B.O. and Bad Sushi…

I don’t know where to begin.  Ahem.  I don’t blame this on anyone but me, and I have come to the place of acceptance, and laughter-and a deeper understanding of my profound love for my husband.

The morning began with a decision.  Dwain had gone target shooting with his son, (thank you for your prayers, dear friends-that situation is healing) and I was left alone, looking at the darkened sky, hearing the rolling thunder.

“Should I risk driving to church with the jeep top down?”

I knew darn well that every time I stayed home because of the “weather” I missed out on relationships, the lunches, the shopping.  I decided then and there-I was going to chance it.  My friend Leeny awaited me.  A sinus infection had kept me away from the every other Sunday service (we are members of a church in Lititz, Hosanna A Fellowship of Christians) I had promised her, upon learning of her recent health scare.  I just wasn’t about to let her down, that’s what it came down to in the end.

At the service, just as the preacher began his sermon on the prodigal son, thunder shook the chapel-the congregation laughed.

“The Holy Spirit has joined me,” he chuckled, to the delight of the crowd.

All I could think, was crapstastic.  And oh, how tastic the crap became.  I left the church, in a light Summer frock, no jacket-to buckets and buckets of water.  On the way to my jeep, I see a poor woman fall-flat on her poor face-right down the backdoor stairs.  The EMT in me assesses the situation and kind men pick her up and set her on her feet.  Prognoses?  Possible broken nose.

I run as fast as I can in heels, on slick parking lot, without killing myself.  I open the door, the jeep has at least 2 inches of water puddled on the floor.  It’s pouring and I am chilled to the bone.  I see that traffic isn’t moving because a big, black truck is trying to come towards us-he is going the wrong way!  Son of a BITCH!!!  

Now I’m in full panic mode.  I reverse and try to go the other way.  It won’t work.  I see the car in front of me move, so I do a U-turn and try again.  This time the truck is coming alongside my vehicle.  The parishioner is asking if I want him to help me put the top on.  I just want to get the mojo out of there, and I brush him off.

“JUST GO!!!,” I scream.

And just then, it hits me.  The “parishioner” is my husband.  Later, he will tell me that when he hit the Pretzel Hut (a local ma and pa burger joint) he realizes that I am at church with the jeep top down and it is raining cats and dogs.  He says he drove 100 mph (frowny face indeed!) on slick roads to come to my rescue.  When I get home, he apologizes profusely, saying had he not gone away with his son, I wouldn’t be shivering and, well, drowned is the only word that comes to mind.

I tell him he’s ridiculous.  He needs to spend time with his son.  I am not a child, I am accountable for my own actions.  In the shower, I beam and my heart swells with love and gratitude.  I take my time in the shower, jump into warm clothes and my favorite bunny socks, take a little bit longer with my makeup.

I nuzzle up close to my man, and he is pleased.

“You smell like B.O. and bad sushi,” he gushes.

And he laughed and laughed and laughed, until I found the little piece of flesh, on his inner thigh, and twerked it-as hard as I could.

 

 

The Girl You Want…………

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to hold tight to the female friendships I have cultivated.  Let’s face it, when you head for your forties-well, you start to realize what is important in life and what is detrimental.  You begin to stand up for yourself, and by the time you reach menopause?  You’re a whirling dervish of angst on the road to having no female friendships because you have told off just about every friend you have, for one reason or another.

I have lost sisters near and dear to my heart-but the loss was temporary, as those were the women who treated me with disrespect, dishonesty-they were not  the friends I thought they were-but it didn’t make it any easier to end the relationship.  My best friend in sixth grade (let’s just call her Shitstorm) threw a bowling ball at me because I had the highest average in the league.  She was also responsible for bringing a picture of me into school in the seventh grade, one in which I had cut my own bangs, and let’s just say she passed it on to my high school crush.  Mortifying.  I was friends with her for 30 more years, until she did the unthinkable…..that’s right, she was another narcissist, and crossing her was akin to playing hopscotch with Satan.

