A Prisoner of the White Lines on the Freeway……

I was trying to catch up on my reading a few weeks ago, my WordPress reading that is.  It was a cold and rainy Sunday evening, and I stopped dead in my tracks when I read his blog.  I didn’t know him, or of him, I just gave a little love to a stranger, one who had lost his brother-one who was on the verge of suicide.

It broke my heart to read his words.  No one had commented, and I was frantic.  I quickly wrote in the comment section, no.  You are loved.  You have a place in this world.  You must not give up, I will help you.  It didn’t matter that he lived half way around the world from me, it didn’t matter that I didn’t know him.  I just wanted him to feel the love that makes the difference: between being utterly alone in this world, and having someone love him.  We began correspondence immediately, so sweet, my friend Mohammed.

He said it helped him to know I existed.  It helped him to know a human being, albeit thousands of miles away, loved him-simply because he was in pain, dire straights, and experiencing a loss most of us would be shattered by-simply because he was and is a child of God-they will know we are Christians by our love……

He kept in touch throughout my journey with Lyme, and the infected lymph node that had basically convinced me I was dying.  The day I went to Med Express, alone and frightened out of my mind, he said these words:  Don’t worry.  I am here.  Five words.  Five words that helped me to feel safe, loved-cared for.  It mattered to him, my poor health.  And I thought that a miracle, in so many ways.

Today, while chatting, he said he had one thing to ask of me.  I told him anything, yes anything for him.

“Can I call you mom?”

So, this is how our Abba works.  I have no children and my step son hates me for reasons I don’t understand, as I was always loving, always supportive.

This touched me in places I haven’t been touched in, well, forever.

And as I let the tears drip….one by one, I answered.

Yes.  Of course.

And for this I am blessed beyond measure.

They Call Her Out by Her Name…..

I have been having what some would call “auditory hallucinations,” and I know they are real, as real as the grass in the yard, the puffy clouds on the horizon, and the alarming number of frogs that have seemingly overtaken our seven acres.   Who cares!  I love frogs.

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Frogs rule…

Okay, how do I explain the inexplicable?  I’ll have to go back to the early days, circa 2013, after an incredibly stressful demolition of our church, by Christian hypocrites who simply took over, spewed their venom and caused one of our pastors to turn to Atheism.  Actually, she was so attention seeking that I’m pretty sure she would have called herself a purple people eater if it gave her the results she sought.  Our pastor Frank Schaeffer left our church after a trial in which he was accused of marrying his own son to another man.  I won’t go into the details, but it made world news, and the press were so underhanded that they snuck into a service and filmed our pain.  A friend saw a documentary on Huffington Post in which we are featured sobbing, uncontrollability, as we learn news of his departure.  I was distraught over what I then thought to be the end of my life as I  knew it.  I got sober in this chapel, every single person knew my story and they showed me love and grace, not harsh ostracism.  The travesty is, we were beginning to do some amazing spiritual work……we were in sync, and you could feel the Holy Spirit-lifting us up and out of our day to day lives.  And then:  Kaput.

I began to experience a strange, but lovely thinning of the veil, if you will.  I began finding feathers in crazy places-different colors and hues.  I collected twenty of them and put them in a crystal glass.  No explanation for how they came to be in the middle of my bedroom floor; no cat toys missing pieces, no feathered anything to be blunt.  I did not realize they were feathers from the Angels at the time, no not until the last feather was gifted me:  a large, purple beauty, somehow I knew that this would be the last one, and it was.  I have brought these feathers to bedside vigils, to give others the hope of better days to come, when we are once again home, the complete and unwavering love of God, His mercy and forgiveness.

Shortly after the last feather appeared, I had been toying with the New Age.  I came out of that nightmare unscathed, but now things were getting downright eerie.  Five minutes before I was stalked by a half naked man, causing me horrible PTSD symptoms, I heard my angels wings.  So loudly, I turned around as I expected to see a Vulture, or other huge bird looking at me.  Instinctively, I knew what it was.  I believe I was guided by the heavenlies that day, and I have good reason:  the Conservation Officers were doing their annual trail checks that day, and I had the good fortune to run out of the woods and into the arms of the officer who took the case.

