Here’s the Rub…

This blog is killing two birds with one stone. In all of the hustle and bustle, I completely spaced New Music Thursdays! Not important in the grand scheme of things, but hearing Norah Jones through “new ears,” not once-but twice in one weekend initiated a foray into her unique, jazzy, vintage sound.

I had always linked this tune with roads untaken. As much as my addictions took years from my life-my social anxiety has robbed me of much, much more. I find it ironic that getting sober brought on a new list of phobias and nervous ticks – I pick at my skin when anxious, am completely incapable of dealing with any kind of stress, and would rather have a root canal than travel sans Jesse, my golden retriver. I am a germ phobe extraordinaire, a dog hypochondriac and feel uncomfortable (make that extremely uncomfortable) around people I do not know.

1450868_670242899675796_1120820745_n Jesse, to the left. Our beloved Dylan to the right of our son-may He await me at the Rainbow Bridge

What we regret in our lives is never as painful as chances, opportunities not taken. With Social Anxiety, you are forced to cancel plans depending upon just how strong you feel on that particular day. Interestingly enough, my nerves are their worst in the evening, which I attribute to the notion that I am not fully awake for the first four hours after rising. If you want to give me bad news, do so as the sun rises-with any luck? I won’t remember what you said by noon.

I was completely uninhibited as a child-thinking nothing of knocking on doors, asking the neighbors to bake me cookies. I had a sense of myself from very early on, and as a young girl, my father doted on my propensity to not take crap from any person, place or inanimate object. I learned quickly that pleasing dad meant everything. I yearned to make him proud, he was a nurturing father to me, despite many less than ideal situations; such as, my mother-who was pathologically jealous of our closeness. And herein lies the rub:

In your formative years, you have nothing but the reactions of others to mold and guide you in your very human quest to be loved, to fit in. When your own mother dislikes you? Well, let’s just say I was at an extreme disadvantage. Later in life, Satan’s Seed (aka, my sister)did not miss an opportunity to berate, humiliate or gaslight me-I sunk further into depression.

There is hope and I am here to say things are so much better on the other side of recovery from narcissistic abuse. You begin to see the very things the narc disliked about you (pure and total jealousy) are the very same things that others will love. I did my research, and once I felt I knew enough, I dug deep into the Word. A combination of incredible support from my husband and friends, a return to a creativity I thought had left me long before-and a deep faith in Jesus led me out of the muck and mire that is codependency.

I don’t care who you are, your opinion of me has much more to do with you than any other factor. I am no fence sitter-folks either love me or hate me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Be of good cheer, God is in control~

Orphan Girl

 

God is calling me back from the news, the heartache and raw emotion:  He is lovingly nudging me towards a gentler, kinder version of myself.  I am treading water in a pool of nothingness.  I feel joy once again.

Today is my beloved mother’s birthday.  We love you, Mary Lou.  Sigh.  It never truly goes away, grief.  I wonder at the force of love, the easing of the pain that comes with time.  Also, an understanding of why and who she was:  an absolute rock in times of crises, a nurturing caregiver, a best friend; despite the years of emotional abuse.  My mother had the same problems with her own mother-a lack of boundaries, codependency and still, unyielding love.

I’d give anything to see her again.  Anything really.

There is the scent of her perfume in the air-I double check, yes, L’aire Du Temps.  I reach out to Jesus, and ask that he tells her I love her.  The candle lights the window, and she is here, oh yes, she is here.

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She Killed it With Kisses…

My cup runneth over…it is well with my soul-even after the email I just received from a member of my family.   Are you SURE you don’t have BPD???????

Jesus Mighty, Mary and Joseph.  When will this end?  When do I get to stop apologizing for breathing?  For being a modest success and overcoming alcoholism and addiction to opioids?  I am no longer the black sheep, but I am sure as Hell the Scapegoat-and that shit is over, whether or not the narc “approves.”  My poor brother is worried.  He thinks my anorexia led to Borderline Personality Disorder.  Stop the madness, step off and WHAT THE HELL YOU TALKING ABOUT, WILLIS?

