Dreams and False Alarms

At the end of the day?  We are not meant to go this world alone.  We are to have meaningful and uplifting relationships, in an era of high tech and social media.  If you can find someone to return a text?  You have accomplished an amazing Feat of Festivus.  Because I am the sensitive and loving heart that I do, I have come to the realization that I have tried, and way too hard, to befriend people who just aren’t friendship-worthy.  I trusted far too easily, gave everyone and anyone the benefit of the doubt, and admittedly, was hurt by the inevitable end of said friendship/torture chamber/migraine level one thousand, for hundred and seventy two.

God has worked miracles in my life over the past few years.  It is so vivid, the understanding that each and every personal tragedy I endured was for good reason; I am stronger, wiser and at a level of a peace that “surpasses all understanding.”

My husband made the unfortunate choice to announce to me this morning that I should “learn to give things to God, rather than worry about things all the time.”  The gust of wind which flew out of my enraged mouth could have knocked over a grisly bear.

Do men not see us, at all?  I love him with every ounce of blood in my being, but sweet Jeeze Louise, there are times…

How, how could you not know that I DO give things to Him?  Isn’t it evident, I’m not in a mental institution, correct?!!!!!”

God grant me the serenity and pray I have the wisdom not to punch my husband in the solar plexus.  Amen.5984d30ffad251d710d3ca757b2c96a54db76d9eaf3329ffe06aa03b926484be

I don’t remember how the topic came up, as we hiked the Hammer creek-but by the time we returned my mood had changed drastically, and it was all I could do not to break down into sobbing wails.  Someone brought up my dear friend Scott, actually my best friend, Scott.

We had known them, they were neighbors forever-Sherry and Scott.  Yet we were not close, and I didn’t truly get to know them until I worked a gig in their dog kennel.  I watched as Scott dosed out medicine, handled dogs I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole, and lovingly played with the menagerie as much as he could while running a business.  I was so intimidated by him, and looking back I know that he was being a boss and professional.  He was never, ever rude or uncaring-but he did have times of great sadness, and I learned to give him his space.  Years ago he had beaten oral cancer, but the chemo and radiation took its toll-he had lost his hair and his teeth.  No one ever looked at him differently, but I know the cancer took its toll on his strength and passion for life.

One day I came out of the gate with a golden lab; the dog was a year old, and I had no idea what lay in store.  Yes, that day I was taught that Labrador retrievers had immense strength, energy and speed.  I had decided to go to a new trail, directly across the street.  I smirked to myself as I wondered out loud-why doesn’t everyone use this path?  Moments later I was shocked out of my cocky attitude-that damn dog took me on a ride I will not soon forget.  At one point?  I lay on the ground and allowed him to pull me, as I had just run a mile or so at warp speed, and I didn’t have the strength to hold him back.  Scott finally heard my screams, as I emerged from the pear grove like Medusa- he never, ever allowed me to walk a big dog again.

The time came for me to leave, as I had taken a cut in hours and their business slowed down for the Winter.  There was the heated phone call I placed, thinking I had been shorted hours on my paycheck.  I should be withheld phone privileges when I have PMS, and sadly, that was not the case this day.

I know it’s hard to believe, but I lost my cool on his poor wife.

The very next day Scott was at our home, apologizing and trying to give me money, which, of course, I wouldn’t take.  Over the years a strong friendship formed, and I grew to love him and his wife, Sherry, very much.  Scott simply understood me, and that blew my mind.  Our chemistry was that of brother and sister.  I could tell him anything, and he would just take it in.  No judgement.  Loads of laughter, we crack each other up.

Scott is in the final stages of stage IV cancer.  He refused the treatment when the ugly fuck of a disease returned two years ago, and we all understood.  He wants to enjoy what time he has left.  His one and only worry is that his wife be okay after his departure.  I can’t even imagine how she musters the strength to run a full time kennel/grooming business.  Earlier today I felt crippled by emotion, I leaned into my husband, and I cried out-

“Everyone I have ever loved goes away.”

Dwain held me.

“I know baby.  I know.”

Exile

When things get too real, when I feel naked in my vulnerability, or when I am overwhelmed with grief too raw-I retreat.  There is always a trigger, and the last one was abandoning ship with my toxic relationships.  I allowed the Holy Spirit to lead the dance, there were days when I was terribly alone-but yet, not lonely.  I dig my own company and that of my husband and canine.  I could spend hours in my garden, shouting for joy and thanking Jesus for his meticulous attention to detail.  My anxiety leads to compulsive cleaning, and I have a Honey-do list for myself-the entire farmhouse needs fresh paint, we are in the process of doing some much needed home improvement.  When I tire from hiking, gardening and anal retentive housecleaning?  I have my writing, my bible, my research.