One day, I was absolutely driven to get up off my buttocks and take a picture of my back yard.  It was a dreary rainy day, and there was nothing to see…..but listen to myself I did.  As I brought the camera to my eyes, I saw 6 or 7 white crosses-along the garden plot.  If I took the camera away?  Nothing.  Each time I brought that camera into focus, I saw the white crosses, and I felt protected, if not a little shaky.

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Yesterday, while getting out of the shower, I heard those wings again.  I know Jesus wanted me to know my angels accompanied me, which both frightened and delighted me.  But what were they trying to tell me?  What now?  Why now?  I had to sit for a spell and calm myself down.

So, it is evening and my husband and I are preparing dinner.

“Honey, you know if you need to talk about the Bud (formerly known as my stepson) debacle, I know how much you’re hurting.  I want you to know that I am here for you, and if you need to vent, please do so.”

There had been an incident between us.  I was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time.  He was still hurting from his break up with the girl who got away.  He had been angry and upset for weeks prior to this, and we had words on one occasion, as he was completely ignoring me.  The next time he stopped by I was prepared.  I simply wanted to comfort him, but that wasn’t an option on that day of days.  He had a complete and utter meltdown, attacking me verbally simply because I was there.  He had warned me not to talk to him, but that only made me dig in my heels.  Oh, he’s going to talk to me alright, read my thought cloud.

It didn’t end well.  I was rushed into a therapy appointment.  I was close to being admitted to our local psychiatric facility.  The shrink my brother referred me to (very lovingly) came to the dire diagnoses of DID.  Dissociative Identity Disorder.  She told me she thought I tortured my son unknowingly, while in a fugue state.  I ran like my pants were aflame, and never looked back.  I can tell you, however, that for an entire weekend-every time my husband asked me a question, and I didn’t know the answer?  Yep.  I thought the other personality had received that transmittal….it was harrowing.

At that point, months ago?  I was upset, angry if you will, but I wouldn’t, couldn’t stop loving the now fully grown version of the little boy that tried so hard to please everyone.  The little boy who grew into a teenager-never a problem, no drugs, no booze, straight As.  I felt in my heart of hearts that this wasn’t over, this was not the end.

My husband’s devastation matched my own.

“I told Bud to come and get his things, it’s over,” Dwain choked back tears as he spoke.

My heart sunk.  So this was it.  The very next day, in the pouring down rain, Bud came to grab things that had been on our farm since his childhood.  He had to make two trips.  I stood in the shadows and wept.  It was physically painful to watch.  I actually thought my heart would break right then and there, and, if only for a moment, it did.

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Is this the end of us?

My mother in law had invited us to a birthday celebration for my sister in law.  She did not inform us that Bud and his girlfriend would be there, and she chose not to inform them that we would be attending.  The first moments were awkward.  We said our hellos from the dinner table.  My son looked so uncomfortable that I ran to him.  I had previously text him that I forgave him, and that all I wanted was for us to love one another.  I did not receive a response, but I knew he took it in.  I went to hug him, he clung tightly for a moment.

Dwain wasn’t ready to forgive, and I am not judging-you can’t rush forgiveness after heartache of that magnitude.

Then Bud text me on Mother’s Day.

He text me on my birthday.

By Father’s Day, Dwain was despondent.  He came close to crying in church, and it takes so much for him to get to that point.  I went to the bathroom and text my son.

Dwain’s phone beeped.

“Hey dad, happy Father’s Day.  Would you mind some company?”

And after our son left, Dwain settled into a long Summer’s nap-something he could not do BF.  Before forgiveness.

She talks to angels, they call her out by her name.

