Elijah

Let’s get this song out of the way, shall we?  I have been reading about Elijah in the book of Kings-and that was supposed to be my “Elijah” song.  So, after realizing that I have been singing my heart out to the wrong lyrics for twenty years, I just said, screw it, use it.

I have been doing quite a bit of bible-dipping (a technique I picked up from the book Running With Scissors-a book I highly recommend) in which you pray about an issue in your life, or, like me-pray for what Jesus wants me to know this day.  I flip through the pages of my bible, and let’s just say-99.9 percent of the time, he gives me the exact wisdom I need at that exact moment in time.

So, anyway, I was reading about Elijah, and I came upon a bio on his life and ministry.  The words that caught my breath were these:  Elijah was sent to confront, not comfort.  Elijah spoke God’s words to a king who often rejected his message because of the messenger.

Elijah chose to carry out his ministry to God by himself, and as a result he was often misunderstood by his peers.  His one mistake was not to trust others.  This is where it gets good peeps, after the miracle of Elijah defeating the prophets of Baal, Queen Jezebel threatened to kill him.  He felt afraid, depressed and abandoned.

Holy crap on a cracker that spoke to me.  Goosebumps when the aha moment struck.  I have been in situations (stories to come) that no one finds themselves in, mostly jobs, sometimes churches….where I am left burning bridges for opening my mouth.  I have been fired for standing up for some injustice or another, more than twenty times.  No exaggeration.   And each and every time I found myself in an unholy war?  It never sunk in.  God was working in those scenarios, mostly at my expense, (I totally get his sense of humor) by using me to open my huge mug and cause absolute chaos (was never a small thing, and always involved a major life transformation.  I can look back now and laugh, but some of the crap I went through?  Jesus mighty it was a three ring circus….for twenty plus years.

Everything makes sense now.  It truly does.  I am a modern day Elijah.  Who would have thunk?

 

She’s Got the Look…….

via Daily Prompt: Glaringhttps://youtu.be/8gRRou8rJgc

Blame it on my Irish blood, but I have been known to give the evil eye, and judging from what friends and family alike have noticed, it will kill you dead.  My husband has tried to break me of the habit of staring at people, and for the most part?  I don’t believe it is as much of a habit any longer.  But looking back, I believe that my temper has down right terrified those who have been the subject of my ire.

As a teenager, I suffered from anorexia nervosa.  I still have an eating disorder, and it is on my bucket list to have it addressed at some point.  Don’t get me wrong, I eat, and no longer suffer from bulimia, but I will only eat one meal a day, and this has led to some pretty awkward situations, let me tell you.   Give my mother in law a call, and ask her about holidays with me, I am sure she’d be thrilled to get some things off her chestSadly, I don’t even give myself a break during holidays, and she has glared at me more than once.  I don’t blame her, anymore anyways.

The point is my anorexia made me mean.  I didn’t know it until years of therapy and research later, but I was starving to death so my emotions and electrolytes were off.  My sister and I shared a bedroom phone.  It is legend in the suburbs of Philadelphia that I scared the absolute life force out of her friends.  They would hang up if I answered.  Looking back, I can’t even believe it was me.

I come in a small, 5 feet, 0 inches and weigh about 135 pounds.  But hell hath no fury, and I mean no fury like that of a daddy’s girl who doesn’t get her way, or who has been treated unjustly, or even worse-seen other vulnerable people be taken advantage of.  I have fought for what I believe in since I can remember.  I remember, in sixth grade?  A little snot named Kim Something was the Crossing Guard.  She had a chip on her shoulder that manifested in all of it’s glory on poor, unsuspecting, why does this shit always happen to me? girls and boys.  I remember one day I spit out my gum and she wrote me a ticket.  And there I am, at Belmont Elementary, in her face screaming “IT’S BIODEGRADABLE YOU ASSHOLE!!!!!!”

Another incident comes to mind:  I was a waitress through my twenties at a Houlihan’s in King of Prussia.  I loved the people I worked with, but there were a few exceptions.  One afternoon, hung over and praying my station would close, another waitress butted in line for the computer.  I snapped.

