Tag Archives: emotional

Soil or thorns?

Warning: A very long and crappily-written whine sits below. I’m not sure if “crappily” is really a word, but there’s a first time for everything.

I was reading an essay from on Bible.com talking about how to know if you’re ready for the Second Coming. I don’t normally think about the Second Coming at all (which the article said wasn’t a good thing), but I thought of it because there was a “blood moon” last night-a lunar eclipse that made the moon look blood-red. I’m not sure how that happens, but that’s not really important. I’m not sure I’m ready, or if it’s really something I should think about.

Anyway, I got to a part about soils, which reminded me of the parable of the seed sower…some fell among the rocks (didn’t take root at all), some in the thorns (that took root but it wasn’t very deep and could easily be removed), others fell into the fertile soil, took root, and grew. There was a point in my life that I would have considered myself one of the seeds in the soil…hungry for the presence of God, devout in public and in private, taking root and growing. For the past few years, however, I’ve felt like a “thorn”. Or, in keeping with the story, “among the thorns”. It’s not that I lack faith or have stopped trusting Jesus so much as that I don’t think about Him as much as I used to, don’t always keep myself from sin, don’t read/pray as much/go to church/seek to serve.  When I do pray, it’s more of a short babble than anything else. I can’t remember anything in the sermons or liturgy in church, assuming I’ve paid attention to begin with. That bothers me, but what bothers me the most is that I used to feel God’s presence and love very deeply. Even if I wasn’t bouncing up and down in my seat with joy, I felt a deep happiness and peace. Other times, I felt a deep gratitude, a deep feeling of reverence and felt the significance of everything around me.  But I don’t anymore. I don’t feel much of anything. I know that I should appreciate things like that, should be hungry for God, should seek Jesus and put Him first in my daily life. That I should make Him my master. And yet, I sometimes see church or Bible study as an obligation, a duty. I don’t have the excitement I used to, or the deep love and need I see in other people. I don’t feel the “high” I used to…come to think of it, I don’t feel the “low” either. I don’t feel anything.

I spend a lot of time reading online and playing Candy Crush on the couch with Grey’s Anatomy or Bones on in the background. I know I should do more, serve more, write more (for pay or otherwise), but I don’t. I end up wasting time without intending to. I’d say it’s depression, but I don’t feel sad. I don’t feel hopeless or helpless. I don’t feel anything.

Do you see the pattern here?

I know it’s possible that it could be my medications at work. I know it’s possible that I could just be deeply bored. It’s just frustrating that I can’t tell if this is the reason I feel so numb or if it’s become I’ve become a “thorn”. If I have either moved to different soil or never was that deep in the first place.

Is it possible for someone to become a thorn, to be choked by the weeds in the rougher part of the soil when you used to be deeper?

I know I should do something about this, but I know that the moment I get off of the computer here I’m either going to take a nap or go back to watching Dr. Phil while playing games on my iPod. If I start a “program” or whatever, I know I have a tendency to forget about things and never finish what I start. I haven’t finished a book in months.

My friend K told me that the fact that I know I should be feeling something, know that something is significant and powerful means that I’m on the right track. She also says that my bipolar/ADHD could be to blame, since one of the major problems is the inability for anything to “stick”. The Velcro doesn’t work. I wonder, though, if this is true or if it will be seen by God as an “excuse” for an unwilling, seared and stale heart or if this is part of what’s behind my numbness.

So I ask anyone reading this-is it possible for someone to have thought they had taken root when they actually hadn’t? Or maybe they took root, but they weren’t as deep as you thought? Is the numbness something all Christians deal with, or is it just me? I know that my current Episcopal church is nowhere near as emotionally-charged as the Baptist/Pentecostal/non-denominational churches of my past*, but I used to think that was a good thing. Is it really? I have no desire to go back.  Does my lack of thought and feeling mean I’m not really saved, not ready and never will be?

