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~

Destiny is Calling Me…

I don’t quite know where to begin, and my mind is racing in seven different directions, in seven different languages. 🙂

I am not fond of speaking of my past, in terms of the darker days. I feel a chill in the air, my mood plummets to the pits of hell-but God took me through those fires for a reason, and I know that my story is your story-you, the addict. And by addiction I don’t mean to chocolate: I’m talking drinking to the point of blackouts; stealing medications from clients; multiple “accidents” and that feeling in the pit of your gut-your guilt, coupled with the pain you are self medicating.

Nasty. Putrid. Bleak.

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“How could I possibly clean myself up? What would I do with all of my raw, searing pain? How could I cope?”

Beloveds, listen to the wise old hoot owl-learn from my mistakes. I spent years running from a traumatic childhood, turned to booze and men, then pills and cocaine. I married the man of my dreams (ok, he is seriously on my nerves today-but we made vows and stuff)and when I had life by the balls? I washed it down the kitchen drain; hook, line and sinker. Ten years of my life are missing, literally. Yet, I am just another sinner, clawing my way out of the rat race; running at warp speed to what I had no idea at the time.

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I ran into the boys from Teen Challenge, an amazing program of hope and sobriety for men of all ages and backgrounds, who have failed in all previous attempts to get sober. Every holiday we see them at our local grocery store. I listened to their stories, we laughed-and cried together. I have an innate connection to the broken-I always will. Even without their stand and wares? I could have picked out those men in a heartbeat.

Addicts have a tell, and it takes one to know one. It’s all in the eyes-which speak to me in various ways. Today it was the look of the haunted. I knew immediately that they were just beginning their journey; the look of sheer panic, yes. But something about them stood out, as if they were old souls or friends I hadn’t seen in some time.

“I just got out of prison, was there for two years. Lost my family, home and job. I tried every program out there, and I relapsed every time-it is an absolute miracle that God found me when He did. It’s Jesus that makes all of the difference! I have my family back, ma’am. And you know who the glory goes to, now, don’t ya?”

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you. -Deuteronomy 31:8

Every day you don’t take a drink is a miracle.

Be miraculous~

I Cut You Off……..

I have NEVER heard of this band, but I can tell you this-I will be listening from now on.

When it comes to Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I know a few things, and what I know brings me to my knees. The echoes of earlier years, when she and I were close and loving. The survivor’s guilt I feel, which makes no sense as I didn’t get away unscathed-anorexia, bulimia, OCD, CPTSD, alcoholism, depression and crippling anxiety? Yet I worry about the fate of my sister, I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t.

I miss her.  There, I said it.  I cannot fathom going through the rest of my life without her, yet I cannot fathom my life with her.  A lose-lose if there ever was one.  What I would love to do is help her, but she was never one to want my assistance.  I want to tell her that everything will be okay, it’s not your fault, just tell the truth and we as a family will deal with the repercussions.  I want to tell her that God has broad shoulders, and that we can talk it out.  I want to pick up the phone and call her, almost did the other day.

How can I have a relationship with her and remain sound of body and mind?  How could I learn to trust her again?  What will become of my family?

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This is what victims need to come to terms with: whether you lose a lover, a mother or a friend-you are losing the idea of who you thought they were.

And if you offer a hand to help them up and out of the muck and mire? Be prepared to see them walk away, because they don’t think they need help-they don’t think they have done anything wrong. Their brain is misfiring and they will think absolutely nothing of dragging you down with them, so FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT to ensure that you are physically, emotionally and spiritually prepared to go to war.

Then, once you have gone no contact? Enjoy the return of your creativity, self esteem and individuality.

No one can do this for you. Just remember: you are missing the ghost of the person you thought them to be.

Crazy……

I remember, I remember when I lost my mind……..great lyrics, great song.  After years of fighting for Social Security Disability, (I put up with way too much for way too long, and suffered a break down-depression is not a sign of weakness-it is a sign of being strong despite ridiculously mind-boggling stress) I have now been notified that I won.  I am grateful, yes, but now I am legitimately handicapped, according to the state of Pennsylvania.

I didn’t think I would be overcome with the words of the Judge’s decision:

Advanced age.  Alcoholism.  Depression.  Drug use.  Disabled.  Anxious.  Isolator.  Potato Chip Sifter and my personal favorite-mentally ill.  Perhaps it is time that I own these descriptive, if not melancholy diagnoses.  Knowing that PTSD was the problem all along, well, that does help, as at least I know the beginnings of my madness.  But I am proud to be here, proud to toot my horn in support of mental health awareness and the way Jesus will take the broken and make them strong and resilient, eventually.

I am not the poster child for the criminally insane, and for now, well, that is enough.