But when you hit your fifties?  Why, you hold on to your female friends like grim death-the ones who love you no matter what state you are in, root for you when you are up against it, speak to your husband when your sister pushes you over the edge and you grab that bottle of vodka………why, they are your true blue tribe, and you have earned each other’s trust.  I am not saying there won’t be disagreements (holy crap on a cracker, that’s part of the equation ladies) but you will learn that nothing is more important than women who get and cherish you, zits, nervous breakdowns and relapses be damned.

Why, I can’t spare a square…….I adore my gal pals, each and every one of them.  And I will hang on for dear life-sorry ladies, you’ve been served.

My Analyst Told Me……..

About a week ago, my brother sent me an email with the information for a local therapist. I had given up therapy (God and I had this) and frankly, he was concerned. If I am going to face upheaval and pain, I call my bro, as I can emote at whim and he will not judge me. He gives great advice, so I looked so forward to meeting Nancy. The appointment was made for this morning.

I haven’t eaten in two days. I shake, from my feet on up to my hands. I have crying bouts-I cannot sleep through the night, never a problem before. This isn’t good for my Lyme recovery-let’s face it, what happened Wednesday afternoon wouldn’t be good for anyone. I drove in the wrong direction for 30 minutes, so distracted was moi. Finally, after driving miles on slick, rain drenched country roads. And I drove aggressively, fearlessly-which isn’t really me.

I spoke of the “incident” with my stepson in my last blog. How he has walked around in a state of rage for three months now, first depression-now red hot anger. He went on a verbal tirade about how I was a “blood sucking leach,” that I was a “joke” to the entire family. I was in fear of him punching me, and when I tried to go back inside, he blocked my way.

So here I am at Nancy’s pad. I fill out the paperwork and wait. An attractive and cheerful woman greets me with a hug. We sit down and I commence to lose my shit, and cry like a child. She proceeds to ask me a myriad of questions, mainly about brain fog and forgetfulness. By the time she gets to what she thinks I have? My mind is moving one hundred miles in seventy different directions.

“Dissociative Identity Disorder,” she says in a hushed tone.

She gave me the reasons behind her thinking, admitted that it was too early to be sure, gave me a tissue and rescheduled. As I drove to the pharmacy on the way home, it hit me pretty hard. I broke down and called my brother from said pharmacy. I wept through my interaction with the cashier. They know me well. They were concerned.

I have a few questions for sure. I am not going to go head over heels into this without ensuring that she can help me with my PTSD and Narcissistic Abuse syndrome. The only time lapse I remember was two weeks ago, albeit a four hour lapse. I was reading my bible on the couch in the living room, the clock read 8:00 a.m. When I traipsed into the kitchen for a glass of water (I had just received a very upsetting email from my sister)and the stove read 12:30 p.m.

I would poo poo the whole thing if it weren’t for the dichotomy between my mellow self, and my ‘I will cut a bitch” self. But doesn’t everyone have another side to them? DID happens for a few reasons, but in my case she believes that I suffered such devastating trauma from emotional abuse in my childhood, that I created another persona if you will.

Emotionally and physically exhausted, I made an appointment with Nancy for next week. I won’t let this ruin my weekend, as God has the final say on what I am suffering from, and He alone has the cure. Be blessed family.

Break Every Chain

 

This past week we travelled to Potter County, Pennsylvania, for my birthday, which was yesterday.  There is so very much that has changed, and frankly, for the better.  I cannot remember being this happy in my lifetime, and without Jesus?  I would never have come this far.  He broke down every wall, chain and border; he strengthened me, and I needed it, with many lessons along the last twelve months, and I have to say this:  I have taken back my life-I leave it up to the Holy Spirit to guide me, literally moment by moment.  This has taken constant work, nerves of steel (no such thing with me, but I am getting so much better) and one heck of a ton of grieving.  As Richard Gannon, an expert in the field of Narcissistic Abuse and CPTSD, says:

You must feel the feels, in order to walk through the pain.”

AwakAF

We stayed at a friends cabin, in the loveliest of spots, complete with pond, hiking trails, and all of God’s creatures-which mostly takes my breath away and scares the life force out of me, depending on the day and animal.  At first, I was hesitant to go-I have a lot of work to do, and I love my garden at this time of year.  Then there was the what the HELL are we going to do with the cats?????? issue….and then I stopped dead in my tracks.  My poor husband, with everything he has gone through, including distancing himself from his son (who is trying, indeed, to make amends, all glory and honor going to JESUS.)

