Tag Archives: family

It has been a long few days …

or has it been weeks?

I haven’t posted anything new.

No blog posts.

No photographs.

Nothing.

I have been in a holding pattern of sleepwalking, nightmares and erotic dreams that leave me confused, wondering and bewildered …

and all the while, trying my very best to make it, without losing my cool, through the seemingly endless days and eventful nights.

I have had patients cry on me, their families strike me, people pulling at my heartstrings which are linked directly to my tear ducts and during all of this, trying to find out if I am to blame for something I had no control over.

I wonder if I have severed a crucial friendship and have already began to mourn the loss of it.

I have a way of ruining beautiful things because I rarely feel worthy of them.

I have slept outside, sent messages I wasn’t aware of and tried desperately to hold it together.

A difficult few days, indeed.

But tonight changed all that.

It came a storm.

A big one, with lots of lightning and torrential rain.

Normally, during such an event, I would be set up on the porch with my tripod and camera, but this time was different.

This one wasn’t to be documented and photographed.

It was to set my spirit free.

And it did.

I stood on the porch with my jeans and t-shirt, getting soaked.

But as time passed, I wanted no earthly barriers between me and the blessing that God was giving me.

A cleansing.

A fresh beginning.

Letting the past be past and bygones be bygones and memories no more than a blip on my radar.

One piece of clothing after another was discarded until I found myself standing nude and vulnerable under the rain, with the lightning flashing, the thunder bellowing, echoing between the mountains and valleys …

tears running down my face.

I prayed to a God that I had decided had forgotten me.

He hadn’t.

I think He was just waiting for me to remember Him.

It was frightening.

It was freeing.

I was liberated from the hold this world had on me.

I was, for that span of time, one with nature and the God who created it.

I still struggle with the emotions and thoughts in my head, but He designed my brain and is well acquainted with my mindless and sometimes senseless ramblings.

He doesn’t hold them against me and so I won’t hold them against myself.

Not everyone believes in my God.  I don’t find fault with them.  I know what I know, they know what they know.

I can only be who I am and, despite all my faults, and they are many, I feel at peace.

And despite that, my friends who don’t believe in my God like me anyway.

I am humbled by that.

Just  as I accept them, they accept me.

With our differences of opinions and thoughts.

It is irrelevant.

Isn’t that what it was supposed to be like?

Love one another?

Are my thoughts still burning through my head? Yes.

Do I still sometimes feel out of control? Yes.

Do I have someone to share the thoughts and emotions with? Yes, and I am thankful for them.

Do I wonder if I am making the right choices? Yes.

Following Christ doesn’t mean that everything is just peachy.  In all honesty, it is the opposite.

I don’t do it right, I never have, but I hope to at least encourage somebody along the way.

And selfishly, I hope to be encouraged.

I wonder sometimes if I am nothing more than the punching bag of the universe.  I don’t mind it if it keeps someone else from suffering, but every now and then, it wears on the soul.

And then, an incredible storm comes, I stand in the rain, and all is right again.

The circle of life.

It is what it is what it is what it is.

It is what we make of it that counts.

So make it count.

a beautiful human, inside and out.

a beautiful human, inside and out.

Picking and culling …

is a real pain in the nether regions.

I’ve been going through things in my house today, what to keep, what to trash and I find that there are really very few things I have any use for.

It seems that the most important things to me are my photo albums, laptop, external hard drive, camera, national geographics, 1000 places to see before I die book, coffee grinder, a portrait I drew of my dad as an Airman, the photos my daughter and nieces have drawn through the years, a blown glass wine cork and my lava lamp.

When it comes down to it, that, out of a houseful of useless things, doesn’t amount to much.

I suppose, if I needed to, I could easily put all my “treasures” in a garbage bag and live happily under a bridge.

I like hot showers, though, so that might pose an oppositional equation.

I have friends and family who have things that they treasure.  I don’t really treasure anything.

Not anything I can hold in my hand.

They are just things.

The objects I treasure aren’t objects one can take off the shelf and admire … they aren’t really objects at all.

God.

Creation.

Friends.

Family.

Loyalty.

Music.

Words.

One can’t own this stuff.  They can simply be a part of the magnificence as it as unfolds, one day into the next.

I didn’t mean to have an epiphany while cleaning house and doing laundry, but it just happened.

