The Rabbit Hole – April 22, 2017

I am sitting in my bedroom, the rain knocking sweetly against the old tin roof, dwelling in this space-with Jesus, and the feeling cannot be described in words.  It’s been a long day, and I am drained, yet I am over the moon euphoric….these moments are so rare, yet more precious than any worldly thing that could possibly compare.  The journey has recently become a bit brighter, and I am overwhelmed with emotion.

Did you ever notice that God so richly blesses us after a lesson, or trial that He has allowed in our lives?  I am now, just into my fifties and realizing the incredible ways in which Yahweh shows his love, like a father who’s child has pleased him by learning, growing.  Jesus weeps when we weep, and God doesn’t enjoy correcting us-quite the contrary.  He wants His children to be at peace and radiating the joy of knowing Him…it can be seen in the people who have a peace that surpasses all understanding, because we know that Yahweh is in charge and Jesus lives in us.

I can tell you it’s been a trying couple of months and I have felt mildly unnerved about 80% of the time.  Coming out of the New Age turned out to be an amazing way in which to connect and strengthen our bond.  He tells me to lighten up, literally, constantly.  When I need it the most, Jesus will strike my funny bone and we will laugh and laugh and laugh.  I am a hot mess in heels and we laugh at that too.   I believe he enjoys my escapades, at least those in which I humor him by, say, pouring cat food into my brownie mix, or putting my purse in the refrigerator.  (HOLY HORMONES………) I took a walk around our property today, noticing with excitement that our pear orchard is cross-pollinating and the trees look healthy.  My husband has worked hard on our vegetable garden and we are getting the rains for that and my perennial gardens.  I am at peace with myself for the first time in forever.  We are going on a family vacation, our first time in 25 years of marriage (that’s a story for another day, another mood.)  Dwain, my husband, is happy with his move to Lezzer Lumber, and we can breathe a bit until my Social Security Disability hearing.

I heard I picked the only female judge.  I hear she makes people cry.  I can hear him, Jesus, laughing at my expense as we speak.

I Put a Spell on You……………….

https://youtu.be/PnqGr-TRMAA 11060012_971825489522822_3731756336227851706_nWe’re gonna talk about men here, so if you are of the male persuasion, don’t get you socks in a knot.  It’s all good- we love our men, but they drive us bat shit crazy.  Indubitably…………….

I fell  incredibly hard for the man of my dreams, whom I have been married to for almost 25 years.  Yeah, count ’em.  As a matter of fact, I put him on such a pedestal that I thought of leaving him the first time I saw him sit on the toilet.  Seriously.  He was all I ever wanted in a man….which was the male essence, the strength and humor I found in him.  And his green eyes……I could swim in those eyes.  But let me tell you brother, if there is a creature on this planet who can make my blood boil, it is this man I love.

For instance, we had a super duper, extra special nuclear argument just this very weekend.  He has started a new career, and found a fabulous job.  I am very proud of my man.  He is working long hours and at the end of the day he would like me to present myself as Marilyn Monroe/Julia Child and the energizer bunny-in that order if you please.  He wants me to be all wifey and shit, and sometimes, well, actually often, I come down with a cold or sinus infection that I have no control over.  I was never sick for a day when I drank, but sobriety, Lyme disease and an undiagnosed immunodeficiency disorder have plagued me for the last ten years.  So this is how the dog fight started.

It is Friday and someone is trying to break into my home.  Pounding on the door, jiggling the lock, looking in the windows…..why it is my husband, Dwain!  I thought he had a key…..I am in bathrobe and slippers because my brain is exploding with a sinus migraine……I open the door, he looks at me with fire in his eyes………

“What the hell is your problem?” I demand.

“Actually, I was having a good day until…………………”  I have no idea what he said because I had hightailed my ass up to my woman cave and went to bed, leaving him to rant and rave about the injustice of me not being all sparkly and all when he walks through the door at 5 p.m.  I did not speak to him again until the next day when I called him at work.

“Seriously!!!!  What is your problem?”  I was angry at this point and he knew it.  He hadn’t kissed me goodbye, and for Dwain, that means that something has upset his sensitive side…………..and I was going to get to the bottom of it.  Sherlock Holmes has nothing on me-I will beat you down to get the information I need, relentlessly picking until committing Hare Kari is your only option left.

