Category Archives: Horror

Being broken …

is a blessing.

Yes, you read correctly.

I am broken; have been broken and will, God willing, be broken again.

I am closest to God when I am broken for He loves me enough to be with me during the times in my life when I have nowhere else to turn.

I don’t seek out opportunities to be broken, yet find myself there.

I try to be good, to honor my Lord, yet I fail Him more often than not.

Ones who don’t love me have long given up on me.

That number is many.

People I have loved and adored as friends have cast me away as flawed, unworthy and incapable of love or friendship.

I don’t blame them.

I see myself that way.

But He sees me differently.

In His eyes, I am, though I’m broken, redeemable.

He sees something in me I can’t imagine.

Something worth saving.

Something He can use to help me reach out to others like me.

I am broken, yes, and being so, I am blessed.

I’ve lost so much, endured many trials, felt the hatred of those I held close to my heart.

It hasn’t been easy, but in order to be of use, it has been necessary.

I’ve been to the worst places;  destitute, friendless, homeless, persecuted, forgotten, scorned, and yet have survived the flames that threatened to burn me to ashes.

It could have hardened me but instead, it gave me an understanding I wouldn’t have otherwise had.

The fire refines me and, with each refining, I am stronger than I began.

Given a choice, I would have chosen an easier path.

An easier path, however, would have likely made me hardened and judgemental; useless to the work He had in store for me.

He lifts me above the flames so that I might relate to another’s trials.

I’ve been there.

In the fire.

In the desert.

In the wilderness.

Alone in the darkness surrounded by shattered pieces.

And wherever I was, whenever I was there, I wasn’t alone.

I will never, as He promised, be alone.

I once thought myself cursed, but now I find myself chosen.

How lovely to suffer for my Lord so that I can understand the heartbreak of His children.

I cry often, yes, but each tear that falls, falls into His hand and is treasured.

I understand who I am because He understood who He made me to be.

I love because He first loved me, though I was so often unloveable.

All of us, regardless of what we perceive ourselves to be are, at one time or another, unlovable.

That, we have in common.

Don’t follow my example, but learn from it.

That is my blessing and I am thankful for every heartwrenching trial.

Without them, I would be just like everyone else and, to my delight, He has set me apart.

Grace, mercy, tolerance and understanding are mine so that I can see, without blinders, His people.

Thank you, Lord, for eyes to see and an often broken heart to help me understand.

Amen.

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When the Halloween episode of Little House on the Prairie …

makes you hide under the covers and sleep with the lights on for a month, it sticks with you for a long, long time.  We’re working on what, now?  Thirty years?  Thirty five? More?

It sticks.  Trust me.

Ok, so maybe I am the only person, other than Laura Ingalls, who was terrified, freaked out and mentally assaulted at the thought of good-natured, sweet, gentile, patient, unassuming Mr. Olsen taking Mrs. Olsen’s head off with a sword and then answering the knock at the front door with an apron covered in blood.

Maybe I am.

It wouldn’t be the first thing, nor I regrettably admit, will it be the last, that freaked me out while having little or no effect on those around me.

No effect other than making them roll their eyes and mutter comments under their breath that they didn’t think I could hear.

I heard them.

All of them.

Well, most of them anyway.

Or I imagined them which, in my world, amounts to pretty much the same thing.

(For those who are unsure as to whom I speak, Laura was not a real person … well, she was, as she was an actress, but her character was just that … a character … made up by the ever talented, though now dead, Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I have read ALL of the Little  House books, unashamedly, multiple times over and do not  remember this particular scene in any of them.  I could have blocked it out, though, because that is what I do with disturbing images that terrify me and make me wet the bed because I am too afraid to put my feet on the floor, opening them to whatever may be underneath it, to walk to the bathroom.)

It wasn’t a scary show, but then neither was The Waltons and the episode when Elizabeth (whom I disliked a great deal anyway)  was becoming a teenager, made me feel the need for serious, long-term, ongoing therapy.

Knowing these things and, knowing as I do what a fraidy-cat, chicken-hearted, scare-baby (thanks Pollyanna, for scare-baby) I am, it is with horrified trepidation that I await the soon-to-be-received Netflix selection of True Blood that is even now on its way to my terrified-by-association mailbox.

The very thought of blood in my mouth makes my usually absent gag reflex perk up and sing the hallelujah chorus.

And still yet.

I can’t imagine what I was thinking.

Yes I can.  Peer pressure.  I succumbed to it.  Pure and simple.