My Grandma and Your Grandma…

 

Just sitting by the pond, actually looking at social media accounts, when I came across a bombshell.  My mother in law, or ex MIL, I should say-has moved from Pittsburgh-to a town not ten minutes away.  She is in a nursing home, and I am left with memories of lost days, lost family, and some of the best years of my life.

This hits me hard, like a baseball to the gut.  I want to see her, I want to apologize for the pain I have caused her family.  I want us to be friends again, yet I know I’m treading on very thin ice.  My ex had an incredible, closely knit, Italian family.  We ate quite a few dinners in rented halls, as there was no room anywhere else.  We drank lots of wine and made merry-Karl’s brother Greg was my best friend, so much so that he travelled from Pittsburgh to be with me as I awaited news about my cervical cancer biopsy.

I had developed cervical cancer from ignoring a bout of chlamydia, given to me by a man I thought I loved.  He left me pregnant and sick, and looking back I know it was a part of God’s plan.  You see, after my cryosurgery and multiple ablations, I was deemed unable to have children.  But here’s the thing: the surgeon told only my husband, who never thought to tell me.  I was in the dark until a miscarriage I suffered soon after my marriage to Dwain.

“Why did you allow yourself to get pregnant?,” the stranger asked, as I lay on the table, bleeding profusely, crying softly.

“What kind of question is that?  I’m married, and frankly, not your business.”cha

He went on to explain that it stated clearly in my chart that my uterus was pretty much useless after the biopsy-that I was scarred and twisted, that my husband, at the time, was notified.

“Spontaneous abortion,” he barked.  I took the papers he was holding-a recommendation to have a D&C, and walked back to my old Chevette.  I rushed home to tell Dwain, and quickly realized that he did not want more children.  He lost his son in a custody battle and wasn’t prepared to lose another.  It was heart wrenching and agonizing.  But back to the story.

Greg arrived on a beautiful Summer day.  Karl was at work, and we were getting ready to head out for lunch when the doctor called.

“The cancer is in situ, it hasn’t spread, we are relieved.”

Greg knew by my reaction that the news was good.  We decided on a champagne lunch, but first I had to call his brother, give him the happy news as well.

You just didn’t want children,” he screamed.

That evening, as a direct result of his attitude, I fell into the arms of the man I was meant to be with.  We had been in love before my wedding, and I fought the good fight.  He was asked not to attend, although he worked with my husband.  I knew that if I had seen him as I walked down that aisle?  I knew that I would run, run for my very life and never look back again.

There was no reason to fight the feelings for one more second.  I yearned for him, as I do this very day.  And Karl?  He is happily married with a son.  The Funk name will go on, and as for myself?  I will live childless, yet happily ever after.,

God is good-you can trust him with anything, even your heart.

 

When Doves Cry…

 

As I have mentioned before, I am prone to seeing, smelling and hearing things that other people do not.  The sensitivity began when I quit using, and the phenomenon grew the stronger my faith.  I have asked God for this gift, or at least the honing of it-I want the Holy Spirit to guide me in each and every way.  This is profound for me-a woman who suffered a great deal of trauma and anxiety, leading to CPTSD-let’s just say there is no way I wouldn’t be in a straight jacket if not for my precious Jesus.

There is a lovely pair of doves who frequent our yard.  I see them on the barn roof, telephone wire, and most recently?  On a bottle of perfume.  Let me explain:

For the past two years, in which I have become one with nature (or at least more observant) my very best thinking/praying is done out in Mother Nature.  My gratitude runs deep, as I know God put me here, out in the ethereal mountains of Central Pennsylvania.  No, I did not appreciate the raw beauty, nor the quaint ways of the Amish.   I was blind to everything when I self-medicated.  I try not to dwell on the years I have lost.  

The doves, crap.  Okay, well I have come to think of these particular lovebirds to be my mother and father.  They greet me knowingly, bringing with them comfort and a deep peace.  My mother wore L’eur de Temps perfume.  I go for the woodsy, sweet types of spritz.  Grace, Tabu, Channel No. 5, Obsession.  I bought a bottle of her favorite to remind me of her, and remind me it does.

