Physician, Heal Thyself

 

I’m back BABY!!!!  I am back amongst the living, trying to adjust to my new laptop.  I almost walked out of Staples on Saturday: I had one picked out-the cheapest one, and I was dead set on that model-when Mr. Staples, Jr. abruptly said:

“We don’t have that in stock, you’ll have to drive to Hershey.”

I mumbled a few choice words to my husband.

How convenient.  I’m not driving to Hershey!  Seems a bit fishy, they can’t keep the cheapest computer in stock…..let’s go, I’m done.”

The twelve year old salesperson stared at me, stunned I wouldn’t fall for the next to cheapest model, which was $100 more.  And then, by some twist of fate, I ended up walking out with that more expensive laptop.  And so it goes…

Oh what a delight to be back, writing, researching, and coming up with new ideas for my blogola.  I hope I didn’t forget how to write.  It’s not like riding a bike, folks.  I was thrilled with the idea of writing weekly, until I remembered the words of Christian Mahai-write, write, write.  The frequency of my blogs isn’t important, it’s the content.  So, let’s get right into it, shall we?

The above song is by Flyleaf, a Christian band I love.  I don’t believe they are together, and I know the lead vocalist took time away from singing to have a family-the point of this song?

Notice the voice in this video, by Joe M., The Storm is Upon Us.   This is the voice of John F. Kennedy, Jr.  The fact has been verified that John John is very much alive and well.  If you really want hour by hour coverage of The Plan, follow Joe M. on Twitter, you won’t be disappointed.

In other news:

Remember this:  the truth shall set you free.  God is with us and for us, no man can stand against us.

Be blessed.

 

Mean Old Mrs. Jones

If I had known you could play the license plate, well, shit howdy I would have signed up for it!!! I adore these two, and it was with wild relief that I came upon this song. The song going through my head?The Beautiful People, unfortunately, I loathe Marilyn Manson, and will never, ever use him in a blog. Weirdo.

Oh my, not sounding like the Christian I am supposed to be today, eh? No, quite the contrary: I could punch a stink bug. Not proud of my blog yesterday-when I lost my integrity and called out my family. Here’s the thing-the magnanimous thing to do would be to not write of them; however, this is my personal property, as much as they hate the fact that I have something to call my very own. If people don’t like you writing about them, well, maybe they shouldn’t have behaved so poorly in the first place. For reasons I only half know? I love them still. Yet they are toxicity itself when it comes to my sanity, but that doesn’t mean I hate them. Sadly, I almost wish I could.

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I forced myself to go to Bands today. Down and isolating, I haven’t been out of the house except to go to church, in the past two weeks. I promised my friend I’d send out a care package, she’s having a hard time of it lately-my tiny town’s post office is open but two hours a day, and I hit it wrong each and every time. It bothers me, and I mean BOTHERS me, when I don’t follow through on my promises. Lately, it’s almost as if there is a silent force, keeping me back, holding me from moving forward. I don’t force anything, because at this stage in recovery, I am way too fragile.
I remain my worst enemy, and can’t catch a break with myself.
My issues begin when I know I must follow through-I literally make myself sick with dread.

13062130_2010881359051124_5406285516949409804_n

This isn’t what the blog was supposed to be today. I wanted to write about recovery from narcissistic abuse-and the changes you go through while in recovery. We need to do the hard work necessary to change our hearts, motivations and boundaries. Most of us with CPTSD never had boundaries to begin with; and another commonality is that we trusted, with our very lives, people who tore us to shreds, took us for granted or simply weren’t in to the friendship/relationship as seriously as we were.

The changes our personalities go through are shocking to those around us.
They expect you to assume the position, take whatever they’re dishing out, look the other way when they break promise after promise after promise. No. No. NO!

