Monday, January 30, 2012

Keys

I mentioned in my first blog about the power of words, "Sticks and Stones", that I had unexpectedly found the key to dealing with the damage caused by verbal abuse.  One reader commented that she was looking forward to reading about the key I had found.

I pondered her request wondering:  Why aren't I ready to delve into that realm yet?  What is causing me to hesitate and put it off?  Why don't I want to verbalize my key?  What is holding me back?

Perhaps because from early childhood onwards, I learned to keep things hidden.  To keep them close to my vest.  I learned not to share thoughts with others - especially those closest to me like my mother, father and sibling.  My communication was largely in my thoughts, not with others.  I  never really learned to interact with others as a child.

Somehow I grew up thinking that people could actually see my thoughts because they were so loud, so turbulent in my mind that I thought the words projected themselves out of the top of my head like the new alarm clock my husband was given that projects the time in LED coloured lights onto the ceiling of our house.

It took my years to realize that people cannot read my thoughts, as much as I can't read theirs.  I often look at my husband and wonder what the dear guy is thinking.  He's pretty good at being deadpan, keeping his thoughts and emotions from revealing themselves in facial expressions.  Not so me.  My face is an open book.  My eyes, the windows to my soul.  I am expressive.  I use hand gestures.  I speak with body language as much as words.  I would fail dismally at poker.  My face is too expressive.

Rather than using words, I learned to read people's faces, their gestures, the way they walked, etc.  When my children were young, I would watch for them returning from school in front of our house.  I cannot see distant images clearly; however, I would know which pair of youngsters was mine - by their body language.  The younger was what I call the original "no fear" kid.  The older, much more responsible.  I would watch this pair of youngsters walking down the street, one staying on the sidewalk, the other jumping on and off walls and know instinctively that this pair, whose faces I could not clearly see, was mine.

I learned also to read other people's speech patterns more than the actual words they said.  If someone said something in the same tone of voice, the same words, with the same inflection on certain words, than I would suspect those words.  Where did they come from?  Was the person parroting someone else's thoughts and words?  Or was it merely coincidence?

I became intuitive.  More than once I have amazed (and perhaps frightened) people by putting two and two together and coming up with the correct answer of four not by what they said or by any prior knowledge, but rather how they walked, how they talked, body language, etc.  Intangibles that spoke more loudly to me than words.

I learned to fear silence as well.  In my existence as a child, silence meant someone was angry.  In the early days of my relationship with my husband, he would become silent.  I would automatically assume he was angry about something.  I would assume I had done something or said something to upset him.   Because in the family I grew up in, the loud explosions of anger were accompanied by the ice of silence.

Where is this rambling headed?  It is background information.  A backdrop for the painting of words yet to be put on the canvas of this blog.

Tomorrow:  the beginning segment introducing the first, most basic key.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lye

The little me with big sister
Yesterday, I made a reference to vicious words being like caustic lye.  What would prompt me to use those words?  To even think of lye being thrown at someone?  To even know the severe damage, even death, that can result from a bucketful of lye thrown in someone's face?

Because it happened.  A long time ago. When I was a very young child.  To someone I knew.  Whose children I played with.  In a faraway time.  In a faraway land.  In a culture that no longer exists.

It happened in the mid-'50's in an apartment complex in Arlington, Virginia.  The post-war baby boom was in full swing.  Americans were jubilant.  We'd won WWII.  We were victorious.  President Eisenhower was in the White House.  America had gone from the depression, through the war years and had entered an unprecedented time of prosperity.  Americans were upwardly mobile.  Moms (for the most part) stayed at home with their children.  Dads went to work every day.  We lived in an apartment complex that was full of people like us, families, working their way upward to achieve that prize of their own home.  There was camaraderie.  The stay-at-home moms gathered their chairs together in a not-so-straight line every afternoon on good days to watch over the children playing in the courtyard - and gossip.  They not only watched over their own children, but everyone else's as well.  There was a measure of safety in that oversight.  Also a measure of fear as these women knew who you were and, more importantly, who your parents were.  One never knew what misdeeds might get passed on to unsuspecting parents.

