They Call Her Out by Her Name…..

I have been having what some would call “hearing hallucinations,” and I know they are real, as real as the grass in the yard, the puffy clouds on the horizon, and the Spring peepers who cry out their mating call at this time of year.

Okay, how do I explain the inexplicable?  I’ll have to go back to the early days, circa 2013, after an incredibly stressful demolition of our church, by Christian Hypocrites who simply took over, spewed their venom and caused one of our pastors to turn to Atheism.  I was distraught over what I then thought to be the end of my life as I  knew it.  I got sober in this chapel, every single person knew my story and they showed me love and grace, not harsh ostracism.  The travesty is, we were beginning to do some amazing spiritual work……we were in sync, and you could feel the Holy Spirit-lifting us up and out of our day to day lives.  And then:  Kaput.

I began to experience a strange, but lovely thinning of the veil, if you will.  I began finding feathers in crazy places-different colors and hues.  I collected twenty of them and put them in a crystal glass.  No explanation for how they came to be in the middle of my bedroom floor; no cat toys missing pieces, no feathered anything to be blunt.  I did not realize they were feathers from the Angels at the time, no not until the last feather was gifted me:  a large, purple beauty, somehow I knew that this would be the last one, and it was.  I have brought these feathers to bedside vigils, to give others the hope of better days to come, when we are once again home, the complete and unwavering love of God, His mercy and forgiveness.

Shortly after the last feather appeared, I had been toying with the New Age.  I came out of that nightmare unscathed, but now things were getting downright eerie.  Five minutes before I was stalked by a half naked man, causing me horrible PTSD symptoms, I heard my angels wings.  So loudly, I turned around as I expected to see a Vulture, or other huge bird looking at me.  Instinctively, I knew what it was.  I believe I was guided by the heavenlies that day, and I have good reason:  the Conservation Officers were doing their annual trail checks that day, and I had the good fortune to run out of the woods and into the arms of the officer who took the case.

One day, I was absolutely driven to get up off my buttocks and take a picture of my back yard.  It was a dreary rainy day, and there was nothing to see…..but listen to myself I did.  As I brought the camera to my eyes, I saw 6 or 7 white crosses-along the garden plot.  If I took the camera away?  Nothing.  Each time I brought that camera into focus, I saw the white crosses, and I felt protected, if not a little shaky.

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Yesterday, while getting out of the shower, I heard those wings again.  I knew the angels wanted me to know they were with me, which scared the bejeepers out of me.  What now?  Why now?  I had to sit for a spell and calm myself down.

So, it is evening and my husband and I are preparing dinner.

“Honey, you know if you need to talk about the Bud (formerly known as my stepson) debacle, I know how much you’re hurting.  I want you to know that I am here for you, and if you need to vent, please do so.”

What he said next was so crazy making, so vile and putrid and everything that goes along with the loss of a child.

“I text him, last week.  I jacked him up and he said there will be no apology forthcoming.

No apology?  That man-child stood in my garage and screamed cruel and untrue things, called me a freak, told me the whole family thought I was a freak.  And, as it turned out, he was plenty pissed that I am on SSI, as “it’s not fair I have to pay for her income with my taxes.”`  He was this close to hitting me and when I went to go inside, he came after me and I just waited.  If he hit me, then I could go to court, get a Protection From Abuse-hey, I’ve suffered worse things, believe me.

I have made the decision that he is dead, dead to me for all intents and purposes.

You see, what seemed to irritate him most? That I had suffered CPTSD, and depression.  Apparently he thinks I made it all up; that after owning my own businesses and working (often two jobs at a time) for 40 years, I just decided, as if upon whim, to close shop, be lazy and ruin my husband’s life.  How could he be that cold?

And then the inevitable kick in my aching groin:  “Bud will be at mom’s for Easter, with his gal pal extraordinaire, the woman who was the icing on the cupcake of his disaster, the woman who so eagerly took what was not hers, her best friend’s boyfriend.  Don’t get me wrong, Bud is responsible for his own actions, but being the raging narcissist that he is?  He will never take accountability.  He ruined his own life and he should have thought about that before he let his penis do his thinking.  Sorry, I’m a bit rough around the edges today.

Father, forgive him, he knows not what he does.

She talks to angels, they call her out by her name.

Renew Your Mind, the Rest Will Follow

I could not, for the life of me, get out of my own way today. You know that feeling-when you know, before it happens, that whatever you do/say/touch will be a mother loving nightmare of epic proportions. Yep. I should have known at the gas station, where I sat for ten minutes (no lie) trying to put my seatbelt on. A simple task performed day in and day out, and not once, but twice this happened today. I try not to get hysterical when something isn’t going smoothly-I always think that God may be holding me up for a reason, and that puts things in perspective.