I was recently introduced, by a friend, at least she was disguised as a friend, to Joe Manganiello, aka Alcide.  Well, not personally introduced for if I had met him in person, I would be bragging daily in that “I’m better than you can ever hope to be because I have met Alcide in person” tone.

I don’t know exactly how to brag efficiently because I don’t have much to brag about, but were I to meet that man in person, I would learn quickly.

Or at least fake it persuasively.

And I would become adept at lying, which is pretty much the same as faking it persuasively, but oh dear me …  the stories I would tell.

But all of that hinges on the the possibility that I had been introduced to him in person, when in reality, I wasn’t.

I had not heard of him before.  I don’t watch TV, watch the news, read the newspaper or otherwise partake in life as it happens outside my own definition of reality.

Sometimes I wonder why I don’t just strap a backpack filled with toast-chee crackers and hot mama sausages to my back and live my life in the mountains in a way that would closely resemble Grizzly Adams … or, more aptly, Mad Jack and Old Number Seven.

So anyway, after a brief diversion, I get back to the point; this video, filled with vampires, blood, gore, blood, violence, blood, sex, blood and a gruesomeness that I cannot even imagine … oh, and blood, in the mouth no less …  is on its way to my home.

I was told that this Alcide character didn’t show up until the third season, but to have a single solitary clue what was happening, I had to watch it from the beginning.  I have doubts, however, given my reaction after five minutes subjected to “The Living Dead”, which is not an HBO production, that I will make it through the first episode.

That statement is notwithstanding to the fact that the email from  Netflix with the photo associated with the show nearly made we wretch.

I have striven to be tough, more immune to outside influences, harder of heart and body and more like a living, breathing human being.

I really have.

But I’m not sure I accomplished what I set out to accomplish.

I wanted to be popular.

Like my sister.

I wanted to be good at sports.

Like my sister.

I wanted to have the ability to watch horror movies in the eighties with MY boyfriend instead of running out of the theater crying inconsolably.

Like my sister.

Just ask her.  It was a proud moment in her life.  Actually proud moments because she went on nearly every date I ever had.

But that is neither here nor there.  Actually it is or I wouldn’t have brought it up, but it shouldn’t be.  I’ll just say it that way.

And she, the sister I wanted to be like, watched “The Exorcist” with her friends while I cowered in my room with a thin wall between me and the TV and belted out show-tunes to keep the sound of the movie from my ears.  It was pathetic and likely still the topic of dinner table conversations of those who partook in that particular episode of my life.

And people wonder why I am warped.

I suppose, too, that they will be wondering why I am in the hospital on an overdose on stolen Xanax after only a few minutes of watching the pilot episode of True Blood.

Then they will remember this post and say “Oh …  yeah … well, I’m not all that surprised” as they bite into their warm, six inch, flatbread, tuna with provolone, spinach, avocado, red onion, black olive sandwich with jalapeno on the side from Subway.

Then they will go on with their lives while I gulp down Thorazine and fight off night terrors.

Peer pressure.

Do as I say, not as I do and avoid it at all costs.

I’ve got one hand in my pocket and the other one on an ancient typewritertypewriter

Abby, howling with ecstasy or insanity … either one workslaughingAbby

Standing still as shattered pieces fall …

and cut me over and over is something that I know intimately, but I realized today that though I know it, I only know a little piece of it.  I have tried to imagine, even while I know I cannot fathom such an atrocity;  losing a child.  Then to realize that not only have I lost my child, but that nineteen other children were lost at the same time is immeasurable.  I find that each time I think of such a horror, I burst out in tears for those who are facing that situation even now.  Knowing that the world is mourning my loss would be of little or no consolation when faced with an empty bed in an empty room in an empty house in a now empty life.  Knowing that there were nineteen different families who found themselves in the situation I was in would bring no comfort, only more bafflement, anger and grief.  I think I would find it hard not to be bitter even as I was grateful, that there are parents everywhere holding their children safe this night.  There are no words, no gestures, no deeds of goodwill that can even begin to bring comfort after such a senseless and brutal death of a child.  No human words or gestures, anyway.    Losing a child is losing a child, be it from sickness after months of hope and prayers or because that child is taken by the hands of a madman, a stranger, who decided to gun them down in cold blood for sins that the children had not committed. The little children are innocents and because of it, the battle becomes not one against nature or sickness, but of one against evil.  It doesn’t make the loss any less painful, but it does make it different.