I have had a few emotional days recently.  On Mother’s Day, my step son text me-our first communication in months.  Throwing all of the rules out the window, I immediately text back:

“Bud, life is short, let’s put everything in the past and just love one another, ok?”

My heart was full of forgiveness and gratitude, I completely let down my guard and realized I still had not received an apology since our “argument.”  We truly needed to hold him accountable for his actions.  Yet, how could I ignore him?  I felt the love of Jesus, flowing from every crevice of my soul.  I did something I would later regret.  I text my sister Happy Mothers Day.  Short and sweet.  She did not respond, and I thank God she did not, as I lost the sister I knew years ago.  I tried to help her, but if there is a person in your life who makes you feel bad?  That perp has got to go.  It will hurt, you will throw things, and please stock up on tissues-trust me on this.

After a while, when the toxicity is removed from your life, you will begin to bloom as never before.  The air is sweeter, your creativity swells-your posture changes and so does the reaction of your tribe; I have so much gratitude and love for the family Dwain and I have created.  Turns out?  you can choose your family, and if you give this to God, he will put the most amazing group of authentic, loving people in your life!  From treasured old friends, to the family we have at our home church Hosanna, A Fellowship of Christians: we are loved and supported in new and exciting ways.

As I dried myself off in the shower, I caught a tear or two on my tongue.  This is my first birthday without my sister, and there for a moment, my throat closed.  I let myself “feel the feels,” brought it to Jesus and came away with this:

“You are loved by many, and love many yourself.  Don’t let her take one more moment of your life.”

I wish each and every one of you peace that surpasses all understanding.  ❤

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Pistols At Dawn

No, this is not a docudrama on the perils of standing on stage props, poor Marilyn Manson.  I loathe everything that man stands for, but I have to admit-the poor CD sales, his broken ankle on the first night of his Heaven Upside Down tour; then the attempt to climb a stage prop of two guns pointed in different directions which resulted in the whole works crushing him-well, that’s a shame, as Jerry Seinfeld would say.  I must admit I did chuckle at first, not that I am gloating, but man o’ day-what do you expect when Satan is the god you serve? It is my prayer that as he recuperates, he has a change of heart-but that’s another story and I am sidetracked.

We were up in the jaw dropping beauty of the Adirondack mountains, on lake Algonquin.  Prior to the trip, I was an anxious and traumatized mess: fake news of the September 23 Armageddon, the flea situation, the hurricanes, the fear of flying high and actually enjoying life for a change-all of this led to a reoccurrence of my PTSD symptoms.  In 25 years my husband and I had not had a “real” vacation together, and as we hit the state of New York, my nerves began to mellow, I was beginning to exhale and I cannot praise God enough for His part in getting us there.

Prior to leaving, we had ripped out carpet, vacuumed every crevice, and at 5:30 in the morning I sprayed the last of the flea killer, and closed up shop.  My “best friend” of twenty-five years was taking care of my only indoor cat, Maya Angelou.  She was to feed her in the evening-I had no problems trusting a grown woman, RN and administrator of a local veteran’s hospital-I left food and instructions on the table.  My in laws were right across the street.  What could possibly go wrong?  As it turned out?  Plenty.

On our third evening there, I turned on my cell phone.  I had planned to stay away from my phone, social media, news venues and the like.  I needed to heal, and I wanted to spare my husband the constant freak outs about the world in which we live.  For whatever reason, I felt a nudge to check to see if all was well in the state of Pennsylvania.  I was relaxed, happy and hadn’t self-harmed in days.  My body was repairing itself, and I looked forward to the next leg of our journey.  We were to spread dad’s ashes on Lake Pleasant, hike Auger Falls, dine in a lovely five star restaurant, and I hadn’t seen Dwain so happy in ages.

The text read-‘Hi sweetheart.  Just wanted you to know that I was over to feed Maya this morning (what?  My father in law was assigned the mornings, why was she even there on a Sunday morning?) and I was wearing white pants.  I was covered in fleas.   Is there anything you would like me to do?’

