Blood. Red. Moon.

 

Man, I must move the litter boxes, which are situated under a settee in my dining room.  I sit in my living room to write, and no matter what time of day, which way the winds blow, or even if I have just finished putting fresh litter in the boxes-the Elkins nose is both a blessing and a curse-the stank finds me and today?  It makes me want to vomit profane.

I fell into a funk during a sinus infection.  With lightning speed my joy plummeted, and I was left looking for answers, once more.  The progression of a CPTSD trigger usually takes months-it was only a matter of days before I was sinking.  I hadn’t worked in the Emergency Room in weeks, wasn’t writing, didn’t feel well.  I succumbed to the lull of my lonesome demons, and day by day it became one big freaking festival of fear.  I had rather thought I’d put this behind me, as the grace and mercy God has shown me how to not fear, so why was I so anxious?  I was anxious because I had fallen into a pattern of avoidance.  My addictive personality is swayed towards habit and the need to find comfort in routine, repetition and familiarity.

I was praying last night.  I told Jesus that I wasn’t the girl for the job, not any longer.  I knew he would understand-I needed a break, I had burned out-the world was on my shoulders.  I hadn’t felt moved to go to the ER, but could not, for the life of me, figure out why.  I mean, I dreaded the idea of even pondering driving in the direction of the hospital.  Then it hit me, like a ton of golden bricks!  I wasn’t placing my faith in God.  The enemy had woven its smarmy way into my thought process, and convinced me that I had nothing to offer the world.

And finally, Jesus took over the conversation.  I felt the Holy Spirit move me to actually want to go back to the trenches, and I was gung ho last evening-even anticipating seeing my crew again.  I almost talked myself out of going in this morning.  I could go back to sleep, have a lazy day, take Jesse for a hike…as if I had no choice, I went through the motions of getting dressed, driving to work-my stomach felt a little flighty-I was feeling led by the Holy Spirit again, it seemed, so I took heed.

I immediately noticed the attempted suicide room was occupied; because of a past that includes an attempt at slitting my wrists, I am always drawn to those who know emotional pain, and have been so strong, against all odds, for so long that there begins a crack in the façade.  Some don’t crack, but those that do are crying out for help, and I have felt the burden of isolation in my own journey with mental health issues.

I went in as the psychiatrist walked out.

“Hey, girl,” I all but whispered.

She said nothing.  As I inched closer to the bed she held her arms out, and I held her as hard as I could, with as much love as I could possibly convey.  It didn’t take me long to see that one of her tatts was the Illuminati pyramid with the all seeing eye.  My heart sank.  After a few moments, I blurted it out:

“Hey, can I ask you what this is,” I traced my fingers up and down the area, as if my touch could burn it away, this evil, this epidemic of brain washing.

“You know, the Illuminati, money is all powerful, the most important thing.”

I sat at her side, she scooched over for me.  She began telling me, almost as if she were apologizing, about what drove her over the brink.  Her story ripped my heart from its chamber:

My brother was 14.  He was the first person killed in Lancaster this year.”

And then she sobbed, and told me the rest.  I left the room to clear my head, and instead, I heard His words, loud and clear.

GIVE HER YOUR CROSS.

I have worn two gold crosses around my neck for some time now.  I break chains often, and I buy crosses at thrift stores as I can’t afford the real deal.  My favorite?  An old, rugged cross-paid a buck, and treasured it until I gave it to a frightened autistic man, who sang me the Gospel in an angel’s falsetto.

I walked boldly into the room, and promptly got the necklace caught in my hair, so much for a tender moment.  I finally put the cross around her neck, and told her that God loved her.  As I left the room I heard her small voice:

I know.

 

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

After a fairly blasé week, my husband was kind enough to take me to the Annual Vintage Market in Manheim, Pennsylvania.  Something about Amish country…..so vivid and pleasing to the eye in Spring.  I love the little boys and girls all dressed up, riding in the horse and buggies with family-they are so precious, so innocent!   Imagine watching a sunset featuring nothing but countryside and a lone buggy.  Surreal.  We are so blessed. Sometimes we see the children out and about, helping in the gardens, playing in driveways or out and about-it brightens our day every time.