The word bored does not exist in my vocabulary.  I often tell my husband that I am spending the day watching old movies and snuggling up on the leather sectional-and then we laugh and laugh our fool heads off, because we both know that even when I am down with the flu, I clean.  I know the reasoning behind some of this-spending way too many hours in bed, be it hangovers, depression or serious illness.  My health was improved dramatically by getting sober-yet my emotional health became much, much worse.  I began skin picking, obsessive and compulsive disorder they say.  The point being: it was as if someone had stripped me bare, and I couldn’t run, nor hide.

back view photo of a woman wearing orange and black floral sleeveless jumpsuit standing on seashore
For when I am weak, only then am I strong.

I understand the reasons behind the valleys.  When we are on the edge, in our rawest of moments?  That is where you will find Jesus, and He will build you up so that you fly like the wings of eagles!  I have learned so much about boundaries, friendship and my strong desire to be appreciated for who I am, not who people want me to be.  And on the other side of that coin comes the recognition and respect for others and who they truly are-flaws and all.

So now, it has come to a new spiritual awareness of life:  not a black and white version, or what I perceive life to be.  Life on life’s terms, the kryptonite to every man and woman in recovery.  We didn’t become addicted because we handled life well, or had a childhood that was reasonably functional.  Every single one, myself included, every one of us was running from pain.  Thus the backlog of grief-a term you will hear in the rooms.  God made us so that we can make choices, but that doesn’t mean we will always make the right ones.

No matter how far and fast you run; no matter what your vice-be it food, drugs, booze or porn-you simply can not run from emotional pain.  So you make a choice to live, and baby, that hill is uphill for a mighty long time.

I am here to tell you that it gets really, really, really good.  It is a nail-biting adventure, not for the faint of heart, but when you truly face your demons and give your grief to God?  Oh, life becomes a symphony-and one that you can call your very own.

The exile is over.  I am stronger, wiser and more aware than ever how much I, we, truly need Jesus in our lives.  He will forgive you of anything, that’s why he died on the cross.  When He said

It is finished.

He meant the debt was paid.  Turns out, God will even forgive what we consider unforgivable.  My life has been one of stigma and persecution, simply because I am His!  I never fit in, I never gave in, and it was only because my sweet Jesus was carrying me.  If there is someone you need to forgive, or someone who you need forgiving from?  Your life will be enriched and remember-remember to forgive yourself.

Cancer: Knowledge is Power

The word C A N C E R has scared the life force out of me since I was old enough to understand.  A death sentence years ago, we have now found hope-and it comes in the form of holistic, God given plants and fruits (especially CITRUS) not chemotherapy.

My mother was diagnosed with colon cancer in her late forties.  The doctor called the operation a wild success, no colostomy bag, she was sent home with a bottle of Dom Perignon and a note from her physician:  You did it, Mary Lou!  Here’s to life!  Ten years later the cancer had metastasized, what was diagnosed as diverticulitis was actually a tumor in her ovary, the size of a small grapefruit.  Mom didn’t have to have chemo, because she died not long after the crushing news.  She suffered, and one of my biggest regrets is that I did not treat her with the respect and love she deserved.  It has haunted me for years.  When I forgave her for the emotional abuse I suffered at her hands, I asked her forgiveness-and in doing so I set myself, and Mary Lou, free.

This is not an easy write-I can hardly see the computer screen through my tears, but I know how incredibly important this information is, and I will share with you what I have learned.

Did you know that most doctors wouldn’t put their family through chemo or radiation treatments because of the toxicity and harm caused to vital organs and immunity?

Did you know that Target and Walmart are in the process of taking all probiotics off of the shelves?

Did you know that the juice of a lemon per day can cut your chances of this debilitating disease in half?

Worldwide, doctors of holistic medicine are being murdered.  The powers that be do not want this information released.  Think of the billions of dollars the medical community would lose if we all began eating healthy, non GMO, non processed foods?  Vitamin C is the cure, and the fact is?  [They] have known for years.

It is my prayer that we take back our bodies, practice our God given right to heal naturally, and stop the crippling defeat of a diagnoses that causes us to quake in our boots.  Do your research, get second and third opinions, and do your best to ensure you are thoroughly educated on your options.

Oh, and one other thing-sun block causes cancer, not the Sun.  Ditch the fluoride, get rid of preservatives and fight, fight, fight.  It’s your body, never forget that. 

