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child abuse

Growing Old Is Getting Old

 

It has been a wild ride, these last 50+ years. This winter, the shoulder pain has been tougher than ever. CBD oil helps immensely though!. If you’ve not tried it, I highly recommend it. The oil helps my ADD and pain. I also recommend turmeric with curcumin. That stuff is an amazing natural anti-inflammatory and scientists agree that it has benefits and warrants more research. It works wonders for arthritis and joint pains from injury. Aches and pains are just there to remind us of the fun we’ve had I suppose, but growing old really does get old some days!

It’s good to be back here in a space I have always held so near to my heart. Butch Ramblings was my healing journey and my happiness. Ramblings was my home for a long time. I blogged my way through isolation, heartache, stupidity, growing pains and more. Someone once said to me that it was’ time I settled down and put down roots somewhere.’ That life isn’t meant for everyone. It isn’t meant for me. I’m an adventurer.

Don’t let people tell you what to do. You do what is best for yourself and you’ll always be fine. Trust me on that. These are my roots right here. This is my legacy. This website will be around long after I am gone. Hopefully that won’t be for a little while yet. On the other hand, if it happens tomorrow, I’m prepared. I’ve lived a good life and I’ve come to terms with most of the lessons I have learned along this path. I’ve had ups and I have had downs.

I’ve had many sleepless nights. I’ve had other nights where I have slept like a log. I have awakened with clarity over things I had been worried about. I’ve ruminated over a decision for far too long. I have still made the wrong choice. In fact, I’ve made a lot of bad choices. I’ve also made some pretty damned great choices. The universe is awesome that way because there is balance in everything we do. The wisdom that we receive, once we are open to it, is pretty amazing.

I have heard people whine about losing their trust of others. I’ve seen people place blame on everyone else in their life for all the messed up shit they have been neck deep in for years. At some point you have to take responsibility for yourself and realize that you’ve been an asshole to everyone around you and that’s why nobody sticks around. At some point you choose to trust or not to. You either get tired of living a life that is an empty shell or you get down in it and get dirty. Bathe in the mud!

I’m a mud bather. I admit it. If shit gets deep, I’ll swim out into it a little further just to see how deep it will get. I figure once I have some mud on my boots I may as well get really dirty. I take chances on people. I walk away from people fast too. Things that will get me to walk away fast are people who become passive aggressive. People who don’t know when to shut up or respect my space drive me cuckoo too. People who, in every single conversation, relive the past and place blame on other people constantly. That gets old really, really fast. At some point, stop being a victim in your own novel. Choose to be the hero.

That’s all of my deep thoughts for now. I’ll move on to reality. I am living with a friend who is letting me use her place as a staging area before I make a big move that I’m not quite ready to talk about yet. While here, I’m trying to help her as much as possible. She’s getting older and her house has been falling into disarray for the last few years. She broke her back and has had difficulty with mundane tasks. My goal is to do some work, help her put into place some things/processes that will make it easier for her to function, and make sure that she has what she needs to survive. Right now we are in the middle of showering her with Christmas gifts, thanks to so many Facebook friends! I’m so blessed to have really good, caring individuals that I’ve met there and I choose to keep them around in my life! Such GOOD we get accomplished as a tribe! Love and kindness really do go a long way in keeping people in your life.

I have plans to do some wildlife photography soon, while I still can. I’m writing again, while I still can. Last year I was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. In other words, the capillaries in the backs of my eyes have been bleeding. It clouds the vision over time. It has slowed drastically with my blood sugar more under control but the odds of me going blind in time are very high. My eyesight is not what it used to be and I have issues already. I miss little typos here and there. The doctors at the Kittner Eye Institue in Chapel Hill, NC,  also noticed that I have a cataract on my left eye. It isn’t really operable and it is from scar tissue, likely from blunt force trauma. Apparently, according to them, I’ve had it my whole life since infancy. It is very old and that explains a lot about my sensitivity to light. Lasting effects from childhood abuse I presume but don’t really know for sure. At any rate, my vision is an issue but I don’t intend to let it stop me. When the time comes, I’ll see about voice recognition software and dictate.

I’ve been playing guitar again over this last year. I promised myself that I’d do something for myself, personally enriching, for my 50th year on the planet. I’m having the time of my life with it. I used to noodle around with some chords a long time ago. I’ve picked guitars up and put them down a dozen times over the years. I never really got enthusiastically involved in practice and learning because I never really knew exactly where to start. Fender Play got me down the right path. Technology is so advanced these days that there are lessons online everywhere and I’m really absorbing them. I love it! Best thing I’ve ever done was to pick it up again.

I have plans to begin submitting articles, with wildlife and outdoor themes, to some magazines in the outdoor genre. I have lost a lot of weight in the last year and gained a little winter weight back but I’m on an indoor bike trainer that I was able to plop my Fuji mountain bike on so I am hoping to get that weight right back off plus some more. My mental state is free and easy these days. I’m not running from anything or to anything. I just AM. It’s a great place to be! I’m living life for me. I spread a little joy here and there and just work on being the best me that I can be. If everyone else did that, the world would be such a better place! Don’t you all agree?

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Categories: ADHD, aging, child abuse, death, life lessons, love, self-help, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lost And Found – Getting Home

 

This is the type of thing I love to write – part of this is based in fact, but told like fiction. Emotions dictate, music added to set the mood for you to match what I was feeling as I wrote … and in the end – a message. I hope that you enjoy! Take the time to listen to the music and let the messages sink in.  ~ Jesse

 

A wall paper

 

 

 

 

I Keep Holding On

I was awakened by the smell of ocean air and the sound of waves softly rolling up onto the beach. The breeze blowing through the screen of my camper was cool as I snuggled down further into my comforter and pillows, not quite ready to give up on my cozy slumber. My mind began to drift as it always does in the early morning hours; half in and half out of sleep. I thought about the day ahead and what I would do with the hours. So much time on my hands left me with constantly seeking something to keep myself busy. Boredom truly can become exhausting.

I began thinking about my last conversation with Raleigh. She truly left me puzzled sometimes. Raleigh was that sort of woman who would tell you to not try to fix her problems; she just wanted me to listen. She would clearly tell me that she had boundaries. This wasn’t what puzzled me – I was glad to have a forthright person in my life who wasn’t afraid to talk about anything. What left me confused was the way that she would jump in, whenever I was trying to vent about something, and start offering suggestions and tell me what I should do. I sighed out loud and thought to myself that it was probably my own fault for not setting my own boundaries. I decided that day that the next time we talked, I’d address this issue and the way I felt about it.

As I swung my feet out of bed, I made my mind up that the next time we talked, I was going to have to tell her how this was making me feel. I didn’t like feeling like I wasn’t allowed to share my feelings about something without being chided for being negative. I knew I was not typically a negative person, but felt that everyone deserved to feel down sometimes and should be able to share that with someone they they trust. Getting told what to do and told not to react the way I did, just made me feel like I had to close part of myself off…and I hated that feeling. It didn’t feel safe. I spent a lot of time being “up” for other people…fans, friends and sometimes suicidal people that I volunteered to help listen to and encourage to get proper help. I felt like I had to maintain for them all…but in private, I needed to feel safe to be able to just “be” however I felt. I shook my head because it made me feel sad. I had to get the thoughts out of my head and I decided that a walk on the beach was in order.

I stumbled past the galley and into the tiny bathroom to relieve my bladder before making my way back to the coffee maker and starting the morning brew. As it slowly dripped and steamed, the coffee began to emerge in the pot. I put creamer in my big plastic coffee mug and then went to go put on some board shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt. As I was slipping on my flip-flops, the coffee maker groaned and gasped for air as it gave birth to the last few drops of caffeine that would start my day out perfectly. I poured my cup of coffee into the large mug and walked out into the world.

