Rally Round the Family…

Life goes along at warp speed until something stops you dead in your tracks: As was the case Sunday morning, after a full weekend of loving and socializing, the enemy came to take his due-you don’t think he isn’t out there trying to devour everything good in your life? Au contraire, mon amies! But here’s the good news-call out to Jesus, and you are free. He can’t hurt you if you are covered in the full armor of God.

But what about those times when evil does strike? Well, Abba will protect you in ways you couldn’t imagine, and that’s why I’m alive and writing this blog-my Lord and Savior sent His angels, and they protected me from a massive head injury and internal bleeding.

Just out of Dwain’s truck, exhausted from a weekend of frivolity, I could barely pick up my feet. I had promised my husband that I would pick up the myriad of dog toys that lay around our yard, at the whim of my golden retriever, who thinks he has to entertain the grasshoppers and blue jays with his cacophony of babies. It’s so sweet, until it isn’t.

I had my purse in one hand, my drink in the other, AND I was carrying six, that’s SIX dog toys to boot. We have concrete stairs, no railing, and the stairs are ridiculously dangerous. It did not escape my mind, while sitting in the ER, that I had traipsed up and down said steps while drunk, high on cocaine, and worse. Never once even tripped. But yesterday was different. My boots caught on Jesse’s blue elephant, and down I went. I had no hands to put out, and I landed on my noggin.

I immediately called for Dwain, who could hear me, but couldn’t find me. Pain so severe I thought I would vomit, I remained perfectly still until my husband arrived on the scene. I am an EMT, and a CNA-I have volunteered in the Emergency Room, with hospice and prison ministries-I have seen it all and maintained my composure. This is the precise reason I am prone to freaking out when I get hurt-I simply know too much.

Head injury? I was out of my mind hysterical. It didn’t help when my husband picked up my head and his eyes bulged out of his-

“My GOD, is it THAT bad?,” I wail. He didn’t answer, he was too busy putting my ample white behind in his truck, grabbing ice and driving like a bat out of hell, towards the ER I had recently walked out of-after calling out the employees no less. As I walked in, I immediately placed my eyes on Dawn, who calmed me as she directed me towards the door. I knew where to go all right. I just didn’t know if they would help me, or hurt me. They had so much power at that moment.

A friend of mine, Katie, was the charge nurse, praise God. She gave me a hug and an ice pack, told me the doctor would soon be in. As Dwain sat on the bed, this came over the PA System:

ATTENTION: SEPSIS ALERT IN THE ER. SEPSIS ALERT IN THE ER.

“Fabulous,” I murmured. And then it hit me, we were the only people there, aside from an 83 year old man with a dizzy spell. What the Harry???? They were talking about me for crying out loud! I couldn’t figure this out as the knot on my head was the size of a peach, but the wound wasn’t bad, it bled very little.

Dr. Ammons didn’t waste any time checking me over. I was told it would hurt like hell for a few days, but that I was extremely fortunate as if I had hit one inch below, I could have had serious eye trauma. If my cranium had hit a few inches lower? I could have knocked out my front teeth. But I knew about head trauma, and I was frightened. I kept what I knew to myself, forgetting that my man is a first responder.

And so it was, that I woke this morning with a shiner the size of Texas, and a headache to beat the band.

And because of His love? I’ll be strutting my stuff, sooner than you can say the words accident prone.

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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I Confess…

In 1990, I married my fiancée of five years, in a Catholic ceremony. I did it with the full knowledge that I was in love with another man. I take full responsibility for the role I played, however, it still makes for good reading.

The wedding had not gone off without a hitch, no pun intended. I had an ex who had threatened to “crash” my wedding: I took care of this little inconvenience by hiring a security guard, who was given a picture of the man in question. As the limousine containing my mother, my father and myself pulled up to the church? I see said security guard frisking a friend of mine, who happened to have red hair, but looked absolutely nothing like the red head who had planned to embarrass me at my nuptials. As my father and I sat in the back, knocking back the champagne at warp speed, my friend Dan approached the stretch.

