Archive for the ‘Life on pause’ Category

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I’ve had some weird things happen in the last few weeks…. Although, I can’t go into a lot of detail….but they are indeed things that have troubled me….And when I am kind of lost in my own thoughts, I retreat to my place of safety – and that is …art…or anything creative for that matter. Along with art, I lose myself in music….the two just mesh together.

….I feel like I have had to keep quiet to protect others…. But the incident troubles me and it has put a dent in the way that I trust others….especially men. (sorry guys)…

I have spent so much time trying to recover from at least a decade of a troublesome relationship…And I’ve come a long way…but for some reason – this event happened. And I am not sure why. I feel like it it another lesson I am supposed to learn … I haven’t quite figured out this part of my journey yet….

While I was not hurt physically, I was indeed scared and my guards were down. In this world, it is so hard to be a female. And it is not fair. What I am about to describe – I am sure happens to males too, but – I just feel like, there are guys who think they can just say or do whatever they want to women whenever they want….. And it is not right.

….I was approached by someone that I have known of for quite some time. And I did not see it coming. And I am so mad at myself for letting my guard down….for being trusting and for finally feeling safe….Apparently – I need to build those guards back up….

I was in a town, in a store, owned by this person I knew. He wanted to show me a piano that was in his store…. I agreed, unknowingly – to go see it. I never felt like there was a reason to be cautious… So, I went to go see it and I was playing a few notes on it, checking it out…. Unexpectedly, he comes behind me and starts to rub my shoulders…. And he asks me…”Will this make you play better?“…

I freeze….Trying to comprehend what is happening. I am scared. I am disappointed…I trusted this person! …. I quickly back off and start to ramble how the piano needs a sustain peddle and how it might sell better with a peddle… Then I ask him how his wife is doing (he is married!)…. The bell goes off on his door and he heads back to check for customers….I follow, ready to leave…. He tries to apologize, saying he is sorry he made me feel uncomfortable…. But then – he goes on to tell me how he has always thought I was cute.. and then says to me….. “I’ve always wanted to touch you.” ….. Thankfully people come into the store….I am flabbergasted….speechless and finally leave.

I have spoke about this situation with my therapist and a few close friends, but it still bothers me. I cannot tell many people …. it is a delicate situation where I do not want others to get hurt. And after-all – it is my word against his. There are no witnesses. Now, I am afraid to be alone with many other guys (especially older ones)… I am questioning people that I once trusted… their intentions…. I don’t want to have to do that. I shouldn’t have to not feel safe.

Not even hardly a week later, a situation came up in my place of work where I had to help a transient – and I am really worried about the impact it might have had in how I tried to help him…. Given I cannot go into much detail of this situation because of privacy reasons, but – I was really on edge the entire time the person who needed help was around and feared that such a situation could happen again….

…I’ve been keeping quiet about this and putting on a brave face- pretending nothing happened. I’ve even tried to forget about it… And I know it was just one small event – but it was one event where my judgement was clouded….

I do want to say a few things though … ANd I want guys (who are like him) out there to know   … You can’t just walk up to a woman and touch her! – without her permission – that is not right. It is very invasive…. It is wrong. And you cannot say inappropriate things to people. It is very disrespectful. Hold your tongue!

A female should not have to have walls up every where she goes…. It is not fair. And just because we don’t have a ring on our finger- does not make us available….

…and it is not fair..when things happen behind closed doors -and there are no other witnesses ….it is only your word against theirs….. I really do not want to have to learn the lesson…”You can not trust anybody.” …. I’d really like to know what lesson it was that I was supposed to learn here…..It still haunts me…. even a few weeks later.

 

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Without faith, what do we have? Without faith, then what is the point to living?

…Every one of us was put here for a reason…A reason to live. In those moments that we feel the smallest, we must remember that we have a purpose.

…What is your story ? What do you have to testify about your life so far?

In our own stories, we can find faith…

…in the darkness of the night, the earliest hours of the morning, we can find ourselves awake and feeling alone with our thoughts- wondering why are we here?…What is our purpose ? How much time do we have? …and the ultimate question: Is there life after death?….

And that is where our faith must walk in. We have faith that we will have eternal life. …because…without it- none of this makes sense…and not only do we have our faith and personal stories, we have John 3:16. (For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.).

…Faith has been the forefront that our ancient brothers and sisters searched and lived for- to them, we seek wisdom. For we can stand at the crossroads and look;ask for the ancient paths…(Jeremiah 6:16)

Your ancestors fought these same internal battles just as you have. We are all connected…but only separated by space and time.

…So in the darkness of the night, do not fret, do not worry your heart…Let your faith sing you a personal lullabye.