And how can I get that “about me” section below every post to stop showing up? 🙂

Thanks for indulging me.  I’d better give Haley (cat) her pill and let her out before she plots her revenge on me. Assuming she hasn’t already. 🙂

*In fact, the numbness was part of why I left. It was the inability to feel God’s presence, the feeling that He hated me and left me, that pushed me to seek treatment for bipolar. I’d suggest this was the case now, but I’d have to feel something to do that. Oops.


The Darkness Within

Forgive me for the randomness and rambling, but I’m in a strange mood I can’t seem to shake.  …not even with ridiculous Bell Biv DeVoe songs, so you *know* must be bad. 🙂

There have been a lot of really messy things in my life, things I can’t always explain. It’s been easy compared to others, but sometimes I feel as though my own heart, my own mind is taking revenge on me. I know it could be worse, but sometimes it is hard for me to see that.

I have an illness-bipolar disorder-that can make me feel as though there were something else inside of me, controlling my thoughts and actions. I do not want this thing to define me or rule my life, but there are times when I can’t really do anything else.  An ex once told me it was a “demon” or “spirit” that needed to be cast out, which I will explain in another blog post. I would normally say he’s full of shit, and I still think he is, but the truth is that it can sometimes feel as though he is right.  He might have meant well but the truth is that he doesn’t understand this, and probably never will. I don’t fault him or anyone else for that, especially considering the fact that sometimes I don’t understand it either. I can read all the self-help books in the world, can spend hours in prayer, do all the things that work for everyone else but for whatever reason, it doesn’t always help.  I’m not saying these things are useless by any means, but they are not the “cures” they are for other people. Again, I don’t want it to define me but I can’t think of any other reason. I’ve had some form of depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember, but I thought it was just normal pubescent angst or a weakness on my part.  As positive and friendly as I usually am, medication has been my saving grace. Surely there is some reason God is allowing me to have all this-in fact, I know there is -but damned if I can figure out what it is sometimes. People give me advice, and I appreciate their concern. There are just some things that people-however well meaning they might be-simply won’t understand until they have been there themselves.

Sometimes, though, I hear something that speaks to me…that tells me, this person knows what’s in my head. This person has ‘been there’…

I love Nine Inch Nails* for this very reason…listening to Trent Reznor and people like him can be very cathartic. Anyone who writes like this just knows:

Hurt*

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that’s real

The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything

 

So I don’t run afoul of any copyright laws, you can hear and read the rest here: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/johnnycash/hurt.html

And as if that wasn’t dark enough:

Something I Can Never Have

 

I still recall the taste of your tears.
Echoing your voice just like the ringing in my ears.

[Chorus:]
You make this all go away.
You make this all go away.
I’m down to just one thing.
And I’m starting to scare myself.
You make this all go away.
You make this all go away.
I just want something.
I just want something I can never have

Again, copyright: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/nineinchnails/somethingicanneverhave.html

I’m not quite as dramatic as all that, but it is a strange comfort to me to have this sort of thing to refer to,  if only for inspiration for my own (crappy) writing.

*This is the Johnny Cash cover; his voice just fits so well.


“People Just Don’t Get It”-reblog?

Last week or so, fellow blogger http://aopinionatedman.wordpress.com nicely offered up his space to those of us who wanted to post as a guest author. He has a *much* bigger following than I do, so of course I jumped on it. One of the people who commented on my post “How To Be A Good Friend To Someone With Bipolar Disorder” has a blog of her own called http://learningtobebipolar.wordpress.com. There are a lot of awesome posts there, but one particularly stood out to me. I’m not sure that this is re-blogging so much as “tag-team” blogging-using each others’ words as a basis for our own. Carrying on a conversation, if you will. The “unfettered” post is linked here as well.