“I am writing you a text,” he said.  Before I could say word one he had hung up the phone.

Now I have passed the pissed off zone.  I have PMS.  I have a migraine.  I have a husband who is about to be shot out of a cannon, because I am SO angry that I can’t think straight.

If he could have seen my face when I read said text, I don’t think he would have even entertained the thought of coming home:  YOU HAVE BEEN SICK FOR A WEEK AND THAT’S NOT NORMAL.  What the Venus Fly Trap?  Am I unworthy of compassion?  Am I asking too much, do I not work my behind off cleaning the house, feeding the cats and dog, cleaning out litterboxes, grocery shopping, gardening and painting the house?  I was seething.  Another day went by and we weren’t speaking.  I usually succumb to my husband’s apologies….but there were none.

Oh, (I thought out loud) you want a piece of me?  You’re gonna get a piece of me.”

It was Sunday morning before we spoke again.  I went to get baptized and figured he knew where the church was.  I sat in the front row, in tears, looking up each and every time the church doors opened.  Nope, no Dwain.  You can well imagine how hurt I was, but I didn’t (he certainly didn’t) know just how pissed I was until I came home and read the card placed strategically on the steps to our home.  I had sent him two texts, two emails and a facebook message explaining (for the 3,789th time) that I was abused as a child and his maltreatment of me when I am under the weather is a trigger.  I sent him two articles: one about PTSD, and the other about childhood neglect.

“Wow, I don’t think we ever talked about how bad your childhood was……..”

Really?  In what universe did I not tell my husband about my childhood?  Do men listen, do they grasp any reality but their own at any given God forsaken moment?  And then it happened.  I slapped him.  Hard.  I felt awful, but why do we have to be screaming, whirling dervishes of angst before we can get your attention?

Riddle me that Batman.

 

 

The Rabbit Hole

M is for Manifest……………….

Sorry I haven’t written for awhile………………….my PTSD has run amok and I am just now able to breathe, think, create.  I am writing a series on coming out of the New Age, and whilst on my morning hike I thought of how I was taught by my Reiki Master to think only positive thoughts and that we create the situations we find ourselves in.  I could never come to peace with that notion.  Do children bring abuse or molestation upon themselves for thinking negative thoughts?  Do parents bring about the loss of a child simply by worrying about their safety?  I think not.

Because I have mental health issues, (depression, PTSD, GAD, ADHD) I was terrified to have a thought, let alone a negative one.  For a year and a half I stuck by this “positive manifestation” nonsense, and I am here to tell you that no matter how hard I tried, I could not think of asking God to bless me a little more why don’t you?  I am quite blessed in many ways, too many to count.  I have a lovely home in the country (yes, our house needs work, and a ton of it, but I have a roof over my head), a good man for a husband (he drives me crazy in seven different languages, but basically, he is a decent soul) true friends and a flare for the creative.  I have my faith and that means so much to me.  I have family, and that doesn’t necessarily mean blood.

Speaking of PTSD, mine was initially triggered by emotional abuse at the hands of my narcissist mother, for which I have forgiven her completely.  At nineteen I was date raped by a man who then went out to the quad and played Frisbee with his friends-leaving me to cry, disassociate and clean up the mess.  In 1993 I was hit by a drunk on a Harley, leaving me for dead on a country road in the middle of the night.  Trigger number three.  And then, last June, while walking on Deer Path Trail in the Middlecreek Wildlife Conservation Park, I was stalked by a naked man carrying a metal detector.

Hiking with my golden retriever, I heard a rustling of leaves when we turned the bend towards the water.  “A bird,” I thought out loud.  As we reached the more treacherous part of the trail, I was hit with the paranoid thought that someone was following me.  Standing at the railroad ties that bridged the mucky quicksand, I turned around.  There he was, his wild red hair and nakedness enough to put the fear of God in me.  I motioned to my pup, who immediately got the message and ran with me, jumping over rocks and tree limbs in our path.  My heart was in my throat and I didn’t look back, just ran until the clearing……I emerged from the woods a nervous mess, distraught and breathless.  Turned out there were Conservation Officers doing trail checks (Divine Intervention) and they set out, guns at the ready, to find the perpetrator.  They found him masturbating, and trying to throw away the evidence……no charges were filed.  He wasn’t even warned.  I ended up being the one to chase him at speeds over 100 mph., just because they couldn’t get his license plate.  Harrowing……….

