Category Archives: Tender Mercy

Picture Pages, Picture Pages

Before the madness took over, I was into couponing. I taught a couple of classes even. I was not extreme like the TLC show, but through diligence and planning I saved quite a chunk of change. I still subscribe to a few of the mailing list and bloggers that taught me the art of stretching my penny.

So this morning when I looked through my Facebook, I saw a post that excited me. FREE 20 page photo book and FREE shipping. Two different codes, but stackable. I was super excited. I sorted and plowed through my digital photography. Uploaded each specially chosen one to the Walgreens website. Designed my book. Writing memories and capturing the story behind the pictures. Before long I had spent several hours designing my book. My neck and back aching from sitting at the computer, but I loved what would be my finished product.

Eagerly I proceeded to checkout. Entering my first coupon it took the cost of the book itself down to $0, then I entered the second code for the free shipping. Big red letters alerted me that I was not allowed to use it because it expired two days ago. My total came to $2.99. I am such a tight wad that I could not do it. My husband told me that I should, but I ended up getting busy doing other things. Now it is after midnight and that offer has expired. Oh well.

I guess the lesson for me is finding joy in the journey. It is not always about the finished product or the destination.

20140105-011424.jpg

Hello 2014, What Do You Hold In Your View?

I’m here. Yeah, still alive and breathing which is a plus. The last few months have been tricky and remain so. I had surgery in November on my neck for a herniated disk. My back is still giving me a fit and finding a comfortable position to sleep almost impossible.

Little Hope continues to cause to make my life a mess. I refuse to acknowledge her as part of me. My life has become that of a recluse because of the prison which she holds me in. Fearing constantly that she will take over. She ruined my family Christmas for me. Showing herself to my extended family. I hate her. I wish she would go away. You hear the cliché in movies that there is only room for one of us in this town, well that is how I feel about my body and mind.

As I write the tension and the anxiety wells up inside. I have been anxious for several days, fearing that something is going to happen to someone I love. Not that anxiety is new. This is just constant. I hear a siren, I turn on the scanner, or call my loved ones. Irrational I know, but I cannot shake the feeling. At night I wake up to feel my husband breathing, to feel his warm skin. When my Mother and I return from a doctor, I scan the sky for smoke to make sure our homes have not caught on fire while we are gone. When we pull in, I scan the yard to make sure my Daddy has not fallen. I am in a constant state of worry. As they read this, it will be the first time my family hears some of it. I am ashamed of it, but it is my life, if that is what it can be called.

I determined myself to start writing again, not allow the little bully within to stop me. I apologize for the negative post, I am trying to get the emotions out. Trying to be real.

What does 2014 hold? A lot more therapy. I hope I can learn to control the monster within. I am sorry such horrible things happened to her, they happened to me too, but she needs to let me be the adult and live. I try to explain to her that she is safe, and that she will be happy if she lets me live. She does not trust me. She often screams loudly in my mind. “If you are sad you must die.” or “That’s not fair. That’s not fair to me.” She does not want me to be sad, or to be too happy. So I live in limbo. Reclusive.

I communicate with friends and family via Facebook and texting. My immediate family I talk to on the phone or at my parents home. I cannot even attend Church right now because of panic attacks being around people. I miss going to Church. I miss spending time out. I miss me.

I do have hope for 2014. Hope that I can press forward and get to know the new me, and feel comfortable in my own skin. Hope that I will walk back into Church without a panic attack. Hope that will be able to date my husband again, I miss our dates. Hope of shopping trips with my Mother. Yes, others have resolutions of weight-loss and exercise. It goes without saying that I need to have those things on my list, but that will come.

Songs of the Heart Sunday: A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief

First thing this morning the word to one of my favorite hymns kept running through my mind.

Savior, may I learn to love thee,
Walk the path that thou hast shown,
Pause to help and lift another,
Finding strength beyond my own.
Savior, may I learn to love thee-
Lord, I would follow thee.

Who am I to judge another
When I walk imperfectly?
In the quiet heart is hidden
Sorrow that the eye can’t see.
Who am I to judge another?
Lord, I would follow thee.