At Walmart, I wore my brand new Batman hat, complete with ears that go up and down and it glows in the dark, the batman signal. It has long pom poms on each side. Incredibly warm. I set out today to make at least one person smile-and I was blessed by the reactions of most people this morning. I would say, ‘watch this’ to a complete stranger, and inevitably? If not a guffaw, a giggle and smile. I want to two of the cashiers that have been there forever. My whole heart goes out to them, they look so fatigued, so defeated. I felt pure joy when the saddest one laughed. In twenty some years, I have not seen her lips turned upward.

At the park, Jesse burst out of his orange hunting coat-whilst jumping in to the creek. This after chasing a heron so majestic it caught my breath. I begged him to go back into the creek and retrieve his coat. He swam right toward the thing, then balked at the idea-he hates this bloody coat. We were just beginning our trek, and as I waded in the Hammer Creek, ice cold water sloshing around in my shit stompers, I cried out to the heavens, “WHY, GOD, WHY???” Instantaneously over myself, I hiked the entire trail with freezing, wet feet. I remembered how hysterical my mother became at even the thought of my feet being wet, screaming – “You’ll get a kidney infection if you walk around in wet feeeeet!!!” That’s when I got teary, and remained emotional for the duration.

I stood at the window and took in the orange and blues, purples and pink of the evening sky. My husband had mentioned our Dylan, the golden retriever who lost his battle with Leukemia in 2015. I tried to hide my tears. Dwain came to comfort. I again began my nostalgic grieving-then, as I praised Him for the perfect Fall evening-a television reporter said these words:

“And after the ending, there is a new beginning.”

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.

 

Christmas By Myself This Year

I am ready to crawl into the fetal position and be done with this nightmare. What was the movie?The Nightmare Before Christmas? Never saw the flick, but who cares? Who gives a flying fazuck? It’s Christmas time, the halls are decked, the tree is done, my shopping almost complete. Wake me up when it’s time to take a long Winter’s nap; put a fork in my for crying out loud-I’m DONE.

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As a matter of fact, this Facebook post just about sums it up right now. All I want for Christmas is to have my husband and critters healthy and safe. That’s it, that’s my list. But the unseen forces of this world have a different idea-they want me a withered nub of nothing, so I have news for them.

STEP OFF!!!

Last Sunday, exhausted from a weekend of socializing, I drug my weary ass cheeks up the concrete stairs-I had a drink in one hand and a purse in the other. I was also carrying my dog’s collection of toys; left like little bodies, littering the yard. And so it was that I had no hands to break my fall when the inevitable happened. I tripped, my forehead breaking my fall.

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Not very pretty, but after an OK from the Emergency Room doctor, I went home-thinking, this won’t be so bad. I’ve suffered worse, believe me. But a week later? I still feel nauseous and the headaches are not so pleasant. But none of this matters, it truly doesn’t. Last night, God put everything in perspective for me. I was spent from crying all morning; I miss my parents at this time of year-Christmas was truly special at our home. I know what the reason for the season is-I just want a modicum of peace to fill my heart and soul.

I turned the music up (Charlie Brown Christmas, my favorite holiday tune) and Jess and I began to dance. Jubilant for over a minute, the smile was wiped from my face when I bent down to hug the dog-I found a small lump on his chest. The room began to spin, my heart was beating erratically, this can’t be happening, NO, no, no, no. My husband was in the shower; I yelled up to him, told him the grim news.

I thought a word of comfort, solace…maybe even hope. What I received instead? Name calling, of the you ruined my Christmas variety. It was if he thought I was purposefully looking for bad news: Lord have mercy! He had put up the Christmas lights, cut us a tree, dealt with my weeping just hours before.

He gave me the silent treatment. I gathered my things and headed for bed. 5:30 folks. I went to bed at 5:30 p.m. I awoke to the piercing pain in my heart. I remembered the lump. My husband slammed the door as he left the house, as I was none to eager to hear his apology. Actions speak louder than words, you know.

I phoned the vet, made an appointment first thing. My mood was as low as low could be; until I stopped in at Walmart for a few things. I asked a woman for help finding the cat nip, and the look on her face told me two things: I forgot to comb my hair, and I was now the freak at Wally World. I stopped to take a perusal of my appearance-sweet Jesus, the tattered clothing, combined with a shiner reminiscent of Muhammed Ali? Not good. I didn’t care, I was on a mission to be at the vet on time. I paid for my things and drove to the animal hospital.