I had the chance to drive across the Hoover Dam back when you could drive across it … and drive through the desert to get there.

I had the chance to stand before the Lincoln Memorial and know that I was living a dream.

I have so many places I want to see, so much of creation that is only a picture in my mind, not one imprinted on my soul for I have not seen it for myself.

I want to.

That is what I want to hold onto.

The dreams of what can be accomplished, what can be sought after, what can be found simply by following the imagination.

I have things that my late husband gave me.  They are good for nothing but reminders.

The memories are in my heart and mind and soul.

I’m not really big on memories as it seems the difficult ones, the hard ones … they are the ones that come to mind.

I have to work to bring up the good ones.

So I’m culling more than picking … and I feel good about that.

Someone I admire a great deal …

likely much more than is good for me …

once told me they occasionally live a John Denver kind of life … I’m going to try to be more John Denver-ish myself.

I will have the courage to submit my book, my poems, my photographs.

I will have the courage to feed my wanderlust and see the place I long to see.

I will simply have courage.

I earn a paycheck as a nurse, it is true, but in my heart, I am more and, at the same time less.

I only have so many years to live.

What is that song?  100 years?

There is no point in deluding myself that I will ever make it to a hundred years old.

Why wait?

Why indeed?

The innumerable stars of the sky

The innumerable stars of the sky

Love is the most powerful of emotions

Love is the most powerful of emotions

Through Abby's eyes ... i miss this sweet girl

Through Abby’s eyes … i miss this sweet girl

When God gives one a heart of compassion …

it is understood that it will get broken.

There is no way around it.

I am still learning this.

I find that is is both  an honor and a privilege to watch the end of life come to pass.

It isn’t easy nor can it be considered pleasant, but it is a part of life that not everyone gets to see.

The living years is what most of us look for, find pleasure in and hope to be a part of.

But to be present when a spirit leaves this world is nothing short of amazing.

The last breath.

The last heartbeat.

The last moment.

I cannot help but cry for it is, in it’s way, very sad … and yet, when there was suffering, it is also a comfort.

I try, in my weak way, to console the ones left behind, but at that particular moment, there really are no words to say.

I can only be there, in the background, in the edges of the moment, to hold a hand or wrap my arm around those who need the contact.

I’m not, by nature, a hugger or toucher.

It doesn’t really come naturally to me as it does to true nurturers … and yet, I find myself being pulled into the emotion.

It is difficult, but I cannot turn them away.

Not in their moment of need.

Maybe I am weak. But if I can offer some bit of strength in their moment of weakness, then my strength has been made manifest.

I can do, for this moment, what I have learned through experience to do.  Not book experience, or clinical experience, but life experience.

I understand loss, especially unexpected loss that blindsides you and leaves you reeling from words left unsaid.

It is what it is and there are no do-overs.

It is enough to know that you loved someone while they lived in a way that they knew, unconditionally, that they were loved.

It is enough.

Move forward as you can, but whatever the cost, move forward.

To remain where you are, in grief and sorrow is the last thing in the world the one you lost would want.

Don”t be afraid to live.

If you aren’t afraid to live, then when your time comes, you won’t be afraid to die.

It is a circle.

Don’t break it.

I have to ask myself …

is it a bad thing to ask people that I know to like something that has nothing, really at all, to do with them?

It feels odd to me to ask people to “like” a page that they may not like (to be specific, a page dedicated to my greeting cards, or mayhaps my rambling blog posts … like this one).

Gone are the days of simply calling someone on the phone, a phone that has a rotary dial and no inkling of caller ID (am showing my age even as I look through my collection of eight track tapes and vinyl albums)  to say, “hey … i have this thing going on and I would really appreciate it if you would call, rotary style, your friends, and let them know”.

The ability to reach hundreds, thousands or, even in the most wonderful of scenarios, hundreds of thousands of people, with a single link is nearly mind-boggling.

I am from another time.  A time when I stretched the phone cord (attached to the wall) as far as it would go to talk to a boyfriend that I wonder now if I even ever liked.

It didn’t matter how far I stretched the cord, however, as my sister was nearly always listening on the other line and was all too eager to tattle about anything I was saying.

Those of you who have younger sisters will understand this with chilling clarity.

The hair on the back of your neck will likely stand up.