I have spent the better part of the evening trying to wrap my mind around what a relatively small, close-knit community must be feeling at this moment.  I have not succeeded.  Each time I picture in my mind’s eye the tiny bodies lying shot to death, I have to remind myself that I live in a country where young children are not gunned down as they attend kindergarten class.  I tell myself that surely, there has been some mistake and that twenty children were not killed for a reason known only to a madman.  I tell myself that it couldn’t possibly happen where I live and then immediately seek out my nieces and hug them so hard that they complain about it.  I find that I cannot let them go.  They squirm and complain, but letting them out my arms before I have breathed in the scent of them, touched their sweet little lips to mine and stroked their downy hair is not an option, not for a while, not until I am convinced that they are real and safe and accounted for.  Something that twenty families in a small town in Connecticut will never have the opportunity to do again.  The sorrow and pain that I feel is no more than a drop of rain in a writhing ocean compared to theirs and that in itself makes me cry even harder.  I want to help.  I want to console.  I want to encourage.  I want to bring comfort.  But it is not in my power.

I cannot comfort them with words or gestures.  Their lives have been irrevocably changed for the worse.  What likely started as a normal day for these families ended in bone-crushing sorrow and depths of despair that cannot be described within the confines of this blog.  The cries and screams of mothers and fathers will echo down every valley and soar above the highest mountains for days and weeks and years to come.  Such sorrow cannot be contained and even though I did not hear them with my ears, my heart breaks at the sound I know is there and I find myself sobbing, yet again, for what cannot be changed.

I will do the only thing I know to do for them and that is to pray for comfort in a time of sorrow so black and so deep, an abyss that seems to have no way out.  Time, it is said, is a great healer, and from personal experience, I know that to be true … but time has never had to heal me from the loss of a child and I find that while I have compassion and a deep, deep sorrow for the loss, I cannot even begin to comprehend it.

Lifting up, in the name of Jesus, those who will be unable to stand for a long time is the only recourse I have.  But stand they will and fight they will and remember they will.  The road will be difficult and strewn with landmines and  obstacles that will take them backwards more than forwards; at least for  a time.  They will never get over it, may not get past it, but hopefully, can one day, come to terms with it enough to get out of bed in the morning.

This night, as the nation and the world mourns the needless loss of little children, may we join together and pray collectively so that a veil of protection can be woven around the grieving families.  Let us tear our clothing and throw ourselves to the ground to wail for that which threatens to suffocate us.  They have suffered enough for a lifetime.  Let us pray that that they can face it tomorrow, and the day after that and the day after that.

The little children are in the hands of God, but the hands of their parents are empty and their hearts are shattered.  Join me as I pray that they will be able to find some measure of comfort in some aspect of this tragedy and that in time, the memories that hurt them so deeply now will somehow bring them the comfort they seek.  I don’t know what else to do.

soaringhawk

Romans 12:21 Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

A scream and a prayer

October brings with it more than an inspiring array of colors beneath a brilliant sky; more than cooler temperatures and shorter days.  It brings with it the desire to instill fear with stories of the unknown, the bizarre and the downright creepy.  Classic Horror movies are all over the television, haunted houses are around every corner and haunted corn mazes (i can’t even imaging partaking in such a thing) are in darkened, remote fields here and about.  I’ve seen snippets of horror movies down through the years because I happened to walk through the same room they were playing.  Just hearing the music associated with Michael Myers or Jason makes my skin crawl.

Along the same vein, though somewhat more benign, are ghost stories.  I hate them.  I especially hate it them when they are proceeded with the information that the events in the story are not fiction.  There is some kind of anomaly in my brain that inhibits me from disassociating reality from fantasy when it comes to things that paralyze me with fear.  Funnily enough, when people learn this about me, the first thing they want to do is tell me a “true” ghost story.  What?  I didn’t make my point when I put my fingers in my ears and started singing “la la la” to drown out the words?

Reading Horror doesn’t present as much of a problem unless, of course, it has in bold letters “based on a true story”.  I don’t even give those a passing glance.  When reading the words, my mind can build the image of the story to fit within the limits that keep me (mostly) within my comfort zone; watching the images in a movie  puts someone else’s imagination in my head, rendering my own thought control powerless.  It’s not that I don’t realize that the fear I have is irrational, I just can’t seem to control it.  It is at this point that I usually start to sing Matchbox Twenty’s “Unwell” because it doesn’t make any sense to me either.

I guess it comes down to one simple truth; I don’t like scary stuff because it scares me.