Going to this market was a tremendous step for me, as it required searching, planning and stepping completely out of my comfort zone.  We never had   two cents to rub together, not that I minded.  But the last thing on our list was entertainment, and/or anything that required gas.  I never for one minute felt less than.  I never griped about our social life, or lack there of-I was perfectly content to stay shuddered away at the farmhouse we have lived in our entire time together.  Twenty seven years.  I love my woman cave, and it takes me a good kick in the ass to leave; the orchards, pond and gardens, my Victorian bat cave that is the cheeriest room I have ever encountered-and this is the very first year I have not spent eons of time in my boudoir, but the sunlit room entices me.  I am proud to have come down to the living area, it was like kicking smack, I swear to Jesus.

As we were leaving, me-holding my treasures, happily rehashing the morning, when we see her.  Oh my soul, oh my soul.  She was a mess, dirty and raggedy clothing, stocking feet (NO SHOES) her hair in bad shape.  I was hit hard by the guilt and shame.  Survivor’s guilt, or a form of it.  How is it fair that I have been blessed beyond measure, and she….well,  but for the grace of God go I.  My poor husband.  I wept salty tears and blew my nose.  No need to tell him why the water shed, he knew, God bless him.

“Honey, we don’t know that she isn’t being taken care of.  We don’t know anything about the circumstances, or the choices she made.”

That helped for a moment.  The plight of the homeless crushes the hope in me, I become one big, walking Irish sigh.  Then, as if a nudge, I am  reminded that God knows each and every one of these tragedies, and if He is going to watch the sparrows, you can bet your bottom dollar He is watching over the least of these.

I don’t want to jinx anything, but I have to say:  life on this planet as I know it?  I’m raising a white flag, and at the same time?  I feel His presence and am strengthened by His spirit.  Life as I know it is growing on me, and that is because after each and every struggle, after every storm the blessings blow my mind.

Later in the day, I felt the nudge but I wasn’t sure.  I waited until the nudge became a shove, and I picked up my phone.  Bracing myself, I reached out to my step-son’s girlfriend, asked her to come and clear up the miscommunication.  I tried not to watch the phone, but when I had finally given up my text was returned.

I am so sorry for everything that has transpired.

That’s a start.  She never returned my last text, so, progress, right?

 

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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Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

After a fairly blasé week, my husband was kind enough to take me to the Annual Vintage Market in Manheim, Pennsylvania.  Something about Amish country…..so vivid and pleasing to the eye in Spring.  I love the little boys and girls all dressed up, riding in the horse and buggies with family-they are so precious, so innocent!   Imagine watching a sunset featuring nothing but countryside and a lone buggy.  Surreal.  We are so blessed. Sometimes we see the children out and about, helping in the gardens, playing in driveways or out and about-it brightens our day every time.

Going to this market was a tremendous step for me, as it required searching, planning and stepping completely out of my comfort zone.  We never had   two cents to rub together, not that I minded.  But the last thing on our list was entertainment, and/or anything that required gas.  I never for one minute felt less than.  I never griped about our social life, or lack there of-I was perfectly content to stay shuddered away at the farmhouse we have lived in our entire time together.  Twenty seven years.  I love my woman cave, and it takes me a good kick in the ass to leave; the orchards, pond and gardens, my Victorian bat cave that is the cheeriest room I have ever encountered-and this is the very first year I have not spent eons of time in my boudoir, but the sunlit room entices me.  I am proud to have come down to the living area, it was like kicking smack, I swear to Jesus.

As we were leaving, me-holding my treasures, happily rehashing the morning, when we see her.  Oh my soul, oh my soul.  She was a mess, dirty and raggedy clothing, stocking feet (NO SHOES) her hair in bad shape.  I was hit hard by the guilt and shame.  Survivor’s guilt, or a form of it.  How is it fair that I have been blessed beyond measure, and she….well,  but for the grace of God go I.  My poor husband.  I wept salty tears and blew my nose.  No need to tell him why the water shed, he knew, God bless him.