In that era, in that time, in that place only whites lived in the apartment units.  Only African Americans were janitors. Still ... they were like family to us.  Father figures.  Kind.  Helpful.  All but one of them.

In the courtyard of the complex
We kids loved the fall of the year, when the leaves fell from the trees and were raked up into huge piles by the janitors.  We loved to run and jump into these glorious piles of leaves.  Feel the dryness, the crispness as they scattered under our jumps, our flailing arms and legs.  It never entered into our childish minds that we were creating more work for these men.  Most of them didn't seem to mind.  Maybe they enjoyed watching us enjoying the fall offering as much as we enjoyed jumping into the abundance.

Except one man.  He was young.  He was new on the staff.  We were warned by other children who had been jumping before we arrived not to jump in his pile.  He was "mean".  I didn't believe it.  Mean?  Our janitors were never mean.  I trusted in humanity.  So myself and some others jumped into his pile to face the wrath of one very snarly man.  He was indeed, as we had been warned, "mean".  Us children avoided this man.  We never went near him again.

My playmates had used their words to warn me about this man.  We children knew he was "mean" and to avoid him.  But no one warned our parents.

The place where the women gathered
The story didn't end there.  It didn't end with children and leaves.  It ended one tragic day when this man quit his job.  He spent the morning before he left in his unit, cooking up a lye-based concoction on his stove.  He then went to the unit directly above the one we were living in, a unit with a family of five:  stay-at-home mom, working dad, three young children:  two of whom were close in age to my older sister and myself.  We knew them well.  We played with the kids.

Midday, he knocked on her door.  She opened the door.  He threw the bucket of lye in her face, then left.  She ran around her floor knocking, pounding on doors in her pain and fright trying to get someone to help her.  Eventually someone must have.  She was taken to the hospital.  Prognosis:  survival impossible.

The back of the complex
Her "crime"?  She had walked on this janitor's freshly mopped floors to access the laundry room.  Later, my mom said that she had watched this janitor sit on the stairs watching, muttering to himself. What was he telling himself on those days?  What negative words did he tell himself that eventually turned into this action?  Was he simply angry that his work was being messed up by thoughtless people?  Why did he choose this particular woman?  Why did he single her out above the others in the building, including in my own mom?  I'll never know.

My mom often recounted how she had once walked on his wet floor to go to the laundry room.  Followed by the words:  "It could have been me."

 Fear followed us now.  Life, as we children knew it, was changed forever.  Trust was broken.

Words.  Words spoken to others can warn.  Words not spoken to warn can hurt others.  Words spoken to ourselves define who we are, how we think of ourselves eventually controlling our actions.  Words.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Words

Today, I find myself at a crossroads.  I began yesterday with the intent of exploring the deep wounds left by incidents in 2011.  Wounds I am still recovering from.  Emotional wounds caused by words.  Words dripping with caustic acid.  Emotional lye thrown onto the unwitting victim.  Leaving scars.  Gaping wounds.  Words that caused severe latent physical affects which I cope with on a daily basis.  Disabilities. Disconnects.  Leaving me among the walking wounded.

Yet, I have inadvertently tapped into a very deep well.  A well rich in content and contrast.  A well which deserves to be explored and brought out into the open.  Pail by pail.  Some pails to be discarded  into the sewage.  Other to serve as refreshing.  Like a cool glass of water on a hot summer day.  Some will water and nourish plants, causing their roots to go down deep and allow the plants to develop a deep root system deep into the nourishing earth to stand by them in times of sustained drought.  To draw sustenance from deep within.

Or have I tapped into what appeared on the surface to be a shallow gold vein only to find it much richer and fuller than I expected, branching off in different directions.  Which direction should I follow?  Which vein will yield the most gold?  The most value?  Or should I explore one a time?  Plumb the depths until they are extinguished then proceed on to a different vein?