I am so so irritated when people use someone’s mental illness as weapon in an argument. Sure, it might be true that I am over reacting but I don’t need you to tell me “you’re only acting this way because you are bipolar”. It’s possible that’s a true statement, but it is also painful coming from someone that you put your trust in. I personally don’t really care what anyone says. If you want to use my illness against me, then I don’t need you in my life. And if you love me you will take the time to learn how to be supportive without being nasty and making me feel guilty and like I am less than because I have these problems.

How true. Sure, sometimes I’m mad at you (generic “you”) because I’m having an episode. More than likely, though, I’m mad at you because you’re being a jerk.

One thing I miss about the times before my diagnosis is people taking my reactions seriously. I’m not saying everyone does this, but I think some people use the fact that I have bipolar as an excuse to avoid taking responsibility for their behavior. I’m not saying they should have to walk on eggshells, but sometimes I wish they’d realize that the things I’m mad about are things anyone would be mad about; perhaps not to the same degree, but still mad. I am now and have long been very difficult to set off and very unlikely to participate in an argument or even stand up for myself. I suppose that is one reason some people don’t take the times I do show anger-or any emotion, really-seriously, but I wish they’d see that that’s just how I am. It is a very rare person that has that effect on me. Then again, I can’t fault people who didn’t know me before my diagnosis. Or the people who have that effect on me.

It’s so frustrating when I hear that people have been treated badly or that someone they love has used their worst fears against them. Admitting that you may have a mental illness is no easy thing, for most people. And when you are seeking and looking that closely at yourself it doesn’t help for someone else to push it in your face.

Hear, hear. Even though I was relieved to get my diagnosis (I was treated for depression first) because it told me that there was a name for what I was dealing with and a way to treat it, it really hurts when someone gets at you for something you can’t control.

And being supportive is so easy sometimes. Of course, there are times when it gets hard to be supportive all the time…

…especially when you don’t know what’s going on with us. Sometimes we don’t either.

Continue reading


What would you call this? Possibly triggering and annoying babble…

The part below-above the asterisk row-was written a long time ago, but I got the idea to post it here because I’ve read several stories from my friends about similar issues and thought I’d add my ‘me too’ and let them know they’re not alone.- PQ

Okay, many of you who know me have heard me talk about this. I had an idea of what to call it, but some conversations with a friend made me wonder. What would the name be for this situation:

I was in a relationship in college. It lasted about 3.5-4 years. We did not have intercourse. But there were many things of a sexual nature that I did that I did not want to do. Stuff like fondling, oral sex, ‘dry humping’, using his fingers on me, etc. There were times when I did want to do things, but there were many times when I didn’t. Sometimes he would do something like touch me sexually and I would say no, but he would continue. Sometimes I would end up enjoying it, but not always. He would make sexual comments about me and other women, and some of his friends did too. When I would say something about it, he would make me feel as though I was wrong, too ‘prudish’ (I had been told before by other friends that I was too judgemental about sex), that I needed to ‘loosen up’. Toward the end, I would get quite angry and would not want to show any part of my body to him, would be very ashamed that anyone knew we did stuff, etc. He would make comments about it to argue with me and seem/get angry, knowing that I didn’t want to hurt or make people mad. Basically he was playing on my good nature.

He would manipulate me into doing many things. He’d use tactics like lying/pretending to be sad that I didn’t want to fool around, arguing with me, giving guilt trips, etc. If I were talking to anyone else I’d call it “coercion”, but for some reason I draw a blank when it comes to myself. We got along well sometimes, so I basically did things because I felt like I had to. I thought that that was just what you do, that I had to have a ‘tradeoff’ and give sexual favors to get the good things like support, etc. There were several times when I would wake up and he would be touching me sexually.

He would occasionally say something like an apology and that he was doing wrong, and stop for about a week or so. But he would shortly go right back to the same old thing. I stayed mainly because (as I see it now) he manipulated me and got me to where I felt dependent on him or didn’t feel strong enough to leave. Once, when I did break up with him, he would come up and try to be my friend. He would give advice to me about guys I was interested in, tell me how I deserved better and swoop right in when they left me alone. Come to find out, they mainly did that because he was harassing them and interfering.