Holy mother Mary, mother of Jesus, and Joseph!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  She went on to say that the only room she had been in was the kitchen.  I text her back immediately, telling her to please turn on the air conditioner, asking if she wouldn’t mind setting off a bomb or two DOWNSTAIRS, as Maya the cat stays in the bedroom.  The very reason we hadn’t set off anything upstairs.  I phoned her and left a message, telling her where the vacuum cleaner was, and also reassuring her that I would make this up to her.

In less than the five minutes it took me to do this, my blood pressure sky high, my mellow harshed-I became hysterical-worried about the cat, my friend, the house………it was like being shot from a cannon, and I immediately regressed and began tearing at my skin, bawling like a child, inconsolable.  My husband was livid.  Why?  Why would she text me this news?  How could she be so cruel?  Was she not capable of figuring this out on her own.  And then it hit me.  THERE WERE NO FLEAS IN THE KITCHEN.  I KNOW THIS BECAUSE IT WAS ONE OF THE ONLY ROOMS THAT THE DOG AND CAT WERE COMFORTABLE IN.   There was nary a flea in my abode when we left for New York. My husband took me in his arms, shush honey, it’s okay, I’ll call my father, we will get through this, shhhush baby…….he was in touch with his dad immediately, and Tom was to set off a bomb in the kitchen.  Relief warmed my muscles, the blood returned to my face.

I phoned my brother and told him I would call him when we returned.  I wanted him to know that I was turning said phone off and would not even look at it until our return.  When we were unpacking, the phone must have fallen out of my purse, and there it remained for three days.  I had bought my “friend” a lovely gift for tending to my feline.  I flicked on my phone to call her to see if she was home, but was immediately stopped dead in my tracks.  She had left three voicemails and a text.  She had called each night of our stay, and then left another text:

“If you EVER get around to checking your messages, there are still a number of fleas in the kitchen.  THANK YOU.”

Appalled, I thought back to the many times I had given her the benefit of the doubt when she belittled me.  Because of low self esteem I had clung to her advice, and many times I felt her to be intentionally cruel and callous.  One Summer I had given her a pair of earrings.  I took great care in picking them out, lovely avocado halves, expensive but worth it.  Days went by and I finally called her to ask if she liked the gift:

“Please give them to one of your nieces.  I will put them on the porch.”

Many, many times I had asked myself if it were possible that she was a narcissist.  That is not a term I use lightly, and I pushed the thoughts out of my head immediately.  I thought back to the day I called her, the day my sister sent me the email that would end our relationship.  I had told my sister my feelings, for the first time in, well, ever.  I was hysterical, crushed at the idea of losing my blood, my world upside down, I cried out to her.

“You fucked up Michele.  You fucked up.”  The harder I cried in protest, the louder and meaner her words.

Jesus has taken the scales off of my peepers.  I have learned that highly sensitive and empathetic, albeit broken people are subject to being surrounded by the Jezebel Spirit.  But I am stronger and wiser now.  She is a part of my past, and there will be no confrontation, because at the end of the day, that is exactly what she wants.

My Analyst Told Me……..

About a week ago, my brother sent me an email with the information for a local therapist. I had given up therapy (God and I had this) and frankly, he was concerned. If I am going to face upheaval and pain, I call my bro, as I can emote at whim and he will not judge me. He gives great advice, so I looked so forward to meeting Nancy. The appointment was made for this morning.

I haven’t eaten in two days. I shake, from my feet on up to my hands. I have crying bouts-I cannot sleep through the night, never a problem before. This isn’t good for my Lyme recovery-let’s face it, what happened Wednesday afternoon wouldn’t be good for anyone. I drove in the wrong direction for 30 minutes, so distracted was moi. Finally, after driving miles on slick, rain drenched country roads. And I drove aggressively, fearlessly-which isn’t really me.

I spoke of the “incident” with my stepson in my last blog. How he has walked around in a state of rage for three months now, first depression-now red hot anger. He went on a verbal tirade about how I was a “blood sucking leach,” that I was a “joke” to the entire family. I was in fear of him punching me, and when I tried to go back inside, he blocked my way.