I don’t begrudge my younger sister nor harbor any ill feelings about her, but at the end of the day, it would have been nice had she minded her own business.

But, as younger sisters often do, she did not and, if truth be told, still does not.  She may deny this but as my dad is fond of saying, “the truth will stand when the world’s on fire”.

But then I digress about the obstacles that younger sisters (or brothers, as the case may be) entail.

As it is, this isn’t a post about old boyfriends, dead husbands or otherwise estranged friendships.

It is about whether or not it is acceptable ask people you know, friends or otherwise, to follow along on whatever endeavor that may be taking form at the time.

I am a photographer and writer and, because it is necessary in order to support such things, a nurse.

A paycheck, these days, comes in handy.

A job is a job and while I find myself becoming more involved with people than I feel comfortable with, caring about them, wondering about them, worrying about them, I try to distance myself.

It isn’t as easy as it should be for I find myself thinking of them as my parents, or daughter, or sister or friends and then I get all mixed up in their lives and wonder how they are doing and if they are eating and if they have air-conditioning on days when the thermometer reads 95 degrees in the shade.

I think sometimes that I am selfish and then realize that I want to be selfish, but can’t quite attain that status.

I guess, on some level, that is a good thing, that unselfishness, but it doesn’t change the fact that I want to be selfish.

I’m just not any good at it.

S0, with unselfishness that belies itself, I besiege my friends and family to promote my blog and greeting cards while harboring a sense of guilt for asking in the first place.

I am certain that somewhere, in all of this, an oxymoron is simply waiting to be born.

I am not going to apologize for being myself, but will, rest assured, feel guilty for not doing so.

Until next time, be well.

God will, without fail, have the last word.

God will, without fail, have the last word.

I wonder at times …

just what kind of influence I have on my nieces and if it is, in fact, a good thing.

When they come over, we stand in the rain and try to catch raindrops on our tongue.

We stand on the porch in the dark of night, talking to the man in the moon and try to count the stars.

We watch lightning bugs and look for meteors.

We laugh at silly stuff and listen to music.

We bang on the piano keyboard making all manner of noise and then pretend that we know what we are doing.

I play Mahler, Beethoven and Bach for them and then we dance like mad to Crazy Train.

We watch Lord of the Dance and documentaries on Alaska.

We make up songs and sing them loudly, through a hairbrush microphone.

We burn incense and light the lava lamp.

We brew tea using a teaball and have tea parties with Irish Breakfast tea.

We sit in the floor and draw pictures using markers, chalk and crayons.

Blue is my favorite.

We let the dog in the house during a thunderstorm because I have a hard time denying them anything.

We don’t watch TV and we rarely watch movies.  There is so much that is there that they, as little girls, don’t need to know.

There is so much there, that me, as a big girl, don’t need to know.

I want to let them know how much I love them without exposing them to the things about myself that make feel crazy and out of control.

I don’t want them to know that sometimes my thoughts race, my mind falters and I don’t, more than any other hope I have, want them to be like me.

Manic and exasperated or crying and inconsolable.

I want, though, to let them know, that it is OK to be different from everyone else, to march to their own drummer, to follow their dreams and to seek what they want to know.

I want them to know that wherever they go, whatever they do, whatever endeavors they undertake, I will support them, love them and will always, always stand in the rain with them.

joy unspeakable

joy unspeakable

youthful innocence

youthful innocence

James Taylor sang …

“I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain …” he saw sunny days that he thought would never end.

I feel that way sometimes.

Like the sun will last forever and the foreboding darkness of an impending storm will elude me and deprive me of the comfort that only such an awe-inspiring event of God-created nature can bring.

I found myself today in the company of a family who was waiting for their mother to die.

I have spent an hour or so with them every day for the past couple of weeks and have come to know them, to care about them, to love them.

I’ve seen photographs of their children and grandchildren, of weddings and birthday parties.

I’ve seen faces with smiles that don’t quite reach the eyes because there was worry there.

A sadness.

A knowing.

A sorrow for what was to come.

I didn’t want to go into that room today.  I wanted to be a coward and take the coward’s way out and simply say that they were unavailable.

It would have been a lie, though, even if only to myself.

One that would settle smoothly at the time and then plague me in the wee hours as I remembered the fear, sorrow and sense of hopelessness on the faces that I was trying so hard to comfort.