To my surprise, Dwain stood at the door.

“What are you doing here?,” I mumbled.

Thirty minutes later, with a diagnoses of a fatty tumor, I took my dog for a hike. I thanked Abba with all I had in me. And when we returned? Tootsie went to comfort his friend.

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We must remember what is truly important at this time of year; and that is our family, friends and treasured children; whether animal or human. Be grateful for the small things, and let God take care of the rest.

The Pill Mill……….

When I was younger, I was appalled at how many pills my mother took.  She was extremely ill, emphysema, cancer, osteoporosis.  She died at 59, after the doctors mistook an ovarian cyst to be scar tissue.  I wish I had known then what I now know.  Mary Lou had every symptom of Ovarian cancer, the extreme bloating, constipation, pain and upset stomach.  When the doctor came in to the waiting room, I had to be held back by my siblings-the jerk never listened to her, I was there when he did an exam after her complaining: he felt her stomach and abdomen-she was fully clothed, why bother right? I was there when he told her she was “fine, absolutely fine.”

What shocked me, after her death, was the bottles and bottles of Ativan-she took 4 a day, and I thought that to be too much, too addicting, too sedating.  Now?  I take Ativan daily.  As a prn.  Ironically, the first time I ever took one was the day of her funeral.  Surrounded by friends, I fell asleep on the couch-and didn’t wake up until the following morning.  What addict is going to turn that away?  It was easier to let the melodic pull of oblivion take me away, to dreamless sleep and few cares, if any.

Today I take 200 mg. of Zoloft, 2 mg. Suboxyne for opiate addiction (down from 8 mg. and let me tell you, it was rough, really rough to taper) and one Trazadone for sleep.   My husband thinks this appalling, but I have fought hard to maintain an appearance of normality-in an increasingly abnormal world.

I can tell you that as a nurse, EMT and hospice worker, I could not get into the Suboxyne program soon enough.  I was in a dirty city, walking the streets of dilapidated houses, children in various stages of undress, and very scary men, who gathered on street corners to deal their goods, help a friend in “need.”  I asked a few of them, but as white on rice as I look?  They didn’t touch me with a ten foot pole.  Looking back, I think they thought me a cop.

I was working as a private duty nurse, and volunteering at a local hospice.  I was starting to face withdrawal from OxyContin, and I didn’t want to be the girl who steals patient’s pills.  My cousin by marriage (not a normal person in that family) ran a methadone clinic, and rehab.  I had attended that rehab until our fearless leader Tony called me out on missing a class, in front of the entire room.  When you quit drinking you are wired out of your mind, so many emotions coming from one heart-it’s maddening and exciting at the same time.  I told him off, asked why he allowed drinkers and cokeheads to use in our meetings (was this even remotely fair to the others who were serious about recovery?) and slammed out the door.  He wasn’t going to use me as an example when people were slumped in their chairs, or re-dusting the entire room, like the energizer bunny on crack.

Anyway, back to Scott.  I called him from my  locked car that very day.  I told him where I was, and I asked if I could come to the methadone clinic to talk to him.  He shut me down, but two minutes later?  I heard a commercial about Suboxyne: it has served me well, saved my career and, most likely, my life.  My advice to anyone starting the program?  Start at a really low milligram, that way you won’t have to detox every time you take a step down.  I ended up calling my girlfriend one morning, I literally couldn’t move, I was that weak.

“I can’t take it.  Would you please take me to the doctor?”

The good doctor had taken me off, cold turkey.  We had argued about my use of cannabis, and I stormed out-only to return a week later, begging for mercy.  And, thankfully, that is exactly what I was given.

What I would like to say is, don’t let anyone convince you to go off of any medication you may be taking for your mental health, especially if the plan is working.  Do I like having to take meds on a daily basis?  NO.  But one day, perhaps, the stigma will stop.  No  matter, because I have come to the point where I just don’t care what others think.

It’s not their body.  It’s not their mind.  It’s none of their business.

Hesed Love

There are peaks and valleys in everyone’s lives-moments when we throw our heads back in laughter and joy; and those where we have to dust ourselves off, check for permanent damage and regain a grip on reality.

We had a wonderful weekend. Our Christmas party for our church was held locally, so we finally made it this year. I imagined dimmed lights and a D.J. I was dressed in an original Bob Mackie jacket, fur boots and a gold trimmed dress that takes my breath away-sadly, whilst trying to zip me in the back, Dwain broke the zipper-so I went wearing said dress anyway, safety pinned in the back. Black velvet. Vintage clothing, and luckily I bought it for 50 cents. Imagine my shock when we walk into a room lit up like the sun itself. I am morbidly overdressed, and the track lights are making me anxious. I consider wearing sunglasses, but can’t embarrass my husband like that, and trust me-I’ve tried.

