Posts Tagged With: abuse

Small Steps

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I seriously need to spend some time researching formatting. Every time I think I have it figured out, I’m wrong. Persistence!!

I took a step back from everything after my last post. I know I am not in this current trial to thrash around like a fish dying on the shore, which is very much what it felt like I was quickly becoming. I have been asking Jesus and Father for some time, “Who am I, and how do I find out, and what does that mean?” I am not one who can believe none of this has meaning-not my single life being lived, not the grass growing (or trying to in Texas) outside even. As has been evidenced by much of my writing here, this is a question I have wrestled with. Who am I? Why am I here, what am I to do? Specifically, not the platitudes of “make the world a better place” and such. My initial reaction to such is always an internal “Duh…do I look like an idiot??” even if I don’t give voice to it.

I am realizing it has been a journey to accept the fact of personhood, for me. Perhaps that is a result of the abuse, the loss of identity that goes with it. Perhaps it is a result of my childhood, the constant derision of my dreams and goals, the statements of “that isn’t what you really want/think/feel/mean/etc”, and the being forced into the mold my mother had for me, which never ever fit. Whatever the cause, some of the heart work of the last two weeks made me realize I was feeling guilty, STILL, for even existing. For being. That despite thinking I had grown past it, the repeated message of “you were a mistake, if I had a choice you wouldn’t be here” beginning when I was very small was still influencing me, still cutting and tearing deep inside, still undermining any confidence or sense of “I am, and that is right and good.” I spent many hours one day with a close friend, talking through this and other aspects, and discovering that this wound is still there, unhealed. Denial is a powerful blinder. One wants to think they’ve dealt with something, and it’s done, done for good, I’m all better now, thank-you-very-much!

Unearthing that though was key. My behaviors lately have baffled me. Why am I panicking SO MUCH?! It’s not the first time I’ve been around this mountain. I’ve been unemployed and wondering where and how my children and I will live more times than I want to admit. I’ve scratched and fought and worked my way back to a place of being able to make it only to have my feet kicked out from under me, multiple times. Although I think sometimes God tries to keep my blood pressure at 210/115, He always comes through. I wish He weren’t so fond of the dramatic last minute (or second) rescue, but I don’t have much say in that LOL! What I do have a say in though is my response. Realizing I felt like I DID NOT have a say in my response, as I could not be my own person, because I did not deserve to exist…THAT has made a difference.

In the midst of that, Spirit finally said “It’s time…” regarding taking the RHETI test. I have been researching the Enneagram since this last winter, off and on, as some people I deeply respect and regard as teachers and mentors use it for their own growth. The more I learned about the origins, development, and applications of the Enneagram I began to think this might be an extremely useful tool in my life, growth, and healing. I would not let myself read about the types, as I did not want to know before taking the test. So when Spirit led, and I had a morning all to myself in quiet, I did. And I think I will be blogging about it for a while. The test was amazingly accurate, and in being so it also mysteriously afforded me permission to Be Who I Am, and gave me hints as to who that is. I am still processing, will be, and will do some of that processing here. Looking forward to that!

Also, I am working slowly through a writing course. It took me the first 2 weeks to accept that I had been accepted, so now I am playing catch up *rolls eyes at self* The course is teaching me also about myself…who I am. What is my rhythm, how do my words work, what do I need to write, and increasingly, that I *am* a writer, and I can embrace that. There are signs of life stirring deep inside, life in this area that I have fought so hard and pushed down in fear so much. Words are coming now, story pouring out. I have much to learn…but the plug has been unstopped. Thank the Lord!

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Categories: Faith and Wrestling, Healing & Growing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Us-vs-Them…Poverty

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photo credits Christian Silva (1&2) Propaganda Times (3rd)

 

 

I’m not really even sure how to start this post, but it’s been burning since last night, since I saw yet another
oh-so-popular Bash The Poor meme on FaceBook. But it’s not JUST FB. I hear it on radio shows, on the news, on television when I have a chance and bother to watch. There are YouTube videos, and print ads, and articles. There are angry politicians, what a crock that is when they are getting rich on the backs of the middle class. Makes me think, “you know, if we just gas chambered everyone who makes less than $50k a year, all of America’s problems would be solved apparently!” Then I remember I’m one of them.

Yet we call ourselves a Christian nation. I call BS on that. Sorry, Jesus’ whole ministry was to the poor and downtrodden, and having the people for lunch who screamed all of the equivalent of what I wrote above in His time period. And He didn’t demand to know how many jobs they were working, not to mention how they were spending every last penny they made on those jobs, and then grill them as to why they thought they deserved to eat or have clothes or a roof over their heads like normal, contributing to society humans do. Or, *gasp*, where did you get that donkey or embroidered shawl when by god, you claim to be poor!! “But Goodwill donkeys are on sale for a penny on Fridays, Lord, and it might help me get out of poverty, because now I have access to other work….” I can just see the poor man saying.