So I went into the room I didn’t want to go in, sat with people I had come to know and love and waited with them while their mother took her last breath.

It was humbling to be accepted into this place of sorrow and grief as though I was one of them.

I have sat with them, held their hands, cried with them, prayed with them and now, I mourn for them.

It was obvious, when I went to visit them today, that the time was limited.  While I didn’t want to bring negative connotations to an already tense situation, I advised them to call any other family members who should be there to come to be with them.

Maybe I overstepped my bounds.  No, there is no maybe about it, I did overstep them.  But in my nearly thirty years as a nurse, I haven’t always played by the rules.

Sometimes I play by the heart, which often breaks the rules.

But over the years, I have seen death enough to know what it looks like.

I couldn’t live with the knowledge that there were ones that I had met and bonded with before that weren’t there now when the moment they had been dreading, avoiding, rationalizing, but knew was impending, had come.

I felt like a traitor.  Like someone who had come only to say that this is it.

The last hoorah.

The final moments of a life well lived.

I stood in the corner while the family stood around the bed, each one with their hand on the one they loved so dearly, as she took her last breath and left this world.

Before she did, she opened her eyes, something she hadn’t done in days, and looked directly at each one present; saying goodbye, farewell, move on, don’t cry.

Silent tears ran down my face as I watched them watch her as her soul departed from her ravaged body.

I remembered thinking how I wish my Jim had someone with him when he died.  And then I remember how much of a loner he was.  Even with me, he was alone.  I wonder now if he was glad that he was alone when he died.  Glad that he didn’t have to see the fear and sorrow on a face that would wish him to go on when he couldn’t, or maybe simply didn’t want to.

I don’t mourn him anymore.  I think of him and of the life we shared, but I have let him go.  He is a dear and well-loved memory, but not an anchor to weigh me down.  That can bring good to no-one.  And I believe it would sadden him if he thought that his death had broken my spirit.

I slipped out of the room, unnoticed, by the family.  There was nothing else I do, nothing else I could offer; no words I could say to comfort them in that moment.

Trying to do so would be futile and would, I feared, break the trust that they had placed in me to understand them in their moment of weakness.

I had given them my heart, which was now breaking for each one of them.  My tears won’t help them anymore than their own will.

I hope for them, this night, peace in the knowledge that they not only loved, with such passion, their mother, sister, grandmother, wife … but that she knew, with every ounce of her being, that they did.

I like to think that knowing that you gave everything you had to someone you loved is enough to sustain them at their last moments.

I will cry myself to sleep tonight for a family I didn’t know just two weeks ago, a family now broken and irrevocably changed.

I will photograph the living and mourn the dead.  This is the life, while I may not have chosen willingly, was given to me to live.

If my heart shatters a bit in order to bring comfort to another, then it was pain well spent.

I will live it the best I am able, deal with it when I can, falter when I can’t and then remember, while trying to remind others, that even when it doesn’t seem so, life goes on.

There isn’t, really, any more anyone can do other than the best they can.

And then, you move on, for if you don’t move forward, there isn’t any hope and hope is, and will always be, one of the most wonderful things life has to offer.

Without hope, there isn’t anything left.  So hope.  Seek happiness in the face of sorrow.  Find beauty in the midst of sorrow and disaster and know, beyond all else that hope is a good thing … and no good thing, as long as there are people who remember what was, never really dies.

Love is the most powerful of emotions

Love is the most powerful of emotions

soulful eyes

soulful eyes

It’s funny how it’s funny …

later.

I am a facebook junkie. I admit it.  No reason not to really, since people I have never laid eyes on see the things I say.  I post random thoughts at random times and forget, more often than not, to change the filter that goes from my brain to my mouth; or in this case, my fingers.

Often, things that other people say or do remind me of events of my own life.  Tonight was one of those times.  As it happened this time, it was something I said that brought the old-but-not-forgotten memory into focus and I was taken back, decades, to a time in my childhood.

I was six years old.  Ok, maybe I was five or even seven; it has been so long ago that the age has escaped me, but the clarity of the memory has not.  I write this, not to remind my beautiful, wonderful Aunt Nell of the error of her ways (though to a kid, the error was heinous), but to relive a priceless, however painful, moment in time.