I would be my brother’s keeper;
I would learn the healer’s art.
To the wounded and the weary
I would show a gentle heart.
I would be my brother’s keeper-
Lord, I would follow thee.

Savior, may I love my brother
As I know thou lovest me,
Find in thee my strength, my beacon,
For thy servant I would be.
Savior, may I love my brother-
Lord, I would follow thee.

I had decided to write my whole Sunday post about this song. It teaches so much about service and who our brothers and sisters are.

Then at church today we sang another favorite, but we generally only sing the first three verses, the chorister today was prompted to sing all seven verses. At the conclusion of the song, there was not a dry eye in the room, or one that I could see through my tears.

As I have thought about the two songs together, realize that the theme is serving one another, and not knowing what is hidden that the eyes cannot see. The song touched everyone in a different way, for different reasons.

A poor wayfaring Man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer nay.
I had not power to ask his name,
Whereto he went, or whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye
That won my love; I knew not why.

Once, when my scanty meal was spread,
He entered; not a word he spake,
Just perishing for want of bread.
I gave him all; he blessed it, brake,
And ate, but gave me part again.
Mine was an angel’s portion then,
For while I fed with eager haste,
The crust was manna to my taste.

I spied him where a fountain burst
Clear from the rock; his strength was gone.
The heedless water mocked his thirst;
He heard it, saw it hurrying on.
I ran and raised the suff’rer up;
Thrice from the stream he drained my cup,
Dipped and returned it running o’er;
I drank and never thirsted more.

’Twas night; the floods were out; it blew
A winter hurricane aloof.
I heard his voice abroad and flew
To bid him welcome to my roof.
I warmed and clothed and cheered my guest
And laid him on my couch to rest;
Then made the earth my bed, and seemed
In Eden’s garden while I dreamed.

Stripped, wounded, beaten nigh to death,
I found him by the highway side.
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment—he was healed.
I had myself a wound concealed,
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.

In pris’n I saw him next, condemned
To meet a traitor’s doom at morn.
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
And honored him ’mid shame and scorn.
My friendship’s utmost zeal to try,
He asked if I for him would die.
The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill,
But my free spirit cried, “I will!”

Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in His hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake, and my poor name He named,
“Of Me thou hast not been ashamed.
These deeds shall thy memorial be;
Fear not, thou didst them unto Me.”

Through out the song I pictured several people, but during the prison scene in my mind I saw one person. “Him”. As I sang the words, “He asked if I for him would die”. I knew the answer. I sobbed as I sang the words that echoed my own reply to “him”. I would and I knew I would. As terrified as I get when I see him, I do not want anything bad to happen to him.

My Mother was one of the speakers. She was sitting on the stand, I in the congregation and we locked eyes, I sobbed. I did not know what my face registered. I know when “he” usually comes into my mind or my PTSD kicks in Little Hope is evident on my face. I did not feel that so much, it was just the realization within myself that I would die for this friend. Then singing the next verse, was very overwhelming.

After Church and a visit to see my aunt, when we were about to turn into our drive we saw “him”. I was already holding my husband’s hand. I squeezed it tightly afraid to let go. My breathing increased. The words to that verse started going through my head over and over and over again. When I would allow myself to move on to the next verse I calmed down enough to get out of the car.

The Calendar Says It Is A New Day

It is a new day. I know because my husband’s alarm went off and he busied himself and readied himself for work. As we hugged goodbye, he said to have a good day, I said, “I think I am going to stay right here (meaning our bed) it is the only place I do not get in trouble.”

When I think about it, that is probably pretty far from the truth, but I did not mean to lie. I only meant that I do not mess with the world from this corner of it. I actually get in alot of trouble here, because if I do not sleep, I think. If I think too much, I see my pink medicine bag beside my bed, and often want to reach for it. I have always reached for the phone instead.

Yesterday, I am very afraid that had I been alone, I was so far gone, I would not have reached the phone. I felt as if I was controlled by “her” and “her” fears and insecurities, “her” pains and frailties, her abuses and abusers yelling loudly that “she” was bad, usless, and “her” life, my life not worth living.