So here I am at Nancy’s pad. I fill out the paperwork and wait. An attractive and cheerful woman greets me with a hug. We sit down and I commence to lose my shit, and cry like a child. She proceeds to ask me a myriad of questions, mainly about brain fog and forgetfulness. By the time she gets to what she thinks I have? My mind is moving one hundred miles in seventy different directions.

“Dissociative Identity Disorder,” she says in a hushed tone.

She gave me the reasons behind her thinking, admitted that it was too early to be sure, gave me a tissue and rescheduled. As I drove to the pharmacy on the way home, it hit me pretty hard. I broke down and called my brother from said pharmacy. I wept through my interaction with the cashier. They know me well. They were concerned.

I have a few questions for sure. I am not going to go head over heels into this without ensuring that she can help me with my PTSD and Narcissistic Abuse syndrome. The only time lapse I remember was two weeks ago, albeit a four hour lapse. I was reading my bible on the couch in the living room, the clock read 8:00 a.m. When I traipsed into the kitchen for a glass of water (I had just received a very upsetting email from my sister)and the stove read 12:30 p.m.

I would poo poo the whole thing if it weren’t for the dichotomy between my mellow self, and my ‘I will cut a bitch” self. But doesn’t everyone have another side to them? DID happens for a few reasons, but in my case she believes that I suffered such devastating trauma from emotional abuse in my childhood, that I created another persona if you will.

Emotionally and physically exhausted, I made an appointment with Nancy for next week. I won’t let this ruin my weekend, as God has the final say on what I am suffering from, and He alone has the cure. Be blessed family.

Warrior…

She is a mystery, really. Waiflike and Elfin, this woman I call friend. An inspiration to one and all who know her, I am grateful that she turned my way, heard my song, and accepted me for myself-no judgement.

Erin and I met at a yard sale, held by my church, two Summers ago. She was selling essential oils, and her booth was next to my table-adorned with antique vases, my own creation, and nothing sold. I wandered over to her, immediately struck by her innate beauty……she gently took a bottle of Lavender, and put it on my wrist.

“Smell that,” she smiled. I knew right then and there that we were kindred spirits. I booked a show and thought how rare it was to find an authentic person selling her wares. She was down to earth, sweet to the core, yet a hardened energy surrounded her-as if she had seen things a girl her age shouldn’t. As if she knew that life was fragile, as if she knew my heart was broken-permanently at that time in my life. I didn’t fit in, and I knew this, but I had hope, and that is the best we can wish for in an increasingly wary world.

I didn’t expect to hear from her, but I was encouraged by her soft spoken lilt. We set a date. As it turned out, no one came to the party-and that was AOK in our book. More time to get to know one another, I thought.

The phone rang and startled me out of the conversation. It was the crazy cat lady, a recent acquaintance. She knew I was having the shindig, and as far as she knew, my house was filled with women, wanting to know more about the amazing healing powers that are attributed to essential oils.

“I can’t take it any longer. I am going to kill myself.”

This wasn’t the first, nor the last time she would try to manipulate me. She lived in her car, as her home was full of cats-one hundred and twenty to be exact. I told her to just come over, but that was not what she wanted. She wanted to usurp her narcissistic ways, and have me leave my own party to run to her home and console her. I felt so guilty knowing that she was fragile, but Erin had driven quite a ways for nothing, and I never would have left her sitting in my living room, alone.

I came down the stairs, crying and truly embarrassed.

“I am a therapist, if that helps.”

Thus began a friendship unlike most others. She is a foster parent, with three girls to raise. She is stronger than strong, and I am in awe of her persistent good nature, despite what she’s up against. She is a Lady of the Canyon, to quote Joni Mitchell. She works with her hands, has a project going at any given moment, and she finds time to cook and bake, from scratch no less.

Her current situation makes her a Warrior in my book. She is preparing for chemotherapy, and worries more about her husband and children than she does herself. She has a 98% chance of survival, translated? She will go through some tough days ahead; but she will be fine, she will be cured.

She will rise again, like a Phoenix from the ashes-and of this I am quite sure.