She was like a mystery wrapped in an enigma, was my Aunt Nell.  She was beautiful, knew famous people and likely, most importantly even, owned a portable tape recorder and brought presents in her multi-colored bag.  She and my Uncle Ford lived in Pennsylvania which, to a kid growing up in the back country, tobacco-farming, cow-milking, chicken-raising, hog-slopping, corn-hoeing, bean-picking, mule-plowing area of Southwest Virginia, could just have well been Ireland or Italy or France.

Or Gate City.

All I knew for certain was that it was hours away and trips there, with Grandaddy in the back seat with me and later, my little sister, was never a joy.

And yet, I digress.

As I said, I was a kid, the age remaining undetermined, and was on the cusp of pulling  a tooth.  Even as a little girl, the very thought of blood in my mouth made me sick to my stomach.  So obviously, pulling a tooth was right up there with being staked to an anthill.

They, she and Uncle Ford, came to visit, along with the snazzy clothes, tape recorder and gifts that I could never resist hinting about.

That drove my mother crazy … the hinting, not the presents … but I knew she would bring me something and the suspense nearly gave me a coronary.

How embarrassing  that would have been at five, or six or whatever.

And so, I digress again.  This was supposed to be a story about an event that has, for obvious reasons, stuck with me for nearly forty years.

The loose tooth.

So, Aunt Nell, or as we in the family call her, Aunt Neldie, had the bright idea that she could pluck that tooth right out of my mouth, painlessly and with little to no bloodshed.

I, being a gullible child, went along with it.

She was, after all, the well-respected, visit-anticipated, living in another country, Aunt Nell.

I let her, against my inner voice’s urging, tie a string to my tooth.

Then I watched in barely contained horror as she tied the other end of the string to a doorknob.

Then I stood, idly by, as she proceeded to slam the door with the strength of a Sumo wrestler.

Or Batman, even.

This being the same door holding the string tied to my tooth.

It should have worked, she said.

I don’t understand it, she said.

Don’t cry (as if!), she said.

Come back, she said.

At least I think she said these things.

I had disentangled myself from the doorknob at this point and was stalking up the hill towards the smokehouse.

I’ll explain a smokehouse some other time, but it isn’t where you go to smoke, unless you were my cousin.  It’s where he went to smoke unless he wanted to be skinned by my mamaw.

As I was stalking off, I was crying.  I hadn’t yet learned to say curse words or I would have been cursing, which would have gotten my mouth washed out with soap.  For real.  I made it to the top of the hill, the house still in view when I stopped.

There at the top of the hill was the mule that everyone called Old Beck.  She was a gentle creature, but I, as a child (and even into my teens and twenties – and let’s just be truthful here, my thirties) was an avowed chicken.

I was afraid of everything.  Bugs, airplanes, grass, bees, water, dark, oxygen.

Even sweet-natured-if-stubborn-to-a-fault Old Beck.

It would be much simpler to say what I wasn’t afraid of.

Dirt.

I wasn’t afraid of dirt.

Unless there were bugs or worms in it.

At any rate, I found myself too chicken to actually run away as I had originally planned and went back to the house where the offense had occurred.

While it wasn’t funny at the time, it has been a constant source of amusement over the years.

I forgave Aunt Neldie, because otherwise, she wouldn’t have given me the present she brought or let me play with her tape recorder.

But I didn’t forget it.

Some things just stick with you, ya know?

I. Was. Running.flolicking

Don’t panic .. and wear your sunglasses.Beemer, a sweet Great Pyrenees, shows his Hollywood

Taking stock …

and re-evaluating my thoughts, emotions, feelings, friendships; things in general.  I find myself in an odd position.  This time of year is very difficult for me.  I have, since the death of my husband, taken at least one day near his birthday, which incidentally, is tomorrow, off from work.

I never know how I will wake up … it could be the “well, just another day” mode, or the “hysterical, uncontrolled, inconsolable sobbing” mode.  So, I avoid contact with the human race during that time because I am most unpredictable.

I know that I am not the only person who faces such days with this outlook.  I would love to say that I am free from the memories, thoughts and flashbacks.

Actually, I could say that.

But I would be lying, and I am a terrible liar.

If I have learned anything, it is that it is good to know yourself.  I think I have that one nailed.  Unfortunately for my family and friends, I remain an enigma.