Tightrope

I live out in the country, way out: but that doesn’t mean I have no neighbors. I think Jesus made it perfectly clear, but I am not the one to judge. I have issues, too. Just recently? I was doing a bit of ruminating about my sin, and I came to the horrifying conclusion that all of my friends are “beautiful” people. I am actually a bit surprised at my prejudice, as I assumed that I had a big heart, for all people. I do, however it seems to me it’s a whole lot easier to love attractive people. I am deeply shamed by this, and will work on it ASAP.

About five years ago, I found myself embedded in a screaming match with my neighbor, Jeanne. I stopped walking my dog around our neighborhood after this incident, and I have her to thank. Jeanne and her family had recently moved to our tiny burb, and I never would have known if not for her dog, Cujo; who promptly scared the life force out of my golden retriever. After calling for immediate restraint, I heard this:

“Oh, for crying out loud, it’s just a German Shepherd,” came her response, loud and clear. You don’t know me, or how I get when people get in my face. I am a Gemini, through and through. I am simultaneously the nicest and meanest person you will ever meet-just depends on what you’re dishing out on that particular day.

Years later, I am standing with Jeanne.  Who, indeed, proved to be a horse’s ass.  But this particular day, back in February, she caught me while hunting sheds, in the field below her farm.  We took up talking and I told her I was going through a bout of Lyme.  She, in turn, told me to come up to the house, to hear about Essential Oils!!!  I must have been gravely ill, because I actually went, thinking that she was trying to help me.  What. On. Earth. Was I thinking?

Anyway, the neighbor who lives in between myself and Jeanne, is a 90 year old, Pennsylvania Dutch, busy body extraordinaire.  She knows all of the gossip in the neighborhood.  We don’t get involved, ever.  So, I haven’t been close to Ruth in years, as I knew she wasn’t fond of me.  How did I know this?  I have it on good authority, it came from the horse’s mouth. Apparently, Ruth said this to my in laws:

“You can say a lot of things about Michele, but she sure does take good care of her animals.”

So, there’s that.  And a whole bunch of other stuff I have already flushed down the commode.

Here’s the thang:  we cannot wrap ourselves up in others’ perceptions of us.  Ninety percent of the time?  They are going on gossip, unearned reputations-not the Holy Spirit or the love of Jesus in their hearts.

So, I would like to wrap this up by saying this to anyone and everyone who delights in being in my bizness:

You people are the human version of menstrual cramps.

Don’t You Monkey With the Monkey

I should probably just pack my bags and buy the train ticket.  I don’t have a square to spare, and my popularity in this neighborhood just took a nosedive of epic proportions.

When I say my “popularity” I jest.   It went like this:  one day I woke up and everyone in this rural area despised me-only I didn’t get the memo.  Let’s see, my in laws live directly across the street, my ex-best friend (who almost killed my cat in a fit of narcissistic rage) lives next door.  On the other side lives Ruthy Kupp, a gossiping, church going hypocrite bar none.  We live in her father’s house.  Never had a problem with her and I am assuming she had one too many convos with the monster in law.  I simply don’t know what else it could be.  She has treated me like dog crap for years now, but today?  Oh today was not the day to poke this bear.

She lives alone, but there was a time that we visited her and her husband often.  We took them to have their German Shepherd put down, she took care of our animals when we went away, we had dinner together at least once a year.  I stopped by often, with my golden retriever Dylan (I miss you buddy, rest in peace) and brought food when Kuppy died.

One day, just out of the blue, she wouldn’t look at me.   She drove down the street, beeping at each and every home but ours.  When we went to visit her after her knee surgery, she spoke with everyone in the room sans moi, and it was then that I stopped giving a shit.  You can only do so much.

When people stop talking to you/loving you for no apparent reason?  You can bet your apple brown betty there’s a narc in the shadows, lying about you, and this case screamed Dolly, my MIL.  Some days it flows off of my back like water off a duck’s ass, and other days…not so much.

And so it was, earlier today, when returning from our hike that I passed her house.  She was walking down her ramp, and I slowed down to wave-frankly, I didn’t know what else to do.

Nothing.  Just a grimace and a wince.

“SCREW YOU RUTH,” I said, under my breath.

And then the devil took over.  I hadn’t a moment’s notice when I let all hell break loose.

“SCREW.  YOU.  RUTH!!!”

I immediately phoned my husband to warn him.  He wasn’t angry, but he didn’t exactly lol either.

“Oh, honey.”

I apologized to Jesus.  Told Him I would repent.  I pulled into the garage and the more I thought about it, the angrier I became.  Alas, my Tourette’s had its way, and I yelled once again-

“FUCKING HYPOCRITE,” I bellowed.

As luck would have it, another unfriendly neighbor, Rose, was walking past the house.

Well, my thought cloud read, that should seal the deal.