A Backlog of Grief

 

This writing is for anyone who has or had an addiction to drugs, alcohol or any other means of escape from reality.  It is a warning and a note to self:  I never want to go back to those days of annihilation, of cramming every uncomfortable thought down my throat, of blurry acceptance of all things despicable or wanting in nature.  This is a known fact in the Rooms:  if you have been anesthetizing  yourself in order to feel better, escape the symptoms of trauma or even to get over your ex?  Chances are, you will experience sorrows beyond your wildest nightmares, you can’t push it down-grief will always have its way; there, I said it.

I remember the day I came home from my first rehab session.  I was given a pamphlet, The Grapevine (a publication that comes out quarterly from Alcoholics Anonymous, impossible to find if you don’t have connections) and a piece of paper titled A Backlog of Grief: You May Experience Some Discomfort………I remember phoning my sister, and reading this memo to her.  I remember being scared out of my mind, and I could not understand, for the life of me, why they would hand out such negative information to, well, anyone; especially someone with two days of sobriety under her belt.

The subject matter was grim-it warned that, out of nowhere, you may be overwhelmed with sorrow, remorse, pain, and yes-a strong desire to relapse.  You see, it works like this:  every negative emotion, every single feeling of despair, any loss you drank or drugged to be free of?  Well, they will reemerge, except for this time?  The pain is much worse as you are not sure where it is coming from, you don’t know exactly what fresh Hell has made its’ nasty appearance in your life, again, and let me tell you-it is so overwhelming and so nerve wracking that I spent days and days in bed, doing nothing but taking Benadryl and assuming the fetal position in my boudoir.

I would be out for lunch with a friend, and have to excuse myself to run to the bathroom, and more often than not?  The friend would come in to see if I was okay (or drinking) and be caught unawares by the wretched sobbing, anxiety and fear of losing control.  You feel empty, nonplussed, even betrayed by God at times…..why, why am I so forlorn?  Take this from me, sweet Jesus, take this pain away……..

I forgot, and often, about the piece of paper sitting on my living room table, next to my bible.  The thing is, they didn’t explain WHY these feelings would sneak up behind you, wrestle you to the ground; an albatross around your neck-they simply said you may experience periods of great emotion and trauma.

I was given divine guidance on a number of occasions.  One day, as a hospice volunteer, I was given a book on grief.  As I was reading it, my brain reeling, I recognized what the author was describing-this is why we tell others to take there time and grieve as long and as hard as they deem necessary.  (Of course, this can become a problem in itself, but we’re not talking about that now.)

You cannot push down pain.  It will come back with a vengeance you never knew existed-a crippling, one two punch to the gut-and you will be left with questions, yet no answers.

Here’s my advice:  it took some time, but eventually I became better and better at putting my feelings, thoughts and memories in context.  I could discern where the pit in my stomach originated-and only then could I do the work of healing my heart.

So, you see, you can’t run, you can’t hide…….and I know you can smell what I’m stepping in when I tell you that you’d be so much better off getting the necessary help to get sober as early on in your addiction as possible.

Get thee to a meeting.  Call a friend.  Talk to your therapist.

The following information could save this from happening to the next person.   There is help, and financial aid for those in need.

PENNSYLVANIA ADULT AND TEEN CHALLENGE-WE CAN HELP! (844) 888-8085.

 

 

 

I’m on the Outside…..

Good Wednesday morning to you all.   I was unable to attend church this week, and I was supposed to be working the Welcome Center.  At this moment I am almost hysterical at the idea of being held hostage by a bad knee and a chip on my shoulder.  I keep telling myself that others have it much worse (and they do) I think of the homeless in weather like this.  I almost drove to the city with warm blankets for the plight, but quickly realized that the roads were like ice, and I was left in frustrated despair.  I am left with decisions, so many, do I go to a Specialist?  Shouldn’t I just trust God?  I am not going to ask Why Me? because that is a ridiculous supposition, we all suffer in one way or another, right?

I want to rant and rave.  I want to hide in the fetal position, as I am as afraid as I was as a little girl, terrorized by thunderstorms.  As a sufferer from CPTSD, I do not do well with unanswered questions or the unknown.  I loathe going to the doctor, deplore their inadequacies in diagnosing, well, anything.  I trust that He will heal me, much more than I do the medical profession.  God has never, ever let me down; big Pharma and human physicians have, on more than several occasions.  .

I feel as if I stand outside the window, looking at the healthy and content, as if they have something I desire, something I need.  They look oh so pleased on the outside, and maybe that’s the secret.

I’ll just fake it ’til I make it……I want someone to hold me and tell me it’s going to be okay.  I want, oh how I desire, to be that ten year old child once more.

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~