That’s what he has to say today. How dare you have a cell phone and be poor, you lazy rotten liar! per the new, lovely meme.

Somehow, I don’t see the love of Christ in that.

Let’s face it, the goal isn’t helping the poor get out of that position for our society. The goal is keeping them there so we have a scapegoat.

Rising health care costs-it’s not corporate greed, or the fact that companies have billions if not trillions in profits and WANT MORE, more to sit on and say “we are rich” and do nothing with. It’s those darned poor people going into the ER because they have a cold and can’t pay a doctor and can’t get insurance. And it’s those darned poor people having accidents or cancer and doing the same.

Increases in the cost of living are now the fault of the poor, too.

Cities costs to “clean up their streets” due to those filthy rotten homeless folks. How dare they need a place to live like the rest of us? Ban them…jail them, and then tell people their taxes have to go up to pay for those costs. How about taking some of the abandoned buildings and handing those homeless a hammer and nails, some paint, and saying fix it up, it’s yours. Win win. Abandoned building isn’t dragging down the property values, homeless person off the street. Even America’s god, Mammon, is somewhat served in that (not dragging down property values). But cash isn’t changing hands up front, so it’s no good…

NPR did a report a couple months ago on a city in Oregon, or Washington…I can’t remember which. The new (a few years ago) leaders decided to do something about their homeless. Instead of jailing them or chasing them off to die somewhere, they did a RADICAL THING. They gave them homes.
The report talked about HOW VERY MANY naysayers there were. You can’t just do that-they will expect handouts, they aren’t worth it, they won’t change, they are worthless, less than human, how can you be so stupid to think that will make a difference, and so on.
A couple of years later, guess what? 98% success rate, or maybe it was 96%. The people, be they single or families, fixed up their places, cleaned up their lives. Alcohol addiction and drug addictions went out the window. They got jobs. THEY KEPT JOBS. Some went to school, got their ged, are getting college degrees. The few whom it didn’t work for turned out to be seriously mentally ill. They needed help of a different kind, and if I remember rightly, they are getting it.
The report brought me to tears. I had to pull over, as I was driving at the time. Why can’t people who call themselves human see this?
What the poor need is HOPE.
When you have NO HOPE, why the hell bother?
When you have NO HOPE, your only options are to escape, somehow. Guess what humanity’s best routes of escape have been for millenia? Alcohol and drugs. And if that doesn’t deal with the pain that you can’t escape because humans can’t survive without hope, you slit your wrist or drink yourself to death or OD or some other way to get away from the pain.

If we ever want to be a Christian nation as we claim, we have to take care of the poor. No, that doesn’t mean give them handouts for the rest of their lives. It means give them hope. Give them a reason to live, to TRY. And give them what help they need in the meantime to prove to them that there ARE people who give a damn, who will help them up, who believe that they are worth something, worth the effort and expense.

Sure, there are those who play the system. You know what, they aren’t hard to spot. What’s hard is getting a pair and doing something about it, like kicking them out of the system. What’s even harder is taking the time to get to know them, hear their stories, FIND OUT WHY they do what they do, and then offer them hope, call them up higher, call out the good in them to step up and show itself off.

I’m told I’m naive. I’m a country and small town girl, I can’t begin to understand the way inner city poor think and scheme to get away with all that they can. I’m sorry, but the country has poor too. I grew up in my small town in a 20×30 box with 5 people. I grew up…have you any idea how many broken down single wide trailers that can’t begin to hold heat house people in southern IN? And people wonder why meth labs are such a problem there?

You have a problem with the drug trade? Help the poor. It will be a lot more effective than the billions we’ve poured into the “war on drugs”. True, not all drug users are poor. But they are the only ones anyone gets angry about.

And yes, I’m NOT naive enough to think everyone will reform, become contributing members of society. There are some people who are just bad. Trust me, I know. But I’m guessing those bad apples would become more apparent. Then only the bad apples would get labeled as such, instead of the current situation of all poor are criminals, up to something, trying to leach off the system.