I know the emotional and psychological stuff would be abuse, but what about the sexual stuff? At the time I didn’t know it had a name or that anyone would believe me or think it was wrong because he was my boyfriend. Also, there were times when I did want to do things, or ended up enjoying it.

Would that be a separate type of abuse? I thought that ‘rape’ had to be forced intercourse, and there wasn’t any of that.  I was talking with a friend, and she said something that make me reconsider that perhaps it really *was* rape because of the use of fingers. She also said that my eventual enjoyment of it was irrelevant, that it was the fact that he did not take no for an answer and that he did this consistently over a long period of time that was problematic. That prompted me to start reading on the internet about the subject, but I got different ideas and definitions from different sources.

What do you think? What would the name be for this, if any? I was using ‘sexual abuse’, but my friend’s comments made me wonder.

******************************************

The above was posted on Beliefnet.com a while back in the form of a thread on the Sexual Ethics board:

http://community.beliefnet.com/go/thread/view/43931/13270689/What_is_the_name_for_this

As  you can see here, I got some good responses and some nasty responses. They all told me things I’d already thought of: that it was my fault because I stayed with him and because I had done things in the past; that it didn’t matter what happened in the past, that it was still wrong for him not to take ‘no’ for an answer; that I didn’t set clear enough boundaries and gave him mixed messages, and so I was just as wrong; the whole ‘why didn’t you leave him?’…same old same old.

I don’t want to go on about how I’m a victim…I *hate* that word! I’ve managed to have good relationships with men since then, even if my view of sex might have changed a bit. What’s strange is that this whole thing still effects me, 10+ years later…probably affects me more now than it did around when it actually happened. I’m told that is fairly common.  I just hate how, even now, even seeing his *name* or someone who looks like him shakes me up.  In fact, I was working on a project about abuse in relationships a while back, but had to table it for a while because thinking of it all started weighing on me and I would find myself thinking or talking about it so much that it got in the way of other, very important things- things like taking Facebook quizzes and drooling over blonde male Aussies on TV. 🙂  Can’t have that, now, can we? 🙂

I tend to make jokes to try to deal with things, even if some don’t think I should.  I refer to this ex as Psycho Rapist because I think it sounds funny but I also don’t want to say his name. There are just *so many levels* to this relationship.  I had low self-esteem, didn’t think what I wanted was very important, thought I had to please people or else I was a bad person, thought it was a matter of taking the good with the bad, etc…typical thought patterns of a person in an abusive relationship. However, sometimes it still hits me. Not at this moment, but sometimes it takes very little to bring thoughts back up.  Now, there were some decent things and some fun things, and I keep trying to tell myself that, but I still keep going back to the negative, especially when I read about a friend having a bad situation. I hate that my friends have had these sorts of things happen to them.

Seriously, though-a few months ago he sent a friend request to me on Facebook. He sent and I ignored them three different times (he even sent them two days apart from each other), and ended up blocking him.

I’ve asked myself, friends and spiritual advisers about forgiving him about three or four times in the past few years, but for some reason I can’t seem to drill anything through my head. I’ve wrestled with that sort of thing many times, although lately I haven’t really.  It comes and goes. I just feel so weird because I know he can’t hurt me, probably doesn’t want to, he’s married, it’s been about ten years since I last saw him, etc…but still seeing his name kind of ‘kicked me’. This is what sometimes goes through my head: I keep going back and forth in my head remembering how I thought I had forgiven him a long time ago…actually, more than once…but every now and then I’m reminded of things, and back to square one. I feel bad because he didn’t hit me or anything…besides, it’s Facebook, what could it hurt? But I don’t like looking at another friend’s picture because that picture resembles PR…I still use that name…but it was so long ago and I should be past this by now…Round and round and round it goes…

But anyway, my question is if there something wrong with me spiritually that I keep thinking I forgave him but still feel shaken up by seeing his name.  I know forgiving doesn’t always mean that you have to have a relationship with that person and I don’t necessarily want bad things to happen to him, but shouldn’t I be at the point where I don’t feel nervous when I see him? Isn’t that kind of holding everything against him all over again? The verses about God not forgiving us if we don’t forgive others keep coming to mind.

