Monthly Archives: August 2014

Peeling Off the Layers

 

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I saw this a couple days ago, floating around on Facebook. Sometimes it has more than just cute cat videos! Although I have to admit rather liking the one of the cat trying to get into a small kitty hammock *semi mischievous grin*

Anyhow, it basically sums up where I feel like I have been, inside, for the past year or more….maybe even the past five, really. It is fascinating, delving into all of the things, all of the words, that “make” us, so to speak. Or that we tend to think do so.

When I was a child and teenager, I had thoughts, feelings, dreams, and interests that sparked me, that really made me feel alive. The only issue was I had no one in my life who agreed with or approved even one of them, except maybe reading-that got me “out of their hair” for a while, which was really hours on end. That was OK, it was my refuge, my way out, even if just for a time.

And when I was a child, a teen, a young adult, there were other people who insisted I wasn’t really interested in what I was interested in, or it wasn’t “right” for a girl/female, or I simply “couldn’t do that-you aren’t _______ enough”. Instead, I was to be this or that, basically this or that equating to a secretary or a wife, and when I couldn’t type 100 wpm, I was instead forced into a marriage I didn’t want with the comment from my mother of “if he’s stupid enough to marry you, you are going to!” Gee thanks mom…

It’s been 8 years now since Jesus started me on this journey with an invitation and His hand held out. A journey to healing, to discovery, and to acceptance. When I look back on what WAS, I can’t believe the miles we’ve covered! The current leg of the journey, it is dawning on me (I can be a bit slow at times on the uptake lol), is this un-becoming. The shedding of all I really am not, like Aslan peeling the dragon skin off of Eustace. I would like to say, like a flower unfurling, but that’s a different part of the process, even if happening concurrently.

I have found a curious reaction in myself to this process, however. Something nearly akin to terror. As I let go of “you are ugly”, “you are stupid”, “you are not capable”, etc, or as “Captivating” so effectively summed it up–you are too much and not enough– I find myself fearing a vacuum. That there will be nothing there. That what was, when I was young….well, I’m too old now. There have been too many hard miles. In some ways, that is accurate–I will never be a vet or an archaeologist, simply for physical reasons. I realize I am afraid that “who I was meant to be in the first place” CAN’T be anymore.

And I am wondering how to get around that.

Jesus would not lead down this road if it couldn’t be done. There is hope.

Also, a job is not the definition of “who I am”, or “who I was meant to be”. Nor is past experience, though I fully believe He intends to use that, mold it like clay, into something much more wonderful than it was intended.

So, how do you know who YOU are? What all makes that up?

Categories: Faith and Wrestling, Goals and Desires, Healing & Growing, Pain and mourning | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Processing When It’s Not What You Want To Hear

“Although the world is full of pain and suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it”-Helen Keller

It’s amazing the things one uncovers in oneself when they get bad news. I grew up reading of Helen Keller, and of Laura Bridgman…her biography, “Child of the Silent Night”, was one of my favorite books and I read it over and over. I often thought, if they can live with what they had to, then so could I. I could be strong too, bear up bravely, be longsuffering and patient no matter what life or others threw at me. I had a neighbor, a wonderful woman, with severe arthritis. She nonetheless always was peaceful, gentle, strong, patient. I learned a lot from her, and from trying to be like her. She led me to Jesus as a very small child, and taught me how to try to live like him. We could use many more like her, today, but that’s another post for another day.

I’ve been lamenting what I realized was a loss of “that” Tina, this year. I realized somewhere around last Christmas that something in me had shifted at some point in time, and I had lost that attitude, and that peace. I wasn’t sure where or when, exactly. But I began to ask Jesus to help me get back to “me”, to that which had been lost to the pain of life somewhere along the way and replaced by a subtle undercurrent (or maybe not so subtle? Am I brave enough to ask those in my life?) of regret, anger, and bitterness.

And July 14th I find myself unable to move in pain that made 35 hours of labor questionably painful, and the kidney stones I’ve had, too.

I need to apologize to anyone I’ve ever not been sympathetic enough of regarding their back injuries. I understand now.

I’m one of those millions of uninsured people, who fell through the cracks of the ACA and therefore still am. I’ll be writing a few posts on that, I’m sure. I know what poverty is…I grew up in it, I’ve lived it. I’ve fought my whole life to get out, and I will. But wow we treat poor people wrong, in general. Anyhow, I said that was another post, sorry! Long story short, I finally got an MRI done last week, and this Tuesday finally found out why the pain. More than one ruptured disc, stenosis, other degenerative issues, leaking.

I tried to be relieved at the news. It could have been a good deal worse, from what I understand, and at the same time justified the pain I’ve been in-I’m not a wimp. Yet…

I’ve been wrestling inside for 2 days over it now. And I found some anger. I found the resentment, the bitter, the “I don’t deserve this, why me?”. I’ve been wrestling more with my response than with the diagnosis. What do I mean “why me?” Why me because a horse trampled me, that’s why. Life happens. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s not. I really seriously DO NOT LIKE entitlement attitude, but my response was striking me as just that. Time to dig…this weed has to go. That’s Not Me. I know “me” better than that.

To be honest, I’m still digging. I’ve dug it up as far back as the early years of an abusive marriage, that I did not want in the first place, and the mode of survival that I went to, the type of inner defense I set up. I want to get all of the roots of this weed, I want it out of me, out of my life. It is poison, and I refuse to drink it anymore.