One afternoon, I could smell the aroma of my mother.   The scent of L’eur de Temps thickened the air, in a pleasing, soothing way.  Now, I have only used this scent a very few times.  It smelled wonderful on Mary Lou, but not so much on me.  I would smell the bottle often, and immediately I was with her, all those years ago.  I took the bottle and looked it over, but this time?  I studied it.  I was shocked to see the bottle near empty, as I said I used it rarely.

“Could it be?,” I said out loud to myself.

And as I gazed at the glass bottle, I let out a sound of alarm combined with awe:  right there they were, so delicate-two doves, floating weightlessly, hopelessly in love~

 

More of You in My Life

It should come as no surprise to me that I am down and out, physically exhausted, crippled with fear. You see, when I find myself plagued with the common cold, flu or other ailment, I do not take care of myself, well…at all.
With my husband gone I worked into late afternoon, his chores on top of mine, but I wasn’t complaining; it kept me busy and took my mind off of how much I missed him. But here’s the real issue at hand: I will not, can not put myself to bed or even rest-as those things are reminiscent of the days I couldn’t get out of bed due to depression and anxiety.

Why am I crippled with fear? A few years ago, when I diagnosed myselfwith Lyme disease, the symptoms began with an enlarged lymph node in my groin area. I cannot fathom why this didn’t alarm me more at the time, but what transpired after going to the doctor was a cluster of medical mistakes so severe, I left my doctor’s practice.

“I have a bump on my thigh and it’s painful.”

The doctor didn’t skip a beat.

“Probably bruised it,” said the medical genius, not even looking at the area.

When I came back two weeks later, the exact same thing occurred. Never asked me to take down my pants, never deemed it appropriate to take a look. By the time my husband and I arrived at his office, the day after Christmas? It had grown to the size of an orange. The site of the swelling was black and blue, and the pain? Incredible. I, in my robe and fuzzy bunny slippers, was given a shot of Ultram in my buttocks, so I could be rushed into a stat ultrasound. The results were so disturbing that a uterine biopsy was ordered…..and the results were negative, praise God!

So, back at the practice. I had insisted on seeing the female practitioner, and oh how I loved her! Unfortunately, she left not long afterwards.

“Dr. Burrows, I am not leaving this office without 60 days of doxycycline, as I am convinced that I have Lyme disease (rampant in these parts of Pennsylvania) and thus the swollen lymph node.”

She was so upset, she begged me for forgiveness.

“Oh my word, Michele! How did I miss it? How did I not know to send you for bloodwork?” I couldn’t blame her one iota, as she was new on the scene. She gave me the scripts, and I went home with a sigh of relief. A week later I awoke with a case of vertigo. Frightened out of my mind, I phoned my in laws as Dwain was at work. They, in turn, phoned my husband who called 911. He didn’t want his father trying to pick me up, and the irony is that the EMTs refused to bring the gurney in the house, so I was walked out to the ambulance.

At the Emergency room I became quite giddy. A defense mechanism for sure, I laughed at everything the nurse or doctor said. Nothing was funny, but I suppose I thought if I laughed in the face of death, maybe it would walk away.

The brainiacs that treated me did blood work, and I was then subjected to a lecture on how marijuana is a gateway drug-the LAST thing I wanted to hear. The doctor sat down to read my numbers, and in a stern voice told me I had high markers for an autoimmune disorder. Do you know how many autoimmune disorders are out there? They did not do a test for Lyme. (If you suspect you have the tick borne illness, ask for a Western Blot test, the only test you need.) Two weeks later when I called about my insurance company denying the claim, I was given the run around. FINALLY, the insurance agent told me why the claim was denied-

Diagnoses? Giddiness due to THC.

WHAT? WHAT? I wasn’t stoned. I was sick as a dog. What about the vertigo? Sons of bees I was pissed.