My angel of a Mother knelt in front of me cradled my face in her hands and talked to us. Expressing love and support, and telling us we are not bad. Daddy sat in his chair behind her, and echoed each of her words. My parents are the best parents, so supportive. I hate that they are having to deal with this.

This morning, I am still in fight or flight. My anxiety lessened yesterday a little, Heavenly Father sent our “Tender Mercy” the deer that seems to come when we are having a really bad day. Then when I got home I explained the events of the day to my husband, my anxiety came back.

I recognize in the world this is small, in my PTSD world it is crushing. My parents had generously let me drive their new van to pick up groceries for myself and a couple of friends, because of my memory problems and so I would not be alone on the trip the friend rode with me. After we unloaded her grocercies I was headed home, and my phone rang, it was her saying that they accidently took part of the other friends groceries. Something told me to let Mother pick them up when she goes to deliver them to that friend, but I was only a few blocks away so I went back. When I turned on her dirt road a car came up on my bumper really fast and rode it. My friend’s gate is very narrow, and when I turned, I thought I cleared it, and it scratched and dented the right side of my parents van. My parents are not upset at all, or at least not expressing it in front of me, but I could not handle it. Humiliated and devestated are the mildest terms I can come up with.

Last night as I laid in bed, thinking of the day, and regrets, so many flashbacks came. I could not stop them. Gratefully I finally went to sleep…

I awoke once throwing the pillow that rested on my arm off because I had a nightmare of “his” legs pinning my arms down. Frozen in fear, my heart raced, and I listened to make sure I could hear my husband breathing, I then reached over and touched his shoulder for comfort.

When I have spoken to people about having dealt with depression and anxiety all my life and just recently having remembered the abuses. They say atleast now you know and you can work with them and move on. I am not at that point of being grateful that I remembered. I think I would have been better off thinking it was my inherited chemical depression and anxiety, because this is not living. My family cannot live and when they do they live in fear of what I might do to myself, if I lose touch with reality. I feel like I am not being fair to them, but I am fighting so hard. I wish I could just snap out of this.

I used to always think I would die in my 30’s, I am 39. I realized this week I have died, the life I once lived no longer exists. Yes, I breathe and have a pulse, but I do not live. I pray, sincerely pray that I can ressurect and be the person God intends me to be, pure and whole.

Find the Good Friday: Never Leave A Man Behind

This story of Marine Lance Cpl. Myles Kerr going above and beyond to never leave a man behind touches me so. You know that this little boy’s life was changed as Cpl. Kerr fell back to run with him. Cpl. Kerr may have ended up with the slowest time in his age group, but he won the race to me!

Another absolutely amazing story comes out of Peru. This story has the potential to change the lives of so many many people that it brought tears to my eyes. In Peru their annual rainfall is .5, however humidity is 98%, so engineers at UTEC designed a billboard, that’s right, a billboard that collects the humidity and dispenses water. It is amazing. You must watch it here.. I know this was an inspired invention.

Missed Anniversary-July 19th

I cannot believe I failed to blog about it. One of the days that will be a date I always hold dear, a day that family and friends waited while I had DiVinci surgery to remove my cancerous uterus, and waited to see if it was confined to my uterus.

July 19th marked my 2 year cancer free anniversary.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ME!

20130805-184009.jpg

Songs of the Heart Sunday: One Clear Voice

“And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-12.)

I am so grateful that I have been taught to listen for that voice, recognize, and that this weekend I have been given the strength and courage to act on those promptings.

Yesterday my husband and I had a wonderful day together, most of it enjoying the beauties of the surrounding islands. It was absolutely wonderful and relaxing. Nature is providing becoming a refuge for me. I loved sitting on the bench listening to the waves, the birds, the families, while feeling the wind on my face, and trying to capture on my camera the peace I felt.

20130804-205114.jpg

When the evening storms started to roll in I made my way back to the car a few feet away. Even driving through the storm was peaceful, almost symbolic, thunderheads around, rain coming down, yet bright sun rays shown through. I just knew that I would see “my rainbow”. I even changed my camera lens preparing for the gift that I knew He would send me, as if it was already in the works, claiming it as mine.

