DON’T FEED THE FEARS….

I took my third dose of Doxy today, and admittedly I am feeling better. I can tell you that the biggest red flag for me, when something is wrong with my body (she’s been through a lot)is emotion. Whether it be mild irritation, weepiness, or flat out rage-this is my indicator that something is amiss. Believe it or not, I am not a weeper. But I’m not afraid of my tears, we need the release as anxiety and depression often rule the day.

I had big plans for my husband today, BIG PLANS I tell you. First stop-Good’s store in Schaefferstown. I rose at 6:30 this morning, eager to get out on a Spring-like day. My mood had vastly improved since yesterday, and my attitude was decent as I descended on the store. We get anything and everything at this little Mennonite boutique, from paint to outdoor wear, to kitchen appliances. I love their clearance department, and together, Dwain and I have spent approximately three million dollars on necessities. I was there to pick up a few cards, gifts and mainly-to return my husband’s dress pants that I had purchased at Christmas-they didn’t fit, but the tags were there-as was my receipt of purchase.

I was dealing with a sweet young girl, Olivia-she was telling me that she had to have a manager look at the pants before we could do an exchange. As I was leering at the candles (please, I have SO MANY candles, but for whatever reason-I always want more)when a gentleman in his forties called after me.

“Excuse me, Ma’am?,” I associate that name with little old ladies, and even at the age of 56? It isn’t palatable, from anyone.

“We cannot exchange these pants. There is a hair on the pocket of the brown pair, and the blue have a few hairs on them.”

INCREDULOUS, I told him the pants had never been worn, just tried on.

“Maybe if you took them home and cleaned them up?”

It took all of three seconds for me to go from status quo to flat out deranged angry. The cashier behind him, mildly alarmed at the tone of my voice, busied herself with a return.

“Sir, I panted, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH MONEY MY HUSBAND AND I SPEND IN THIS STORE???????,” I half screamed in indignation.

“Sorry, Ma’am, these can not be sold again.” I felt the rage wash over me like hard rain. I counted to ten. I took a deep breath, but none of these things helped to quash my Irish temper, and only now, looking back, do I regret the way I acted.

“I WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER SPEND ANOTHER BLOODY RED CENT IN THIS STORE!!!! I HAVE NEVER BEEN TREATED IN THIS MANNER BEFORE, AND I HAVE HAD IT WITH THIS F***ING, PIECE OF SH*T STORE, NEVER!!!!!!!!!”

My words echoed in my head as I headed to the parking lot. I almost broke the sliding glass door on the way out, and for that I am sorry…..but I pity and I mean PITY the jerk who sent me reeling. While at the grocery store next door, I bawled into the phone whilst standing in the dog food aisle. My poor husband, furious as well but trying to calm me down, told me he didn’t need a Valentine’s gift, that I was enough, to stop crying and go home and rest.

And I didn’t hold back a giggle when he said, “I’ll stop in with the man on my way home tonight.”

Like I said, I pity the fool……….

The Girl You Want…………

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to hold tight to the female friendships I have cultivated.  Let’s face it, when you head for your forties-well, you start to realize what is important in life and what is detrimental.  You begin to stand up for yourself, and by the time you reach menopause?  You’re a whirling dervish of angst on the road to having no female friendships because you have told off just about every friend you have, for one reason or another.

I have lost sisters near and dear to my heart-but the loss was temporary, as those were the women who treated me with disrespect, dishonesty-they were not  the friends I thought they were-but it didn’t make it any easier to end the relationship.  My best friend in sixth grade (let’s just call her Shitstorm) threw a bowling ball at me because I had the highest average in the league.  She was also responsible for bringing a picture of me into school in the seventh grade, one in which I had cut my own bangs, and let’s just say she passed it on to my high school crush.  Mortifying.  I was friends with her for 30 more years, until she did the unthinkable…..that’s right, she was another narcissist, and crossing her was akin to playing hopscotch with Satan.