“Michele, they won’t let me in.”

After my father and I pulled our laughing carcasses off of the floor, I had a quick meet and greet with Mr. Robotto. I had asked that he not come dressed like a cop, which he did. I had asked that he come to me before throwing anyone out, which he completely ignored. Needless to say he was fired, and my nemesis never made it to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

I had asked my maid of honor to search the church for the man I was truly in love with, as he was my husband’s employee, and had been invited. I knew, with certainty, that one look at that man and I would make The Graduate look like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. A mix of high anxiety and no sleep the evening before, I was a whirling dervish of angst and punchiness. I don’t remember walking down the aisle with my father, but I DO remember this scene:

My girlfriend Gina had been given the assignment of reading scripture. And as she began to quote Corinthians, she stumbled on a word. To the normal person, this would have gone unnoticed; to an exhausted and heartbroken bride to be? The funniest thing I had ever heard. When I laugh, well, it’s with my whole body-and I am not quiet about it, no, not at all. I laughed so hard that the priest began to become unhinged, and as hard as I tried…and then, the icing on the cupcake of the service: hearing my father and best friend laugh with me, I was gone. I collapsed at the altar, thus ensuring the crowd that this would be a day that would live in infamy.
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It wasn’t until the ex and I pulled away from the cozy bed and breakfast; our friends and family waving us on, headed towards Martha’s Vineyard, that this song played. And as I sat, numbed and tortured by a forbidden want, hot tears of recognition trickled down to the post card I had been writing:

HAVING A WISH, TIME YOU WERE HERE…

I mailed it from Nantucket.

To Dwain, with love… (to be continued)

I Used to Live There Too

 

I remember, years ago, fantasizing of the time I would spend with my nieces and nephew.  I was going to teach them to dance, keep their secrets, and proudly, gleefully even, watch them grow.  Oh I had such big plans.  We all know what happens when we carefully map out the direction of our lives-God intervenes and turns the whole house upside down, as if to shake us senseless with shock and confusion.   The pain that comes from knowing that certain doors have been shut, dreams dashed-not at all what you had hoped for, no, not at all.

I have learned a few things as of late, and one of them is that if we truly place our faith in God?  We can trust that certain doors should remain shut, at least in hindsight.  But what if the door is left ajar?  What if there is no definitive answer?  Well, that’s when we need to give it to Abba, let Him have it all.  If we are patient and full of the Holy Spirit, God will help us to discern which doors can be swung wide open, and those that must remain dead bolted.  For.  Life.

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When there is deep, enduring, ferocious love?  That is where miracles happen-I am living proof.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t guard our hearts, or put on the full armor of God.  Your soul will speak the wisdom, if we remain silent enough to listen.

You simply cannot stop loving the precious innocents-the next generation deserves our compassion.  I wouldn’t want to be finding my way in a world such as this-they are so blessed by a president that most hate, but will end up loving soon enough.  I will never stop loving, praying for or even adoring Olivia, Natalie, Esme or Anthony.

There will always be a candle lit and shining in my window.

In Christ, I have hope~

 

Stay By Your Fireside Bride

 

Awhile ago, maybe six or so months-I prayed to God for an expansion of my awareness, a ripping of the veil, if you will.  My experience two years ago, culminating in a devastating loss, was nothing short of having a sixth sense.   I took pictures of angels in my back yard, on a dreary, foggy day.  As I sat at my pc, writing, the Holy Spirit urged me to stop what I was doing, grab my zoom lens, and snap a picture-directly into a heavy mist.