As you see, I’ve become an expert in self-flagellation. I would *never* suggest to anyone else that they weren’t going to be forgiven if they didn’t forgive, or that they had to have a relationship with someone who hurt them. He just brought me back in so many times by using that, by manipulating me and appealing to my good nature. Appealing to my faith, basically anything really he could find a foothold.

I’ll stop babbling now; I’m probably not making sense anyway.  As you can tell, I’ve copied and pasted from other things I’ve written before, but I’ve thought I might as well because I keep going over the same things in my head over and over again. Most of it has never been published before, so it’s kind of like writing it for the first time.


Somewhat random whine…

Don’t you hate it when you think you’ve gotten over something, put it behind you, only to realize you hadn’t? To wonder if you never truly can?

Don’t you hate it when you can’t decide whether or not you have a right to feel something, or if you are making too big of a deal out of it? If you are ‘playing the victim’, ‘trying to make everyone feel sorry for you’, or otherwise blowing it out of proportion, to quote the person who did it? To quote your father, even if he wasn’t talking about you?  If you are just being a baby/bitch/whiner/princess/etc? If you are making yourself feel bad on purpose to get attention?

Doesn’t it suck to think all of these bad things or ask all of these questions about yourself when you would never do that if you were talking to a friend with the same feelings?

Doesn’t it bother you when you find yourself making excuses for the person or behavior, or trying to talk yourself out of feeling the way you do? Especially it was this very tendency, this very lack of self-esteem and tendency to look at the positive, that made the abuse possible to begin with?

Should I be afraid I will become bitter? Even if you don’t really see why you would, or don’t think you have, but still wonder about that anyway?

Is it weird for a person who doesn’t believe in taking revenge to inwardly laugh or feel good when her male friends offer to ‘handle’ her ex? Especially the more, um, creative ideas? 🙂

Isn’t it frustrating not to be able to put a name for what happened to you, or to not like the sound of the words? Or to feel that you shouldn’t use the words because they normally apply to something you see as much worse than what happened to you? To feel bad about telling anyone because they’ll be mad at you and think you are ‘belittling’ what happened to them if you use the same terms? Or to wonder if anything out of the ordinary happened at all?

Doesn’t it suck that remembering something or someone that hurt you and being triggered by it makes you question your faith and whether or not you’ve really forgiven? Whether or not you’ve been taking the Eucharist unworthily?* To wonder whether or not you’re going to be forgiven for your sins because you haven’t forgiven someone else’s sins against you?  To question whether or not ‘sins against you’ is even the right phrase for it? To question what forgiveness even means, and to remember every Scripture verse that ‘convicts’ you, but none that comfort you? Especially if this very line of reasoning contributed to the situation you are ‘supposed’ to have forgiven?

Isn’t it awful when you feel like you can’t even trust your own thoughts, feelings, actions or beliefs? When you have to keep repeating the same stuff over and over again to yourself, but it doesn’t seem to sink in? When you ask your friends about things like this that confuse you but are so obvious to everyone else?

Don’t you hate it when everyone else sees something for what it is, but you don’t, no matter how many times you have to beat it into your head?

Don’t you hate feeling that you should be ‘beyond’ something by now? That you should ‘be over it’, Even though you would never say that to someone else?

Isn’t it annoying when you ignore or turn down someone’s Facebook friend request because you want to forget about them, but they keep on asking, so you have to keep on seeing their name until you finally block them?  When seeing that name or picture throws you off and you have to remind yourself that he can’t hurt you again, or that hopefully he’s grown up and just wants to be friendly? When you have to block someone because they don’t get the hint that you don’t want to be their friend the first couple of times you turn them down?