I know.  It’s a holiday weekend!  We must ensure she not enjoy it, maybe terrorize her with a new diagnoses?  Yeah, that sounds good.  Not that he knows what he’s doing, but I can tell him what he’s doing wrong, and that would be talking to our sister.  He is concerned about my anger during his last trip to my home, in which he stated, flat out:

“I don’t believe you.”  Courtney, you can wipe that demonic smirk off of your face.  Are you proud of the person you have become?  Are you right with Jesus?  Why have you deemed therapy a no-no?  Why did you call me two years ago and beg me not to go no contact?  Why did you admit to keeping the children from me?  Why did you admit keeping me from family vacations?  Why do you care?

I can answer every one of the questions, but rather than do that, I will stop reading emails, taking phone calls and feeling guilty because my kin is a psychopath.

I have earned this time of relative happiness.  My husband has been through enough.

Consider this your CEASE AND DESIST.

Your opinion doesn’t matter.

Nothing you say is true.

Deep down inside?  You are a coward of epic proportions.

Step off.

You have been served.

And So It Is

 

This very song had me meditating so deeply, I didn’t hear my poor husband-stranded on the roof-screaming at the top of his lungs and/or banging the hell out of our tin roof to get my attention.  I had a bad feeling when he went up to clean the chimney; I prayed and gave it to the Prince of Peace.  I was so trusting that I didn’t hear the commotion outside or upstairs.  LOL  My poor husband.

I don’t know what broke the trance, but I do know that suddenly I heard this bizarre, antagonizing and hopeless cry out into the wild.  It took me minutes to realize that it was the sound of my husband, screaming like a banshee, from the roof-directly above me.  It seems he had lost hope of survival, as he was stranded on the roof-the ladder his father had just made him did not look like a good way to get back on the ground.  His hair straight up on end (I kid you not) he hoarsely asks for the metal ladder in the garage.  As I run at warp speed to his assistance, he loudly whispers:

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucccccccccccck!!!!!”

Mildly alarmed, I stop in mid-run like a cartoon character and scream:

WHAT DO YOU NEED ME TO DO?????????????

I feel the nudge of hysteria in my very being.  I am close to tears, no, I am crying.  I have a cold, it’s freezing outside, and my husband has become something neither he or I recognize-his head looks freakishly large as he screams back:

Hold the m***f*** ladder my dad made!!!!”

And phew!  He is down, and life returns to normal

The funniest part of this is that I am on top of everything around here.  Like my Irish mother, God bless her soul, I am prone to making a bit of a big deal about the little stuff.  You know, you’re in a mood and the frig door won’t shut, the jeans won’t zip, the scales of justice can be maddening.  But in the event of a real Kleinfeltersville 911?  I am always the last person to be upset, and always the last to know there is an emergency.

AcostaWallIdiocy2
While I’m in Twitter jail, I may as well make fun of Acosta in my blog.

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You guys are not going to believe this, buttttttt, I had to stop writing two hours ago, as I was interrupted by my golden retriever: he was flailing around to get my attention, and I, as ever, in my own Private Idaho, failed to notice that the house was full, and I mean FULL of smoke.  I ran into the kitchen, howled like a wolf, and ran aimlessly from room to room-forgetting to open windows, unable to find my phone.  I run to the front porch: my husband and son are just over the hill, in a goose blind-they will hear me scream.  If they don’t, surely my in-laws will hear!  This goes absolutely nowhere, and I am unable to be in the house-my throat is raspy, my eyes tearing at whim.  

I find my phone, pray he has it.  He answers.

“The house is full of smoke, get home,” I say, firmly.

“Seriously?,” he is folksy in the moment, “I could have sworn….”

I cut him off.

get home! 

I use my Coxswain voice, he ends the phone call.

And so it was that he got home just in the nick of time.  I looked up and thanked my Lord and Savior, checked on the felines, gave myself a talking to.

There is a lesson here for me, and perhaps for you; the very reason I wrote this blog.  We truly cannot take our eyes off of Jesus-not for even a moment too long.  When we do, heartaches  we had long ago given to God?  They have a way of creeping back up on you at the most inappropriate of times.  You begin to realize you are feeling pain and grief-the loss of a sister, the yearn for your kin, the love we never had a snowball’s chance in hell of giving.