Today is my eleventh anniversary-I have been sober (with the exception of a few slips)for this many years. Yes, sobriety changed my character, faith and friendships. Yes, there were adjustments to make, along with changing my behavior I found I simply could not inhabit the places I had, prior to quitting drugging and drinking. “Friends” stopped calling-the change in our lifestyle was drastic, daunting and downright depressing; but you will find your attitude about that changes too. The past is where it should be, some good and some putrid memories were made. I have stories (oh, believe me I’ll tell them one day)upon stories of drunken faux pas. The one that immediately comes to mind is this:

I had gone out with the girls on a Saturday afternoon. We were to go on a scavenger hunt and each clue was offered at bars around the area. By the fourth clue, my friends had dropped me off at home because I was sloppy drunk-I suppose I passed out directly. When I awoke, I was disoriented and wild-where the Harry was my husband? It was 8 o’clock in the morning!!!! (NO, it wasn’t. It was 8 p.m. and I had lost an entire day. Convinced he had been out all night cheating on me, I went into a rage. I did not remember this, but trust me, Dwain surely did. The story goes like this: my in-laws were entertaining folks from their church, in the quaint little gazebo they erected across the street from our home. We had lived in this house, directly across the road from Dwain’s parents, for ten years. Although things are better, I did not get along well with them. They disliked me from the very beginning. I must have been dwelling on these thoughts when I stripped down to my flesh, went out on our roof, and screamed this:

“I DON’T GIVE A FUCK WHAT THE NEIGHBORS THINK!!!!!!!!”

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For years I carried the shame of my addiction. I allowed people to walk all over me, so codependent that almost every one of my friends took it for granted that no matter what, I would forgive and forget. I figure it this way-bullies don’t like it when the underdog comes alive, sticks up for herself and demands to be treated with dignity and respect.

My family didn’t like it, my former friends were not pleased, hell, my dog even noticed-what had happened to the doormat who allowed herself to be treated so poorly?

She doesn’t exist. There’s a new kid in town. She’s kicking ass and taking names, so don’t get in her way.

Kill Jezebel

Doing my best to calm down, peal myself off of the ceiling-coming back to planet Michele, after a trip of the light fantastic variety-harrowed after a brush with the oh-so-evil spirit of Jezebel. I try and remind myself that we are fighting unseen principalities and evil- the most demonic kind-not flesh and blood. My stomach churns and turns, the panic attack easing to the point of bearable.

Sheila and I have known each other for years. In my newfound sobriety, eleven years ago, at the bequest of my mother in law, I gave her a call. An attempt at friendship was squashed when she lashed out at me over something I didn’t do. Out of nowhere I was attacked, and the helpless and hopeless feelings, of which I know only too well, told me to end the experiment. I was a bit unnerved because Sheila had seen my testimony at a nearby church. She knew everything about my childhood emotional abuse, the chronic depression and anxiety, my fight for sobriety.

Two years ago, Sheila’s son was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident. I reached out, and we kept in touch over the last few years via Facebook only. In the Spring I invited her over to see a movie-we had so much fun that I thought maybe, just maybe, I had been overly sensitive. She invited me to her exercise class, and I dove, headlong into a friendship that has been nothing but toxic since its recent re-inception. I let my guard down, allowed her back into my heart-a tragic mistake, at best. Over the years she has jumped me about things that never happened or were completely and utterly misconstrued.

Sheila told me she had a dysfunctional family. I believed her when her parents pulled a no show at her son’s funeral. In my mind, our families gave us a common bond. In the past few weeks I have felt the uneasiness, toxicity, but I found it hard to pinpoint. I had been walking on eggshells, and for a woman in recovery from severe CPTSD as a result of narcissistic abuse? That didn’t sit well. She raged when I didn’t sit next to her in class. If I am to be honest, I began feeling as if my personal integrity was at risk: I was people pleasing, and I knew that was more than just a huge, red flag. I was completely out of my comfort zone, but could not fathom a way out.

Happily ensconced in the same exercise class, Bands Across America, I have met absolutely lovely women here. I was so excited, as the girls have become a family of sorts, and it was a wonderful way to have female companionship. Never, in my wildest imagination, did I think my budding friendships with these women would push a sociopath to the very brink.

It began last week, when she snapped at me for making two of the girls in class lavender wreathes. I had mentioned that I was stressed about getting them done, that I hadn’t had the time.

“Don’t give them the wreaths, Michele. They will forget about them, it makes you look as if you’re trying to hard. I want you to be yourself.”