I shut down that day.  Completely unhinged, I went to said Reiki Master and asked that she pray over me.wonderlandcatgfairy002_vectorizedb

You know you brought this on yourself, right?”

I should have throat punched her right then and there.

 

 

 

,

 

Chicken Little Does Crack

15895190_1283241798409979_6389131430247254887_n

I remember my mother in law speaking of THE END TIMES about ten years ago.  Right before I sobered up.  I distinctly remember wanting to throat punch her.  I mean, SERIOUSLY?

“Everything that the Bible prophesized has already taken place,” she  touted.

This would put the literal fear of God in me, and I would usually nod my head, walk back home and begin the process of terrorizing myself into an anxiety attack.  If I could go back in time I would say to myself, “Kid, you better take heed.  This is nothing compared to the Tribulation.”  After weeks of  re-indoctrinating myself into the Holy Bible and the end times (with a little help from my friends at Philia Ministries.)  Shout out to James and Lea D for witnessing and teaching with love in their hearts and your salvation on their minds.  After leaving my church and looking for the last place I saw Jesus (we will have to really be discerning, but I have a few in mind) I am ready to say that these are indeed the times the Bible speak of and I am absolutely okay with this.  We don’t know the hour, but we do know it’s coming.  Just look at the state the world is in.

I am doing my darndest, but let’s face it-studying the book of Revelations has given new meaning to my diagnoses of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Just this morning, after spending some time with the Lord and a few YouTube videos, I set out for my morning hike with Jesse, my golden retriever.  We hunt antler sheds every morning, whether we feel like it or not.  I so enjoy these adventures, but today I was so anxious heading into the woods…..hard to explain.

As we approached the creek, I saw what at first appeared to be a lamb-looking at me through the trees.  After instructing Jesse to stay (sometimes he does, and well, sometimes he does what he wants) and inched forward on my own.

“Holy Mary, mother of God it’s a bobcat!!!!!!!!!!,” I screamed at no one in particular.  “What do I do now?  He could kill my dog!  Craptastic, the sky IS falling………” on and on I went in my thought cloud, sure that neither of us would make it to tell the story.  Bravely, I crept closer still.  Our eyes locking, the white house cat gave me an irritated meow and ran for the hills.

Squirrels Eating Nuts….

1807:031117:20F:BROWN02   :3March 19, 2017

I have to get a hold of myself.  In the days of research for my blog The Rabbit Hole, I took my full-blown, red alert, the sky is falling mind to places I never thought I’d be.  I could tell myself that it was all in the name of investigative reporting-but you can get so sucked into some of the scariest bullshit on the internet.  Is it because I was always afraid of scary movies and I’m trying to make up for it by scaring the life force out of myself?  What the?

I live in my own little world, and anyone who knows me will tell you just that.  I now am well versed in politics (no worries, no politico hereo) for the first time in my adult life, but as for what is going on in the real world?  Jesus, Mary and Joseph have I been living under a crystal?  Smiley face….I crack myself up.  Anyhooser, I had been researching Flakka, a drug that had been imported from China back in 2014 into Florida, and created near hysteria in that state.  Bath salts.  I am always, perpetually the last one in this family to know jack shit.  So, after a week of watching the outbreak in Florida and other locations across the country.  I saw a virtual zombie apocalypse coming and I still tremble at the thought of some of the footage…….Good God!  What fresh hell is this?  So, it’s 11:00 a.m. in the morning and we are getting ready to look at used trucks with our son.  “Sweet mother of merciful Jesus!  Does Bradley know about this?” Holy inappropriate behavior, I immediately message my eldest niece, alerting her to the near epidemic, attaching a disturbing video of people becoming evil incarnate, and tell her, “Honey, if you see a naked man or woman behaving like this, it’s a new drug called Flakka and I want you to get the fuck out of dodge.  Do not show this to your mother or sister.  They will faint.”  Verbatim.  Yup.