The campground was beginning to stir with evidence of life. I could smell someone’s breakfast cooking on an outdoor grill. I saw another family stowing gear and rolling their hose and electrical cord. They were just passing through; probably on their way to some attraction or theme park.

My flip-flops tossed the sand into the breeze and I could feel it on my shins as I made my way to the beach, only a short walk away. The closer I came to the water’s edge, the finer the sand became and eventually my toes were baptized by the cold water creeping onto the shore. It only took a moment for my feet to grow accustomed to the cool water and it began to feel so good that I slipped my flops off and tied them to the string hanging from my waistband so that I could walk with free hands. Why is that as soon as your toes hit cold water, you feel like you need to pee?

My toes sunk into the cool, wet sand as I enjoyed the walk. Every so often I would feel a hard shell and stop to take a closer look at it. While I rarely picked them up, I was always on the look-out for the perfect shell. Sometimes I would come across a clam but never had the heart to remove them from their environment and eat them. Typically, I tossed them out into deeper water to ‘rescue’ them from other clam hunters. I hadn’t killed a spider in years. I’m not sure I honestly have a mean bone in my body, though I was able to show my Scottish temper from time to time. I knew I could get testy about some things … especially when it felt like I was being judged or told that I was living my life “wrong.”

To be perfectly honest, I’d never gotten over the dominant rule of a mother who was abusive, ill-tempered, quick with a fist and even more vicious with her tongue. It took me so many years to believe that I was capable of anything at all, that anyone even questioning me immediately put me on the defense. I was aware that it was an issue … but not really sure how to fix it. I didn’t like being that way. Raleigh said that it often took an equal number of years to get over the amount of time you were in a bad situation. My mother was a dark spot in my world for almost thirty years. I sighed deeply and become aware that my forehead was creased and my eyebrows were furrowed. I brought myself to the present moment and consciously relaxed. Still, I knew that ‘just letting go’ wasn’t so easily done in this case. I walked on.

Closer To Fine

By the time I had returned to the camper, the sun was getting high in the sky. I had no idea what time it was because I’d almost completely stopped wearing a watch. For so many years, wearing a watch had been an anal part of my personality. From years of working in fields that required I manage others and know what time to start projects, I had always worn a watch. Knowing what time it was had become an obsession; almost compulsive. After becoming a writer and deciding that I’d live by my own rules, even if that meant going without a lot of things sometimes, I also gave up caring about the time. Recently, I’d become so carefree about it that I often forgot what day it was and holidays came upon me with complete surprise. Every day of my life was a holiday in so many ways now.

While it was true that I really had little money and couldn’t afford the finer things in life, I was predominantly happy now. It was a little unsettling to me that I had become so reclusive, but there was no drama that way. I avoided drama and stress almost as passionately as I wrote. Sometimes it bothered me that I may just be avoiding a natural part of life, instead of learning how to just deal with it in a healthy way. I considered that perhaps I was just ‘taking a break from it all’ and that was okay … but how was I going to re-emerge? When would I know the time was right?

Raleigh and I had seen a lot of each over the summer. There was a relationship between us that was deeply rooted in friendship. It was more than a friendship …  but then it wasn’t. There was really no description that fit. We had both reached places in our lives where we resisted being labeled, placed into boxes or having expectations placed upon us. Neither of us did well with that sort of thing. We never talked about how we felt about each other, it was just the way it was and we accepted it the way that you accept the breeze upon your face … it is welcomed but understood that even the best of breezes don’t last forever and one cannot fully depend on a good breeze being there for you all the time. This was how I thought of her. She was a gentle breeze at times, that made my life a happy place. There were times that she was a hurricane force wind that made me uncomfortable or knocked me off my feet, but I still relished the adrenaline rush that came from it. Other times … there was no breeze at all and I knew that she was still out there and patiently awaited her return. It was free, as all things should be. I respected it as something that was not to be controlled or always understood. It was imperfect, in all the most beautiful ways that something, or someone, can be – it was, in fact, perfect.

Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

 

I poured another cup of coffee and sat down in front of my computer. As I pushed the button that would connect me to the world beyond, I was still pondering how I’d come to be where I was. Home is something that I’d sought for most of the last twenty years of my life and it had only been in the last year of my life that I’d come to realize that home is inside of me.  I’d been getting ‘my house’ in order now for a few months and it hadn’t been easy – once your shit falls so far apart, it takes a while to go through all the pieces and figure it out. What I was coming to realize was that I’d been running away from so much, for so long, that finding my way back to the beginning was like following a trail of tears that had long since dried-up. I got lost sometimes.

Raleigh had confronted me about spending so much time in my home town earlier that year. Apparently, I’d been sounding pretty negative about the place over the phone and she didn’t understand what it was I’d been seeking. I supposed that she’d known me well enough to know there was a reason? At that time, until thinking it over, I hadn’t been sure either. It was just a gut feeling I’d had. Visiting my hometown was something that I had always been compelled to do, but it was less about the present and more about reclaiming my past. That was the place I had been abused, traumatized and belittled behind closed doors. It was a place that I should have felt safe … but I never did. It was a source of angry energy that I had been drawn to, like a moth to a flame. I’d either burn alive or the flame would be extinguished. That had been my resolve.

As an adult, I was able to stare at the house I grew up in and reclaim some happy memories. I had made a journal, with a list of all the bad things I remembered. Back in Florida now, I intended to burn those memories to ashes in a can, take them to the cemetery my parents were buried in and spread them over their graves. With this ritual, I also meant to forgive them once and for all. I knew that when I did this, I’d never return to their graves again. I was cutting the cord and releasing the Karmic debt. I would be absolving myself of the past and freeing myself to move on – burning the symbolic bridges and breaking the invisible chains.

For some people, I supposed this could be seen as walking away from the past and therefore just running again. I imagined that some people may view my way of dealing with it to be very extreme. I didn’t really care. For me, it had become a trip towards something – a return of my soul to self. This had been my way of ‘going home’ and finding my way back to who I was when I was not burdened with the memories. Who says you can’t go home? Don’t question the trip, question where home really is!

For now, life was coming back together. I used my walks along the beach to call my energy back to me. Every ounce of energy that I had freely given to others for so many years, I was now calling back to me. I stopped to look at shells on the beach and I savored every breath that I took, knowing that it could potentially be a last breath at any time. My house was getting in order and though I had no idea where tomorrow would lead me, I was happier than I had ever been; I was home.

 

If you enjoy the writing, please consider purchasing a book. Everything I earn from my writing allows me to have the time to publish this blog and write more books. Remember that independent authors are also artists and our work is how we earn a living. Thanks for coming by to visit!

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Categories: abuse, child abuse, death, Free Books, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Just Get Up

A strange fog has come over the world outside my window. It has been raining since yesterday, a constant trickle and pitter patter from the roof as a gentle reminder to me that there is a world outside, awaiting my return to it. I pour another cup of coffee and ponder so many things about this world and this life as my spoon disappears into the creamy mixture. I like a little coffee with my cream, thank-you very much. I’ve given sugar up almost entirely, but I am not giving up the cream in my coffee, it is one of those little indulgences of my life that I will be stubborn about.

Today, I think about the husband of a friend who is in the hospital. He’s in very bad condition, originally admitted with congestive heart failure and since admittance having suffered from a massive stroke. He has a clot in his brain. The doctor administered medication that he declared ‘will either help him or kill him.’  I think about this man in particular, and the legacy he leaves behind. His has not been a particularly good life and he’s not always been a good person. Still … he is a person and a child of this Universe.