Those words sent me on a downward spiral, I can tell you. I questioned my friendships, motives and even sanity. Was I trying too hard?

I didn’t see it then, but as God is my witness, I see it now! The last time we text each other, I had poured out my heart-I literally bared my soul. Days went by, and not having heard from her, I text her that I was a bit worried, and that I was here if she needed me. Out of nowhere, the venom was spewed. She attacked me on every level, making little, if any, sense. She had misinterpreted almost every post I had recently made on Facebook. I don’t post often, and she rarely comments. But my God! She had been literally stalking me-I was unsettled, almost queasy.

Single. White. Female.

This morning, after reading yet another painful rant, I unfriended her from my Facebook account. This afternoon, she realized it. What followed was a maniacal, threatening and full on demonic tirade. She called me a liar, told me people in class were talking about me, made an ass of me about the wreaths. I told her that I would sue her fat white apple if word got back to me that she was trying to ruin a perfectly good reputation. I told her I didn’t appreciate the threats to go to my family with things I have said, as I have nothing to be ashamed of, to my way of thinking.

I put down my phone. I assumed the fetal position. Three hours later, I am shaky and exhausted from weeping. The trigger is brutal and unforgiving. I call my friend Bea. She prays over me and with me, she prays that God will give me the strength and grace to forgive her.

I put my phone on the charger, and again, I weep. Joyful tears flow freely down my cheeks, my heart swells with gratitude. I am unconditionally loved by a God so amazing, so incredible-the words escape me.

I am not less than. I am Bea’s friend.

Mean Old Mrs. Jones

If I had known you could play the license plate, well, shit howdy I would have signed up for it!!! I adore these two, and it was with wild relief that I came upon this song. The song going through my head?The Beautiful People, unfortunately, I loathe Marilyn Manson, and will never, ever use him in a blog. Weirdo.

Oh my, not sounding like the Christian I am supposed to be today, eh? No, quite the contrary: I could punch a stink bug. Not proud of my blog yesterday-when I lost my integrity and called out my family. Here’s the thing-the magnanimous thing to do would be to not write of them; however, this is my personal property, as much as they hate the fact that I have something to call my very own. If people don’t like you writing about them, well, maybe they shouldn’t have behaved so poorly in the first place. For reasons I only half know? I love them still. Yet they are toxicity itself when it comes to my sanity, but that doesn’t mean I hate them. Sadly, I almost wish I could.

1262883_4628772176767_1267711329_o

I forced myself to go to Bands today. Down and isolating, I haven’t been out of the house except to go to church, in the past two weeks. I promised my friend I’d send out a care package, she’s having a hard time of it lately-my tiny town’s post office is open but two hours a day, and I hit it wrong each and every time. It bothers me, and I mean BOTHERS me, when I don’t follow through on my promises. Lately, it’s almost as if there is a silent force, keeping me back, holding me from moving forward. I don’t force anything, because at this stage in recovery, I am way too fragile.
I remain my worst enemy, and can’t catch a break with myself.
My issues begin when I know I must follow through-I literally make myself sick with dread.

13062130_2010881359051124_5406285516949409804_n

This isn’t what the blog was supposed to be today. I wanted to write about recovery from narcissistic abuse-and the changes you go through while in recovery. We need to do the hard work necessary to change our hearts, motivations and boundaries. Most of us with CPTSD never had boundaries to begin with; and another commonality is that we trusted, with our very lives, people who tore us to shreds, took us for granted or simply weren’t in to the friendship/relationship as seriously as we were.

The changes our personalities go through are shocking to those around us.
They expect you to assume the position, take whatever they’re dishing out, look the other way when they break promise after promise after promise. No. No. NO!