Pain is God’s way of molding us, growing us into better followers of Christ-but we were never meant to carry the burdens alone.  Fix your eyes on Jesus, and keep the dark shadows at bay~

Fearless

Fear. Gripping, faceless, heart-stopping emotion. Different things frighten different people-but I remember, even as a child-being petrified by everything. I believe the dysfunction stemmed from a childhood in which I was raised by two incredibly anxious parents. As the years went by, I grew more and more fearful. Heights. Highways. Social venues. The straw that broke my back was the stalking I experienced two years ago-I dove into a depression so devastating, I thought for sure I would die of heartache. The world was becoming an increasingly violent place, and I wanted no parts of it, none.

I dove into the Word last Summer. The more I read the scriptures, the deeper my peace became. I began stepping out of my comfort zone: crossed a wooden bridge 800 in the air, over a rolling, rocky river. That was Jesus and to this day, I remember the way in which my terror was transformed within moments. After giving my husband a firm NO WAY, I quietly asked my Abba,

“Give me the strength Father, for Dwain. Let me be brave for my husband.”

Seconds later? I crossed that bridge like a boss, without any trepidation. I walked that rickety death trap twice, as we had to use the bridge to return to our truck, after having visited the other side of the river. One day I will find and share those pictures, as they may inspire hope in fellow Chicken Littles.

I began trusting Jesus for everything. Seemingly overnight, my crippling fear eased into a new normal, of brazen acts and caution, thrown oh so carefully to the wind. I put on the full armor of God. I prayed without ceasing, and failed often and miserably. One day I took notice. I stopped to reflect, to look back and see how incredibly far I’d come-how loved and cared for I had always been. I take it minute by minute, literally. I know the Holy Spirit will lead me to discernment. I force nothing-if it doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t get done.

In days such as these, when courage is required to simply be, it is as simple as calling out His name. I have my bad days, but not for stretches of time, as before. I know what to do, in those darkened hours of grief and angst: he will never desert you, ever.

No matter how hard it is, no matter what the size or magnitude of your pain, reach out to Jesus. He knows each and every hair on your freakishly large head. 🙂

Down to the Jordan Stream

One of the very best tunes I have heard in some time-this music soothes my soul.  I love old things: antiques, vintage clothing, the elderly, and I am reminded of simpler ways, kinder times.

Oh, hold on a second!  My husband is lecturing me about my absolute drive to come to the truth about our world, our society, our government.  

“I don’t know why you do it to yourself.”

“By the way, Tom Hanks is a pedophile,” I retaliate.

“Tom Hanks is a pedophile?” (giggle, guffaw, belch)

I say this with a lightness in my heart that hasn’t been seen since the day I married my man.  I know we are winning the war, the insidious little somethings that gradually grow and eventually manifest into full out plagues.  Sex trafficking.  ANTIFA.  Pedophilia.  Corruption.  Hellyweird…it’s getting to the point that people are waking up, and it encourages me.

Waking up was a process for me that, had I known what lay ahead?  I would have run for the hills.

Ah, Lord, I know I’ve been changed; I said Ah Lord I know I’ve been changed.  The angels in Heaven done signed my name-lyrics I relate to, believe me.  Here’s a little secret that I have been holding on to, wondering in what manner to bring it up in my writing-the closer you come to Jesus, the more you love Him?  Well, the more transformed you become.  I knew something was drastically different when I found myself loving my irritating, self righteous neighbor.  I am convinced she sells information about us all around this block, if you can call two square miles of countryside a “block.”