Today, I think about the unborn child that is being carried by a girl who is but a child herself. She’s already had two such children taken away from her because of her mental inability to take care of them. She is due again, any day, and my heart is heavy with thoughts of what will become of this child. The first two were lucky enough to be adopted by family. This same family is out of financial resources now and simply cannot keep taking in children, especially when they are being delivered almost like kittens at this rate. The girl cannot be held completely responsible for her inability to cope with the world. There are many factors at play. The grandparents cannot be held responsible because she was raised as well as any other child. She is capable of making these decisions but not doing a very good job, I’m afraid. In the end … I mourn for this unborn child who is about to come into a world with absolutely nothing stable in her world. Yes, we know it is a girl. In fact, her name is to be Brooklyn ( I am unsure of how it will be spelled ) and she will have the same middle name as I was given at birth, Renee.

I suppose my heart is heavy today, like the fog outside my window. The heaviness crept into me just as unexpectedly and I only know to put it all down and share it … as I nearly always do. Things touch me deeply. Knowing the way in which all things are connected, I wonder what my role in all of it is? Recently I have thought deeply about those words, “it takes a village” and they keep rattling around in my head. Is it my hormones and the fact that I know I am soon to be beyond the ability to have a child that is bothering me? I don’t think that is entirely it. I never wanted to be pregnant. I never had the desire to give birth but I loved children none the less.

This all has me thinking about the circle of life, beginnings and endings and all the things that fall between. We make mistakes because we are human. Everything we do touches someone else. We can touch others in a positive way or we can be a negative influence. Most of the time, this is a very conscious choice that each of us makes. What about those times that we do something for ourselves and it inadvertently harms someone else in some way? What about the people who just aren’t “there” yet? I’m speaking about the ones who don’t see their place in the universe or understand how they affect everyone else. Do we all constantly create ‘Karmic debts’ that need to be paid in full or is the answer to being taught the lesson is simply that we come to the realization that our decisions have harmed others and have real regret for this? Perhaps changing our ways is enough? What an interesting concept that would imply that it is never too late for anyone!

Humility is a word that I’ve been introduced to in recent years. “What have you done with your life in the past sixteen years?”  These were the words I heard as if they had been spoken to me by God himself. My entire life flashed before my eyes in a matter of 30 seconds. I was reminded of every single time I’d been selfish. I literally saw the scenes before my eyes, as the Ghost of Christmas’ Past. As soon as I felt true humility, I felt that my burdens were lifted and my soul had been set free. Gone was the anger that I had harbored both in resentments and hurts that were well in the past. In a few seconds my view of life swiveled on axis like a camera on a tripod. Suddenly all the scenes were changed and everything became clear. I came to fully accept that I had been wasting a lot of time. I had to own it! When I fully accepted my role in this life, everything was revealed to me in a way that gave me direction. Suddenly I had a purpose – to reach people, to teach people and to bring those who suffer to a place of calm.

Now, it would seem, that I am haunted by the Ghost of Christmas’ Yet To Come. I’m gravely concerned for the sick, the dying and the unborn with nothing but chaos that awaits – yet, I am calm and steadfast in my faith that it will all happen with reason and with purpose. Each and every one of you is born with a purpose and a meaning for your life. It will reveal itself if you give yourself over to humility. So much can be accomplished when ego is removed from the equation. In the place of ego, add faith and you will begin to see the answers to your problems. I believe that God has a funny way of allowing us to make the same mistakes over and over until we get it right. Every parent knows that you can tell a child over and over that something is hot, but until they have finally been burned enough to cause real hurt, they often don’t get the lesson. Don’t be angry with God, or the Universe, or Mother God, or Allah, or Jehovah, or Buddha, or Jesus Christ, or Mary, or even with Cerridwen for letting you get burned. You obviously needed the lesson if you are feeling the pain. The reason may not be clear yet, but in time it will reveal itself if you remain open to being taught. That requires humility.

As far as the specific things I ponder today, as the traffic grows heavier with people getting out of church, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is reason for all these things. When we lose someone in death, it makes us stand on our own two feet and forces us to make decisions that we may never have made before. When a child is born into the world, they are a new beginning, a new chance at mankind getting something right. She is a blank slate and this is a chance for her to touch the world in the way she will. How she is raised will possibly affect the way in which she touches the world, but the circumstances in which we are raised do not have to define us. Humility allows us to grow beyond any constraints placed upon us in this world. We are given minds and hearts to seek, question and constantly grow. My friends, may you all grow a little today and may the world around you not get you down. If it does, just remember to always fall forward and that you are never a failure until the day you choose to not get up. Today, I beseech you … GET UP!

*BELIEVE*BREATHE*BECOME

Categories: Adoption, child abuse, death, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Falling Into The Abyss

I wanted to take the time to remind everyone that my latest book is out. “Falling Into the Abyss” deals with child abuse and how it can touch your life forever, if you let it. Even when you think you are a survivor, something may just come along and remind you that you have things you haven’t truly dealt with.

 

 

“A tale of child abuse, suicide and survival. An account of surviving the worst things life can throw at you and coming out on the side, changed for the better and able to look at life with new eyes and a new perspective. This is my story. I’ll take you from the the time 

I’ve shared my life and my journey with thousands of fans through my blog at butchramblings.com and now I tell the whole story, with all the background. See how I came out and got to where I am today. Learn why I advocate for those who have no voice.”

 

Set to launch October 17th.

Set to launch October 17th.

Categories: abuse, ADHD, Adoption, child abuse, death, equal rights, gay lesbian, lesbian, life lessons, love, Politics, self-help | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Battered Woman Syndrome Not Just About Physical Abuse

one reason to hold on

*PLEASE take the time to read the comments below. I am adding comments from actual survivors of abuse that are coming from my facebook page in which I asked battered women to sound off and explain what they went through and why they stayed. The comments are heartbreaking but TRUE from REAL women who have BEEN THERE!

 

The Psychological Damage Is Often The Worst

 

Many women are the victims of abuse. Often as high as 1 in 2 women have been abused at some point in her life. This abuse doesn’t always have to come from a male partner. The issue is just as high within the lesbian community and this has bothered me for many, many years. I’ve seen it first hand and I’ve been in it. I was in a relationship that was very emotionally damaging for me. It took me 7 years to leave, but not before being in the mental ward twice and attempting suicide twice as well. (Thus my visits to the psych ward)

The abuser typically starts off small. You accept it, forgive them and they take another step. This keeps happening until the next thing you know, you have no life and you walk on eggshells all the time, fully believing that this is a normal life. After a while, you feel so damaged and so defective that you can’t see a way out. You have no idea what anyone would ever want with you and you think that staying is the best thing to do. Being alone feels like an overwhelming black hole that you are sure you’ll die in.

Verbal abuse is often more damaging than physical. Bruises heal and scars fade…but damage done to a soul and the psyche is sometimes never undone. Most often, it requires help from a counselor. I myself, went to 3 years of therapy. I’m glad I did. One day, my therapist announced that I was as well adjusted as could be expected and declared that I was free of her…unless I ever needed her again. I have not. I blog. This has become my therapy. I started blogging to help me come out of my inner emotional chains. I have rarely had a panic attack in the last two years. My writing has helped me. Not all people write though. Some people have other outlets, like riding horses. Whatever it is … seek it out.