While standing in the lot of the dealership, the unsuspecting salesperson who just happened to come out of nowhere….he didn’t know that I was about to scream at him like a freight train was coming right down 422, like a bullet with my name on it.  Oh my God, it still makes me hurt when I think/laugh out loud about it.  Meanwhile, on the way home my husband says to me, “Honey, Flakka was three years ago.  Don’t you remember the bath salts thing?”  Vaguely.  I do know that I had not seen naked, demonic, freaks of nature committing  acts of cannibalism, murder and incredible, mind-blowing strength.  I was convinced Armageddon had begun and I can laugh now, but man, I need to start checking and rechecking the dates.  I came home from church today and immediately went to check the Flakka statistics. Nothing since 2014.  Legal back then and on the rise-China stopped making the drug and dealers stopped dealing it.  I messaged my niece.  “I can’t believe all of these crazy drugs they’re coming up with Aunt Michele….”

What I didn’t say back was, there wasn’t enough weed in this entire town to calm my ass down yesterday.  Pass the Hookah, please……………….

Sisters (The Apology)

When I sit down to write, I usually go with what my most pressing emotions are at that particular time.  Today?  Well, besides being pissed off at my husband’s incessant nagging about my smoking (I literally smoke between two and four cigarettes a day.   I literally have nothing else left after sobriety cleaned me out.  No booze.  No Oxycontin.  Even my suboxyne is the very lowest dose, so, please excuse me if it makes me crazy.  Most days, I am fine.  But there are those other days, the ones that tear your heart out-I am releasing a life time of pain, and facing the scary monsters I drank to avoid.)

I can tell you that whilst in the shower this afternoon, I knew I would be writing about two things:  my sister and gratitude.  I don’t know about you, but writing cripples me emotionally.  There is the nervous, stomach churning fire in your belly-you know you have a blog coming, but there is so much exposure.  You feel naked.  But that, my friends, is what the rush of writing is all about.  So, after seeing today’s challenge posted on Michele W.’s blog concerning writing about an apology that meant the world to you-the synchronicity was perfect.

Growing up with Courtney was one laugh riot after another.  Beginning with the day she bit my underarm, (OUCH, it really, really hurt) we have had an intense, emotional and truly comic sisterhood.  She, the baby, and I the eldest; there was often a great amount of jealousy on both parts.  By the time my parents got around to raising my sister, they were so much cooler, more relaxed and well, more Ozzie and Harriet!

I was raised to go to CCD, a catholic girl’s biggest nightmare.  By the time my sister came of age, I had put my foot down after one of the nuns grabbed my brother and put him up against a wall for waving at me while in line.  I have never, ever put up with people’s crap.  I love that saying, “Not my circus, not my monkeys,” because the idea of NOT being in the middle of some ridiculous drama sounds really nice.  A girl can dream.

Courtney had it all.  She was beautiful, slim (without dieting, she could eat whatever she wanted and as much as she wanted and nothing would change the fact that she had washboard abs and some hot guy on her arm.)  Please don’t get me wrong, the love was always there, but I had to swim 250 laps a day in our backyard pool, just to not gain.  My anorexic diet included a hard boiled egg for breakfast and a burger for dinner.  There were days where, shall I say, I could have pushed her into that pool and walked away.

When we were both in our twenties, we spent every weekend together.  We would party our palookas off and then stumble into my apartment, laughing at the way my fiancée would scream “Get Out!!!!!!!” when we had taken it too far with our antics.  No one, not a soul on this planet, can make me laugh like my sister can.  The Elkins clan has a very esoteric, and some may say dark, sense of humor. Like the time my fiancée did kick us to the curb after I apparently threw a beer in his face (I did not receive this information until the next afternoon, so we were puzzled all evening.)  Courtney ran for the shower, as she hated bar smoke in her hair.  We were both stoned and we were starving.

“How about we go to the 7 eleven when I get out?,” she asked.

Now, in the state we were in, we should not have been going anywhere.  Even a quick ride up the street was pushing it, but we arrived at the convenience store anxious to bring home Doritos, ice cream and chocolate.  We were already giggling about something stupid when I realized she was suddenly very tall and I was looking UP at my sister, who is 5’4″ in heels.

You forgot to take the towel off of your head!!” I screamed in delight.  I fell onto the floor in a pool of tears from laughing and crying.  I have yet to see anything as funny as the site of my beautiful, thin, younger sister wearing a towel on her head at 3 a.m. in a public place.

My sister and I suffered a strained relationship for years following my fight with depression and subsequent alcoholism.  The best apology I ever heard came out of the mouth of babe:  “I am truly, truly sorry for our miscommunications.”

And in turn, I am sorry for everything I didn’t say or said.  It breaks my heart to think of you as anything but happy.  And I will make it up to you.