But when you hit your fifties?  Why, you hold on to your female friends like grim death-the ones who love you no matter what state you are in, root for you when you are up against it, speak to your husband when your sister pushes you over the edge and you grab that bottle of vodka………why, they are your true blue tribe, and you have earned each other’s trust.  I am not saying there won’t be disagreements (holy crap on a cracker, that’s part of the equation ladies) but you will learn that nothing is more important than women who get and cherish you, zits, nervous breakdowns and relapses be damned.

Why, I can’t spare a square…….I adore my gal pals, each and every one of them.  And I will hang on for dear life-sorry ladies, you’ve been served.

Joy and Peace

 

Two years ago, right before our 24th wedding anniversary and subsequent trip up to the cabin in Potter County-a man I called friend, shot his ex-girlfriend at point blank range:  in broad daylight, with children everywhere, at the Jigger Shop in scenic Mount Gretna.  Patrick then put the gun in his mouth and ended his mental anguish forever.  His ex died on site, and she left two heartbroken children behind.

I met Patrick and his brother Mitch when first dating my husband.  They were dear, uproariously funny and rebellious.  I left the Philadelphia area to get away from drugs, namely-cocaine.  Working at a Houlihan’s in the King of Prussia mall, I had developed a habit, and I had just shaken an addiction to methamphetamine months before.  Coke was the perfect substitute, and it was very, very easy to score.  When my then fiancée asked me to move with him to Pennsylvania Dutch Country, I jumped at the chance.  It wasn’t long before I met my current man, who, unfortunately, had a behemoth of an addiction himself.

Patrick and his brother, Mitch, were the local suppliers.  Patrick and his wife were the first friends I made out here-it wasn’t long before the midnight phone calls began-Liz, out of her mind frightened, as Patrick would come home drunk and ready to rumble-waking his wife and infant, smashing Christmas trees, and yes-he hit her.  More than once.   I would come and talk him down.  But I began to loathe him-domestic violence is no joke-I have been a victim of both emotional and physical abuse.  I stuck with Liz, but Patrick faded away.

At one point I heard he was doing jail time, for beating the crud out of his new bride, who just happened to be an attorney.  But nothing stuck, and his actions-combined with the mentality of local police and judges alike-would be dismissed out of hand.  Thus the murder-suicide.  Tragedy is an understatement, this rocked our collective worlds.

At that time, my sister was also creating in me a downward mental spiral.  I hadn’t even heard of Narcissistic Abuse; it was on this vacation that I found information that would, two years later, set me free.  Yet my state of mind when we arrived at the cabin?  I believe I was in shock, grieving and mentally/physically at my limit.

As we entered the cabin, Dwain went to turn on the water, heat and other appliances.  I went for the bottle of Tequila, and sipped slowly as I read the news from home.  I mixed the liquor with Juicy Juice, so my husband wouldn’t suspect anything.  I had been sober for the past nine years, but I made the deliberate choice to drown my sorrows,  I didn’t get drunk on this vacation, but it was enough to remind me how booze can take away the pain.  A reminder I didn’t need at the time.

Standing in the kitchen, just a few days ago, my husband asked a question which led to my confession.  The only person I had told, previous to this conversation was my friend Joyce, a fellow recovering addict.  In the rooms, we are told to make amends, absolutely, but not if the process would leave the person hurt.  I had thought of coming clean many a time over the last few months and years; I just couldn’t do it to Dwain-and no, it wasn’t an excuse.  I was afraid he wouldn’t take me to the beloved cottage in the woods of Potter County.  I was in fear of the truth marring his memories of our anniversary.  To tell him would be cruel, not?

I answered his question, then turned my face in his direction.  I confessed.  And it hurt him, very much so.  He screamed he couldn’t trust me, I screamed back.  I cried big, fat, ugly tears that evening-angry with myself, angry with my addictions and yes, even angry with my loving husband-who doesn’t deserve the likes of me, and never did.