So long as we love we serve, so long as we are loved by others,
I would almost say that we are indispensable; and no man is useless while he has a friend. -Robert Louis Stevenson

We didn’t dance, there was no music. No disco ball.

The food was fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Corn. Warm pineapple compote.

No booze. No hard drugs.

Just us and our belove brothers and sisters in Christ. We laughed until it hurt, shed a few tears of compassion-and loved one another. I won a door prize, which shocked the shat out of me. There was no hangover the next day, no remorse, and no time to waste-we were having good friends over for dinner, I had promised spaghetti and meatballs-and we prayed before they arrived, as they are facing hardship and heartache, in their unique valley of doom. We love them so much, it hurts to see them hurt.

I broke into tears over the parmesan cheese. Somehow, the conversation had turned to the Great Awakening, politics, the hardest stuff…and after carrying the weight of the world upon my shoulders (or so it seemed) I cracked. I began blubbering about the Bush funeral. I sat with my dear friend while she watched videos, articles and memes-convinced that I would hear what I have heard from day one- Fake News!!!!

But here is the profound conclusion I came to last evening:

If another truly loves you, and respects your thought process and ability to think for yourself? Chances are that you will be heard. Heard and loved, despite your words, despite the news. She took it all in, calmed my heart, heard me out.

Psalm 136 speaks of God’s steadfast love, which endures forever. The Hebrew word for this is Hesed love. It is repeated over and over in the Old Testament, and written twenty six times in Psalm 136 alone! While no modern word can fully capture the meaning; we translate it as “loving kindness,” “mercy,” or “loyalty.”

Hesed is a loved based on covenant commitment; love that is loyal and faithful. Even when God’s people sinned, He was faithful in loving them. His love for you will remain steadfast-a reality that provides the foundation, therock on which we place our entire lives.

Oh what a foundation it is!

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Miss Maya and the Missing Link

One of my favorite felines, Maya Angelou, has come so incredibly far in her quest to find herself. I am a firm believer in the notion that animals have souls, and like Angelou she is a fearsome lioness, a freedom fighter-a survivor.

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Born 8 years ago, the last of my longhairs (I kept the entire litter, four cats in all)she was petrified of her own shadow. The runt of the litter, she was always last to get nursed, last to be bathed, pushed aside like so much dander. She immediately found a hidey hole, up in the rafters of our bedroom. Incredibly tiny, I often feared she would fade away. It was because of her frailty that I put off having her fixed- rather than take her to the Humane Society clinic for thirty five dollars, as I did with each and every other cat before-I had her spayed by our family vet, who charged me over four hundred. I know. I know. This made my husband cringe and carry on-one of the reasons Maya hides to begin with. Dwain has a strong and deep voice-he frightens all of our cats; yet Maya would run upstairs and jump to her happy place-not to be seen for days.

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We have cared for a myriad of cats over the years. Living out in the country, desperate people have done desperate things, like drop their cats and kittens off at a stranger’s home: but I look at it this way-they were meant to be with me. I have my favorites (current cat population:17)and thirteen of them live outside. They have a really groovy pad under the giant pine out back, and a covered cat home beneath our deck. We feed them, nurse and vaccinate each and every cat, thanks to the generosity and passion of Nobody’s Cat Foundation. They neutered/spayed fifteen cats, giving them vaccinations as well, at no cost to myself. I will be sending them something at Christmas, for as long as they are up and running.

She doesn’t hide any longer. She lives in our bedroom, proud and precious, content in the world she has created. She likes her pillows just so and her catnip must be placed to the right of her toy mouse. I feed her can food once a day, and as long as her needs are met? She purrs at warp volume, she kills me with kitty kisses and blinks her undying affection.12311171_932332183509072_157103928902352993_n

Fresh out of the shower, and feeling a bit more positive, I played with Miss Thang in her sun spot. She has put on weight, and her coat is like mink. And then it all came together in this supernatural way. I could see it in her cat eyes, the strength, courage and love-emanating from a cat who was at one time so depressed she pulled her hair out, in clumps.

WE HAVE BOTH WON OUR BATTLE OVER VICTIMHOOD. WE ARE SURVIVORS. WE ARE LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY BY A GOD WHO SENT HIS ONLY SON TO PAY FOR OUR SINS, SO THAT WE MAY SPEND ETERNITY WITH OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.

Me and Maya?

We got it licked.