Or should I tap until all the veins at random times as I see fit?  Will I find richness?  Or fool's gold?  Only further exploration will tell.  (Of course, with a blog when I find I'm going in a dead end, I can simply press the delete button and start over on another tact.  In real life, there are no delete buttons.)

 In this vein, I find myself musing on words.  Their uses - good and bad.  We use them to wound.  We also use them to encourage.  To communicate.  Communication with other homo sapiens could not exist if we did not have words.  Even if we grunted and pointed at an object or objects, we would still be pointing at an object that has a word, a name attached to it.

Newspapers, books, blogs, essays, you name it, all have words attached to them.  They wouldn't exist without words.

At left are pictures I took of signs etc. which took my fancy while on a trip to Scotland in 2009.  Again words.  I was fascinated by the words used in Scotland.  Different words than we use in Canada and North America.

Words.  I go to a small yarn shop for knitting instructions.  The instructor uses words to convey her meaning.  She also patiently shows me how to make the stitch.  Her primary means of communication is words.  The pattern is written in words.  Words to convey meaning.  Knit this many.  Purl this many.  Row 1 do this. Row 2 do that.  Und so weiter...  (translated:  and so on....)  The pattern may use diagrams and abbreviations, but they all go back to the primary format of words.  Words convey meaning.

I go to the rec centre for an aquafit class.  The instructor uses words punctuated by motions to instruct us on the current exercise.  The motions describe the words.  Not the other way around.

Words in speech can be used the same way.  Or they cannot.  We choose what words to say.  When to say them.  We choose whether the words will be negative or positive.  We choose whether to build up or tear down a person.  We choose what we say and to whom we say it.  We choose.  Always the choice is ours.  Always.

We must live with our choices.  We must live with the results of them.  So must others.

I live with the choices of words made by many people significant in my life at one time or another:  parents, friends, peers, teachers, managers.  Even people on the street or in the mall.
Life and death are in the power of the tongue.

More tomorrow:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"Sticks and Stones"

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me".  
These words from my childhood are vividly etched in my mind.  We chanted them in singsong fashion when someone was mean to us.  We chanted these words in a childish, fultile attempt to keep harmful, hurting words out.  To make sure they couldn't get anywhere near our souls.  To prevent damage.  To prevent breaking within.  We believed that if we said these words enough, we would come to believe them.  That words alone, verbal abuse, could not hurt.  Only sticks and stones, physical abuse, could.

What a lie.  That was the '50's.  Decades ago.  Another lifetime ago.  In a culture that no longer exists.  But words still exist.  Will always exist.

 Do parents teach their children these words now?  In the more enlightened 21st century?  Do children chant these words on the way to school or on the playground in this year, 2012, trying to keep the hurtful, harmful words at bay?

As I write these words, a saying from the wisest man who ever lived, an ancient king by the name of Solomon keeps overriding the childish chant that still rings in my ears:  death and life are in the power of the tongue.

Death.  Hurtful words, hateful words have the power to kill, to destroy just as surely as sticks, stones, clubs, guns, grenades and bombs.  Words leave invisible wounds.  Wounds just as deep, nay even deeper, than weapons.  Yes, weapons wound.  Weapons kill.  Weapons destroy.  The wounds, the suffering they cause are very visible.  But they only have the power to wound or kill the body.  Words have the power to destroy the person.   Who they are.  How they perceive themselves.  Their future.

Words.  Gossip.  Slander.

Where do these hurtful words come from?  Why do people hurt us, wound us?

Why?

I've cried out this "why" many times over my life.  I experienced what we now realize is verbal abuse from very young childhood up into my adult and middle age years.  I've carried the wounds deep inside me.  Never looking at them.  Pretending they weren't there.  Pretending they didn't hurt.  Didn't impact me.  Like an ostrich with its head hidden in the sand.  I pretended.  Things would go well for a while.  Then, without warning, events surrounding my life would mesh with those latent, invisible wounds.  I crashed and burned emotionally time after time, year after year, decade after decade.  The wounds deep inside had never been tended to.  Healing balm had never been applied.  The wound always denied.  Hidden.  Deep down.  Forbidden.  A secret chamber deep inside locked tightly.