“How about we try zip lining this weekend?  You can wear your turban…….”

Monster In Law

Mother’s Day, 2016.

Oh how I dread this day, and have for the 24 years I have been married to my husband.  I lost my mother to cancer in 1992.  She and I had a difficult relationship-in all honesty she was emotionally abusive to me for years.  I am trying to come to terms with writing about that struggle; however I find it hard to call my mother out on abuse that happened so many years ago.  I know that I can truly help others who have been through or are struggling with a narcissistic parent .  This pain rips you apart-and the years I have spent in therapy have taught me one thing: people make mistakes.  I am not one to blame my problems on my parents; been there, done that.  Once you pass the age of 40, you are accountable for your own actions.  Hurting people hurt others, or at least that’s what they say.  I don’t want to hurt anymore.

But today’s story only partly involves my mother, Mary Lou.  Today I want to discuss the most hideous of monsters-my mother in law.  I will never forget the day I met her.  You see, my in laws live directly across the street from us.  OH THE HORROR.  The unmitigated horror.

I was sitting on the grass beside the pond when I caught a glimpse of her walking up the street.  Dwain and I had a torrid love affair and had so far managed to avoid his parents’ judgment.  I had heard the stories.  She was a whirling dervish of criticism, hypocrisy and temper tantrums.  I truly wanted nothing to do with her, but how to avoid her?  Did I say my in laws live across the street?

“He loved her more than anything in this world.”  The first words my mother in law to be spoke.

“Who?  Who did Dwain love?”

“Why Kathy, of course.”Kathy was the woman who left Dwain with nothing.  The ex-wife who bolted and took everything with her, including the silverware, knowing he would have their son and her daughter every other weekend.  When I met Dwain we were both facing divorce, I left my first husband and took nothing but my clothes and old sketching.  Charcoal pictures of album covers-Elvis Costello, Jim Morrison, Joe Jackson- to name a few.  Kathy went as far as to charge Dwain with child abuse after her daughter woke him from a deep sleep and he swung his arms and hit her-by mistake, of course.  The state police were smarter than she, and never charged him with anything.  The fact that she had taken steps to crush the man, after he took her daughter and adopted her as his own, after they had a child together, after he received the bill for one of her abortions in the mail.  He didn’t know if he was indeed the father of his son as he caught her in the bushes with another man, his best friend, soon after they tied the not.

I had just put my family and friends through hell by walking away from a marriage that was one week old.  I couldn’t tell them the reason behind my departure.  My first husband had tried to strangle me on the honeymoon, and when I received the glorious news that my cervical cancer had not spread and remained in situ, he screamed, “You just didn’t want to have children!”  When you are 29 years old and dealing with cancer, you have no choice but to do what the doctor suggests: cryosurgery and a cervical biopsy.  It was in that moment that I learned I was not to have children.  The doctor told my husband that I couldn’t bare children-he just forgot to tell me.

And so, with those words hanging over my head like a toxic balloon, I made it a point to avoid her at all costs.  Why would she think I needed to hear that information?  It turned out she was bat shit crazy for her grandson-and nothing would stand in her way, not even her own son.

Over the years, she managed to treat me like a distasteful afterthought.  Dwain and I were party animals back in the day; on the weekends we didn’t have Brad, we jumped from bar to bar, along with our coke addled friends.  My mother in law was a born again Christian, and believed we were going to hell.  Dwain and I were abstinent on the weekends we had his son, and we took him to church faithfully, until the day it became obvious that no one was paying attention to the sermon.  Dwain’s parents and aunt were too busy fighting over how many cheerios the baby had, or who’s turn it was to hold him.  The circus atmosphere left a bitter taste in our mouths.

Flash back to September 11, the day that shook our nation to its very core.  We had spent much of the day watching the news coverage, thrilled to be home after working and together as a family.  My in laws came up to wish us a happy anniversary (September 12, 1992-that is the day we were married by our pond, one hundred people standing in mud and wet grass, just to see us tie the knot.)

“Oh sweet Jesus, Dolly,” I cried.  “The families and friends of these poor victims.  The first responders and fire fighters, how will they make it home tonight?”  I was hysterical, and my husband in shock.

I know where I’m going,” she smiled smugly.

And that, my friends, is the most hateful sentence ever spoken.