Lost, Inside My Own Mind

After a sobering sermon on forgiveness, I find myself searching my heart and mind for relief, release or at least a NOT GUILTY verdict-I discover that I have been looking at many things in the wrong light.

The spiritual director spoke before the band played.  She talked about her granddaughter’s 13th birthday party, planned at a roller rink-50 children were invited.  Only two girls out of those fifty came to the party-her granddaughter was crushed, and she wanted revenge of the eye for an eye sort.  She swore she wanted to go to each and every home that housed the little brats, because these girls responded YES to the invite.

Crushing.  I wept for the little girl, and didn’t stop weeping until the service was over.  I have felt that exact heartache; there is a special kind of pain related to disrespect, cruelty and sucker punches to the gut-it isn’t pretty and it isn’t right, but what can you do?

As of late, I have been isolating myself.  I left our church of four years, ended friendships that were toxic and one sided, even stopped going to exercise class-I blame it on my bad knee, which is partly true.  The other reason?  I have been deeply hurt by no less than three women in that very class.  One woman was a long time friend who taunted me to the point of madness-she belittled, chastised and stalked.  I was honest with her, and no apology was forthcoming, not that I expected or demanded one.  I had hopes for the other two women, a friendship was budding…but these ladies had been BFFs forever, and the one didn’t think too kindly of me butting into the equation.

I had arranged a tea for us this past Winter.  We were having a lovely time until the woman I later learned was insecure and unforgiving, told me that she never attended our local bent and dent discount store because, wait for it…Amish people smell.

“What the fazuck am I doing here?”  The last thing I wanted was another judgmental and unforgiving woman in my life.  I dropped the ball and there it lay.  As much as I needed to get out amongst the living, protecting my heart was much more important.  I haven’t been back in months.  It saddens me because I truly felt at ease with these women, until someone complained about my baking a carrot cake for a member’s birthday.

What is wrong with people?

It amazes me how God works in our lives.  I had thought for years that the women of Schaefferstown were uppity and lackluster, set in their ways and averse to any one or any thing that challenged their black and white view of life.  One particular day I was called out by the instructor as I sat, minding my own business, talking to the woman next to me.

Were you a rebel in High School?”

It happens everywhere I go:  because I don’t care what others think of me, or perhaps because I do, in my own way-I stick out like a sore thumb.  In college I began working at a local restaurant as a hostess.  I sensed the cocktail waitresses and bartender were none too pleased with the new girl-the young blonde with the happy go lucky attitude was shunned-so I turned myself into the dumb young blonde who sarcastically spoke of the customers and employees with condescension and a touch of malice.

Everyone loved her.

I fancied myself an imbecile, too stupid to add up a bar tab, too clumsy to carry a tray of cocktails, too silly to ever be taken seriously.  As an emotionally abused child I learned how to fade into the woodwork;  and now, in my fifties?  I simply can’t risk one more heartache-so I shut myself down, don’t risk putting myself out there.  I have become my mother.

And so it was, as I sat there in the tiny little church in a strip mall this morning, that I began to feel the Grinch’s heart warm up a tad.  I wanted to raise my hand and ask the pastor how one is supposed to forgive seven times seventy without being seen and treated like a doormat.  I truly believe that is why I wasn’t taken seriously to begin with-the old Sara was abundantly loving and incredibly happy, despite all that stood in her way.  The new version?  Hardened, calloused and distrusting of anyone who gives her a sideways glance.  Nothing gets in, yes-but nothing goes out, and that is the point of this blog.

I want my heart back, Jesus.  I miss the girl with open arms and a love for others that couldn’t be dimmed, no matter the beating I took out in the real world.

Oh, what I wouldn’t do to have her back~

 

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, reading 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~

 

Sirens

It’s that time of year again-it’s always ‘that time of year.’  No matter how you slice and dice it?  There will always be a birthday/holiday/death day around the corner, so why not hunker down and take the blows, feel the feels as they come?

It’s better, as the years have gone on: my grieving my father’s death.  I was always connected to my dad, two peas in a pod living with three jalapenos-taking solace in each other.  We each had a sardonic wit, and delighted in the same human absurdities via the tele.  Many a night I would come home late from a date, and find my precious father waiting up for me.  Oh, he never admitted it, but I know darn well he wasn’t just watching Lassie at 2 a.m.