He sent me a rainbow, but not in the form of a colorful bow in the sky, but an email from MJ’s Mom. I claimed it as my rainbow.

When we came home, my husband decided that we would go ahead and pack up the two modems that we need to send back to Comcast. We found one, no problem. Packed it up ready to go. The other completely eluded us. We looked everywhere, for hours. My relaxing peaceful day gone. I was now anxious and frustrated, and experiencing the negative feelings about myself that automatically come as a result of my PTSD. I prayed several times as I looked. Finally after my ideas of where it could be were completely exhausted, and I was so triggered into negative thoughts about myself and my traumas I decided I needed to step back and work on my pictures to get into the now, and a peaceful point.

The more I tried the more I wondered where the modem was. Again, I prayed. This time pouring my heart out in gratitude for a great day, and pleading for the return of that peace. I told my Father in Heaven that I had no idea, where the modem is, but I knew that He did. I begged that He led me to where is was. I turned back to work on the pictures again hoping to feel a prompting to where the ellusive modem was hiding.

On our desk sits notebook that I scribble and doodle on. While waiting for the next batch of pictures to download, I scribbled.

20130804-221430.jpg

“Where’s the modem” (The black out is where I had scribbled my full name.) “I’m so frustrated. Urgh!!”

No sooner had I written those words did I hear that familiar voice. The voice that has guided me so many times before. “I am going to see if you trust me. Go relax in your chair in the livingroom.” when the Spirit speaks directly to you, you need to act. Relaxing. Not so easy, but I had asked, and I wanted to trust.

I went to my chair, but I continued to look. I looked on both end tables, and under them. I heard my name, then the word, “Relax.”

Inhaling deeply and exhaling slowing, I rested my head on the back of my chair. As I did my eyes rested straight across the room on our metal cd rack full of cds, my husband’s cane hanging from it obscuring the view of anything behind it, unless you were sitting in my chair. You could see maybe a half an inch or an inch at the very least. In that gap I saw the hidden, most literally, modem. I had such an overwhelming feeling of “Be Still and Know the I Am God.”

Heavenly Father knows cares about even the smallest of our problems. In the scheme on the world’s struggles, a lost modem ranks pretty low, but as His daughter nothing or no one ranks higher. He loves each of us so much. He blesses us for acting on those promptings we receive.

He knows each of us personally and by name. He stands beside us during our life’s teaching moments as they provide a springboard for other moments.

For me He knew that I needed that experience last night in trusting Him. Acting on voice of the Spirit, to feeling closer to the Spirit than I have in a while, to feel strong enough to recognize then act on the prompting today that will be pivitol in my journey of healing.

My alarm was set for 7:30. It did not go off. Awakened at 8:30, it would have been easy to to say there is no way, since Church starts at 9:00. However, I quickly did my hair and makeup, dressed, and jumped in the car. It was I few minutes before 9:00. My husband had decided to stay home.

As I turned on the highway to head towards Church, I saw him. My childhood friend, the one who many years ago raped me. My initial feeling was the fight or flight, then something else happened. It was a peace that prompted me it was okay, and it was time to pull over and talk to him. Reason told me it was crazy, Little Hope did not like the idea, but peace and the Spirit spoke calming assurance that it was going to be okay. I pulled several feet in front of him lest the closer he came, I change my mind. He walked by my window, I called his name. Reminded him who I was. He said he knew who I was, he made comments about where my Church was when I was little, so he did know exactly who I was. Other memories of our youth, he did not remember, or atleast his mouth could not relay what his mind was thinking. He many years of hard living on drugs as left him very schitzopranic like. As parted ways, he told me to be careful out there. That brought tears to my eyes. I still need to process alot from the meeting, but I feel like it is a possitive step in my healing journey.

Again I am so very grateful that I was able to talk to my friend, parent little Hope as she was afraid and let her know that I can take over and live, and we are going the be okay. Only through the comforting voice of the Spirit was I able to do these things. I am eternally grateful.