We have to get past the “Us vs Them” thinking. I didn’t even get started on the media mongering of race…ah well, that’s another day 😉

Categories: Faith and Wrestling, Pain and mourning, rants =) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scattered

 

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Fall from Flickr via Wylio © 2011 Kenny Louie, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio[/caption

Fall is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year. A little bit less “without a doubt”, now that I live in TX, but I spent the first 38 years where leaves change colors and the scent of the air changes and that lovely crispness enters it also. Colors above and colors crunching under foot and ever the rich deep green of the pine trees contrasted against it all. Honestly, I desperately miss it-fall in the northern states. It seemed easier to slow down, there, as the seasons cycled and nature herself came to a gradual halt. Winter was always my second favorite…the stillness, the hush that lay over the land. The cold that took your breath as much as the beauty of the world wearing white and sparkling with the cover of ice. Waiting was easier somehow. Hoping was too. Winter was a season pregnant with hope to me, despite all I read about it being about death-I never could quite grasp that. Winter was patient expectancy, the work being done, oh so quietly, oh so calmly, without fanfare. Winter doesn’t need the fanfare, she’s content to let Spring have that. I see her smiling softly to herself, a knowing sort of smile, as she goes about her business of setting the stage for renewal.

Despite the ache in my bones, I miss the definite seasons.

I think I’m realizing, I miss them inside also. I miss a definite rhythm to life, a sense of where I am, where I’m going, what is coming. I miss the peace, the hope, that is inherent in that. I’m not sure what season I’m in, though I do feel like scattered leaves. Hmmm….letting go. What am I holding on to that I need to just…let go?

As I type this, one thing comes to mind…this place I’ve rented for the past year…I like it. It’s the first place that has felt like it could be home in many years. And I am feeling that it is threatened, like once again what roots I’ve been able to put down might be torn up, again, and I don’t know that this plant, or my little plants, can take another transplanting. Yes, I wish the neighbors didn’t play their music for the whole street, but apart from those times, the boys and I really like it. Jesus, come…You know, Lord. Trust. You found this place, You led us here. Why do I fear? The Lord is my Rock, my Provider, my Refuge.

And as I cast around for ways to earn, so I don’t lose it, the scattered feeling is intense. I don’t believe work is meant to be a drudge where you just go punch the clock and put in your time to earn your paycheck that barely covers things. But it seems to me one has to know themselves a bit and what they desire, what burns in them, to do otherwise. I ask myself, what are those things, and none of them seem practical. Horses, sustainable small scale farming, archaeology…not easy ways for someone in prime health to earn a living. I can’t help but work towards the first two, and the last I have just accepted I will need to pacify myself with reading about. Writing? I can’t tell if that’s me or if that’s the voices of many over the years telling me I should be a writer. I became a Watkins consultant because how hard can it be to sell very high quality reasonably priced organic consumables that people use in every day life, when I can sell luxury things like a horse? Over a year later I’m still trying to get anyone to try anything…but the truth is, I hate sales. It’s hard to be good and convincing at something you hate LOL! Yet I renewed, to try for another year, because bills have to be paid, and they really are products I believe in. Maybe I’ll learn, I tell myself. I will continue to try. I loved the work I was doing with my elderly client. Being there to do the things she no longer could, to allow her to keep her independence…that was meaningful. That was making a difference in her and her family’s lives. I can go back to that, but not for at least 6 months, per the doctors, and that is if all goes well.

I would love to find a way to merge the farming, the little horses, and helping the elderly and abused. I still dream of a place people can come to, to rest and rejuvenate their souls. Paths to wander, benches to rest on, little horses to interact with, with chickens running around and flowers blooming and a few Collies to pet and cats and bunnies to hold. If they want and are able, a bit more to do…Minis to drive or walk with, brush…gardens of growing things, good things. A place where life can slow down, and souls can breathe and stir…eyes can cry as much as needed to release, and belly laughs can ring out too. It’s amazing how much people slap down dreams like that, if you dare to mention them. All I’ve heard so far is “you’ll lose everything if you try to do that” and “you can’t-you aren’t capable”. Why? I’m intelligent, I’m organized, I can plan and carry out. No, I’m not physically strong much anymore-but that can come, and it’s not like I’m wanting to use big horses *soft smile* “You don’t have the money and never will for a dream like that, let it go Tina”, a few have said. I have to say, if it’s HIS dream, it will happen. The Lord gives you the desires of your heart. We mistake that in our western culture to mean “If I want something, God will give it to me”.  A closer reading of the original Hebrew shows that it means the very desires that we have inside of us, those things that burn there–He gave them to us. And what He intends, He fulfills. I have to hold on to that.

And stop scattering myself in so many directions, looking for a way through.

Categories: Faith and Wrestling, Goals and Desires, Healing & Growing, Horses | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Guilt Is Easier Than Pain

Guilt Is Easier Than Pain.

 

I have to share this one, it is spot on and an eye opener. Ouch. Enough said LOL!

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

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