Emotional damage in abusive relationships come from things that are a pattern. In talking to many abused women this month, I hear the same things. “I was hit and it scared me in a way that I cannot describe. I was frozen and literally could not make myself leave.” “I was told I was ugly and that I didn’t matter until I believed it.” “As much as I wanted to leave, I believed the death threats.” “The drama was low as long as I was ‘good’ so it was just easier to let it happen to me. It wasn’t until I got out that I began to see how horrible my life really was.” The remarks go on and on and they all resonate with me.

Typical pattern of the abuser is to isolate the victim, bit by bit, until they no longer have friends or a support system. The victim begins lying about things to cover up what is actually happening. This causes issues with friends and family who do not understand that this is classic behavior and the victim cannot help it. The victim rarely thinks of themselves as a victim…this is just their life to them. Everyone on the outside actually knows what is going on and sees them as a victim but rarely will discuss it.

When thinking about leaving, the victim will more often than not begin to feel sorry for the abuser as an excuse to stay. They do not even realize that they are doing it. This is classic Stockholm Syndrome – relating to the perpetrator of the crime/abuser. Understand that to the victim, life on the outside of the abusive relationship is almost more terrifying than staying in the relationship is. The relationship is the only thing that is predictable to them. Everything outside of that is scary. This is classic symptoms of “battered woman syndrome” and many women will stay for years in a relationship that they are clearly unhappy in and not even understand why they do.

They do not realize that they have been slowly manipulated and brainwashed into believing that they somehow like it and deserve it. They “think” they love their abuser, even though they openly admit from time to time that they hate them. Hate and love are two very powerful emotions that the abuser has learned to manipulate the victim with. Typically, they are good at playing the guilt card. Many times they will explain away the physical abuse as love by saying things such as, “I only hit you because I love you so much and I just get so jealous….” The victim is so brainwashed at this point that they believe it  – because they WANT to be loved. This begins to be the definition of love to them. This is normal and part of the process. This is why women in these relationships don’t just leave. When anyone says, “They can just leave, can’t they?” It is obvious that they do not understand anything about psychological abuse.

 

Do They Ever Leave? How?

 

Most women will leave eventually. It takes them a long time. One woman I recently interviewed stayed with a man for 12 years who beat her repeatedly. One time, he ‘messed my face and back up so bad I had to lay in bed a week and couldn’t move. He wouldn’t dare take me to a hospital for fear of what he did. Then he’d cry and say he was so sorry every time. Fact is, he was never happy and didn’t stop hitting me until one of us was bleeding. THEN he’d wanna cry and be sorry.” I asked her why she stayed. Her response, “The first time he hit me it was square in the nose and I didn’t see it coming. All ’cause it was taking me too long to cook dinner. After that, part of me like died. I was too scared. That man, he put the fear of God into me that day and I just shut down.”

She went on to tell me that she had no friends and if anyone ever came to the house, he’d move them to a new apartment. No one was supposed to know where they lived. He kept her isolated in this way. Her family tried to talk to her and she wouldn’t listen to them. When pushed about this, she explained, “You don’t want your family to know how bad things are. It’s just natural to hide.” How did she finally leave? Her adult son came to see her and happened to come by on a morning after a very bad beating. He drug her from the home, kicking and screaming and told her that if she didn’t come, he’d kill her husband. She never went back to her abuser, though she has seen him once or twice. Fifteen years later and married to someone else, he tried to tell her that he still loved her. She said she walked away as fast as she could from him on the street that day.

 

What Support Do Battered Women Need?

 

If a woman is to get out of something that is emotionally and/or physically abusive, she must have a support system. She needs to know that she has somewhere to go but she cannot be pushed. She often has to reach her lowest of low breaking point before she will finally realize that she has to leave. Sadly, 19,000 women each year die because they don’t realize it and get away in time. Yes NINETEEN THOUSAND woman DIE in domestic abuse situations. Most of them didn’t believe the abuser would ever go that far.

There are shelters for abused women and a lot of support groups out there. Most women will never use them. Someone who has anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and other symptoms that are all TYPICAL of being abused emotionally and physically, is not going to go seek out this type of help. To them, this is far too terrifying. Asking them to file for divorce or leave is like asking a goose to lay a golden egg. It nearly takes an act of God. Terror is simply not the word for what these women go through. They cannot be pushed for this reason. If they are, they will simply stay put. To them, it is easier to stay than to look for help.

Counseling is most often a ‘must have’ for any woman leaving an abusive relationship. She’ll need to learn how to adjust to being able to think for herself, make her own decisions and even to have life goals of her own. She will need emotional support, whether with friends or a partner that can be understanding and encouraging. It is a fine line between being supportive and enabling someone though. Be careful that you aren’t used or take for granted. Some women will easily fall into letting you be there for them emotionally while continuing to stay in what is harming them. Set boundaries and keep them. If you truly care, tough love may be the only way you can really help.

For the women who get away, the prognosis is good. Once they realize that it is very possible to start over, be safe and have a life, healing begins. Healing is a long and slow process. Counseling or therapy helps with this. These women have to learn to love themselves all over again. Anyone who attempts to help them and be there for them, will have to have a lot of patience. It helps to have a clean break and move to a new area. Many women go to different states to avoid ever seeing their abuser again. It can take them many years to get over feeling sorry for the their abuser too. Many women blame themselves for the abuse for years. This is why counseling is so essential. Believing that they said or did something that started the attack, whether physical or verbal – they believe that they deserve it somehow. Many abused women even seem ambivalent about their situation, as if they don’t care. This is a form of emotional shock. It keeps them from leaving, but it keeps them from losing their minds too. It is a common symptom of Battered Woman Syndrome. Recognize the signs so you can help.

Physical scars heal and fade. Emotional scars stick the longest and are the hardest to overcome. Where there is support and love, a woman has a hand to reach out for when she is ready. All you can do is be there to offer her that hand when she is ready and tell her that you are there.  Never give up on her. She needs you and you might just be the one thing that keeps her holding on.

Categories: abuse, child abuse, lesbian, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

Why I Live Like I Do – Blown By the Wind

Great live version!

 

All My Dreams Pass Before My Eyes of Curiosity

Nothing lasts forever, but the earth and sky….no truer words were ever spoken. My philosophy on life, the actual process of living and the purpose for our existence, is far removed from that which most people feel. Firstly, I don’t believe that this is our only ride on the pony. I believe that we come back many times to this earthly realm and we learn more and more as we progress up a ladder, so to speak. In all honesty, I think it a little bold to believe that you could learn all there is to know from living only one lifetime.

I have nearly died a few times. I’ve known others in the same place. All of my life I have been very intuitive and after my parents passed it became very strong and I had to work with a woman to help teach me how to ‘turn it down’ when I needed to. I feel emotions far more deeply than many others do for this reason. I also tend to know when I am being lied to. What makes me different than most people is that I’ll forgive the lies and try to get straight to the root of the thing that is causing you to tell the lies. I am not like most people. Some might call me crazy…that’s okay. I can take it. I forgive them too. I am actually very quick to forgive, but I don’t necessarily let everyone back in. I weigh the circumstances and I wonder whether or not I can help them…or if there is another lesson for me at hand. This determines my decisions.

My belief is that before we are born, we actually plan this life out to a large degree…like an outline. You are still free to write the story the way you wish, but the general outline will guide you. I believe that we choose the battles that we are going to be facing, based on the lessons that we need to learn this time around. I was told by a psychic in 2007/08 that this was my last time to be reincarnated and that I had asked to make this lifetime to be a very big challenge. In her words, “You really wanted everything possible thrown at you so that you could really go out with a bang this time. You wanted to experience it ALL.”