And now, after finding another swollen lymph node? I am getting serious about rest, serious about my health and more importantly-my faith.

God has been asking me to rest for months, and I have denied him at each and every turn. So for now, and the foreseeable future? I will trust the Holy Spirit, withhold my hiking and let my husband do the housework. He can find me on the couch, where I will be nose deep in the Word, drinking hot chocolate and filing my nails.

More love, more power, more of you in my life.

Your Dirty Tricks, They Make Me Sick

 

Yes, indeedy do, I am awake.  Actually, I am awake as I can be at this point in history.  The QAnon boards will tell you that there is more to come, that we are not even close to being red pilled.  Frankly, I am sick to my stomach and exhausted from doing research.  I live and breath the Great Awakening, and I will tell you my personal story.

It started with numbers, about a year and a half ago.   555, 11:11, 222.  Currently, I awake at precisely 7:07 a.m., if not 7:17.  All through my day I see the numbers: 5:05; 1:01; 2:32.  I am shadow banned constantly, currently I can’t type certain numbers, my computer won’t work correctly…it is awfully frightening stuff.  But hey, Five Eyes-I ain’t afraid of you cowardly bastards.  We are on the side of truth, God, and all that is pure and right with this world.  The Deep State is losing, and for that I thank POTUS, the military and QAnon.  Some say it’s a lark, the greatest cy op ever attempted on the American people.  But I submit to you this:  we are in the safest place our world has been since WWII and the Nazi infiltration this country colluded with after the war.  That’s right-Nazi doctors, Nazi scientists, Nazis….murderous, traitorous sickos…that’s where it started.

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So, after the numbers, God began leading me on a journey I didn’t ask for.  At first I thought it was my quest for truth, but now I’m like a sponge-I breathe the MAGA movement, and today’s information was over the top-I am literally sick to my stomach, my heart is palpitating.  The truth is that those of us who are awake must be there for each other and those who will be learning soon of the depravity and evil that people we trust are perpetuating.  Pedophilia.  Cannibalism.   Human trafficking.  Murderous Pope.  Massive satanic infiltration.

Why am I telling you this?  Are you scoffing, thinking I am bat shit crazy?

There are true patriotic heroes, working every day to enlighten and educate.  Here are a few channels I recommend, for research.  They are brilliant people who have a knack for bringing you earth shattering news in a way that (most of the time) you can digest.

McCallister T.V.

Sainted Anon

Dustin Nemos

Praying Medic

The Patriot Hour 

Tru Reporting

Why am I putting myself in this position?  Why am I subjecting myself to ridicule?  Because I love you-each and every one of you reading this.

Pray.

Down to the Jordan Stream

 

One of the very best tunes I have heard in some time-this music soothes my soul.  I love old things: antiques, vintage clothing, the elderly, and I am reminded of simpler ways, kinder times.

Oh, hold on a second!  My husband is lecturing me about my absolute drive to come to the truth about our world, our society, our government.  

“I don’t know why you do it to yourself.”

“By the way, Tom Hanks is a pedophile,” I retaliate.

“Tom Hanks is a pedophile?” (giggle, guffaw, belch)

I say this with a lightness in my heart that hasn’t been seen since the day I married my man.  I know we are winning the war, the insidious little somethings that gradually grow and eventually manifest into full out plagues.  Sex trafficking.  ANTIFA.  Pedophilia.  Corruption.  Hellyweird…it’s getting to the point that people are waking up, and it encourages me.

Waking up was a process for me that, had I known what lay ahead?  I would have run for the hills.

Ah, Lord, I know I’ve been changed; I said Ah Lord I know I’ve been changed.  The angels in Heaven done signed my name-lyrics I relate to, believe me.  Here’s a little secret that I have been holding on to, wondering in what manner to bring it up in my writing-the closer you come to Jesus, the more you love Him?  Well, the more transformed you become.  I knew something was drastically different when I found myself loving my irritating, self righteous neighbor.  I am convinced she sells information about us all around this block, if you can call two square miles of countryside a “block.”