And then, one day, the key was handed to me.  The key to unlock that deep, dark place.  That place of hurt.  For healing to begin.

What would I do with that key?  Or would I ignore it.  Do nothing?

More tomorrow.....

Monday, January 23, 2012

Time Out ... To Refresh

Starting this blog has been draining.  Intense.  I wanted a voice. Yet, I didn't expect it to take so much out of me.  I thought starting with my ramblings re:   Who Am I? would simply be a means of introducing myself.  I didn't expect the powerful emotions, the intensity that poured our of my soul into my fingertips.  Writing words as fast, nay faster even, than I could think.  Like the molten lava inside a volcano ignited by gases, the emotions took on a life of their own, forcing their way out to the open, pouring in streams leaving me open and drained.

So today, I need to rest.  To go back to those places where I found peace.  To those images which bring back good memories.  Which restore my soul.   To remember a leisurely walk by myself to the Parry Sound Harbour, looking up at the railroad trestle as I passed beneath.  Seeing the blue sky above.  The scattering of white clouds.  Feeling the tranquility of being able to pursue my own path for that moment.  To go where my feet took me.  To take pictures.  To enjoy what God had created.  To be me.

To remember that stillness in the early fall when the tourists have gone and Algonquin Park prepares itself for winter.  Where it is just hubby, myself and my camera.  Drinking in the tranquility.  Enjoying the barrenness of the fall as much as the verdancy of the summer.  A different experience.  One I treasure.
To go back to that place where I watched the sun go down filling the sky with glorious reds and yellows.  Backlighting the cloud on the right in such a way that it looked (to me) like an eagle.  Eagles fly high.  They are powerful.  Solitary.  Magnificent.  I imagine what it would be like to be an eagle, flying high, conserving energy on the currents of air.  I smile.  I feel at peace.



I remember the day hubby and I went to Snug Harbour on Georgian Bay (sometimes referred to as the fifth Great Lake) and there I saw this butterfly.  I was mesmerized by its beauty.  Its size.  Its colour.  I drank in the beauty afraid to spoil this moment by taking out my camera.  Knowing that if I did, the butterfly would sense my movement not as wanting to preserve that moment.  Not as wanting to record this for memory.  But as a threat.  After some moments, I cautiously took out the camera.  Turned it on.  The butterfly stayed at its task.  Allowed me to preserve that moment for times like this.  Times when I need to remember.  To reflect on the good.

I remember the day my cousin and I took a day trip to Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina to walk the Mile High Swinging Bridge.  To get there, we drove up a series of switchbacks.  Narrow.  Dangerous.  Yet exhilarating.  Once there, before walking on the bridge (a challenge for both of us), we stood at the edge.  Cameras in hand.  Looking down, back at the way we had come.  Snapping at the snake we had just travelled up on.  Proud of ourselves that we had made it that far. Encouraged to go that next step farther into our fears.




This brief respite refreshes me.  Encourages me to go another step farther.  To walk into today.  To remember.  To not be afraid.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I AM ....

I am:
kind
generous
loving
caring
compassionate

I am:
creative
passionate

I march to a different drummer
I don't always follow the crowd
  • in thought
  • in fashion
  • in logic
  • in belief system

I am:
a pray-er
a people person
hurt easily
a survivor of trauma
intimately acquainted with PTSD
strong
courageous
intuitive
aware of my needs

I am:
the sum total and composite of all my experiences, thoughts and feelings, both good and bad; positive and negative.  This is exemplified by my personality:  how I process things, my logic, how I handle situaitons, how I learn from situaitons, how I treat people.  I am not totally good or perfect nor am I totally bad or imperfect as those significant others in my former life alleged.  I have components of both good and bad within as does every one else in the universe.  I am unique.  There is only one of me.  I am NOT a mistake.  I may make mistakes on a regular basis - we all do and that is part of our humanness, but I am NOT a mistake.  God knew me and called me by name while I was being formed in my mother's womb.  God knew me before I was and already had a plan, a good one, for my life.