Don’t you hate it when you can’t even look at some of your college photos because you are triggered by the sight of one person in them? And you could go through the photos and put a sticker or something over his face, but that would mean that you actually have to look at him?

Doesn’t it suck that seeing one picture, hearing one name, can make you feel like years of therapy, spiritual counseling, help from others and self help efforts haven’t done anything? As though all of the progress you’ve made disappears into the mist so easily and you have to start all over again, just because you saw a stupid picture?

Doesn’t it annoy you when you don’t know how you will feel about something or someone from one day to the next? When you keep going back and forth between positive and negative, thought and feeling, healing and injury?

Doesn’t it suck not to be able to look at a friend’s profile picture because he reminds you of someone who the very sight of unnerves you?

Don’t you hate it when you have dreams about someone but are doing to them what you should have done back when you knew them? When you wake up feeling rattled, or you think you hear yourself yelling at them in your sleep? But isn’t it oddly satisfying when you beat the crap out of them in your dream?

And isn’t it awful when you write all these questions out and feel better, but hate that you even felt all this stuff in the first place?

*Yes, as a matter of fact, I am a master of worrying, made so by years of experience.  I give lessons on Fridays.  🙂

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Enquiring minds want to know…

Okay, so I used the tagline from one of the worst tabloid rags of my generation. Sue me. 🙂

I seem to always be asking questions. Whether this is a blessing or a curse, a good thing or bad thing depends on who you ask.  I’ve managed to infuriate many a professor or preacher without really meaning to. Anyway, I’m bored and I have a blog and you don’t, so you are going to listen to everything I have to say. 🙂 Here goes:

-I wonder if cats can be trained to do household chores. Slater likes to ‘knead’ so much, I wonder if he can be trained to do that on our backs on command.  Maybe then he’ll actually earn his keep.  Yeah, right, and I’m a supermodel. 🙂

-I wonder if I’m ever going to get my hip fixed, or if I should even try right now. I’ll just have to get the replacement replaced in about 20 years anyway, but that actually isn’t a huge problem.  In a sense I really want to but I don’t know if it’s ever going to be a ‘good time’ with money and all that.  So I’m afraid to get my hopes up and then have them dashed again.  One reason I want it is because I can’t have kids until I do, but to be honest I wonder if that’s even a consideration.  I’m not going to explain one of the other reasons…let’s just say I lost a lot of the motion in the left hip, and leave it at that.

-I wonder if I’m ever going to get this song out of my head:

🙂

-On the tip of #2 , I wonder if the fact that I am 32 and my ‘biological clock’ isn’t ticking at a deafening volume like those of my friends is God’s way of preparing me for not having kids, or telling me that it’s not the best idea.  I’m probably overthinking, but I’m concerned about the bipolar causing problems. It’s not so much about passing it on, although that is a very distinct possibility, especially since it’s on my husband’s side of the family too. No, it’s more about not being able to get through the pregnancy without meds or possibly not being a good parent because I’m too busy throwing things at my reflection in the mirror because my husband and I can’t afford our meds and stuff for the kid too.  Most of the time I don’t really ‘act mental’…in fact, my brother-in-law says he’d never have guessed that I even *have* bipolar, I seem so even-headed. *laugh* If he only knew…:)  Seriously, it doesn’t usually run my life but I can’t plan on that, especially during a pregnancy. We talk about adoption, but I’m not sure that would be much better, or if the state would even *let* me adopt. We shall see.

-I wonder what I’d look like with a shaved head.

-I wonder what I did to deserve such a good husband, or what he did to deserve being saddled to me for life.