Today is my eleventh anniversary-I have been sober (with the exception of a few slips)for this many years. Yes, sobriety changed my character, faith and friendships. Yes, there were adjustments to make, along with changing my behavior I found I simply could not inhabit the places I had, prior to quitting drugging and drinking. “Friends” stopped calling-the change in our lifestyle was drastic, daunting and downright depressing; but you will find your attitude about that changes too. The past is where it should be, some good and some putrid memories were made. I have stories (oh, believe me I’ll tell them one day)upon stories of drunken faux pas. The one that immediately comes to mind is this:

I had gone out with the girls on a Saturday afternoon. We were to go on a scavenger hunt and each clue was offered at bars around the area. By the fourth clue, my friends had dropped me off at home because I was sloppy drunk-I suppose I passed out directly. When I awoke, I was disoriented and wild-where the Harry was my husband? It was 8 o’clock in the morning!!!! (NO, it wasn’t. It was 8 p.m. and I had lost an entire day. Convinced he had been out all night cheating on me, I went into a rage. I did not remember this, but trust me, Dwain surely did. The story goes like this: my in-laws were entertaining folks from their church, in the quaint little gazebo they erected across the street from our home. We had lived in this house, directly across the road from Dwain’s parents, for ten years. Although things are better, I did not get along well with them. They disliked me from the very beginning. I must have been dwelling on these thoughts when I stripped down to my flesh, went out on our roof, and screamed this:

“I DON’T GIVE A FUCK WHAT THE NEIGHBORS THINK!!!!!!!!”

12779029_10208448991722979_2138884168702420224_o

For years I carried the shame of my addiction. I allowed people to walk all over me, so codependent that almost every one of my friends took it for granted that no matter what, I would forgive and forget. I figure it this way-bullies don’t like it when the underdog comes alive, sticks up for herself and demands to be treated with dignity and respect.

My family didn’t like it, my former friends were not pleased, hell, my dog even noticed-what had happened to the doormat who allowed herself to be treated so poorly?

She doesn’t exist. There’s a new kid in town. She’s kicking ass and taking names, so don’t get in her way.

Broken Halos

 

Sitting here thinking, left to my own devices and dwelling on forgiveness, my family and how much things have and will change for reasons that may surprise you.  I was devastated by the loss of my family, but if it weren’t for the broken spell of codependency?  I would not be writing, creating, and, quite possibly, breathing.  I simply could not be my authentic self and survive their disrespect, hostility, or apathy.

So, now that we got the crappy part out of the way, I was daydreaming about how God picks us up and takes us away:  from the pain, the angst and the scary monsters.  A year ago today?  I was a sniveling coward, awaiting the latest news on the possible Zombie Infiltration.  Ok, maybe not zombies, but definitely black eyed children.  I was so sure that September 23 would be the return of Jesus, that my poor husband drove all the way home from work just to comfort me.  I now know that no man can come close to even guessing at the day of Jesus’ return, and that the idiots who produced the videos were looking for likes, or subscribers. Gawd.  How pitiful.  But wait?  Was I a charity case, or was my brokenness a blessing in disguise?  The latter, actually, as it strengthened my faith and made me so much stronger in the process.

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The men pictured above, Jesse and my husband Dwain, are the true loves of my life, and I praise God each and every day for their presence in my life.   None of this would ever be remotely possible if Yah didn’t give us second chances.  And third.   And eleventy hundred.  I am not admitting to murder, or some other heinous crime-don’t get me wrong: but even if I was?  Well, I would have to confess and repent, but yes, there would be forgiveness.  People get hung up on the word “repent.”  Translated from the Holy Bible, repent  means “think anew,” and of course we must change our behavior-actions speak so much louder than words.

When I get angry or hurt by those in my intimate circle, or even colleagues at church or volunteering, what have you-I think of them as broken, and in just as much if not more pain than I could possibly know.  I may be estranged from my family, but I forgive them because I love them.  I don’t know about liking them at this juncture in our history; but I know they have pain.  I know they try their very best, as strange as that may sound.  They are loving parents with successful careers-what more could you possibly want?  But regardless, I am only too aware that they, too, have moments of despair.  My sister’s youngest child is in college, and I can’t imagine the sadness.  Of course, she thought I was contagious while going through perimenopause, and not only withheld every iota of compassion-but would not stand close to me at family functions.  Yes, this is true.  🙂

Hate your boss?  Think of him/her as a young child-it helps with prying the sympathy out of our hardened hearts.

Want to strangle your better half?  Think of the last time they touched you in your secret, hidden places, where no one else has the power or accessibility.