Now, all I have to do is find that plan.

Where is it?  How do I find it?


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Like a piece of flotsam washed up on the beach by the fierce waves, unable to pick my direction, at the mercy of the waves alone, I floundered through this time.  Through my thoughts.  Through my emotions. Each day brought new challenges.  Yet, each day was the same.  Depressed.  Sick.  Unable to enjoy life.  Unable to do the things I had once enjoyed.  My life was coloured battleship grey.  Constantly.  I longed to see colours in my soul again. Bright colours.  Reds.  Yellows.  Greens.  Blues.  I longed to regain that sense of excitement that I had had but a few short months prior.  I longed to enjoy life again.  I longed to feel good about myself.  I longed....

But first I had to muddle through this time as best I could.  To grasp the full extent of the horror.  To find out who I really was.

Who am I?  Who am I really?  A small group of significant, very vocal people negatively influenced my thoughts, perceptions, assumptions and opinions of who I was.  Like the waves in the sea, they were relentless.  Merciless.  Never giving up.  Never backing off.  Always on the attack.  Always looking for ways to devour me.  Were they family?  No.  Were they friends?  No.  Who were they then?  They were a group of people I spent eight hours of every working day with.  According to them, I was:
rude
disrespectful
confrontational

Is that it?  Is that what this was all about?

When was I rude?  The way I talked to others.  Not to them.  Not about them behind their backs.  But to unnamed others.

When was I disrespectful?  I am a passionate person.  I talk with my hands.  I talk with my body.  I have a slight hearing impairment.  All of which cause me to talk louder than someone else might.  That was the purported cause of the disrespect.  I was loud on occasion.  Aren't we all?

When was I confrontational?  Ahhhh, now that's a good one.  By nature I'm not a confrontational person.  I learned early in life to be quiet, to shut up, to never voice my feelings.  In fact, I was the proverbial doormat come to life.  Lying on the floor to be walked over.  Passive.  Yet, I was finally growing up.  Growing out of these behaviours.  Into healthier behaviours.  Learning to cope with life.  Learning to stand up for myself.  Learning to voice opinions.  Most of all, refusing to be a doormat any longer.  I was in a catch 22 situation:  if I said nothing, the situation continued; if I said anything, I was subject to gossip, slander, being reported to those above me.

Was I destined to crash and burn like the kite?  Or could I learn to soar above the ground?  Above the situation?  Could I learn to walk again emotionally?  To fly again?  To laugh again?

Could I?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Who Am I? Feelings

I continued slogging on through all the feelings, hurts, and anxieties. I started to express these ugly, turbulent feelings that were stored inside.  Fighting each other. Clamouring to get out into the open.  To be heard.  For validity.  These feelings refused to be denied.  Like a turbulent sea threatening to capsize a small boat, these feelings buffeted me at all times threatening to pull me down in their wake.  I couldn't get away from them.  When I slept, they woke me up.  They manifested themselves in nightmares, sweats.  When I was awake, they tormented me almost every waking moment.  They wanted to be heard.  They clamoured to be heard. They refused to be denied.  So I brought them up out of the darkness inside me.  Naming them.  Giving them an identity.  Recognizing their existence, their right to exist.

I felt:
alone
isolated
abandoned
violated
threatened
voiceless
powerless
faceless
adrift in a storm-tossed sea
valueless
angry
depressed
suicidal
anxious
afraid of people

Naming these turbulent emotions, previously in hiding deep inside my psyche, injuring and buffeting my emotions brought them out into the open. Where they could be heard.  They could have validity.  They could be examined.  Being brought out from darkness into light, they slowly, very slowly began to lose their awful power over me.