-I wonder if I’m ever going to get past this obsession I have with being clean and thinking I have body odor when my husband, friends, mother, and even doctors have been telling me I don’t. Oh well, there are worse things to be obsessed with than bathing, like Italian sausages and celebrity plastic surgery.  🙂

-I’m still trying to figure out why I should care about things like which actor’s dating who or what perfume the president’s wife’s former roommate is wearing.  This is an exaggeration, but not much of one. I guess I should be happy that things are boring enough to where this stuff is all the news networks have to run, but all this reality-tv, celebutaunt stuff is making me wish for better days…like the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal.  At least one person involved in that was intelligent, if only for knowing not to inhale.

-I wonder if I am ever going to work full-time again, or bring in a regular income that isn’t from the government.

-I wonder if it’s possible to walk a cat on a leash.

-I wonder what my husband would look like in a tutu.

-I wonder what people from high school and college think about how I turned out, or if I should care.

-I wonder if there’s any correlation in the facts that I have a long line of overweight alcoholics in my family and that we share our name with popular brands of Scotch and shortbread cookies.

-I wonder if I will ever get to where I don’t feel like I have to fill the silence with random stupid crap.

-I wonder if I’ll be alive to see which Nostradamus predictions and Armageddon/End-Times scenarios turn out to be true.

-I’m sure I have some sort of purpose on this planet, but I wonder if I’ll ever figure out what it is.

And, the most important question of all-

-I wonder if I’ll ever figure out that a person with hypoglycemia should take a break to eat before getting involved in a project so that she doesn’t have to suck down yogurt and sweet tea at midnight so she doesn’t feel like the room is spinning.  If you notice me getting bitchier as this post goes on, that’s why. Yeah, that’s my story, I’m sticking to it. 🙂

And on that note…

I’d welcome any answers you have, or further questions…even flame mail would do.  I’m still sober, I can take it. 🙂

And now I am going to shut up for a moment and line the catbox with the previously-mentioned tabloid.  I’m not sure what smells worse, the trash in the box or the trash on the pages.  Maybe by this time next year I’ll have figured it out. Later!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]Oh, and, Happy New Year.

Lessons learned in 2009

Throwback Thursday-this was originally posted in 2009, but I’ve added a few pictures and made other updates.

 

I know we still have a week or so left in the year, but I can’t guarantee I’ll be coherent enough to see straight by then.  Here are a few of the lessons this past year has taught me.

-I am not now, and should never be, defined by my job.  I felt like I lost a part of myself in this past year or so when I had to stop trying to work, simply because I have done it for so long that I didn’t know a whole lot else.  There are a lot more details about the ‘progression’ in this and this post. It was, however, the best thing I could have done for myself.  I’m wondering now whether the series of disappointments I mention in the links above were God’s way of showing me what was really important in life, or preparing me for something else? That is something my friend M suggested, and very well might be true. It’s not the first time I’ve heard/thought of this, but it usually takes me a couple of times to get things through my thick skull!.  He works in strange ways, ways I often don’t understand or like at the time but that turn out to be just what I need. I am the worst person in the world about submitting and/or trusting Him sometimes and not trying to do everything myself. I’ve had a lot of trouble with my faith in the past few years, which gives this realization even more weight. This might sound offensive to some, but I wonder if parts of my life thus far have been sort of a ‘man born blind’ story-where I am made weak so that the glory and power of God can be shown through me? If so, bring it on!

Okay, I’ll stop preaching now. I just have to keep reminding myself that there is a reason for everything.

And somebody pass me my raincoat…:)

-Related to the above, this past year has reminded me of how important friends and family are, and how they matter a lot more than how much money you make.   I now remember why I decided not to go to law school after college-I didn’t want to be killing myself at an office 80 hours a week trying to pay off student loans, and not have time for a life.  It’s just not worth it.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail has to be one of the funniest movies ever made. I’d seen it before, but because of my insanely silly husband, I’ve gained a new appreciation for Monty Python. It’s educational too. If not for that movie, I might not have ever learned the truth about rabbits:

🙂

-I could easily be dead right now if not for the hand of God.  All accounts of my accident given to me by my doctors, family, and even the insurance adjusters tell me that it’s a miracle that I survived, much less can walk and take care of the house.