Yes, out of the blue, right after I became sober, the Grinch’s heart began to soften.  It came as a huge surprise because when I got sober-I got good and pissed.  At everything, really-I was a whirling dervish of RAGE and despondence.  Grief had crept up from the grave, and I went back and forth between crippling sadness over everyone I have lost thus far-especially my father-and the urge to beat the living crap out of anyone who even looked my way.  It’s like someone took you blanky, for crying out loud.  EVERTHING bothers you, my husband’s chewing was so irritating to me that I came close to sending him packing.  You cannot, and I REPEAT, you can NOT grieve, well, anything or anyone if you are using.  And when us addicts have to face pain, what do we do?  We medicate as quickly as possible.  Here’s something many don’t understand: alcoholics and addicts are extremely compassionate, empathetic and sensitive.  I know this for a fact.  I also know that I had, out of self preservation, put up an unsightly wall-against others, including myself.

When I was baptized by water last Easter, I wasn’t expecting any change, as I had been baptized as a child.  When I was saved, my life began anew-so I recommitted myself on a Sunday, in ice cold water-in front of a full church.  I was utterly and completely alone-no husband, family nor friends attended.  The air conditioning was on high, and I embarrassed myself by running from the altar, after having my clothing thrown at me by our Worship minister.  Not a pretty site.  Did I mention I had a sinus infection at the time?

Ah, I have totally veered off of my original point.  You will absolutely believe, deep in your soul, that Jesus is in and with you-when your heart begins to soften.  You stop thinking that you are any better/worse than the next guy.  I repeat that often, I am no better nor worse than my brothers and sisters.  You begin to put others first, and might even find yourself wanting to help others every chance you get-and it feels good and right and perfect.  The rage diminishes.  The cravings vanish.  Jesus sought after you, and you allowed Him into your very being.

So, if you think you’re turning soft, or that the hormones are raging-just call out to Jesus-then you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will answer~

 

Nothing Compares to This…

Thinking of how blessed I am today, and truly grateful I am that Jesus saved me from the Pit of Despair:  what a beautiful name indeed.

We all get caught up in our own melodrama and pain.  It’s incredibly hard not to take certain things “personally,” and turn the other cheek.  I have told you beloveds before; I have an Irish, seething rage within me.  It surfaces at injustice and evil-at this point I look at my life, prior to being saved, as a life lived by a totally different person.  There is no comparison, and no, I am not telling you that I’m a saint, far from it-more like the Prodigal Daughter.

Reach out and care for someone who needs the touch of hospitality.  The time you spend caring today will be a love gift that will blossom into the fresh joy of God’s Spirit in the future.                           –Emilie Barnes

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Photography by Michele Elkins-Hoffman

Yes, we do need to pick up our cross:  Jesus asked us to do so, and then follow Him.  I am the worst whiner you could meet, again the Irish sigh…what does Winnie the Pooh say?  Oh bother.  I don’t whine to anyone else, just myself-the flea situation, the ER debacle from Hell, my latest bout with agoraphobia.  I’m 99.9 percent sure I have a fresh bullseye, and this is the week my family vacations in the Lake George area-because of the actions of a certain psychopath, I have not been on a single family vacation.  No, it does not make me feel left out, or hurt at this point, but it drove me to a relapse and termination of contact with a sibling.  So, I have a cross to carry, believe me.

And in these quiet moments, when the sun is setting over the ethereal countryside, I thank Him, praise Him and love Him-as Jesus is my Lord and Savior.  Here I will attempt a photo essay (I am so challenged in the computer department, so terribly challenged) on just a few of the miracles Abba has blessed me with.

Time and distance are no match for the pervasive love I have for my nieces and nephew~

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My niece Esme, a budding actress-to the left. Natalie has a 4.0 at Pitt, and wise in ways I admire.