I had been brutally and viciously attacked.  I was bruised, battered and bloodied emotionally.  Physically I looked the same.  Emotionally everything had changed.  Physically, I would have been in the hospital under the care of doctors and nurses and other healthcare professionals.  Emotionally, I was left to wander alone gathering support in a fragmented way.  Physically, people would have seen the wounds, the damage and known how to respond.  Emotionally, the wounds, the damage was hidden from their eyes.  They had no way to see into the depths of my soul.  The depths of the damage.  I floundered.  They floundered.  And yet, somehow, miraculously, different people came out of the woodwork and offered an outstretched hand.  They didn't understand.  They couldn't.  Yet, they still reached out that hand for me to grasp, to hang onto for dear life and said:  "I care."  "You matter."  "I want to see you live."  Unlike the Pharisee and the Priest in the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan, these people didn't cross over to the other side and pretend that the bloody, battered heap of humanity lying by the side of the road didn't exist, didn't matter, was odious and unclean.  Gazing intently on the bloodied body of a struggling human being, like the Good Samaritan they stopped, reached out a hand, and offered assistance.  May God bless them.

Continued tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Who Am I? Continued

At this time in my life in mid 2011, I had no value.  I had no purpose to exist.  I had no worth.  I continued to struggle to find out who I am.  To find a reason to go on.  A reason to get up in the morning.  A reason to survive the day.  A reason to go to bed at night and repeat the same process the next day. And the next.  And the day after that.  To hold onto any branch, any outstretched hand that presented itself to me.  To grab onto hope however small, however fragile.  To grab and to not let go.  To hold on for dear life.  And so I continued on with with my exploration of who I am:

I crochet
I bead
I love flowers in bloom
I love to walk around my yard especially in the spring and see the shoots come up through the ground followed by the stalks, then the buds and finally the flowers in full bloom.
I love to be around growing things
I love to take pictures of anything and everything; scenery, plants, people, you name it - I snap it
I love to canoe camp with my best friend and husband (same person)
I love to cook



But am I the things I do?  My talents and abilities?  My passions?  Is this who I am?

People who know me well would say that I am:
caring
kind
loving
compassionate
treat people on the fringes of society with dignity
The above traits are exemplified by:
bringing over food to those in need
babysitting the grands so that my daughter and son-in-love can have couple time
crocheting baby blankets and prayer shawls, praying for the recipients, their needs and circumstances as I create the garment, stitch by stitch
But is this really who I am? What I do for others?  What I give to others?

Do these things make me who I am?  Do they give value and purpose to my life?  Or are they empty pursuits?

I am plagued by doubts. By insecurities.  By fear.  The horror, the trauma pursues me daily.  It infects me every day, every hour, every minute.  I can't move away from it.  It's a constant in my life.  There.  Unwanted, but always there.

Why?  Why did these people hate me?  Why did they harass me?  Why did they bully me?  Why?  Why?  Why?  What did I do to deserve this?  All the things I've written above show that I'm a good person?  Why couldn't these people see that?  Why?

The answers evade me.  Why?  Because there are no answers.  I will never know.  All I can do now is to slog through the miry clay that clings to my ankles like quicksand threatening to drag me down.  Making it so very difficult to wade through. Taking all my energy.  All my strength.  Leaving me exhausted.  Depressed.  Anxious.  Fearful.

Will I survive?

Continued tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Who Am I?

This question haunted me during most of 2011.  Why 2011?  Why not 2010?  Or 2009?  Or a different decade altogether?  Why now?  Because I went through a devastating series of  traumatic events from 2006 to 2011 all stemming from the source source which ultimately culminated in severe depression, inability to work, inability to even talk at times.  Life as I knew it changed - and changed suddenly without warning.  One day, I was working; the next I was not.  One day, I was functioning well; the next day I was not.  One day, I knew who I was and was secure in that knowledge; the next day the rug had been forcibly snatched out from under me and I was not.