To be perfectly honest….at that time, I thought she was little bit full of shit. She knows it because I sort of told her that. She’s still on my Facebook friends list and she’s honestly really good. As it turns out, I believe her now. It took me a while – it was a slow progression and almost like a game…to see what else could possibly happen and what would I survive. You see, I have complete faith now that I’m SUPPOSED to just keep going through more shit and that I will survive. I also know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I have a reward of some sort coming. I know that God is going to give me peace and rest, love and somewhere to put down roots. I can feel it moving towards me. Faith. This is my only explanation. I’ve survived many things that should have killed me. I know that I am SUPPOSED to be here, sitting in this booth right now, writing this. Someone out there is being moved by every word and their life is beginning to make more sense to them as they read on. YOU! You may be that person I am supposed to be helping right now. Have some faith and know that you are not alone. I’m aware of your pain and many others are too. You can and will survive, my friend.

My days are spent attempting to touch people with a dose of reality and trying to show others that humility is a good thing. Yes, I get confused and I get scared. You see, while my soul knows the outline I am following, I have no memory of it. For now, I’m just a human being that is also making mistakes and getting by through much trial and error. I’m simply trying to trust that I’m being shown opportunities to grow and given chances to rise above. I’m challenged and tested each and every day. We all are! Some just don’t understand it.

Same Old Song…Just a Drop of Water In An Endless Sea

I’ve risen above homelessness, hunger, my father’s suicide, near death experiences, child abuse from my mother, being cheated on by at least two people that I loved, lied to by people that I trusted with my life and being put in harm’s way, having no family in my life at all…I’m a complete loner, being diagnosed with diabetes in 2005, put on psychotropic drugs that actually caused me to lose my mind for a long time, watching someone die in my arms, being beaten half to death by three grown men just because I was a lesbian, having an older brother come to live with me and take me for money, hit me and break everything I owned for going on two years, having a younger brother go to work at the job I helped him get and tell everyone that as far as he was concerned he didn’t have a sister as long as I was gay, living in a cabin in the winter of 2011 with no running water, no heat, no electricity and surviving by letting the dogs sleep on top of me on those nights when ice formed on the inside of the walls. I’ve tried to help a lot of people who burned me badly. I’ve had people tell lies about me and others judge me. I have been diagnosed with ADHD/ADD and auditory processing disorder, anxiety, agoraphobia and a few other things. All of those issues come and go. I had a panic attack last night and my chest hurt. I knew that it would pass.

In the last month, I came to IL to help someone. She told me she loved me and she tried to hide a lot from me…but I already knew she was lying to me. Again, like I ALWAYS do…I forgave her. It just isn’t worth being angry anymore. I let go of all my anger last summer. God showed me that my life was my own and that He had honestly given me every possible chance to turn things around. This is when I realized that my purpose…my TRUE purpose in life was to help other people. Even if it is a kind word and nothing else…I feel that I can touch people in a way that can change their life. This is what I try to do each and every day now. I don’t hold onto anger and I don’t let things keep me down. Yes, I get down because I’m human, but I quickly recover and remember that I have a purpose and a meaning to my life. I move on.

These days, I’m being tried and challenged with each breath that I take. I’m single and it looks like it’s going to stay that way. You cannot help someone who refuses to be helped because their path has not yet led them to have any faith in themselves or in the world around them. I weep for her, not because she’s hurt me…but because I could not help her. I have still offered to be here and be her friend, but one thing I have become very good at – turning my feelings for someone off. If I choose not to let you in, then you are done. I only resort to this when I feel that the damage I am incurring is greater than I can heal. One of my very first lessons in life was how to save myself, even when it was very traumatic. Honestly, that trauma has followed me for many years and only recently I believe that I was forgiven for it in a way that was meant to help me move on from this current experience faster as well.

I don’t tend to regret much, as I know it is a learning experience. I do regret when I can’t help someone…but it is time for me to move on. It is time to let the wind blow me again. I place it in God’s hands and where I end-up, I trust I am supposed to be there.

~ all we are is dust in the wind….

 

Categories: abuse, ADHD, child abuse, death, equal rights, gay lesbian, lesbian, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Coming Out Early, Coming To Terms Late, Coming Full Circle Finally

Today is National Coming Out Day! Congratulations to those of you who like myself, have been out for many years. You have paved the way for those who will come out today!

To those of you who are just out or coming out now, congratulations to you as well! This is a very serious and personal decision. Only you can decide if this is something that you want to do. Some of you will come out to strangers but not to family. Some will come out at work but not to others. Some of you will come out to family only. Many people come out in stages and others jump out of that closet with a vengeance. My friend, Lisa, told me many years, “Dawn (my given name), you didn’t just come out of the closet, you jumped out of the whole fucking house!”

My own story was that I was very closeted in early years. I moved away from home when I was 19 and came to Florida on my own. I was not really out yet but working towards it. My family put their home up for sale and sold a lot of stuff and actually followed me to Florida. I was not very happy about this at all!!

As it turned-out, when my parents had moved, they had neglected to clean out the closet that had been in my room very well. I had forgotten about a journal that I had kept…and kept hidden in my closet. (appropriate place eh?) The people who moved into the house had school aged kids and they found it. They took it to school  – the same school in the small town that I had attended. Pretty soon, I received a letter in the mail from the person who used to call herself my best friend.

The letter explained that the whole town now knew and it would be wise if I probably never came back there. She made it clear that she didn’t really want to talk to me anymore. Of course, I was mortified and it became a race –  either ME telling my parents or someone from the hometown telling them. I sat my mother down and I told her. Now, you must understand that my mother and I had a very bad relationship as it was. She had been my abuser and tormentor in so many ways growing up. Now I had to face her in terror and tell her what I was. (I still felt very abnormal and often referred to myself as a mistake and a monster)

Things did not go well and to make a very long story short, my parents and I didn’t speak to each other for about two years. I moved AGAIN, to another city in Florida so that I could have space, privacy and be myself. Oh what a process it was! My life has been full of confusion and a trail of bad decisions, all of which I had a hard time owning up to. It was easy to blame everything on how unfair my own life had been.

In the end, things worked out for me. It took me many, many years to understand how to come to terms with the fact that I always had the ability to be me. I never owed anyone any explanations or apologies. More importantly, there were never any reasons for me to have anger, regrets or pain over this.

To those of you who are concerned with what others think of you now, I want to tell you that you are special. You are unique and wondrous just as you are. There is someone out there for you, even if you think there is not. You are not alone and you never will be if you don’t want to be.

Will this road be easy? No. Certainly not. Being GLBTQ is very difficult. You are not going to have things easy when it comes to fitting in or being respected. You will work harder to be equal and when you love someone, you will have to work harder to stay with that person. Being respected as a couple in the eyes of society is not simple but it IS getting better. I used to harbor much resentment over these things, as well as other things from my childhood and what my parents put me through.

Here is what I have come to learn:

The moment that you accept that all suffering, pain, tears, heartbreak, conflict, loss and grief have been to make you strong enough for the path that God (insert Universe if you are not Christian, for to me it is all the same) has in store for you, everything becomes clearer. Instead of being angry, feeling cheated and unfortunate, you begin to view things from the opposite direction. It suddenly becomes easy to let these things go and look to the future, eagerly awaiting the good things we’ve been training for. Suddenly you realize that THIS IS your purpose! THEN God, can move in you. Peace is the domain of God. When we truly feel peace inside of ourselves then we know that we are right in the center of what he wants for us. This begins with acceptance of your place and your life lessons. You are always okay just as you are, don’t let anyone tell you that you are not worthy or that something is wrong with you. You were born with purpose from the moment you took your first breath, you had a destiny. You should be proud of all that you are. God and the universe are not ashamed of you in any way, so never be ashamed of yourself.