Sigh.

It makes me feel a bit disconcerted that, after all this time, the birthday of someone who has been dead for years still has the ability to effect me in this way.

Don’t roll your eyes.  Of course I loved him and miss him.  But over three years later?  Give me a damn break already …

I had planned to spend the day at my favorite waterfall and then at a lake that holds special significance to me, however, due to an appliance malfunction, I will be at home.

Might as well cook, since I’m going to be here anyway and possibly reap the side benefit of being able to torment the appliance deliveryman with the smell of red sauce simmering on the stove.

I can only hope that he doesn’t find me sobbing like a child.

How awkward would that be?

Either way, I will get through the day and be thankful for many things.  It doesn’t mean that I won’t lament over the things that hurt me, but those are less frequent than the blessings.

There is no point whatsoever in ignoring the white elephant in the room.

I miss my Jim; my Jamie.  I miss seeing his sweet smile on his birthday. I have not, as odd as it may seem, dreamed of him even once, since his death.  I suppose, on some level, I am grateful, for I would hate to wake each morning tormented by the past.

I am not big on torment … or pain … or sorrow.

Life goes on and we either live it leave it.

I choose to live it.  Even when it makes me sad for without sadness sprinkled throughout, how could I truly embrace the joy.

I am a Sagittarian optimist.  I am, even as the tears threaten to fall, looking for the silver lining.  The tears will still fall.  My heart will still mourn.  My thoughts will still stray.  But at the end of the day, I will believe that everything will be ok.  And it will be.

Glass. Half. Full.

It’s just the way I roll.

spiritofjim

fear and uncertainty …

filled his blue eyes, open wide and full of worry.  At first glance, from the hallway, the only visible things were a single foot protruding from beneath a blanket and a partially filled urinal on the tray table.

I wondered, before walking into the room to speak with him, what I would find.  I was already feeling badly for him simply knowing that a container holding his urine sat on a table where soon, his lunch would be placed.

I felt that surely, had there been family present, that would not have been the case and, not to my surprise, I found him alone.

He was worried.  It was evident in his sad, sad eyes.  They were wide open, showing the incredible blueness, wrinkled at the edges from a lifetime of emotion; laughter, tears, anger.

He was a widower.  He had children, but his voice betrayed his attempt at courage as he spoke of wishing to go home.  His blue eyes became even more sad as he spoke of a home that he knew, in his heart, he would not return to.

I felt a wave of righteous fury toward his children, none of whom had been to visit him during his week-long stay in the hospital, as he spoke of having nobody to care for him.

I thought of my own father.  Thought of his sadness were he to lose my mother and be left to live out his days without the woman that he loved more than life.

Many times, and to my mother I have said such, I have prayed that if my parents cannot die at the same time, I hope my dad goes first.  I cannot bear to even entertain the thought of him trying to cope without my mother.  He is strong in body and spirit, but would be lost without her.

She, on the other hand, is tough as nails.  A survivor full of beauty and strength and would, though with sadness and tears, move on and make the best of a seriously bad situation.

While her tears would cut me deeply, tears shed by my dad shatter me.  I would be of little use to him, not that he would last for long without her as he would soon die of sadness.  I know this as surely as I know the sun rises in the East.

But I digress.  I wasn’t speaking of my parents, but of poor, sad-eyed mister who lay in the hospital bed, dwarfed by the room, confused by the lingo, hurt by the antipathy of his children.

He wanted to go home and held, other than that wish, no other ambition or hope.

It would not come to pass.  He would not go home.  Not to the home where he lived for over fifty years with his wife before she died.  Not to the home where his children, who had now abandoned him, had been raised.

He would not go back to where the garden once thrived with vegetables and a myriad of flowers in the summertime, the trees bursting full and golden in Autumn.

He would not walk the familiar halls that had brought him comfort in his time of need.

He would not sleep in the bed that conformed to his body due to years of use.

He would be a stranger among strangers.

It took all of my strength and everything I could dig from the depths of myself to not burst into tears while speaking to him; seeing him old and broken and alone.

His wide eyes, full of worry, filled me with compassion and empathy.  I, in my mind and heart, brought him home with me.  Though there is an unwritten rule among nurses to not become too attached, he has been here, dancing on the edges of my thoughts, since the day I met him.