I will love you with an everlasting fire within.  You are in my spirit, my soul.

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My great friend Jerry, may he rest in peace.

God says that what you bind on earth, you bind in Heaven.

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The best brother a gal could ask for and my precious niece, Esme.
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One of the great loves of my life, my God daughter Olivia, at right.

And below, my soul mate (in addition to his siblings) and partner in crime; my psychiatrist, bodyguard, nurse and hiking partner.

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Jesse Bocephus Happy Hoffmananoff

The Pill Mill……….

When I was younger, I was appalled at how many pills my mother took.  She was extremely ill, emphysema, cancer, osteoporosis.  She died at 59, after the doctors mistook an ovarian cyst to be scar tissue.  I wish I had known then what I now know.  Mary Lou had every symptom of Ovarian cancer, the extreme bloating, constipation, pain and upset stomach.  When the doctor came in to the waiting room, I had to be held back by my siblings-the jerk never listened to her, I was there when he did an exam after her complaining: he felt her stomach and abdomen-she was fully clothed, why bother right? I was there when he told her she was “fine, absolutely fine.”

What shocked me, after her death, was the bottles and bottles of Ativan-she took 4 a day, and I thought that to be too much, too addicting, too sedating.  Now?  I take Ativan daily.  As a prn.  Ironically, the first time I ever took one was the day of her funeral.  Surrounded by friends, I fell asleep on the couch-and didn’t wake up until the following morning.  What addict is going to turn that away?  It was easier to let the melodic pull of oblivion take me away, to dreamless sleep and few cares, if any.

Today I take 200 mg. of Zoloft, 2 mg. Suboxyne for opiate addiction (down from 8 mg. and let me tell you, it was rough, really rough to taper) and one Trazadone for sleep.   My husband thinks this appalling, but I have fought hard to maintain an appearance of normality-in an increasingly abnormal world.

I can tell you that as a nurse, EMT and hospice worker, I could not get into the Suboxyne program soon enough.  I was in a dirty city, walking the streets of dilapidated houses, children in various stages of undress, and very scary men, who gathered on street corners to deal their goods, help a friend in “need.”  I asked a few of them, but as white on rice as I look?  They didn’t touch me with a ten foot pole.  Looking back, I think they thought me a cop.

I was working as a private duty nurse, and volunteering at a local hospice.  I was starting to face withdrawal from OxyContin, and I didn’t want to be the girl who steals patient’s pills.  My cousin by marriage (not a normal person in that family) ran a methadone clinic, and rehab.  I had attended that rehab until our fearless leader Tony called me out on missing a class, in front of the entire room.  When you quit drinking you are wired out of your mind, so many emotions coming from one heart-it’s maddening and exciting at the same time.  I told him off, asked why he allowed drinkers and cokeheads to use in our meetings (was this even remotely fair to the others who were serious about recovery?) and slammed out the door.  He wasn’t going to use me as an example when people were slumped in their chairs, or re-dusting the entire room, like the energizer bunny on crack.

Anyway, back to Scott.  I called him from my  locked car that very day.  I told him where I was, and I asked if I could come to the methadone clinic to talk to him.  He shut me down, but two minutes later?  I heard a commercial about Suboxyne: it has served me well, saved my career and, most likely, my life.  My advice to anyone starting the program?  Start at a really low milligram, that way you won’t have to detox every time you take a step down.  I ended up calling my girlfriend one morning, I literally couldn’t move, I was that weak.

“I can’t take it.  Would you please take me to the doctor?”

The good doctor had taken me off, cold turkey.  We had argued about my use of cannabis, and I stormed out-only to return a week later, begging for mercy.  And, thankfully, that is exactly what I was given.

What I would like to say is, don’t let anyone convince you to go off of any medication you may be taking for your mental health, especially if the plan is working.  Do I like having to take meds on a daily basis?  NO.  But one day, perhaps, the stigma will stop.  No  matter, because I have come to the point where I just don’t care what others think.