For those who have not heard the story, I was hit when pulling out of my subdivision on the way to a new job. I was hit T-bone style (perpendicularly) on the driver’s side by a Ford F150. In case you haven’t seen one of these trucks, they are quite massive and one of the toughest, heaviest pickup trucks out there. My Saturn was turned from a four-door sedan into a crumpled pile of metal within about a few minutes. Here’s the writeup with pictures:

saturn close up

Close-up of Saturn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Please pardon the unevenness of the pictures. WordPress hates me today.)

I got out of it with a punctured lung and a broken pelvis,  and that’s just what I’ve been told about. I spent a month in the hospital, half of it restrained and sedated to keep me from waking up and ripping out all of my tubes…I’m told I did this quite often! I had extensive physical and occupational therapy, essentially learning to walk again.  On the up side, at least some of the therapists were cute. 🙂 Don’t ask me how it all happened because I don’t remember…I don’t remember a single thing about the wreck itself, nor the first two weeks in the hospital.  The only pictures I’ve seen are from the newspaper, and those are just of the cars; I’ve never seen one of me. Truth be told, I’m not sure I want to.

My friends tell me that my memory (or lack thereof) was God’s way of protecting me from further trauma. Given the nightmares others like me have had, I believe it.

I’ve told this story in my head and to other people about a million times, and each time I do I remember how it could have turned out. I was hit by a truck that can tow a hippopotamus, for God’s sake. I have to keep reminding myself of this when I start feeling sorry for myself for the things I cannot do.

-I now know even more uses for the ‘F’ word than before.  You tend to rack things like that up when you work in restaurants.  I think I’m up to 20 now.

-Some people can be real idiots. No, I didn’t just learn this now, but I’ve gotten plenty of reminders.

-It’s okay to ask for help, and you are not less of a person for needing it.  People who would make you feel as though you are are usually completely clueless and deserve to be ignored.  They can be useful, though, if only to remind you of the point above this one.

-I love taking pictures.  I don’t, however, love being in pictures.  I am not photogenic at all, and the fact that my siblings are and that my brother used to model doesn’t help.

See the picture a couple of points up, of the ambulance? That’s about as much of a “selfie” as you’ll get from me. 🙂

-There are a lot-and I do mean a lot-of things I didn’t know about my family that I could have used growing up.  I understand that I was pretty young during one particularly interesting period, but knowing some of the things when I was ten that I overheard by eavesdropping two months ago could have saved me a lot of time, anxiety and money for the therapist.  Well, maybe I would have still needed the therapist, but it would have at least given me more of a head start! 🙂 I understand why I wasn’t told many of these things at the time and that some things aren’t what you want other people knowing, even in the family.   I was just a kid, I can see why someone wouldn’t want a kid to know a lot of things.  It was just really, really weird hearing my dad talk about things that defined my and my sister’s childhoods as openly and casually as he would talk about yesterday’s newspaper.

-Don’t look down those in need, or others who are referred to by Jesus as ‘the least of these’.  Most, if not all, of us are going to be ‘the least of these’ at some point in our lives.  Some of us already have been.

-Some people can be real idiots.  Sorry, did I mention that before? 🙂

-Cats make good alarm clocks. Ditto vacuum cleaners and hot water bottles.

-I am probably the most self-absorbed person I know. At least, that’s how it feels sometimes.  However, I think that is part and parcel when the depression hits. It’s hard to see a whole lot else when you are trapped behind a black curtain with only your own mind for comfort.  Oh, and, I’m overdramatic too. 🙂

-There is something wonderfully comforting about making a Chef Boyardee pizza kit and chocolate chip cookies from the freezer section.

I’m sure these aren’t the only things I learned this year, but they are the ones I can think of at the moment. Hopefully in the coming year I will continue to learn, and perhaps have more interesting things to say than my usual drivel.

Oh, and, if you want to argue with anything here, that’s in room 12a. 🙂

 

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