Why don’t you do another line, Sady?  Go do another line so you can be faster at doing nothing but getting in my fucking way.”  Yeppers.  Yelled it right out into the dining room.  My boss was literally speechless.

I pushed Mark Folsom down the church steps after he picked on my brother one Monday evening, after CCD.  He broke his front teeth out, and I couldn’t have been more pleased.  He didn’t try that again for a long while, not until High School-where my brother surprised the crapola out of him by knocking him out in the hallway.

As Christians we often presume that we are to be as meek as church mice.  Jesus overturned a table or two at the Temple, and standing for something means not falling for anybody else’s bullshit.  God made me to roar like a lion when something is evil, and I pity the fool who mistakes my kindness for meekness.

Don’t let anyone take you out of your integrity.  Fight hard for what is just, and remember-you didn’t really do it if you didn’t get caught.  🙂

 

Love Lives On

This has been a Summer of profound loss-and I am doing my very best to keep it together right now.  The subject matter is loss of a beloved pet, so if you want to move on, well, I understand.

We live on a farmette, seven acres of trails, orchards, gardens and cats.  At one point we were feeding 17 stray cats-we didn’t have a pot to piss in, but we fed those babies.  When you live out in the country, people drop off unwanted animals.   They come in all sorts and sizes, and the end result is always the same-we love them, they pass on, we bury them.  In the Winter of 2004, we were cat free.  During a blizzard, I happened to look out of my laundry room window-there she was, a beaten up, starving kitten.  It took months for her to acknowledge me, but I fed her twice a day and as she was full of piss and vinegar, tended to her wounds, her babies, and her voracious appetite.  We couldn’t afford to have her fixed at the time, and she was the grandmother/mother of every cat I now own.  I named her Precious, because she was just that.

The other night I awoke to an ungodly sound.  Jesse, my golden retriever and I headed for the front door-and as soon as I opened it?  The sound disappeared.  The other morning, I heard it again, even with my headphones on.  A sinking feeling in my gut, I counted each and every feline:  where was Precious?  It is impossible to check every inch of this property, but she never misses a meal, and in my heart of hearts I know she is no longer mine.  We never stop loving the animals who have passed, they are our children and the pain may soften, but guaranteed, it will put you down on your knees again: a picture, a song, or even a trip to the vet can cause a reemergence of grief.

In loving memory of Precious Hoffman.  Your heart will live on.

O Brother, Where art Thou?

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I swear to God in heaven that I was going to write satire today, as I know I needed it, and maybe a few of my readers did as well.  I was preparing a little number about my husband’s hilarious bedside manner if you will.  I saved the draft, but after just promising my brother that family was off limits for my writing career, I write a blog about, well, family.

When I grew up, Craig and I were very close-he was my best friend.  Our crazy childhood was a bonding agent, and that explains why it was so hard for me to let go of him when he went out to California.  We were younger, stubborn, and hadn’t matured in the way we finally and fabulously have now.  He on one side of the country, me on the other.  When this song came out, I don’t know why, but to me it was “our” song-maybe it was the girl with the long blonde hair…..I don’t know, but I could literally feel his presence when I heard it for the first time.  It was so comforting.

When we went out to visit him ten years ago (prior to my sobriety, and I have to say-I had a blast and it was worth it) I cried from the minute he walked away, through the entire flight back home, and for weeks and weeks straight.  I was going through such a depression (alcohol didn’t help) when we came back from LA, that my therapist agreed to hypnotize me to the place I felt safest, and for whatever reason, my brother’s apartment was the scene.  It ended up to be a futility, as it turns out, I can’t be hypnotized.  (I once went onstage with 40 other people at a Renaissance Faire.  The magician was going to put us all to sleep.  Imagine my surprise when people fell over by the dozens, and I was the sole person sitting up and alert on the stage)  I felt loved and understood out there, had quality time with my adorable niece, his wife and their cats.

But I have something to say, and in our family-let’s face it-it is very difficult to talk of our feelings.  But this is on my heart, my brother, and I want you to know that I am so thankful that we made it out of the shitstorm, and back to one another.  You have always seemed to get me, and I feel a lift in my loafers at the prospect of a genuine friendship once again.  Having just one person understand you, know your entire history, appreciate your uniqueness and faults as well as your assets, well, that person is a keeper.

