to be pre-measured and standardized so I can be put into a compartment, but I don't want to be walked away from so very easily anymore. What to do, what to do...
Oh, here's an unbelievably fantastic interview of two children, one with ADHD, and one without. I can't begin to tell you how deeply I identify with the child with the ADHD. If only I had known at that child's age, if only I had parents that saw any of those issues as the deeply serious problems that they were (and still are,) if only... I had been born into an entirely different life than the one I have. But I wasn't. This is it. And I'm still here in my 50's trying to figure out how to do it better.
Remember where I cued in on "separating the precious from the vile" in the last post?
I've been adding details to memories. The more I think about why this and how come that, the more data points I have for figuring out how I ended up here and not there. Today, I strung together and wrote down how a particularly vexing series of facts add up to some very ugly truths that won't ever make it to this blog. Although my mother is dead, a fair few of my family are still living, and although no one should know anything about this blog, I don't want to say anything so painful that it would hurt them beyond reason. Just the same, I look at some things and am absolutely horrified.
As I wrote some of my assessments in a journal today, I believe them to be true facts. The things described really did happen and the outcome of it all is really that mucky (as in a pile of filth and excrement), nevertheless, there is a problem in viewing it in sum.
The details are facts, but they are not the true story God is wanting to tell.
While the editorial board of the Amplified Version of the Bible may feel that "separating the precious from the vile" has to do with doubting God, I think He is pointing out to me that it's time for me to start setting aside the vile parts of my life from what is precious and should be honored and kept. It's valid to know and understand what the vile is, but I can't muck around in it too much longer. I've got to rake it up, contain it, and set it aside to work anew on creating what is precious and alive.
God is ready to write the next chapter in my story, and the vile things can't come with me anymore. People are too flippant with change, and preachers are too often delusional about forgiveness. It's not good enough to forgive, forget, and then repeat, like I've always done. I need to deliberately pull apart, set aside, and lock up the vile like you would an unrepentant criminal.
All of this isn't about the vile, that's not what my story is, it's about protecting what is precious. That's what God wants, to come in and protect and care for the precious - in me.
Did you know shopping could be a form of meditation? It is if you think about why you are doing it compulsively. I keep getting obsessed with teapots, and having Etsy and Ebay always at hand night and day doesn't help much. There are thousands to choose from. I bought this one above yesterday after keeping the search results up on Etsy for almost two weeks. I like the shade of blue and the crocheted rim effect, it's really lovely, but I've also been scanning sets (teapot, sugar, creamer) and even been distracted this morning by some beautiful cup sets in a completely different color and pattern style. Why am I doing this? How much tea do I drink anyway? Who am I going to show these pots to and why would they care? What does it matter????
know what it means - yet. There's the obvious link to getting tea sets
to play with as a child. My grandparents would take us to
Kuhn's 5 and 10 on our first summer visit every year and we could pick out one toy. (That's it, youngsters, one toy gift that wasn't part of Christmas or a birthday. Wild, huh? That's just how we rolled in the Mesozoic Era.)I always wanted a tea party set, at least for about three years that I could remember. I guess that's just the age I was at back when playing was still fun. Maybe my growth was stunted back there and I'm trying to work all that out and begin growing again. I also know that playing lady and tea time is part of a little girl's life when what you want to be when you grow up is purely imaginary and external. You dress up and act out scenarios that are hopelessly different than anything you could ever be. Princess, nun, genie, dancer, horse jockey, penthouse sophisticate millionairess - all roles I would play, but were obviously not connected to my real inclinations and capabilites. They were just pretend games, and no one was ever coming to a tea party that I would never give. But it was fun to pretend, childhood is for imagination and games. So what about now? I don't know, but I need to get out of the house before I start buying more things online. So I'm going down to the big antique mall and wander around down there. Something about having the actual item in front of me usually makes it less desirable, it has real flaws and an immediate cash price, not like the imagined beauty of a photo online. Like being a princess or a nun, the real thing isn't really what I want, it's what it represents. Here's to ... I was going to say "separating the precious from the vile," which is a scripture reference. So I went looking for it hoping there was one more analogy in there a little closer to the mark of separating a vain imagination from a satisfying, good reality. You ever wonder how God talks to us out of the scriptures? Well, this is a real time example of how it happens. First, I'll give you the full relevant passage out of the New King James Version (has the old, familiar "precious and the vile" quote that I was hearing,) and then the Amplified Bible version, which is a little blown out with explanation so you can understand it better.
Jeremiah 15:15-21 NKJV
"O Lord, You know; Remember me and visit me, And take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In Your enduring patience, do not take me away. Know that for Your sake I have suffered rebuke. 16 Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. 17 I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers, Nor did I rejoice; I sat alone because of Your hand, For You have filled me with indignation. 18 Why is my pain perpetual And my wound incurable, Which refuses to be healed? Will You surely be to me like an unreliable stream, As waters that fail? 19 Therefore thus says the Lord: “If you return, Then I will bring you back; You shall stand before Me; If you take out the precious from the vile, You shall be as My mouth. Let them return to you, But you must not return to them. 20 And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall; And they will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you,” says the Lord. 21 “I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.” Jeremiah 15:15-21 Amplified
15 O Lord, You know and understand; Remember me [thoughtfully], take notice of me, take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away; Know that for Your sake I endure [continual] rebuke and dishonor. 16 Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became a joy to me and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. 17 I did not sit with the group of those who celebrate, Nor did I rejoice; I sat alone because Your [powerful] hand was upon me, For You had filled me with indignation [at their sin]. 18 Why has my pain been perpetual And my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will you indeed be to me like a deceptive brook With water that is unreliable?
19 Therefore, thus says the Lord [to Jeremiah], “If
you repent [and give up this mistaken attitude of despair and
self-pity], then I will restore you [to a state of inner peace]So that you may stand before Me [as My obedient representative]; And
if you separate the precious from the worthless [examining yourself and
cleansing your heart from unwarranted doubt concerning My
faithfulness], You will become My spokesman. Let the people turn to you [and learn to value My values]— But you, you must not turn to them [with regard for their idolatry and wickedness]. 20 “And I will make you to this people A fortified wall of bronze; They will fight against you, But they will not prevail over you, For I am with you [always] to save you And deliver you,” says the Lord. 21 “So I will rescue you out of the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the [grasping] palm of the terrible and ruthless [tyrant].”
(I went ahead and highlighted with bold the words that are talking to me.)
Why is my pain perpetual And my wound incurable, Which refuses to be healed? Will You surely be to me like an unreliable stream, As waters that fail?
Why am I ever stuck in one place, playing out the same painful scenarios over and over again? I've searched and searched and tried and tried, yet I've never gotten and stayed free from repeating the same script over and over again. I don't like this role, I don't want to do it again in real life and I don't want to hear it playing in my head any more, either! I've asked God for help, I've screamed and carried on, but I'm not truly free yet at all. What's to become of me? Time is flying past, so much so that any claim to freedom is flying with it and the grave could catch me any day. Being a hostage for life is Not God's promise, yet here I remain. C-PTSD, codependency, lies, abuse, whatever we are calling this mess that has kept me in chains and always beaten me into submission again just when I thought I was getting free is a twisted, ruthless tyrant in every way.
"For I am with you [always] to save you And deliver you,” says the Lord. “So I will rescue you out of the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the [grasping] palm of the terrible and ruthless [tyrant].”
The Word of the Lord and my way of escape. My job now is to hold these words like a lit candle as I continue to investigate teapots and time and who I really am. Now, out of the house and to acres of antiques. The Lord is with me, we'll be talking and walking the entire time, there's no telling what we'll uncover.