I Peter 5:7 – “God’s presence in our life is our sustaining peace.”

If you are coming out today, know that you are not alone in this world. You now have a support system, thanks to the internet, that I did not have 26 years ago. There are suicide hotlines for you, via the Trevor Project – 1-800-273- TALK (1-800- 273-8255). There are people who are part of that project who are signed-up to help listen and guide you. My facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/jessemacgregorjones and you will notice that my photo has the “Talk To Me” logo from the Trevor Project. I’m here as a mentor and guide for anyone who feels that they have no where to turn. Just as it says, you can talk to me.

Coming out is normally not easy. It can be traumatic but it can also be freeing. In the end, my story has been happy. You need to know that it is worth it. I did eventually reconcile with my family before my parents passed away. I am now free to be me and I don’t hide in a closet, in fear. I have someone in my life that I adore. I’m free to follow my dreams and my heart. So can you. There will be pain and grief along the way and this is the case with any life. Remember that this is simply to prepare you for the joy and the path you are meant to follow. Consider it training and keep it all in perspective. Know that you aren’t alone. Pick that phone up if you need it.

God bless,

Jesse

PS: That friend who wrote me the letter, contacted me YEARS later on Facebook and apologized. She admitted to being a stupid teenager and that life had taught her lessons since then as well. We are friends again, all these years later. Things CAN end well! Let them!

Categories: abuse, child abuse, death, equal rights, gay lesbian, lesbian, life lessons, love | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Present And Accounted For

 

 

I SPENT THE EVENING TALKING ABOUT STABILITY WITH FRIENDS

So we are all clear … I’m not a very stable person and I never have been. Here is the real issue: I’m not sure I even know what it is!

What IS stability? What does it mean to you? If you have never had it, do you miss it? Does it mean the same thing to me that it does to you? What if we aren’t on the same page and you are asking me for something that I just don’t understand? What if I am so dysfunctional from my past that I can’t be? How do you know when you have it? How will I know what it is when I find it? Can I find it?

Yeah…I’m really this confused by it all. Honestly and for real. As an abused child who never knew from one day to the next if my mother would hate me or love me, I never had emotional stability. I never felt safe and I never trusted other people. The ONE time I told a counselor what was going on at home, she honestly called my mother and talked to her about it. Seriously. I never told anyone ever again about the things that went on behind closed doors at my house. I lost all faith in any adult ever helping me again and I learned that I shouldn’t tell people anything if I wanted to be safe, truly.

Carrying that into my adulthood, I have drawn lines at what I share. I’ve hidden my deepest feelings and I have had very few real friends. I try … but relationships of all sorts are hard. I simply really don’t know how to have them. I don’t know what healthy things look like. I have nothing to compare it to. When someone gets annoyed with me … I feel my mother bearing down on me all over again. When someone that I care about gets annoyed with me, it’s familiar to me and it scares me at the same time. It’s frightening because I know it isn’t normal now. It took me years to learn that it isn’t normal. It’s comfortable like an old tattered blanket. Even though it is full of holes and doesn’t really give me any protection anymore…I wrap myself up in the confusion and the chaos that has been my life and I hide in the familiar.

You are the unknown. You scare the hell out of me. The way I feel is unfamiliar. It isn’t comfortable. There’s nowhere for me to hide. You are totally out of my comfort zone. I love you. I’m scared of that. No…not scared….petrified. You call me out…you make me face myself and you make me so annoyed sometimes. Not at you; annoyed at my own short comings. I self-sabotage. I always have done this. I’m fighting a battle with myself to not do it this time. I can only take one day at a time and do ONE thing at a time.

You say you are scared to get to know me or be more open with me. You expect me to leave. Today, the only thing I know how to do is just stay when you expect me to go. I can love you when you expect me not to. This is my start. I cannot promise you the moon…but I swear on my own life that I can love you and I can stay. This is me…not running away for the first time in my entire life. This is me, terrified and not sure what to do next…just holding on.

 

Categories: abuse, child abuse, lesbian, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

An Excerpt From My Next Book “Falling Into the Abyss”

This is an excerpt from my new book, “Falling Into The Abyss”, which will be released next month. This is my personal story, a short autobiography, which recalls traumatic events from my life that have led me to where I am today. This details the tragedy of my father’s suicide and the years that followed, while digging into my past and my childhood for answers. It’s a compelling story of finding your way back from the deepest griefs.

Set to launch October 17th.

Dad had been missing for four days. His body had been hanging from a tree until it had decomposed and fallen to the ground below. It was my understanding that his head was detached from his body. The Florida heat and bugs had made him nothing more than rotting, bug infested flesh that was falling from bones that had been nibbled at by wild animals in the region. This was no longer our father. This was something that used to be a home to his soul and nothing more.

The coroner told us, “Don’t let your son see his father like this. It will give him nightmares the rest of his life.” We agreed and my mother gave the go ahead for the body to be moved to where it would be cremated. My brother never really forgave either one of us for that decision I don’t think? It’s sad that he held my mother responsible for a lot of things, including my father committing suicide in the first place. All along, she tried to protect him and in the end, he was just simply awful to her.

The events that followed were very surreal and I only vaguely remember the days that immediately followed the finding of his body. I know that the funeral for my dad was tiny. There were less than a dozen people there. His own family didn’t come. Two of my mother’s brothers were there and so was her little sister. I was bitterly disappointed that a man who was fifty-eight years old and had touched the lives of so many people only had a handful of people show-up to say good-bye to him.

I had to go pick-up the flowers. My brothers and I were supposed to split this. They both stiffed me. I grumbled to my mother about it because it was so typical and because I was also worried about paying my rent with all this time off work I was taking. I wasn’t going to receive any bereavement pay because my company didn’t offer it.

My mom’s sister, my Aunt Jenny, insisted on giving me money for them. I remember how I felt then. I had rent to pay and it was due in a week. I couldn’t afford the $300 for the wreaths and such. I was relieved that she gave me the money back but I also felt like a heel. It was one more thing that added to the grief and the stress.

Eventually came the day that we had to go collect Dad’s possessions from the sheriff’s department. Mom and I went together. I remember walking back to the window that we were directed to. Everyone seemed to keep looking at us and I felt that they knew who we were. I felt like they felt some sort of sympathy that they couldn’t express. It came out as an awkward silence.

The man behind a window pulled out an envelope. In it were my father’s wallet, his wedding ring, his keys to his car, and his watch. It was the watch I had given him just the year before for Christmas. He’d loved that watch. He always wore it. This thought made me smile.

My mother opened his wallet and began to look through it. I’m not sure why exactly, other than it was probably some connection to him that she felt. She turned it over in her hands, rubbed it and opened it. In a way, it was almost as if she was trying to conjure his spirit from it, as one would call a genie from a bottle.

She pulled out a photo and she gasped, “My God, … you always thought your father didn’t care but look.” In her hand was a photo of the three of us kids, from many years in the past, and on the back of the photo were our names and our dates of birth, in his handwriting. Again, it made me smile, but it was bittersweet. My father had never been the kind of guy to look at you and tell you he loved you. He showed it all the time, but he never ever just came out and said it.

Growing up, he’d been the guy who would cut you a hockey stick out of a sheet of plywood and sand it and paint it, just so you could go out back and play with some other kids and knock around something that we had used as a makeshift puck. He never missed a ball game while I was growing up. He never missed a birthday or an important event ever. Now I was coming to terms with the fact that he would be at nothing else for the rest of my life. It hit me like a rock landing in the pit of my stomach. I didn’t know why my mother said I thought that he didn’t care. I knew he cared. I didn’t know why he had never protected me from her, but I knew he cared.