If you quiet your mind, your heart will tell you what you already know…(even if you might have forgotten). Your heart speaks to your soul…Faith is deep rooted inside of you…even when you thought you might have lost it…

Listen to the silence. Listen to your heart…call upon your soul…You’re still here. He’s listening…Always.

Faith will answer you…even in the lonely darkness of the night. It’ll light up your room.

We all have heard of Foreshadowing in literature….We all want that happy ending like in fairy tales…But does any of this apply to real life? Is there Foreshadowing in our lives? Are we being warned before we enter that darkness? Before trauma crosses our path?

We all have a story…a background from which we come from…Some of our stories are more black and white while others are splashes of color….and then, there are those that are desolate and cold….

I often wonder if the dark pigments of my childhood was a way to Foreshadow hardships that I would later face as an adult….? Was this a warning that I should have paid attention to…? Or was it basic training for the war that I would face later in life ? Was God preparing me for a fight I would later encounter? Or did I unconsciously pick a situation that only I had grown accustomed to?

For those of us who have had dark moments in our lives; when we were exposed to shouting and domestic disturbances in our younger years- we seem to find ourselves fighting similar battles that we once had been exposed to. Did we unconsciously choose to be in that situation because it was what we knew?

I keep searching for the why’s…Why did I face so many battles? Were there clues that I could not see? Had there been bread crumbs along the trail that I did not pick up? Or was I just a soldier in this game we call life ? A soldier who would later become a messenger to tell others of redemption and light?

After all, I’m still here…even if I did miss the hints of Foreshadowing. I can look God in the eye and say to him, ” We’re still here.”

….If you have faced the darkness and you feel there were moments of Foreshadowing you missed, don’t despair…You might have been a soldier in your wars, but now- you can deliver your story…Show others redemption- a story of light and love…

Maybe after awhile, you can finally stop asking, “Why?” …and you can ask “Who?” and “Where?” ….Who will you share your story with ? Where will you deliver your light? Foreshadow of what’s to come.

After all, we’re still here. So rise.

I’m only taking a half step back today…not a full step back…

Some days I feel like I’m doing really well and then there’s days I’m faced with a trigger and it really messes with my mindset for the rest of the day…or even the next few days. I can ignore the issue for awhile, but it comes right back, waving it’s hand in my face…

I hate PTSD.

It makes me doubt myself.

I over analyze.

I’m on the verge of tears…

Because of one small thing…

One trigger…

And I get so angry with myself.

…It’s been almost four years! …Things from the past still haunt me. Sometimes I feel like I’ll never be normal or be able to handle the emotions in my mind…

Today, someone got really angry with me. I tried to be strong. But they kept pushing…and pushing. And I apologized. And apologized…but I kept feeling more like nothing. Like I wasn’t good enough…I was small all over again….it was like he was yelling at me again…..and then the tears started….and started to fall. and I tried so hard to not let them fall…but they did. Once again-I was weak…

And then a little later, I got angry…When will I be strong enough to face criticism ? When will I be able to handle someone being angry with me in a proper way…instead of breaking down? I am sure there will be other times. This will not be the only time…I can’t cry and feel so pathetic and small every time something gets said…but, it feels exactly how he used to talk to me…Why doesn’t my mind know the difference?

When…will I ever feel normal again?

Half a step back. Just a half step.

…My mind can be a war zone, but I will not take a full step back in these combat boots. Just one half step back…and breathe.

Perhaps…there’s a poem to be written from this half defeat that will conquer this battle.

I hate PTSD.

And it hates me.

WAITING

Do you ever feel like…in the midst of silence….or relaxation…that you are waiting….Waiting on something …something to happen….or something to …end…

Of course- there is the waiting in line, waiting on the telephone…waiting on a friend…But there is that silent “waiting”…As the earth continues to spin, as night becomes day and day becomes night, we wait.

I feel like I am …waiting sometimes. I am not sure for what though. I am not quite sure what, but I have always felt like I could have a short life. I sure hope not and plan to be around for awhile – but I know that isn’t entirely my decision- only one person knows when that day will come. But even as a child, I wasn’t someone who had big dreams of weddings or families. Don’t get me wrong – I like little kids and I love family events and I love my family dearly. But there was a class in my high school where you would form together your own “Wedding Booklet.” That idea seemed foreign to me…. I didn’t take that class for that reason actually…While it is great to have relationships in life, family and friends – I wanted something deeper in life….relationships can indeed be deep and meaningful – but these “kite dreams,” – seemed…unnecessary to me. I used to watch those TLC wedding shows and thought that they were insane for spending huge amounts of money on weddings – after-all – they have the rest of their life ahead of them…waiting…to be experienced… Again….waiting.