“Honey, we don’t know that she isn’t being taken care of.  We don’t know anything about the circumstances, or the choices she made.”

That helped for a moment.  The plight of the homeless crushes the hope in me, I become one big, walking Irish sigh.  Then, as if a nudge, I am  reminded that God knows each and every one of these tragedies, and if He is going to watch the sparrows, you can bet your bottom dollar He is watching over the least of these.

I don’t want to jinx anything, but I have to say:  life on this planet as I know it?  I’m raising a white flag, and at the same time?  I feel His presence and am strengthened by His spirit.  Life as I know it is growing on me, and that is because after each and every struggle, after every storm the blessings blow my mind.

Later in the day, I felt the nudge but I wasn’t sure.  I waited until the nudge became a shove, and I picked up my phone.  Bracing myself, I reached out to my step-son’s girlfriend, asked her to come and clear up the miscommunication.  I tried not to watch the phone, but when I had finally given up my text was returned.

I am so sorry for everything that has transpired.

That’s a start.  She never returned my last text, so, progress, right?

 

Crazy……

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

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

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

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

Hippychick….

“It’s hard to tell you how I feel without hurting you…” – Soho

This is also an essay on how what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that there is hope-for each and every one of us.  You can read my tags, or About feature and see that fate had dealt me a raw deal, and that was 27 years ago!  The hits keep coming, but I will bow to no evil, stay true to my faith and carry on, as He has great and good plans for me, and you, my beloveds.

I had just read the article in Ladies Home Journal that was written by Susan Dey, the ex Partridge, about her cervical cancer and how she knew she had it-her symptoms.  Karl was on a business trip, and I was alone in our house, which had been stress-cleaned by me the minute he left the abode.  I had been having similar symptoms, and as I headed up the stairs to use the ladies, a feeling of foreboding swept over me, like so much dust, so dreadful…..so real.  Shake it off, Michele, my thought cloud read.

And, as fate would have it, I saw the odiferous, grey discharge-which sent me reeling and running to the telephone to talk with my mother.

“Honey, I am sure you are fine.  Just make sure to go to the doctor this week.”  Incredibly comforting, yes.  But I knew………and I was internally combusting at warp speed.  Earlier in the year, I had been diagnosed with HPV-given to me by a long ago boyfriend.  Back in 1998, there was no talk of the vaccination or the virus, really.  Only now does it make sense.  I had no money for the antibiotic, and, being the hair brained procrastinator that I am, I let it go.  Only now, five years later would I be paying for my ignorance.

The next day?  A nurse called me with my pap smear results, which was taken two weeks before.

“The doctor needs to see you to explain the results,” she said.

What do you mean?  I need to speak with the doctor, please tell him to call me.”

“You have cancer,” she said.

With that, I insisted, demanded that I be seen by my doctor.  She had no right to say that, especially over the phone.  I wanted answers, and I wanted them now.  She told me she would call him, and to expect a return call within the next few days.  NOT GOOD ENOUGH.   I in no way think of myself as special, a prima donna, nor do I think I deserve anything more than the average Joe-but I had just moved to the area, and I had been having problems with spotting for over a year.  My gynecologist?

“You look great and your test results are great.” I called him repeatedly, this man who hated women…only to be told the same thing:  “A little spotting is normal.”  I had left him behind in Phoenixville, and the new doctor I was seeing saw it right away.  I wish I had sued the bastard, but hindsight is always twenty- twenty.

The phone rang the very same evening.  It was Dr. Overholt, asking me to come into the office, apologizing for his nurse, apologizing for the news.  As I sat, in paper robe and smiley face socks, I felt more vulnerable than at any other time in my life.  My heart pounded, my hands shook, how could this be?  I had never missed a pap in my life, why wasn’t this caught sooner?  Will I be able to have children?  Will I be able to live a life free of this sniveling coward we call cancer?