Yes, there is suffering in life. If Jesus Himself was matured through suffering, who do I think I am that it will take any less for me to mature? Wow…OK, human arrogance too! So I was appreciative when I came across the Helen quote, as I had forgotten. The world IS also full of the overcoming of it, and I will be one of them who do. I will make the changes needed. I will lose weight, I will exercise (once I am able), I will find other ways to work and provide for my children. It will be an adventure, not a loss. And who doesn’t love a good adventure?

Categories: Faith and Wrestling, Healing & Growing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Voice, Voices, Finding MY Voice

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Quite the injunction, that. 

I know that one ingredient in that jello/cement mix had to do with who “I” am, what is “MY” voice. I knew inside that mine was getting mixed up with others, more and more others as the days were going, and I didn’t quite know what to do about or with that. There is the cold hard fact that perspective changes from different angles, so step away and walk around it a bit, Tina…see what you see from someplace else. 

Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes. 

When you grow up without a voice, when you live as an adult without a voice, you forget you can even have one. When you’ve been told you’re not thinking/saying/meaning what you are thinking/saying/meaning, you learn you can’t trust your own thoughts/feelings/actions, because you apparently don’t even know what’s going on inside your own head or in your own life, you worthless waste of air you. 

And when if, by some miracle, you find those who told you what you were thinking/saying/meaning/feeling/doing are no longer there to inform you of that…..it feels like a huge abyss. A void that you are lost in. And depending on the moment, depending on who you are in places you don’t even know you can be, you either stumble around looking for the light switch, or you freeze in place and pray someone turns it on. Sometimes you do both by turns. 

And people wonder why the abused stay in their situations. It’s survival instinct, raw and base. You don’t know jack about living “out there”, in “the real world”, where people interact and every moment must be called into question, because every moment, every intent of your life has been, and you’ve been told ad nauseum that nothing you know or think is real or right or true or even vaguely accurate. You cannot trust yourself because all you’ve thought about anything is wrong and the only one who knows what is real, what is fact or truth or accurate, is the abuser. 

Having been out five years now, I am convinced it is a big part of why most victims go back. Why they literally cannot stay away. When he/she is helped out they are (hopefully) hugged and helped with provisions and some counselling, but all too soon you had better be ready to enter society and They Don’t Know How. They might not even know how to grocery shop without being told what to do, because that’s how it’s always worked.

My first grocery shopping experience 4.5 yrs ago triggered a PTSD episode I couldn’t snap out of in the middle of the cereal aisle in HEB. Thankfully one of my rescuers had gone with me, and had gone to a different aisle to ‘speed things up’. 

Don’t hurry a survivor. Not in the healing process, and not in the grocery aisle. We process things differently, when we can process at all. Sometimes all you can do is stand there and stare at the Lucky Charms like they are going to eat you instead of the other way around. 

It took me at least a week to snap out of that. 

It’s taken me 5 years to realize, to REALLY REALIZE, that it’s OK for me to have a voice that is all my own. That I am actually supposed to. That I’m not going to be eaten alive for doing so (being eaten alive would be mild compared to what one actually fears because they’ve been there). That I don’t have to mimic someone else, anyone and everyone else. That I can trust myself to mean what I say, and that I know what I mean. That if I say “the sky is blue”, I am saying it because it actually is. 

And if I say, “You, too, have a voice, can trust your voice, and that is right and good” to my fellow victim/survivors out there…I mean that too. Be safe, if you are still there, in that awful place. And know it doesn’t have to be that way.

There is life after. 

 

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Slow, Deep Breaths

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

Things were a bit greener in TX when this was taken, a couple of months ago. One of my favorite pics snapped spur-of-the-moment this spring. It’s been a while. 

And, it’s been a while. I would have to go back and read my last few posts to see if I could grasp why, but I ran into a complete wall inside of some odd jello-cement mix. It required some detoxing from myself, which as usual turned into me running into over-busy days and not enough time to breath, despite the man-friend in my life warning me what was coming. I’m stubborn, though, a good Finn-German-Irish IS by way of existence, and of course I could keep pushing. If it “needed” doing, I did it. 

My friend was right though, and exactly 39 days ago I dragged my barely functioning body into a bed and have been there since. Something happened to my lower spine that we are still attempting to sort out, and the rest of the body screamed “FINALLY!” and went into hibernation I think. Body is allowing my brain back a bit now *rolling eyes grin* and I do not take being idle well, so I’ve been thinking. Praying. Researching, studying, learning, planning. And praying more. And listening. Relearning how to listen. 

It was odd, the moment I collapsed, I knew I’d set foot on holy ground. I’ve had peace like I shouldn’t have with 3 children dependent on me and no income suddenly with only a very tiny bit of savings that went to bills the first month. Peace that shouldn’t be there with my “I MUST BE DOING” nature/drive. And when the mode of employment that I had found myself in..well, lets just say I’m not going to be working any jobs that requires standing or sitting, any time soon. So I lie here, and I listen, and I pray, and I wonder. And I can see Him smiling. He has a way of knocking me out on my arse when I’m running too many directions away from Him, and then waiting for me to come to. 

For two weeks He’s been whispering “you need to write, and you know it”. For two weeks….well, like I said, I’m stubborn. That trait has saved my life more than once, it’s hard to let go of sometimes. But the fire is sparking again….I’ve grown and changed in the time I’ve been away, healing has been happening. 

So, I’m back. Will be revamping a bit. Need to nibnose around in my own blog and see what’s here, what I had before,and get my bearings. But I’m back. And good things are coming from here. 

 

Categories: Faith and Wrestling, Healing & Growing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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