The elderly person on the walker, you know, the one who is in front of you when you are going anywhere.  You are in a hurry, and bloody hell why is this happening to me?  They may not have anyone left to visit them, or possibly dying a slow and painful death.  Repent!

The world is out there waiting for us, as they will know we are Christians by our love~

Cuffed on a Dirt Road

 

Okay, I have a million different things on my mind, it’s my 26th wedding anniversary, and I forgot my husband’s card.  I have eleventy hundred boxes of cards-as a matter of fact?  I collect them.  I.  heart. cards.  Big time.  I guess I could use one of those, but hey-it’s not the same.  Somehow, spending twenty bucks on a card makes it mean more, and Hallmark?  You have enough of my money, thank you.

I cried nonstop for a week straight.  I literally couldn’t get out of bed.  It was Godawful.

I wanted to find a way, if underwhelming, to put those years into a blog.  But there aren’t enough hours in the day-I have so many memories, which will turn into stories, perhaps, one day.  So, here’s the Reader’s Digest version, ’cause it’s our day and my man is kicking me in my kidneys.

I was engaged to a decent man.  Or so I thought.  We brought out the worst in one another.  He became abusive on our honeymoon.  He knew I was in love with another man, and despite my pleas, we were married on June 9, 1990.  Allowing myself to be coerced, I made the worst mistake of my life.  I had cervical cancer at the time.  The stress was overwhelming.  I sent Dwain a card from my honeymoon.  

The marriage lasted one week.

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The biggest challenge and love of my life.

 

I moved in with Dwain not long after.

It was wild, all consuming, raw and passionate love.  We couldn’t keep our hands off one another, it was a sickness-a curse.  When he left the room, I ached.  When he came back?  I swooned.  We are still as passionate and crazy in love.

God protected us from murdering one another over the years.  Alcoholism.  Drug Addiction.  Anorexia.  A shit ton of mental health issues, denied grief and a violent temper-all on my part.  We never laid a hand on one another.  We have never cheated on one another.  Although, I deliberately tried to run him over when I caught him driving his secretary back from lunch one Spring afternoon, years ago.

We were poor.  Dirt poor.  His first wife took everything but his soul.  I was a violent, malicious drunk-and the tears flow every time I think of how I must have wounded him.  There was emotional abuse on both sides.   Cops.  Court orders.  And, finally?  Jesus.

He is the song I sing.  He will always have me, heart and soul.

What a beautiful gift He has given me!

 

 

A Million Different People….

I hate it when this happens, when I rail at God, spewing my venom of choice, carrying on like a mad woman, banging appliances and, more than likely, injuring myself in the process.  It is time to admit that I am “dopic” as my husband calls me, which means clumsy in Pennsylvania Dutch.  Sweet Jesus, no wonder I drank.

Whilst “redding up” the house (I love the people here, but sometimes I wonder if I have awoken in an old Mayberry, RFD rerun…..my GOD, there he is, Gomer Pyle, sitting on my front porch swing)  I lied.

Anyway, tortured by my living situation, (across the street from the in-laws, frown) the fact that the stepson was there, AGAIN-sorry, but I have CPTSD.  There is nothing funny about having to hold your breath in anticipation of the worst possible scenario happening at any given moment.  Call me crazy, but I walk around with mace in my underwear, for crying out loud.

…the combination of my pms and the full moon situation (I always go apeshit when the moon is full) I fought with my husband this morning, then, after a nice snow laden hike with my bestest canine I proceeded to fight with my Abba, and I will say this:  it is a miracle I made it out of that tirade with a bloody finger, and not the roof caving in on my head.  It was brutal, and I insisted that He had mistaken me for some crazy martyr, who had a chip on her shoulder and a death wish.  I fussed and fretted, cried and took my ire out on the houseplants.  Finally, after the Holy Spirit told me to get some ganga, I calmed down enough to NOT throw myself out of the second story window.

And then I got to thinking, my life is more than victimhood.  I am only a victim if I buy into the theory that I have it harder or crappier than anyone else.  And I do not.  Yes, this is a very painful time in my life.  If I could say anything to my stepson it would be this:

You, sir, are the human version of period cramps.  🙂