He explained to me that I had carcinoma in situ, Stage I, and that he was referring me to a gynecologist who specialized in Cervical Cancer.  I met and loved Dr. Lape from the moment our eyes connected.  He explained that I would have to have a cryosurgery first, and then-a biopsy of my uterus-to ensure it hadn’t spread and to remove the tumor.  His best advice?

“Don’t listen to ANYONE but me.  Don’t go looking for trouble.  Any questions, this is my home phone number.  God bless you sweetheart, we got this.”

And so it was, after  three cryosurgeries (in which the cancerous cells are frozen and destroyed) a biopsy and D&C, that I lay on the couch, my Tylenol #3 and a heating pad for comfort.  My parents took me to my first freezing, and afterwards took me to lunch and tucked me in when we returned home.  I remember feeling as if I had been beaten below the belt, the pain was tough, the recovery tougher.  More cells were found, more cryosurgery.  And finally, freedom.  The freedom that comes with knowing you are free of the dastardly C word.

I was never told I could not have children.  And I didn’t find out until I lost our first child-an uncaring doctor asked me why we didn’t use birth control if I knew I couldn’t carry.  He gave me a script, called it a “spontaneous” abortion and referred me to the local Planned parenthood, where I was given another scraping, and released.

Driving home, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  My girlfriend Annie, not taking her eyes off of the road, shushed my tears.  She held my hand.  She took me home and put me to bed, with a stuffed teddy bear and a sippy cup.

 

Sunday Papers………….

Day two of staying quiet, listening to the Holy Spirit’s comforting whispers, and plain, good old fashioned rest.


Every month, and I do mean every month, there is an unholy collaboration of hormones and the full moon that have their way with my mind, and I, and everyone that loves me, is put through a series of tearful phone calls, disturbing Facebook posts, and blogs that could make the Grinch cry out in anguish. I never remember this until I am, quite frankly, hysterical. I get to the point of outright paranoia, and my fears run wild, like so many deer chasing the wind. I cry on and off for a day or two, suffer fits of irritation few could survive, and scream Hare Kari at my cats, husband and, well, anyone who darkens my day to the point of pitch black preparedness-meaning, I learn to EXPECT bad news.

When the Eclipse happened, I was so frightened (stupid YouTube) that my husband left work to come home with special goggles-first to allow me to actually see the Eclipse, and second-to walk out of the house for the first time in days. What had me so terrified, you ask? Well, it was LA Marzulli’s video on BEKs, better known as Black Eyed Children. This phenomena has been discussed, at length, on sites such as his and a few others, Stranger Than Fiction, A Call For An Uprising, and Richie From Boston.

So here’s the story, in Reader’s Digest form: there is a little known phenomenon called BEKs, Black Eyed Children-who, for all intents and purposes, appear out of absolutely nowhere and ask to be allowed into a person’s home, car or business. They are children, sometimes teens, who have soulless black eyes. They talk in a way that tips you off, a stilted, 19th century vocabulary. Their clothes don’t come from any stores you and I frequent. Au contraire, they are clothes from the 20’s, even 30’s. Their main objective is to get inside your house, where they will cause disease, freak accidents and untimely death.

Do I really believe in this phenomenon? Yes. I have seen a few pictures and reputable videos to know that these demonic energies are a little known fact of life, the life we are currently living, otherwise known as THE END DAYS. My question? How in the Harry Belafonte does ANYONE know that these are the end times? Is there a manual I am not aware of? Didn’t the end times begin when Jesus said, centuries ago, “It is finished?” The reality, in my opinion, is that these strange and mind blowingly frightening oddities have occurred since the beginning of time. Yet now, we have the World Wide Web, where we can look up just about anything that suits our fancy: Illuminati, Aliens, Demons, New Age-why, a person as impressionable as myself might be convinced that the world is a scary place, and if the internet isn’t a problem for you, just look at the Main Stream Media.

What is a person to believe? Do your research thoroughly, use reliable sources, and if that doesn’t work? Run. Run like your bloody hair is on fire.