I can sit in the stone of silence….and feel as if I am waiting…. My whole life I have felt like I am waiting for something – but I am just not sure what….as I grow older, that feeling intensifies…. Am I waiting for that deeper experience? Am I looking for a piece of ancient article for the meaning of life?… Am I waiting for that booming voice to talk to me and say…”yes, my child!…” ..What am I waiting for? In the mean-time, I will continue to live life the best I can and conqueror the trials and tribulations…. and wait… to see what is in store.

CHANGE

Isaiah 43:18-19

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

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I posted that scripture in our weekly church email where I work today … But it also has some meaning to me… I did a search in Google for scriptures about “trying new things,” and that is one of the verses that caught my attention…

Yet again, I have been diagnosed with another health issue ( I already have IBS, Diverticulitis, Asthma and Diabetes)… For over a month, I’ve had some pretty terrible back and side aches (flank pain) along with pretty frequent trips to the restroom. It felt like a bad UTI – but when I was tested – there was no bacteria. I was first told it was a bladder infection, on the way to the ER one day – I was told I had appendicitis and then after that, I was told I had cysts on my ovaries – But all of those diagnosis were WRONG- but I continued to be in pain. So I bugged my doctor some more until she finally said she couldn’t quite figure it out and referred me to a urologist…Just a couple days ago, I found out I have Interstitial Cystitis or “Painful Bladder Syndrome.” (you can find more information about it here).

I will be receiving treatments once a week for the next month and then I’ll have an evaluation after the month to see if I need continued treatments or just maintenance.Along with that, I also will need to change my diet. I have to cut out caffeine, a lot of fruits and some vegetables, spicy foods and basically – anything with acid. With IC, your bladder lining is inflamed and irritated – so basically all of these acids are irritating your bladder – which causes the pain and frequent urination.  While there is no cure, the symptoms can be treated – and sometimes, it can go away … (With proper changes to your diet and treatment)… It really depends on the severity of the disease…

… So I will be trying a new diet and a new way to eat…. As I have already done before with my IBS, diverticulitis and Diabetes…. I often ask myself why I have to keep dealing with all these little health issues along the way – but then I realize – my situation could be much worse… I am a very motivated person…and right now – I am very motivated to not be in pain… But sometimes I feel like I just keep being told…”you can’t eat this….you can’t eat that…and nope – I am sorry – that is good food – but you just can’t have it.”

Of course, there is much more to life than food – but it is a necessity for living…. I am just going to have to learn to eat more natural and homemade things, a lot of fish and chicken and drink a lot of water and milk…Thank goodness I can still have ice cream! (as long as it isn’t chocolate or has problematic fruits)…. 

So maybe this change in diet – can be a good thing – maybe I will feel better or even healthier…While I can remember how the old days used to be – I can travel through this “wilderness” and embrace a better and hopefully healthier, less painful life…

Sometimes – God brings new things to our life for the better…even if we may not like it – there usually is a reason for it – There is always a reason for everything in life… It might be stressful – but I was told by a friend – He never gives us more than we can handle – and well – I have dealt with my share of things in life – …. He must think I am pretty strong…I may not feel strong on some days…but I keep on this journey- wondering where it all is going to take me… 

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It has been a bit since I have posted to this particular blog series…I’ve been busy with life things: work, trying to relax, scheduling events to promote my book, finishing other poetry collections, creating postcards to sell in a nearby store ….and…trying to live in the present….that is what most PTSD survivors spend every day trying to do…and evidently – I have been somewhat successful.

At my most recent session with my counselor, she decided we could start moving our sessions to every other week instead of weekly – “Congratulations!” she says… I know this is a good thing but a part of me feels somewhat uncertain… She says it is kind of like graduation….and they try not to get clients to use counseling as a “habit.”…. So, honestly, yes, I am a little uncertain because it has been a pretty regular thing for quite awhile (although, there has been a few times, I went two weeks without a session – and I survived)… I need to learn this little thing called…”Faith.” I need to have “Faith” in myself again…Maybe this is where I learn it.

While I am busy trying to move on and make plans for the future, I can’t say that every day for me is a piece of cake… Silly me – Since I thought I was moving to do my sessions every other week now – maybe I was strong enough to look through old past photos…. Most people, when they leave a relationship -I notice how they remove those photos. Well I kept mine in my profile and in storage. Those memories are a part of me and a part of my life- even if I delete those photos – that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist….

I tried going back 9 or 10 years ago and looking through those memories and photos and it was very difficult….Deep down, I still sometimes blame myself for what happened and the break-down of our family and I am still searching for forgiveness… Maybe it is just that I need to forgive myself. But… I am not strong enough to take that trip down memory lane….not yet….But I am strong enough to deal with the “normal things” in life right now… Which is what my counselor told me I was doing… I am close to “normal”…But in my world – nothing is normal…. And I am definitely not “normal.” I thrive to be unique…always have….

So…for now… I will deal with the “normal things.” And see how I deal with this new schedule…Maybe it’s a good thing – I just need to have faith.