Yes, out of the blue, right after I became sober, the Grinch’s heart began to soften.  It came as a huge surprise because when I got sober-I got good and pissed.  At everything, really-I was a whirling dervish of RAGE and despondence.  Grief had crept up from the grave, and I went back and forth between crippling sadness over everyone I have lost thus far-especially my father-and the urge to beat the living crap out of anyone who even looked my way.  It’s like someone took you blanky, for crying out loud.  EVERTHING bothers you, my husband’s chewing was so irritating to me that I came close to sending him packing.  You cannot, and I REPEAT, you can NOT grieve, well, anything or anyone if you are using.  And when us addicts have to face pain, what do we do?  We medicate as quickly as possible.  Here’s something many don’t understand: alcoholics and addicts are extremely compassionate, empathetic and sensitive.  I know this for a fact.  I also know that I had, out of self preservation, put up an unsightly wall-against others, including myself.

When I was baptized by water last Easter, I wasn’t expecting any change, as I had been baptized as a child.  When I was saved, my life began anew-so I recommitted myself on a Sunday, in ice cold water-in front of a full church.  I was utterly and completely alone-no husband, family nor friends attended.  The air conditioning was on high, and I embarrassed myself by running from the altar, after having my clothing thrown at me by our Worship minister.  Not a pretty site.  Did I mention I had a sinus infection at the time?

Ah, I have totally veered off of my original point.  You will absolutely believe, deep in your soul, that Jesus is in and with you-when your heart begins to soften.  You stop thinking that you are any better/worse than the next guy.  I repeat that often, I am no better nor worse than my brothers and sisters.  You begin to put others first, and might even find yourself wanting to help others every chance you get-and it feels good and right and perfect.  The rage diminishes.  The cravings vanish.  Jesus sought after you, and you allowed Him into your very being.

So, if you think you’re turning soft, or that the hormones are raging-just call out to Jesus-then you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will answer~

Born Again

 

Day three of forced captivity, after a few days of ice and snow.  I gave it a try, I really did-but with my knee in the healing process-and not wanting to crack my head open, again, one slip feeding the cats and I was DONE.  I don’t do well with mandatory anything, and I’m quite sure that if I had hiked the mountains of Pennsylvania this morning?  I would be dreaming of a stormy day nap.

The grass is always greener.  That isn’t my nature, though.  I have always tried to make the best of each and every circumstance-sometimes it worked, more often than not-it didn’t.  You see, when you are a victim of emotional abuse as a child, you don’t think you deserve to be treated fairly, be happy, or even loved for that matter.  What I’m saying is, those of us who have faced the crushing despair of abuse are experts at making the most hideous situations look like a trip to Disney World.  This is the very characteristic that makes us such targets for narcissists.  Let’s face it, we allow or better yet enable the bullies for the very reason they abuse-we think nothing of ourselves.  Frankly, we are terrible with boundaries, because there were none as children and way into adulthood. So, what I am saying is this: if you don’t expect good things/people/blessings to happen to a poor sod like yourself?

Think again.

Christ has brought me out of the darkness and in to the most surreal of lights.  I am beyond blessed by a life I never expected, in my wildest dreams, to have.  I praise God each and every day for healing my Lyme, healing my heart, and bringing me home.  It’s hard to put into words, this ethereal lightness of being.  It often takes me way longer than it should, this vision of the tapestry my beloved Abba is weaving in to the very fibers of my life.  We can grow in leaps and bounds if we allow God to do the work, and get out of our own ways.

When you stop judging and start loving as Jesus taught us to love?

Miracles happen~

 

 

 

 

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Time alone is time on my hands and that means I am prone to deep meditation.  This morning, while praying, I saw them-the scars on my wrists from that dreary October evening twelve years ago.  They startled me out of my talk with Jesus, and a tear fell from my face, onto the book I was reading.  I was back there, that evening, and the awakened remorse, pain and shame were too much to take.

I stumbled into the kitchen, feeling it necessary to fix this situation by making brownies.  And I remembered a line I have repeated over and over again,

You gotta feel the feels.”    – Richard Gannon, psychiatrist

I had been on my high horse as of late, judging people like crazy.  Not the people in my life, but the principalities in high places.  The rich.  The elite.  The treasonous.  That’s when God took my hand, and led the way to a breakthrough that has been weeks in the process.

Rather than judging them, how about praying for them?

I’m a survivor because Jesus Christ picked me up when I was at rock bottom-leading me out of the despair, the hopelessness-into a blessed and beautiful life.