A deputy who had worked the investigation came up and tried to be comforting. I really cannot say enough nice things about the Marion County sheriff’s department during this time. They treated us like human beings and not just a case they worked. Another deputy walked-up behind him and she said, “Well, at least you have the note he left.”

“Note? There’s a note??” My mother’s face looked shocked and hopeful. She seemed so excited.

“Yes,” the deputy went on, “he left a note. No one told you?” The deputy seemed genuinely shocked and concerned.

“My God! NO!” Tears started to form in my mother’s eyes.

The kind deputy told us to wait where we were. A few minutes later, the female deputy came back. The male deputy walked with her. In her hand she held a paper. She had made a copy of the suicide note and she handed to to my mother. She caught Mom’s hand and squeezed it as she released the note to her. I’m sure she must have realized what this mean to us. These were his last words to us and while they didn’t explain much, those words gave my mother so much comfort and for that I was very thankful.

We poured over it. It was short. It didn’t really make any sense other than to show he wasn’t in the soundest frame of mind when he wrote it. He also stated that he would miss us and loved us all. I’d never heard or even seen these words written from my father, in his own handwriting, in my entire life. Still, I did not cry.

Mom made copies for all of us. My copy is folded and lying in the bottom of a jewelry box to this day. Every now and then I will pull it out and look at it. It helps me feel close to him and to remember his handwriting. There is something in seeing his handwriting that gives me a little bit of comfort from time to time. It is like I still hold a piece of him.

Finally, the last business was that I had to drive my father’s car home, following my mother. It was the longest drive of my entire life. Mind you, I’d driven all over the country already. I’d driven from Florida to Illinois a dozen times and sometimes straight through. Yet this drive, alone with the ghost of my deceased father, was the longest drive of my life. I laughed, I yelled, I asked him “why?” and I sincerely wanted answers. None came.

At the funeral, my brothers both wept. I saw my younger brother’s shoulders heave. My older brother has always been a weeper and he had tears streaming down his face the whole time.

My mother was seated right next to me. I was the only one of her children who sat next to her. I remember thinking that was strange. Why me?

Nearing the end of the small, graveside service there was a twenty-one gun salute and then we had to endure Taps. This had come at the insistence of my younger brother. Being in the marines and my father having been in the army all those many years ago made this meaningful to him.

Never mind that my father was drafted and never had one nice thing to say about being in the Army. He hated it and could hardly wait to be discharged. I remember him talking about it from time to time. He’d been drafted as a young man who had been married already for a few years and taking off to basic training hadn’t been his idea of what he wanted to do with his life.

It was Taps that finally caused silent tears to stream down my cheeks. Still, I never openly wept. There was never any shoulder heaving, nose blowing, sobbing that seemed ready to come out of me. Perhaps I was still in shock or perhaps it was just that I had made a lifetime of holding things in and stuffing things down a little deeper? I just was shoving this all down into the abyss that I didn’t realize I was tethered to. The more weight I shoved down there, the further it drug me down with it.

Four days from the time I had first been told about my father’s death, I was back at work. I tied my tie and put on my vest as if it was any other day and off to work I went. I had a job to do and I was ready to get back to life as usual, and so I tried. I was now driving my father’s car. My mom sold it to me for a few hundred dollars. Leave it to her to make me pay for it. She would, just a few short months later, give my younger brother her Lincoln when she got the insurance money from Dad’s death. She bought herself a different vehicle and started spending that money as fast as she could.

I was finally back at my place and staying in my own bed again, leaving my mother to her lonely house. The first night that I was back in my own bed, the strangest thing happened to me. I had a dream that I was sitting on the branch of the tree that my father hung himself from. I was sitting there, swinging my legs. I was trying to talk him out of doing what he was doing.

He never looked at me. He just continued with his work of tying the rope over the tree limb. He ran the rope under the car and anchored it on the front axle of the car. The other end, he had already carefully tied a noose that had a perfect not. I knew this instinctively because my father was a master at tying knots. He taught me to tie a knot and to this day, people who knew him and see me tie a knot will comment that I must have learned that from my father. I’m sure that they mean nothing by it, but it stings a little.

As I begged him not to do what he was doing, he put the rope around his neck and he jumped. I awoke with a start. I was sweaty, had tears running down my face and I was deeply disturbed. I’ll never forget this dream as long as I shall live. 

Categories: abuse, child abuse, death, gay lesbian, lesbian, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Breaking of a Person; Rebuilding Something Better

You really need to watch and listen to the video to get the entirety of this blog. I haven’t written much lately. I’ve been lost in my own world. I’ve been facing some demons. I hide my fights, I share so much with you all…but I hide the truths, I hide the realities and maybe because I have never known them? I’m sharing my life through this blog, but I’ve censored and I’ve told half truths and it’s possible that the reason is because I’ve lost so many pieces of myself along the way, that I don’t know who I am anymore?

THE HARD TRUTH

The reality is that I was an abused child. My mother fucked me up pretty good. I was six months old the first time she slapped me across the face, by her own admission. The truth is that I’ve never faced it, never gotten over it and never even opened the door to deal with it. Like a taproot, this pain of my life branched-out to every single part of the rest of my life. Even when I thought I had run far enough away, it still always caught-up to me. I didn’t know just how much it had taken me over and how much of it was actually making my decisions, breathing life into thoughts that were negative and destroying me one day at a time.

I’ve made a life of running. It’s the only thing I’ve ever known to do. The instinct now is to run, run, run.  The fact is that you cannot run from yourself…but you absolutely can be absent from your own life. Living in the past and worrying about tomorrow has robbed me of so much.

RUNNING FROM MY DEMONS

Here’s a truth. I went into the woods to hide in a cabin because I couldn’t face reality and I didn’t want to face myself anymore. As long as I didn’t have to look people in the eye, then I didn’t have to see myself reflected in their eyes. Again, I was hiding. I’ve done it my whole life. I’ve suffered from insomnia, depression, ADHD that has very similar symptoms as bipolar only without the excessive episodes of mania. I still have the mental confusion, the inability to make decisions, the absolute bombardment of my senses and the mind that must stay busy at all times.

I’m agoraphobic. Sometimes just the thought of leaving the house can cause me to have panic and anxiety. What does that feel like? It feels like an elephant jumping a rope on your chest and convinces you from time to time that this is the ‘big one’ and you’re dying. It feels like the devil himself has a grip on your neck and you can feel your windpipe being crushed by an invisible hand and it comes with no warning.

I’ve fallen asleep with my face on a computer keyboard and woke-up the next day with the impression of keys on my face. Insomnia and a busy brain causes me to go until I’m so exhausted that I want to just die. I want medication. I can’t get it. I fall through the cracks. I’m that person that you read about who borders on the edge of just holding on and loosing it all at any time.

When I was a child, I used to do really odd things…acting out the pains that I understand now but didn’t then. I used to pull my own hair out. It’s called trichtotillomania. Sometimes trichotillomania occurs in kids who have anxiety, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or Tourette’s disease, according to this article at about.com.

I also did other things. I used to steal small handfuls of fine gravel from the driveway. I would find somewhere on our property to hide from my mother and my brothers, who tormented me daily, and I’d actually pour the gravel on top of my head. I’d sit for hours, as long as I could stay hidden, and I’d just rub the pieces on my head. It felt good. It was some ‘feeling’ other than what I felt all the time. Who knows if there were other psychological reasons?