He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother………..

Paranoia Will Destroy You…….

I had just begun to settle in, feel like myself again, feel real joy…..when the shadow people paid me a visit.  No, not THOSE shadow people-my family of origin, as my recently fired psychologist likes to call it.  They seem to think I am owed nothing in this life, not even my writing-and then a discussion with my bestie, in which she told me I was wrong to include information about my nieces and nephew’s childhood.  At first, I argued the point.  And then, sadly, I came to the conclusion that she was right as rain.  One sentence out of one blog post had effectively terminated my integrity, and for that I am deeply disturbed.

Speaking of anxiety, you would be amazed at what triggers CPTSD, and why.  The texts from the Adirondack Mountains, in which my husband was placed in the middle, again-well, that was just the tip of the iceberg.  My weekend was ruined the minute Dwain spoke the words, “I need to tell you something.”  A friend of mine, Gordon, and I were laughing hysterically in church yesterday: we were laughing at the way people give you bad news and how they preface it.

“By the way……..”

“Don’t shoot the messenger…….”

“I didn’t want to have to tell you this,” and the most mind crippling of all?

“You’re going to be really upset, but….never mind, I shouldn’t be the one to tell you this,” which leads you to think the worst about the people that surround you, your husband and the SAT scores you had in high school.

CPTSD triggers can come in many forms, shapes and sizes. and we don’t see them coming.  One word, one look, one bad day…and the anxiety comes back, full throttle, in your face, mocking the idea that you have a right to be happy and at peace.  They turn your world upside down, and as far as you have come with your emotional health?  Well, that is all shattered and you have to start at the bottom, again.

But the fight is worth it, to get back on top.  And I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

 

 

Being Who You Really Want to Be….

 

When you have CPTSD, each day is  “thin ice.”  For years, drinking was the only way I had the strength (beer balls) to make it through another 24 hours.  I was running at warp speed: from my past, my present and what I thought to be a lack of future.  I had no self esteem, and the drunken dialing, quitting jobs and going in the next day, not remembering you called your boss the day before and read her the riot act, can we say stress?   I once worked as office manager for a doctor.  I had to beat her in every morning, so I could make sure I checked the voice messages for my own voice, saying God knows what.

I couldn’t bare an iota of criticism, and I attribute some of that to my troubled relationship with my mother.  I remember the day I confronted my father, at age twenty-one, about the fact that he never told me he loved me.  It took all of the courage I had to say the next few words:

“I love you, daddy.”  What had I done?  What if he didn’t say “I love you too, honey,” in that way he had of comforting me with the certainty that he would keep me safe, no matter what?  Where had this come from?  Who are you and what have you done with Michele?  Don’t get me wrong, I was a pretty ballsy chick, despite my mother’s best attempts at terrorizing my life and ensuring I was afraid of everything: from getting killed in a horrible bike riding accident on a suburban road, during the day-when the only driver on the road is the kid next store with the Big Wheel; to driving on the turnpike,  (where you just know that you’re gonna blow a tire going 65 mph, or an eighteen wheeler named Christine is going to ride your sweet ass for six hours,-and that is if she doesn’t ride right over your dumb-ass self; to the tragedy that all three of us kids thought we were terminally ill well into our thirties.  Mom was petrified of dying – the first sign of a cold and she ran for the hills man.  She had real, devastating illnesses (cancer, emphysema, bone breaking osteoporosis) and we lost her at 59 to a tumor on her ovary.

I digress.

My father, putting his arm around my shoulder said, “I love you too honey.”  And it would have been a perfect moment to look back on years later, if my mother’s voice (we had no idea she was at the door of the deck) hadn’t dulled the sound of my father’s.

“It looks like the f***ing whore got to you, Steve.  Thought you were smarter than that…….”

But here’s where Yahweh comes in and saves the day.  If you are smart (sadly, I was not) you will give your life over to the one who gave it to you.  If you have wisdom, you will give all of these burdens and bruises to God, and ask that his will be done.  And if you’re a genius?  You will not take them back, ever, ever again.