I didn’t question it.  I took the camera, lifted it to my eye, and promptly had a near heart attack.  White Crosses.  A dozen of them.  I took the camera away, saw nothing.   The magic happened when I saw the footage-angels, in my estimation.  God was signaling to me that although I was in the New Age, getting Reiki treatments, and burning sage while uttering a prayer so evil I could only find part of the Latin translation on the internet-He was protecting and loving me right then and there.  I had no idea at the time that the origins of angel and tarot cards, angel readings, crystals, totems, mediations, yoga, sage burning and the third eye?  It comes from the occult, and it’s easier than you may think to allow demons into your life, home and relationships. Turns out, after my stalking experience, I ran to my Reiki friend, who very lovingly prayed it over me in my hysteria.

It was so beautiful in Latin, and I asked for its meaning, but Lila didn’t know.  She learned it from a fellow Master.

It took me months to forget this mantra, so I won’t go looking for it.  I searched the internet for days, finding nothing but the (I kid you not) score from Damien.  Another story for some other time, back to my blog.

Around the time of the angel sightings, I began experiencing a thinning veil, an eye for another realm so to speak.  Synchronicities, premonitions, impossibilities.  A knowing that I simply can’t put into words.

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All of these things were happening as my relationship with my sister began to spontaneously combust.  Reeling from that alone, I was later blindsided by her systematic destruction of my relationship with my niece, Godchild and nephew.  And when that wasn’t enough?  She took my brother as well.  Gut-wrenching melodrama was the theme of that Summer.  I relapsed.

I am sitting at my perch, at the end of our couch-a few moments ago.  Did you get that text from Craig (my brother) today?  I think that one of your aunts died.

Stunned, I said:  “I only have one aunt.”

My Aunt Irene is now in Heaven, with her beloved husband who passed just months ago.  They say it was her heart, which was shattered by the death of my Uncle Bill, I am certain.

The tears didn’t come at first, which didn’t surprise me-I had only met the woman a handful of times.  Same with my cousins, same with Uncle Bill.  You see, my dad and his brother were estranged-Bill was a born again Baptist, dad was an alcoholic agnostic.  I remember every year at Christmas, Bill would send my dad Baptist Digest.  It always stung a bit, when the magazine hit the bottom of the trash can.  I didn’t, no, couldn’t understand why my dad didn’t spend more time with his family, even if they lived in upstate New York.

You see, it takes an orphan to see what family truly means.  And from where I stand?  Family is everything.  It is my opinion that we become who raises us, whether we fight it or not-the cycle of abuse is the hardest one to break.  I don’t judge my sister, and I have forgiven her-she did not choose her childhood, and I think she bore the weight of the dysfunction.  I know that she loves me, and I know that she hates me.  I also know that I am not yet strong enough to reach out, but pray each and every day that God provides a way for us to coexist-without it costing my mental and physical health.  I learned that lesson with the loss of what is hopefully the last toxic relationship with the worst narcissist I have ever had the displeasure of knowing.

In the name of Jesus I break the Spirit of Jezebel that erodes familial love.  The slithery, dangerous one shall not prosper here.  Drink the blood of Jesus, Jezebel.

My heart reaches out to all of you who know this pain.  We are not an exclusive group, the victims of Narcissistic Abuse.  The crowd is growing, and we have so many excellent resources to choose from.  Below is one of my favorite videos about family relationships.   Angie Atkinson is wonderful, accessible on YouTube and she maintains multiple support groups.  The point is:  don’t try to do this alone, remember that even when your family hates you there will always be a bond through God and blood.  They love you, but in their own way.  It’s up to you to decide who you can and cannot live without.  God works miracles in our lives, each and every day.  Don’t give up hope-not a good place to be.  I take things one day at a time, and reflecting on how incredible my life has become since my rebirth?  I know that the Alpha and the Omega, who created Heaven and flat earth, 🙂  He has my back, always.

The best we can do is put it in our Abba’s sturdy hands-and know that he answers each and every one of your prayers; in a way that will enrich and embolden you.  He will prosper you in all of your ways, just go to Him.  He’s within you, beside you, and best of all?  For you.

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.

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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~