The moral of the story is this:  yes, we want to be truthful, as Christians-it’s a pretty serious matter.  But the past is the past.

Keep it there.  Ask Abba for forgiveness.  And swear an oath of secrecy to Jesus, to yourself.  The past is just that, but the future awaits us-like a diamond in the rust.  Polish that stone often.  Don’t look back, for you are a child of God-and your remorse and repentance is more than enough.

 

I Am Warrior….

 

I dropped off Jesse at the groomer this morning.  The groomer is my gal pal Sherry, and her husband Scott.  I was privileged  to work for them six years ago, and even though they live less than a mile away?  I hadn’t really known them until I became one of their dog walkers.

Scott has been given six months to live.  He had oral cancer sixteen years ago, and the miracle is that he is still among the living.  At 60, he is not willing to have any treatments; his body has been through enough.  I have wept a million tears over this, but the good news is he is now using CBD oil, and I am asking for as many prayers as you can give:  we want a miracle, and I believe in the power of prayer.

After the initial cancer diagnoses, after the treatments (his face is unrecognizable to some, but to me, it’s the only face I have known) he became a born again Christian.  He drove around the tri-county area, stopping in with people he felt he owed an apology.  He began loving everyone and every minute of life he was granted.  He is as strong as they come, physically and mentally.  I don’t want him to go, I can’t lose another friend.  And my heart absolutely aches for his wife.

The good news is that he is trying a round of CBD oil, just recently prescribed.  Sadly, it took months to go through, and his first attempt wasn’t very pleasant.  He took a small dose the first night, then for reasons only know to him, he tripled the dose.  Too stoned to move, he lay in bed for two days.  He swore it off, but God had other plans and he is back on the small dose.

Life is so precariously short-I try my best to put aside petty differences, and forgive quite easily-I want my father in Heaven to forgive me, and the hardest thing I have ever done is forgive my sister.  But here’s the thing: we have a God to go to, our Lord and Savior-Jesus.  But what about those who don’t have the faith?  Well, our prayers mean everything.  I am living proof of that.  He is mighty and loving and all seeing.

And I am his warrior, from now until eternity.

My Analyst Told Me……..

About a week ago, my brother sent me an email with the information for a local therapist. I had given up therapy (God and I had this) and frankly, he was concerned. If I am going to face upheaval and pain, I call my bro, as I can emote at whim and he will not judge me. He gives great advice, so I looked so forward to meeting Nancy. The appointment was made for this morning.

I haven’t eaten in two days. I shake, from my feet on up to my hands. I have crying bouts-I cannot sleep through the night, never a problem before. This isn’t good for my Lyme recovery-let’s face it, what happened Wednesday afternoon wouldn’t be good for anyone. I drove in the wrong direction for 30 minutes, so distracted was moi. Finally, after driving miles on slick, rain drenched country roads. And I drove aggressively, fearlessly-which isn’t really me.

I spoke of the “incident” with my stepson in my last blog. How he has walked around in a state of rage for three months now, first depression-now red hot anger. He went on a verbal tirade about how I was a “blood sucking leach,” that I was a “joke” to the entire family. I was in fear of him punching me, and when I tried to go back inside, he blocked my way.

So here I am at Nancy’s pad. I fill out the paperwork and wait. An attractive and cheerful woman greets me with a hug. We sit down and I commence to lose my shit, and cry like a child. She proceeds to ask me a myriad of questions, mainly about brain fog and forgetfulness. By the time she gets to what she thinks I have? My mind is moving one hundred miles in seventy different directions.

“Dissociative Identity Disorder,” she says in a hushed tone.

She gave me the reasons behind her thinking, admitted that it was too early to be sure, gave me a tissue and rescheduled. As I drove to the pharmacy on the way home, it hit me pretty hard. I broke down and called my brother from said pharmacy. I wept through my interaction with the cashier. They know me well. They were concerned.