I remember one particular evening, I walked in on an extremely relieved father watching The Shining.  I sat down at his request and watched the entire film, literally shaking in the marrow of my bone.  I was frightened to the point of hysteria, but I could do anything with my dad sitting next to me.  It was only a few moments later, while up in my bedroom reading-that my father opened my bedroom door.  Odd.

Yes, dad?

“Redrum.  Redrum.  Redrum,”  I heard his stifled laughter as he closed his bedroom door.

It was a very long evening.

In other news, I’ve been listening to Nina Simone, Inez and Amy Winehouse all this Sunday afternoon.  You know what that means, right?

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Nope.  The exact opposite.  Why do women listen to the likes of Adele and Amy when their hearts are shattered into a millions pieces?  Call 911?  No silly, we listen to the Sirens-the women who are mythical in their falsettos, cries for mercy, piercing courage.  We listen to these women because we are these women, without the talent.  Speaking for myself of course.  We listen because when our hearts have been served cold, on a silver platter for the world to see?

We want vengeance.  And we’re not taking your crap, not no more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a Gas, Man

There are days, very few and far between, when I seethe in an unholy rage-directed at those who have wronged me, in particular, my sister.  I don’t dwell in this space, at least not for long.  Jesus warned us about acting out in anger, and it just doesn’t feel good.  Yet to deny the anger is not healthy either.  If there is one thing I have learned in my sobriety?  As Richard Gannon would say, you have to feel the feels.  There is a good reason why we experience the traumas in our lives, and that is to strengthen us and give us compassion towards others who have experienced same.

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Dogs are incapable of hurting the ones they love.

I wouldn’t change my history for the world, it has literally made me the woman I am today, and I am proud of her.  It took a very long time to come into this space of self love,  I respect myself.  The woman I am now seeks justice for the child I was then.  I often miss the big and open heart she once possessed.  Never thinking for a moment before offering help, often taken advantage of by narcissistic bottom dwellers of whom I pray for daily.

As I sit, putting on my oils and potions-I catch a glance of my face.

Who is that woman?

She has eyes of steel and a vengeful heart; numbed by years of scarring, emotional vulnerability.

It is in these moments of truth that she is humbled by what her Savior has done-finally, she is protecting her heart.

Like a mother bear.

Wild Child

 

I remember my sister and myself, attending a party years ago; my childhood friend Mark was dating a real hum dinger-no one particularly liked her, but she was honest, in a crippling kind of way.  I overheard this observation:

Well, if it isn’t Twisted Sister and Little Bo Peep.

I knew I wasn’t meant to hear her, but I have bionic ears.  My husband marvels at the fact that even when the television is playing at a deafening  volume, I can hear a tiny field mouse in a bag of chips on the other side of the house; or the kitchen door alarm, dryer buzzer and what the neighbors are discussing at any given moment in time.  I kid, of course-I don’t want to know what my in laws talk about, believe me.

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Here is a random, blurry picture I took, with a random pet’s foot.

Anyhooser, as I was saying, this girl Mark was dating had no clue who she was messing with.  My catchphrase used to be-

Don’t F with a mother F-er. 

and I had the reputation to boot!  I have never taken kindly to the idiocy of some people, and quite frankly?  I told people off with wild abandon.  But there was a missing link, alas, I could not do the same with the people in my life that needed to be kicked in the ass; and then, later in life?  The codependency.  In essence, I pick my battles with great care-but I can be one scary bitch if I need to be.

Yes, I have an Irish temper, yet God has carefully redirected my rage via hiking, gardening and Kayaking.  I grew up in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-best known for the Court at King of Prussia.  I lived there before the mall, when there was nothing but the Valley Forge shopping center.  As I grew closer to graduating from high school, I knew from a place deep down inside me, that I would not stay.  The mere thought of running into the cheerleaders who had turned their nose at me for years- in some run down 7-eleven, whilst buying a pack of Marlboro lights.  I think you smell what I’m about to step in: I was a wild child.

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The simple things are the most breath taking~

I was a loner as well, still am, to this day.  I could lose myself for hours in the woods-and back then, there was little danger of being kidnapped, bludgeoned or left for dead in the middle of a country road (that happened years later, when I was hit be a drunk on a Harley.  I was the drunk on the road)  Good times.