My mother insisted on giving me a bath until I was more than ten years old. The older I got, the more ashamed I felt. I’d beg and ask to take a shower on my own and she’d tell me no. “You won’t get your hair clean enough,” was one of her favorite excuses. It wasn’t until I was almost 38 years old and in therapy that I realized how dirty it made me feel and I had memories of being “touched” that, to me, were horribly inappropriate. You try not to believe your own memories about this sort of stuff. It was locked away for so many years. I still remember the look the therapist gave me when it came out. She knew I was not ready to deal with it, I think…but the look she gave me told me that it was real, it wasn’t my mind playing tricks on me.

To top it all off, every evening after my bath, it ended with me standing in the kitchen as she raked a comb through my hair, pulling through tangles so hard that I’d cry. She would normally end-up slapping me for crying and the wads of hair in the comb looked like a dog was being groomed. I remember her pulling the handfuls of hair from the comb and piling them on the kitchen counter until she was finished. It felt like she was keeping trophies. She insisted on keeping my hair long. I hated it and I begged to get my hair cut short.

I even have a very vivid memory from 2 yrs of age, and sleeping next to my mother. I was terrified. I was terrified of her and I was quietly biting my finger nails and I could taste the blood in my mouth from biting them to the quick. To this day, I have issues with my nails. I quit for periods of time and then it always comes back.

Whenever she was mad at me for most anything, she’d grab my hair and drag me. I got dragged from room to room, from chair to feet … sometimes it was just a great thing to hold me by so I could be hit with something in her other hand. I’ve been hit with toy race car tracks, plastic hair brushes, wooden yard sticks, broomsticks, mop handles, wooden spoons and so many other things that I don’t even remember. After a while, you shut it out. It’s nature’s way of protecting you I guess?

In all honesty though, the real hell for me was figuring out when she was going to hate me and when she was going to love me. I never knew. She’d hurt me, either with her mouth or her hands, and I would hate her. Then she’d turn around and want to make up. She’d invite me to come and sit next to her and put her arm around me and pull me close and tell me that she loved me…but that I should make her mad. I still remember that in those moments, I felt like I had a mother. I wanted the hugs and so the abuse became a means to an end in so many ways. The only way I got the acceptance was to endure the anger. I felt hated by her half the time and loved the other half and it left me confused, scared, too frightened to sleep sometimes, walking on eggshells most of my childhood and even praying to God that I was adopted sometimes. I couldn’t fathom that she could be my real mother. I used to talk to God a lot back then.

BREAKING DOWN

Have you ever done something that you wished you could take back but you couldn’t? Ever had a behavior that you wanted to change more than anything in this world but couldn’t figure out how? Keep making the same mistakes over and over?

Fast forward about 20 years. My parents have both been dead now for 16 and 14 years, respectively. In that 16 years, I’ve been angry at God for robbing me of my parents too soon. I’ve been angry at the universe for making me have to deal with things on my own. I’ve been pissed-off that my mother took diet pills and smoked while pregnant and passed on her genetic crap to me. I’ve looked for somewhere to place my anger. I’ve directed a lot of it at myself. The path of destruction is in my wake. I’ve screwed things up, I’ve sabotaged what should have been good things and successful stories in my life. I’ve punished myself and carried guilt and anger like a backpack that weighs a hundred pounds.

In March of this year, I met someone really nice online. We talked and talked, mostly by IMing and we used to talk until late into the night. We gradually got to a point where we talked via Skype. Our conversations were almost always long and really good. She shared things with me that meant a lot to her and were personal; things that were hard for her to explain and talk about. She also happens to have a habit of asking questions and being very matter of fact. She sees through bullshit and doesn’t always let things go. She asked me questions, made me look at myself and really made me very angry. I lashed out at her and I hurt her with some very venomous words about her and her life. I know now that it was only because I felt so shitty about my own. Still, the damage was done.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I had only done it that ONE time. I’ve lost my grip another couple of times and while it hasn’t been leveled at her in quite as personal assault, it has still been pretty terrible on my part. This last time it happened, we didn’t speak for 3o days. SHE SHOULD HAVE WALKED AWAY FROM ME.  Instead, she still reached out to me and her first words are always “R u okay?” I have absolutely no clue how she can do that. I really don’t. She shouldn’t care about me at all. I’ve chased everyone else away in 20 years….why does she come back? Truth is that we actually have a lot similarity in our pasts, though not the same. Both of our childhoods were tragic in many ways.

Sitting on my porch, alone, I had an epiphany about why she cares and why I do the things I do. I realized that I’ve NEVER been honest with one single person. I’ve hidden all the things that really matter. I realized that here was this person who honestly cares and I owe it to her to be honest with her. I realized that I could actually trust her … even when she hadn’t been able to trust me. I began opening myself up to her and telling truths where I normally would have covered things up or not talked about what was real. I have tried very hard to lay myself wide open and it hasn’t been easy. What has happened is that I’ve opened all these other doors.

Twenty years of crap is all coming out now because I cracked the door open and now I can’t shut it. Everything is flying at my face, assailing me at all hours of the day and night. I keep having these “ah-ha” moments and they come with goosebumps, anger, release and exhaustion.

She questioned me about my belief in God. I never talk about it. I’ve called myself an atheist…but when it comes right down to it, I cannot actually own that. I tiptoe around it and say that I am spiritual. She presses me. This makes no sense to her. I am squirming. Again, she’s making me face something. Painful but necessary. I finally admit that I’ve been angry with God for many years. I’m gay, I’ve got a learning disability, my parents are dead and died too young, I have no family … as far as I am concerned, God turned his back on me and I am like child angry at a parent. I told her this. It was sort of “news to me” in a way. Once it started coming out, it just became so clear to me though. It was another door that opened.

Perhaps the biggest realization of all was a few days later? I was thinking about all these things. My mind has been consumed with it all lately. I’m suddenly realizing so much. I feel like I’ve been living the last twenty years blind as a bat. I was thinking about God and thinking about how to get better … needing and wanting to heal myself and become whole. Like a shudder, it came over me as if a voice spoken from above and I have to say that it may be the only time in my entire life that I feel like God spoke to me. My parents died almost twenty years ago not to punish me, but to save me. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I had been given my life back almost twenty years ago and I could almost feel God ask me why I had wasted all this time?

NOW WHAT?

This is the biggest question of all. I did something that I have never done as an adult. I prayed and asked God to take care of it for me. I’ve been withdrawn and I think it may get worse before it gets better. I wish that this was the only thing in my life going on right now, but it isn’t.

I’m on the verge of losing everything because work has been slow. My books are doing well, but I won’t see the first royalty payment until September. I’ve been watching a little red tag swinging on the utility box for far too long now and have even stooped to the point of applying for food stamps because I’ve been hungry too many times in my life and it scares me. I don’t even want to talk about the lot rent. Ugh.

Still, I know a few things. 1) I know that there is someone that I can tell everything to and she isn’t going to judge me, hate me or run away from me. She’s still a little scared to totally trust me and I understand, but I’m positive that eventually she will see that what I’ve just gone through emotionally, spiritually and psychologically has changed me a lot.  2) I know that my past does NOT have to steal one more minute of my life because my focus has shifted, thanks to an awakening that has taken place inside of me.  3) I know that I don’t have any anger in me anymore…it seems to have left like an unwanted guest and left me very tired and exhausted in it’s wake. 4) I know that I have a long, long way to go. Nothing is going to be easy but most things worth having aren’t easy anyway. I feel like I just started seeing my life in color instead of in black and white. 5) I’ve spent my life running from things and this time, I’m not going to run.

Categories: abuse, ADHD, child abuse, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

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