I have a few questions for sure. I am not going to go head over heels into this without ensuring that she can help me with my PTSD and Narcissistic Abuse syndrome. The only time lapse I remember was two weeks ago, albeit a four hour lapse. I was reading my bible on the couch in the living room, the clock read 8:00 a.m. When I traipsed into the kitchen for a glass of water (I had just received a very upsetting email from my sister)and the stove read 12:30 p.m.

I would poo poo the whole thing if it weren’t for the dichotomy between my mellow self, and my ‘I will cut a bitch” self. But doesn’t everyone have another side to them? DID happens for a few reasons, but in my case she believes that I suffered such devastating trauma from emotional abuse in my childhood, that I created another persona if you will.

Emotionally and physically exhausted, I made an appointment with Nancy for next week. I won’t let this ruin my weekend, as God has the final say on what I am suffering from, and He alone has the cure. Be blessed family.

And She Was……

There is a well known fact in this household, rarely spoken of, but my heart beats for him continuously, and he has earned my adoration.  David Byrne, MARRY ME.  🙂  I had the pure privilege of seeing the Talking Heads at Emerald City in Philadelphia, circa 1980.  Front row.  The rolling melodies and heart thumping bass can still be heard in my head, and I am dead serious when I say that the female guitarist made a pass at me.  Ah, the good old days when rock was rock and  a spade a spade.

I had a horrible nightmare last night.  Or I should say this morning-Dwain had decided to go to work, despite the blizzard conditions-he wasn’t answering my calls, he was nowhere to be found.  I awoke in a cold sweat, extremely anxious and confused.  Moments later, while sipping hot coffee, I phoned my husband and my nerves were calmed just by the sound of his voice.  Strange way to start the day…….

As I walked down to the garage, to feed the feline community, I felt it-or, perhaps didn’t feel it is a better way to say this.  No pain.  During Lyme flares, my feet are constantly in pain.  Bone pain, muscle pain-I don’t let it slow me down, but the mere fact that I was pain free was reason enough to look up at the sky and praise Him.  My lymph node has diminished, and there is even a noticeable lift in my loafers.  Oh, how beautiful life is.  And here’s the thang-none of us are promised more than this day.  We have a choice-to be positive among the chaos and confusion, carpe diem,  or, as I did yesterday-we can pout, stomp our feet and be a miserable pain in the ass in general, bringing everyone around us on edge, walking upon proverbial eggshells.

I fail Him each and every day, by thought and deed.  I repent, ask for forgiveness, and concentrate on my future-with my main man, golden retriever and Yeshua-and between the four of us?  We have this, He is working in our lives, whether we see rainbows or coffins-the choice is ours, and I choose life-oh, my dear friends, I choose life~

 

 

I Think it Strange You Never Knew

I took what I wish I could tell you was my last drink in the beginning of October, 2007.  I ended up in the hospital after a suicide attempt, which is another story for another day.  What sobered me up was a combination of my husband’s frailty, my will to live and a gift-the blessing of clarity that comes from Jesus.  I won’t even try to tell you that this road has been easy.  We addicts push down the truth, and push our loved ones away-fact-and until we achieve sobriety?  Well, there will be no healing, no peace, no end to the pain that holds us in bondage.

Months afterwards, I was hiking in two feet of snow with my golden retriever, Dylan.  A shining star and beloved pet, it hurts my heart that I wasn’t with him for the first 5 years of his time on this earth.   I was here, but I wasn’t present, and I have no memory of what could have been the best years of my life, had I not succumbed to the melodic pull of oblivion.

So I am trudging up this hill, and I am overcome with love.  I feel forgiveness surround me.  I cry out to God and confess the absurd backslide I have taken with alcohol and pain medication.  I cry out to Jesus and I tell him to take my life, it isn’t mine to begin with, take it Jesus, mold me Jesus, cry with me and then I’ll get tough, I promise…….

“I have been here with you from the very beginning of time.  I have cried your tears, tasted the salt of your remorse, and I will deliver you from this travesty……”

I think it strange, I never knew….