Whose Expectations, Extra Pressure

One of my worst character traits is caring way too much what others think about me, and trying to live up to perceived expectations. I have always done this, many nightmares past and present show this. Being in the deepest abyss of depression that I find myself these days, what seems to be the smallest comment to someone else throws me into a self loathing fit wanting to end it all. Literally masking anything good in life.

I hate that I am like this. I hate that I let others down, real or perceived. I wish healing was an immediate fix, but it is not. I am trying, but I often wonder why. Three or four steps forward seven or eight backward. Kind of like debt with high interest that you only pay the monthly payment are you ever going to get from under the debt?

Yes, my medications were changed last week. Last week. We do not know if they are going to work yet. Right now I do not feel any better, but it has only been a week. I do not like being broken! Makes this PG language speaking girl want to use some R rated language!! I hate that I even think it, because when little Hope comes she does not have the filter that I do, which is very strange, because I did not swear as a child either. I can bite my tongue, with her she just wants to let all the anger out. Maybe she is the smart part of me, I am afraid of the anger. I am afraid that when it starts it will not stop, and also that I become an ugly no Christ-like person expressing it. So conflicted.

I feel like I need a punching bag and put my face on it. Yelling, screaming, and beating the crap out of me would feel so good. Yes, I get frustrated with others, but I loathe myself. I expect too much emotionally from myself, expected to be healed today or yesterday because that is what others expect or at least that is what I perceive they feel.

I do not know how to turn off that part of myself so that I do not put my energy into what others think, but rather focus on healing. Right now I am spinning my tires and getting burnt out.

Lillie’s Pain Analogy

20130719-181750.jpg

I love this girl. Though she is my parents pup, her little heart beats in unison with mine. I suppose there are several reasons. I was the one who found her on Craigslist. My Daddy and I picked her up on a really rotten day for me. When her little toothless piglet looking self was handed to me it was instant love. During her first vet appointment the vet was very concerned for her survival. Between the dishonest breeder pulling her away from her mom too soon, to the genetic issues that she has from inbreeding, TLC was what it would take to make the cutest girl from Lakeland, Georgia thrive.

Thriving she is. She has gain two pounds, weighing in at a whooping 2.6 lbs. Today she went to have her second set of Parvo and Distemper Shots. Poor poor angel girl.

About two hours after the shots she started hurting really bad. Crying out when she was put down. crying if my Daddy held her. Crying when Heidi licked her. I called my Mother to she how her appointment went and I could hear my girl crying. I wanted to cry. Mother was trying to cook lunch, but every move she made Lillie Pie would cry out. I could not stand it. I told Mother I come down and relieve her to so she could cook.

When I walked in Lillie saw me and immediately tried to get to me, crying loudly the whole time. broke my heart into a thousand pieces. She didn’t know why moving hurt. Wrapped in her pink blankie, she finally relaxed in my arms and went to sleep.

So where is the analogy?

PTSD and Depression is like what Lillie experienced today. She went through the traumatic experience, but the pain did not hit, really hit until hours later. Then every time she thought about it, even in her dreams she would scream out in pain. I am sure she is sore, do not get me wrong, but the screams coming from this baby were so horrible. Unbearable agony. She did not know why she was in pain, she did not associate it with the shot anymore. As a matter of fact, at one point I noticed that she shied away from her blanket. I think she thought that her blanket was her tormentor. Often with PTSD we see those that are trying to comfort us as tormentors because we do not understand what we are feeling and experiencing and on what side of reality we stand during the experience. Nor do those that are trying to help use, and in helping us they sometimes bring us pain.Another thing that I thought about, and I recently talked to a dear friend about this as I tried to help them validate their feelings of childhood sexual abuse. You sometimes have very intense emotions that you cannot put your finger on a reason, I have always told my husband that. I am mad, sad, upset, or whatever, but I do not know why. My way of describing this to my friend was amputee victims having fathom feelings itches or pains in the limb that is no longer there. Phantom emotions cause similar experiences. Being detached whether it be time or geographically from the abuse and abuser, yet still experiencing the phantom emotions. You have them without thinking about your abuse, the feelings are just there, and much like the amputee, learning how to deal with phantom emotions is a key to healing and it is a journey. They will never go away completely as we will learn coping skills, we can begin to feel whole again.