As a child, I questioned everything.  My poor mother must have wanted to shove a sock in it, on more than one occasion.  One day, I was about four (so the story goes) when I stormed into the kitchen and announced that I would one day be living on a farm, and nobody was going to change my mind.  It gives me chills that I ended up doing just that.

A farmette,  but a farm nonetheless.  An outdoor cat colony (thirteen at present) and indoor cat colony of four, and a golden retriever.  I live in Amish country, and haven’t returned to King of Prussia since my father passed away-no reason to.  I remember sighing with relief, when we made frequent trips to see daddy, once we took our exit on the turnpike.  Once you take the girl out of the city?  It’s virtually impossible to get her back.

As I have grown in my faith I have learned, and on some level always known, that my peace and joy would come from the simplest of things: a snail shell found in a corn field, the ice formations on maple leaf, the snow fall on a Winter’s day, a spider’s web of antique lace.  I recently wondered to myself if I would ever grow up, and the Holy Spirit led me to this bible passage:

How many are your works, Lord!  In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.                                                         Psalm 104:24

Look at life through the eyes of a child-and there you will see His splendor and majesty.

Be blessed~

It’s All Been a Pack of Lies

I have always felt an inner peace around animals, perhaps because I know they don’t have the capacity to hurt me as so many humans have-but these “people” can’t touch me now, as I am wearing the full armor of God.  People, if you think true followers of Christ have lily white lives, nothing could be further from the truth.  Look at the people Jesus hung out with, um, that should tell you everything.

I want you to know that I will one day be writing soon enough about my inane and often absurd journey of recovery from addictions.  I am sure I’ll be compelled to write about my travels and feelings, the plight of the homeless et al. again, I just don’t know when that will be.

You see, I am on fire for God.  I burn for Jesus more than ever before, and I can honestly say I never understood the term.

“Yeah, that bitch is ON FIRE for God, let me tell you!”

My thought cloud inevitably read, What The Hell Does That Mean?  And how do I, myself, join the club?  It is only now, at the age of 58 and after years and years of darkness that I can truly say I am free and at peace; and because of the way He has led, protected and loved me?  I can’t help but want to serve Him, and give back to humanity one one millionth of what my Lord and Savior has given to me.

If I am making you want to vomit, I understand.  Not too long ago I would have read this very paragraph and SOL’s (Snarked Out Loud)  I can hear the snort as we speak.  But this has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with Jesus within me.  What were the words in that tune?

“…who saved a wretch like me?”

I was selfish and needy, arrogant at times-always out for me and my needs.  When you accept Jesus into your life, or vice versa, you don’t spontaneously combust with the Holy Spirit-however, if you are a true follower of Christ you will see changes, drastic changes in your values and heart.  You are filled with love for others, and most times it’s because those of us who turn to God are broken.  We have suffered, some of us our entire lives.  We didn’t fit in, we didn’t fit out.  Real human beings broke our spirit.  When that happens one has two choices:  admit their need or turn to lust and greed.

As of now, approximately 51% of the country is either awakened or in the process of awakening.  And when I say awakened I am not talking about the New Age “ascension” model.  I am saying that via Project Mockingbird, we were all brainwashed, literally.  While the Babylonians were thieving and killing?  We were too busy to notice, we had better things to do!  It’s called worshipping idols, folks.  I was one of the worst-give me a People magazine and a beer?  I was in ecstacy.  My entire family followed to gossip rags relentlessy, and with great abandon.  We celebrated the weekly arrival of People like some tribes celebrate feeding the entire village.

I know they omitted and changed some of the language in our bibles.  I will do a blog on that, but I want to point something out-God does not intend for us to love our enemies, when those very foes we fight are Satan’s merry band of demons.

I refuse to love these monsters.

I’m in all out war mode, thank you very much.

 

Hammer Time

I am a simple woman, ok, that isn’t gonna work.  I am a conservative Christian living in a small rural town, happily married, unlucky at friendship-until I discovered a massive group of people who THINK, who DO, who give a flying fazuck.

Donald J. Trump is going to rock this world in a way many will find frightening.

Declass is HERE.

A shout out to all family and friends who did not support me in any way whatsoever.  I tried my darndest to awaken you, but that job is God’s, not mine.

Speaking of my Abba, all power, glory and praise go to Him and Him alone.

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The Holy Spirit guides my thoughts and prayers.

I pray you walk the narrow path that leads to the Heavenly Realms.

Just call out His name, and He alone will guide you~