I kept asking myself:  Who am I?  Who am I really?  Do I have any value?  Any value at all?   Is there a reason to keep on?  Or should I just give in and give up?  Either crawl into a ball onto my bed, lie in the fetal position and stay that way unmoving, unresponsive, unaware of the circumstances around me, unable to be hurt anymore by anyone?  Or should I take a permanent resolution to the pain?  The first option I decided was not a good option because I would wind up in the psych ward.  A relative tried it once.  She didn't like the results.  Besides, then you end up with a permanent psych record.  Who wants that? Certainly not I.  The second option?  That one I did psychologically explore.  Yet my family rallied around me, telling me I mattered.  Telling me:  we care; we love you; stay with us.  Were they right?  I didn't know.  But in fairness to them, I had to find out before I explored option #2 any further.  They deserved that much from me.

It all boiled down to the original question:  "Who am I?"  I needed to find that out.  I started out by putting random thoughts on paper.  That was more than seven months ago.  The next few blogs will explore excerpts from those ramblings.  We start with relationships.

Who am I?
A Godly woman
A child of God
Made in His image
Not a mistake
Loved by God
A prayer warrior?  I used to be, but am I now?  A pray-er?
A wife
A mother
A child of an aged mother
A sister
An aunt and a great-aunt
A grandmother
But am I who my relationships are?
Are these enough?
Do they make me who I am?
Do they impute value to me?

Relationships are important to me.  As you can see, I put my relationship with God first as He has been a constant force and rallying point in my life since the early, turbulent '70's.  Then there were the perceptions of how other people see me in that relationship.  I've been the one people, especially, in the family have called on for prayer.  And many of those prayers have been answered - some in startling ways (more of that later perhaps in a later, much later, blog).

But am I who people perceive me to be?  Do I feel like that strong pray-er?  No, I felt weak.  Weak as a newborn kitten.  Totally dependent on others for my nourishment for nurturing for the basic emotional necessities of life.  I was no longer strong.  I was weak.  Down for the count.  Not able to be a real grandmother to  my grandmother; a real mother to my children; a real wife to my husband; a real pray-er to those in need; a real help to my sister; a blessing to my aged mother.  I was stuck in a real life battle for survival.

In the end, which side would win?  The side for survival or the side for annihilation?  Would these relationships be strong enough to turn the tide?  To be my Personal Flotation Device in the stormy seas of worthlessness and depression?

More tomorrow.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Ramblings of a Deranged Mind - Preamble

There is nothing worse than the blank page.  It is pristine.  Unfilled.  Waiting.  Expectant.  Terrifying.  But as the words come, the page becomes less blank, more filled, it's waiting and expectations starting to be fulfilled.  Less terrifying.

Starting a blog for the first time.  Writing the first post is all of the above - and more.  Will people read it.  Do I even want them to?  What if people don't like it?  What if the wrong people access it, don't like what they read and retaliation?  What if?  What if?  What if?

But what if people, starting with a small circle of close friends and family, do read it and do like it.  What if it becomes a voice for me, restoring my power and control over my life?  What if?  What if?  What if?

So therefore, I have decided to follow the advice in the Nike ad:  Just do it!  Just do it!  Take that blank page.  Fill it up with words taking away its pristineness.  Taking away the fears.  Learning to swim by diving into to the pool and just doing it.


So today, I start.  I get my feet wet.  Heck, not just my feet but my whole body - hair and all.  Today I jump in fearing that I will drown and not rise to the top.  Yet my whole body floated up to the top.  My legs kicked.  My arms moved.  My head emerged through the barrier of the water to the freedom of the air above.  Breathing once again.  Feeling exhilarated.  Triumphantly, I swim to the side, hoist my body onto the deck and look back at the fear.  I've done it.  I've done it.  My first post on my new blog.  Yes!  I've done it.