I have cried for him, prayed for him and inwardly cursed his children for their inattentiveness.   I want, in these last years of his life, happiness for him.

I try no to get too attached, but I am human and I fall in love with those the world has so blithely displaced.  He will remain in my prayers and though I will likely never see him again, his eyes will haunt me.

They haunt me now as do so many others; young, old, suffering, addicted, betrayed, sickened, world-weary souls who need, more than anything else, to be loved.

I have said it before and I reiterate it now … I am too softhearted to be a  nurse.  I always have been.

violinhands

Leviticus 19:32  ~ Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord.

It is a rare thing …

for me to do a follow up to a previous post, however, on this night, the words were in my head and thus made their way to my fingertips that were writing my blog.

It was an ordinary day, just like any other ordinary day.  Well, maybe not just like, but similar enough to be considered so, anyway  The thing about my ordinary days, though, is that they are are different from what others consider ordinary. I know that I am not alone with this thread of consciousness, or lack of it, whatever the case may be.

It is for those that face the same fears, the same anxiety, the same repetitive actions that this is for.  To bring hope.  To bring encouragement.  To bring solace.

It was long day.

It was anxiety filled.

It was, at times, difficult.  But in the end, I didn’t have another panic attack and for that, I am sincerely grateful.

I feel as though I have dodged a familiarly dangerous bullet.  I tried, last night, after such an incredibly difficult, disheartening day, to imagine myself before … when I had felt out of control and lived in a state of perpetual panic.

I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I couldn’t bring the images of the person I had been, clearly into my vision.

That is a good thing, I am certain.  Nothing I have faced since that time has been as bad … as dark … as confusing.  I hope to never reach those depths again.

I haven’t forgotten it, but I don’t dwell on it, either.  I was fearful, after yesterday, that I would slip back into the old OCD habits and find myself  unable to sleep, late for work, unable to drive without pulling over and putting my head between my knees; unable to function as a normal, living, breathing human being.

I was frightened.  I admit it.

But I lectured myself before turning in last night that I would not face this day with panic.  And I didn’t.  I rose an hour earlier than usual in the event that the steps on my porch  posed a problem and became an obstacle rather than what they simply were; steps on my porch.

As it turned out, I ran down them, jumped in my car and actually beat the scool bus to the road.  If it hadn’t been so cold, I would have put my convertible top down and arrived at work feeling completely human and not only semi-so.

I spoke to my mom tonight and told her of yesterday’s occurrences.  I expected, and received, no judgement from her.  She knows that I have rituals that I go through.  She knows that I am not, though I wish to be, what the world considers to be normal.

She knows about the counting.

Nobody, not even she, knows how severe it can be or how much it rules my life.

Nobody, that is, until now.

I have opened myself, a part of my psyche that shames and humiliates me, to others who are shamed and humiliated as well.  The shame is self-centered, the humiliation born of a life of trying to fit a round peg into a square hole only to find, again and again, that it doesn’t fit.

I know there are others and I suppose I don’t want them to feel as alone as I sometimes do.  I try to not be ashamed of who I am when I am not myself, but it isn’t always possible.

These are the realities we face.

I know what triggered yesterday’s event.  It was the realization that I no longer trusted someone that I thought I could.  It sent me reeling, and I didn’t fully realize it until it was too late.  I was too caught up.  I was too far gone at that moment to stop the attack.

There is nothing wrong with an occasional backset.  It will do many people well to know that.  Sometimes, we slide.  Sometimes, we fall into old patterns.

It is frightening, but it isn’t the end of the world.

It seems like it, at the moment, but it isn’t.

I write this to encourage everyone who has moments when they feel like they are slipping.  It happens.  We are who we are.  Our brains function entirely differently than the best part of the world’s population.  That doesn’t make us wrong, only different.

I’m not going to beat myself up over this event.  I am going to treat it as just another blip on the radar.  I am me.  I am ok.  I am a survivor.

For those of you reading this that see yourself in this and in the my previous post,  http://wp.me/p1CqmN-ZH , so are you; a survivor, that is.  There is nothing that I or you can’t accomplish.  It may simply take us a bit longer because there are rules to follow and things to be counted.

That is just how we roll.  So roll with it and know, beyond any doubt, that you, and I and all the others are going to be just fine.

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Matthew 12:20 ~ A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench …