Into His Arms…

I have to start out by telling you I have consumed my happy juice and am a bit crosseyed at this time.  But praise Jesus, for he has given us every herb, plant and fruit bearing tree so that we will live healthy, peaceful lives.  Medicinal.  Used for my CPTSD, it can take me from despair to joy, and that my friends is worth its weight in gold.

I’ve been thinking about what is happening in this world, and obviously, it all but freaks me out.  After watching a video I shouldn’t have, I was overwhelmed-feeling as if the entire three ring circus was on my back.  First sad.  Then frantic.  Then Jesus.

I tell him, Jesus! I am clinging to your robes today, I need you badly!

These are the times when I run, full throttle, all engines on to God.  I picture myself running in to his amazing hug, and hear him say There, there child.

I can’t do this Jesus.

I know too much, why do I know so much and when did you make the decision to take a scaredy cat like this girl, and lead her in the direction of Doom.  Real news.  Investigative reporting.  I have felt the Holy Spirit driving me in this direction, and some days?  Down with the ship I go.

He never pushes, never demands.

I come to the realization that He alone is my Lord and Savior.  He will not leave me nor forsake me.  He is in control.  

I take a long hot shower.  I plug in my tiny white lights strategically placed all over my home, to give comfort.  Put some cinnamon on the stove.  And then He takes me back to who I was before I got clean.  I am profoundly grateful.

I fall into His arms.

After the Lesson, the Blessing

I wrote this blog last Spring, while in the heat of the horrible moment.  Devastated by an argument with my step son, I simply could not see the forest through the trees.  There was never an apology rendered, but I have forgiven Bud and he knows this.  I like to call this phenomena Grace-but really I just did it for myself and my husband.

Dwain, interestingly enough, has not forgiven him.  Yet there have been great strides towards healing, and rather than trying to be his son’s best friend?  He has risen to the challenge of being a father, i.e. no more tolerating arrogance or disrespect.  I believe we are all closer as a result of his temporary insanity.

When God puts you to the test, and you pass with a combination of trusting His wisdom?  Oh my dear friends, this is when the miracle happens:  a peace that surpasses any understanding-inner joy and self love come out of hiding.  Often, the hard part is recognizing the blessing.  With practice and determination, you can take the gifts from above and pay it forward.   Grace abounds, indeed.

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I have been having what some would call “hearing hallucinations,” and I know they are real, as real as the grass in the yard, the puffy clouds on the horizon, and the Spring peepers who cry out their mating call at this time of year.

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.  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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This picture was taken when I was nudged by the Holy Spirit to snap a pic in fog and drizzle.

Yesterday, while getting out of the shower, I heard those wings again.  I knew the angels wanted me to know they were with me, which scared the bejeepers out of 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.”

What he said next was so crazy making, so vile and putrid and everything that goes along with the loss of a child.

“I text him, last week.  I jacked him up and he said there will be no apology forthcoming.

No apology?  That man-child stood in my garage and screamed cruel and untrue things, called me a freak, told me the whole family thought I was a freak.  And, as it turned out, he was plenty pissed that I am on SSI, as “it’s not fair I have to pay for her income with my taxes.”`  He was this close to hitting me and when I went to go inside, he came after me and I just waited.  If he hit me, then I could go to court, get a Protection From Abuse-hey, I’ve suffered worse things, believe me.

I have made the decision that he is dead, dead to me for all intents and purposes.

You see, what seemed to irritate him most? That I had suffered CPTSD, and depression.  Apparently he thinks I made it all up; that after owning my own businesses and working (often two jobs at a time) for 40 years, I just decided, as if upon whim, to close shop, be lazy and ruin my husband’s life.  How could he be that cold?

And then the inevitable kick in my aching groin:  “Bud will be at mom’s for Easter, with his gal pal extraordinaire, the woman who was the icing on the cupcake of his disaster, the woman who so eagerly took what was not hers, her best friend’s boyfriend.  Don’t get me wrong, Bud is responsible for his own actions, but being the raging narcissist that he is?  He will never take accountability.  He ruined his own life and he should have thought about that before he let his penis do his thinking.  Sorry, I’m a bit rough around the edges today.

Father, forgive him, he knows not what he does.

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

Love Is Wild……

What is love, really? And how do you know if you’re on the right track, if you are loving someone enough, or …in a way that tells them they are loved?

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love does not anger,
nor does it boast.

This is what we find in our bibles, and make no mistake-God meant what he said, but how many of us can rise to that place? For me? Love is compassion. Love is validation. Love may take it up a notch or two-as lovers are passionate, and the frenzy can make us crazy. My husband and I still rant and rave, but at the end of the day? Love, somehow prevails. I remember not so long ago the days of begging him to love me, and now the tables have turned-love doesn’t hold anything over your head, and if you wax and wane poetic, but have no understanding or compassion, what does it amount to? Dust. Dust in the wind.

True love allows the other person breathing space. It listens, nods its’ head in sorrow, puts you in the shoes of the lovee.

Don’t you speak over my words. My reality is hard won, and I won’t trade my newfound jewels for stones-not today, not ever~

The Mammogram Blues

Suspended animation:  what women feel the week before, and every moment leading up to-the dreaded annual mammogram.  My Lord!  I’d like to meet the son of a bitch who invented these machines-not that I’m not thankful for early detection.  Here’s my question to the AMA:  why must a woman go through this unholy torture chamber each and every year, when we know DAMN well you have a thing called ultrasounds?

Who the fuck are you and what have you done with my tits?

I am in no way trying to frighten anyone out of getting this procedure.  Some women feel nothing at all, but then we have the group of flat chesters like myself.  Mother of God it hurts.  It is the equivalent of trying to squeeze more juice from the lemon you threw out last week.  And the bitch maneuvering the equipment always finds a reason to squish my breasts to smithereens.

“Oh, honey, we didn’t get enough last time, let me just adjust your breast, whoops!  Just pushed your mammary glands up through your anal cavity!  Lololol”

Excuse me, but why is this even a “thing?”

I was wondering what would happen if I went postal on this hooligan, like, what could they do to me, right?  Some women faint, others scream at the top of their lungs (really, totally uncalled for ladies) and some women beat the living shit out of the radiographers.

Simple, really.

 

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.

Slap Me With the Splintered Ruler

 

Good Saturday morning to y’all.  I need you to know that I only have a laptop on the weekends, as mine took a crapola last week.  Of course, my husband offered to take me to Best Buy this weekend, but I am not ready.  Very interesting…a week ago I felt like someone took my nubby-How Will I Ever Exist?  I won’t be able to write, go on Twatter, see the REAL news.  Yet God, in His infinite wisdom, had much greater plans.  Goosebumps….

Let’s just say that I had been way too preoccupied with the web, and with my addictive personality?  I had cut down on pc time, but still carried the computer with me, room to room.  True confession time:  I took it to the bathroom with me.  Don’t judge me, that room is the only room in the house with a door!  Sometimes a girl needs to breathe.  So, while my husband, friends and support network were extremely concerned (I have to say, my brother was probably ready to send for the men in white coats-haha!) Wouldn’t that be special?  My sister tried to have me committed to a facility the night I tried to take my own life-wise, you are saying to yourselves.  I just covered my ears until the social worker on duty promised me there would be no psychiatric institutions.  The very next morning they released me, gave me an Atarax (boy, if I could get my hands on some of those babies-but nah, just the drug addict in me) which allowed me to sleep my entire first day of sobriety away….giving my man time to drain the booze, and anything expensive was given to the neighbors. 

When I awoke that stormy October afternoon, back in 2007?  I went directly for the booze cupboard, searching for something-anything alcoholic-to my surprise I found a jug of white wine.  I sat that baby on the table and we had a talk, until Jesus intervened.

My precious child, when?  When will you say enough?  How much more of this life will you waste?

That did it.  I put the jug back where it belonged and waited it out.  This would be the beginning of years of cravings, big and small.  Relapses.  Drinking upstate without my husband’s knowledge-at the beautiful cabin we are gifted access to from time to time-I knew that was a big bowl of WRONG, yet I couldn’t, or wouldn’t give that once a year libation up-and one day, I thought of all of the miracles that Jesus had performed for me, personal triumphs, freedom from cancer, the very fact that I was alive and breathing spoke volumes to me.

What if I made a covenant with God?  What if in exchange for all He has done, I put away the thought of ever drinking alcohol again, and prayed for Him to give me the strength to do so.

That conversation took place a year ago.

Not.  One.   Craving.

 

 

I could not give up on the worldwide web, the loss was profound…and if I can tell you anything about myself, I can tell you that I am highly adaptable to almost any situation.  They say it takes two weeks to form a habit, and that is why I said “No thanks,” when Dwain offered to buy me a lap top.  I am perfectly content writing on the weekends, and once I am convinced my internet addiction is tamed?  Only then will I purchase new equipment.

It turns out?  I have a life to live.  I cannot fathom the chunks of time I wasted, sitting in my hidy hole, rehttps://youtu.be/aTgrASzzUXUading every bit of the Great Awakening news I could find… I went down Rabbit Holes no person in their right mind would want to travel.  And again, once I got the monkey off of my back?  I began getting things done.  Actually working on the farmhouse, baking, cooking, finding me again.

My husband drove out to New Hampshire for a business trip last week.  And so it was, on Monday evening, the house quiet, no music, no television-that I found a picture of me and my father.

“Wow.  I always hated this picture of myself.  Not so much anymore, huh dad?  Umm…it’s/been/hard…”  The words tumbled from my mouth, and before I knew it, I was crying-my body wracked with emotional pain, I sensed something huge was in the air.

Jesus spoke to me again.

Child, it is time to let go of your shame.

Was I hearing Abba correctly?  Why, I didn’t realize I still carried it with me, the deep seated self loathing.  It took some time, but everything came together, as if a giant piece of the puzzle had been found.  I turned the pain into gratitude, as I remembered why I had such shame to begin with.

As a child, I knew shame.  My mother would go for days without speaking to me, and for the life of me, I truly never knew what provoked her ire.  I stopped a moment to think about what deep shame could do to a child in her formative years.  Eventually, I would buy her a card or pick her flowers.  I came across one such card in my mother’s bible just a while back.

Mom, I just wanted you to know that I’m sorry, and I love you very much.

Your daughter,

Michele

In school I suffered total shame because of my weight.  The kids were cruel, and the taunting was so persistent?  It took me well into my thirties before I could jog or walk past a group of teens.  No matter that I had lost the weight, I still felt the shame.

In High School, considered a jock and oddball, (Varsity Crew Coxswain) I began to realize that this wasn’t going to resolve itself, but I had no idea where to begin.  At Villanova, my shame came from not having or being enough.  Surrounded by incredibly wealthy and beautiful people, I made up a story about being a Jontue model.  Unfortunately, people not only believed me, they spread the word.  I mean, who doesn’t want to be friends with a famous model, right?  In college I learned to reinvent myself, and the only person I was hurting was me.  Why wasn’t I enough?

After college, my drinking career became legend in some parts of King of Prussia.  I began seeking attention (love) through a series of promiscuous love affairs-and the reputation stuck.  I began doing cocaine as a way to lift my spirits and self esteem; what could possibly go wrong?

The day I found myself on the doorstep of my rented home, due to losing an eight ball of coke.  I had given my brother a birthday party, and while I had my back turned, one of my nearest and dearest friends (I had only invited people we were very close to) had lifted the bag I had hidden, way in the back of my closet, under a stack of love letters.  I had promised Ted, my landlord, that I would sell it all that night.  There are no words to express my horror at finding I had been robbed.  I had no money to give him, and that didn’t sit well, not at all.

Ted sold drugs for the Gambino crime family.

I went on the run.  My room mate and best friend, Mel, beside me-we drove away like bats out of hell, and didn’t look back, not once.

So, with my worsening alcoholism and drug addiction, there were reasons to be ashamed.  And as I sat in my bedroom, weeping between the litter boxes, I asked myself this question:

What is there to be ashamed of now?  Why do you feel unworthy?  Why do you punish yourself for simply existing?

Let me light my lamp, says the tiny star; and never debate whether it will dispel the darkness.

– Rabindranath Tagore

May you shed your shame like the cloak of darkness it has become.

You are special, unique and loved-let your freak flag fly, baby~

My Weapon of Choice…..

Scrolling through videos this morning, waiting for inspiration. This video caught my attention, and it is just perfect for the topic. What is your weapon of choice when the haters are getting you down? How do you escape the bullets shot in your direction? What do you do when cruelty and evil darken your door?

Of course, my weapon is the full armor of God. At least that is the first place I go…….for strength, love and compassion-wisdom, grace and peace. I
submerge myself in the scriptures, and there I find truth, a rare commodity in this day and age: but always on pointe, never changing-it comforts me to know that Jesus knows my heart, inside and out. I have faced challenges this past year that would break Hercules, yet I am stronger by the minute, so much so that I am not the same person I was mere weeks, months or years ago.

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He keeps me strong. On the straight and narrow. Do I slip up? Often. Does He forgive me? Indubitably.

And after I come out of my bible-induced trance? Why, I dance…..of course!