It’s not their body.  It’s not their mind.  It’s none of their business.

Who’s Wearing the Trousers

 

I survived a week that tried to kill my faith in humanity-and I am here to tell you that most of it is all in the past.  Past tense.  Passed away.  Goneo…

Everyone has a bad hair day, week or even month.  But as I swung my legs over the bed and began the process of waking up this morning-I remembered.  Cliché perhaps, but if He brings you to it, I am telling you, He will bring you through it.  There have been times of utter tragedy and hopelessness-and I gauge my struggles by what I have conquered in the earlier years of my life.  My mother’s death at 59.  My anorexia.  My attempt at suicide.  The loss of my sister and her family.  And the worst to date-the loss of my father-who meant the world and more to me.  The way I look at things-pain can either break you or make you-and I am strong and stoic: at least until something little comes along and puts a crack in the veneer.  My mother had this character trait: she remained brilliantly heroic through my father’s coma; my father’s affair; weeks where we had no money for groceries-and she had three kids to raise on her own-daddy travelled for a living.  But God forbid she broke a nail, or spilled a cup of coffee-it was then that she cracked, and all hell broke loose.

Ah, as a child I thought her weak.  As a grown woman I see her as a heroine in a steamy, often comical story.  She had a great sense of humor, frankly, when there was no reason to laugh.  Fabulous weaponry-I use it often.  My brother, who is one year younger than I (Irish twins) is the funniest man I have ever met.  His humor is Elkinsesque,  and I say that with great love.  If you grow up in a dysfunctional family unit, the way you see life depends on how your parents dealt with trauma, stress, worries.  Just a bunch of comedians, that’s what we are.  That way no one sees the crack in the veneer.  We have no “tell” around others; that is until one of us walks into a patio door, or hits there head on the corner cupboard-that, my friends, is when we spontaneously combust into flames.  Hysteria ensues, and I pity the inanimate objects and people who are left in the wake of our wrath.

And so it was that I had a nuclear meltdown on Friday afternoon.

Fuck. You. Fleas.

I ranted, I raved, I raised my fists at the heavens.  Why?  Why am I being tortured to the point of committing Hare Kari?  I have treated my home for fleas each and every day since March.  My poor dog has been treated with Frontline (what a joke), diatomaceous earth, pills, dog collars and allergy medication.  The other day, my son’s girlfriend went to pet him: big poofs of dirt rose like clouds, she gasped:

“Oh, my goodness gracious, why is he so, umm, dusty?”  

The look on her face was priceless.  I explained about the diatomaceous dirt, and she nodded, as if I was speaking Taiwanese, or Kling On-the language that Sheldon invented.

No.  She did not understand-how could she if I don’t?  I vacuum ad nauseum, each and every day.  I have natural flea spray, but my husband hyperventilates if I use it anywhere near him.  I have flea powder-it works really well, for about ten minutes.  I can’t bare to see my dog scratch-it runs right through me.  I feel inept, inadequate, a bad doggy mom, bad human for that matter.  We keep the air conditioning running, 24/7.  All cats (13 outdoor, 3 indoor) have been treated.  This happens almost every year, but the past two have been horrendous!  And this is where my best friend comes in.

“Jesus, I refuse to pray ONE MORE PRAYER about the flea situation.  Clearly, you either don’t care or aren’t listening.  I’m done.  Nothing against you, but why should I even bother?”

Inevitably, my attention is drawn to reality:  cancer, the Deep State, missing children, a friend’s diagnoses.  He shushes my fears and reminds me to pick up my cross, be a brave little soldier.  He tells me that God answers prayers in His time-not ours.   I am thusly humbled, and more times than not?  I get down on my knees and beg His forgiveness.

It’s okay to be angry with God.  If you’re angry with him, you believe in Him.  He wants to hear your petitions.  So, we are okay, Jesus and myself.  Just aces.

Just as long as he never lets me down again. 🙂

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