Thursday, June 29, 2017

sense of myself

Just finished this book today.  I love a good suspense novel, the kind that keeps me up late at night, unable to put it down.  The kind I devour in just a couple days, even on busy days when there's not much time to read.  I trade my precious sleep just to read a few more pages.  Then it's all over and I'm stuck without another exciting read until I get back to the library.  I can easily check out e-books online, but it's not the same as holding a real paper and ink book on my lap, the old-fashioned way.  I'm old-fashioned, I guess.  


One thing I never do, though I could, is read the last page before I finish the book.  It's just wrong.  But I love how this one ends, because of this one statement that sums up the protagonist's key to her success.  It's in the middle paragraph shown in the photo below.


The paragraph reads: "I ask myself how can a woman like me have such aspirations?  No background, no money, but now I have a sense of myself I never had before."

That "sense of myself" is what gave her confidence to face her future after an extremely traumatic series of events.  To put it in a nutshell, she was an ordinary girl who was lured into the web of a sadistic billionaire who charmed her and then had her assitant push her off a yacht to kill her.  Unfortunately for her killer, she survived.  But she was returned to the killer, and tortured, imprisoned, his main goal to break her spirit, which he never did, even through the worst experiences imaginable. She eventually made her escape, summoning all the courage she had, using her wits, and believing in herself again.  

That's the kind of novel I love reading.  People who start out as the underdog, are easily tricked into bad situations, but then recover themselves and end up sealing the victory as they gain their own sense of self.  

That's something I'm doing in my own life. So maybe...just maybe...I should use some of my experiences to write my own novel.
Hmmm, what would I write about?  Not my whole life story, of course.  Different parts for different books.  

Let's just say I chose the time frame of these past few years, with a light brushing of my past just for some background understanding. Of course, the names would be changed to protect people's real identities, and I might fabricate a few things, too, of course.  Never said this was a biography or memoir, just fiction based on facts. So here goes, just a brief synopsis:

3 main characters: Wanda, Jack, and Jill.  Wanda is a middle-aged woman.
  She had some difficult events in her past, left her a bit unsure of herself and leading a protected life to conceal who she really was and to avoid having to face any stressful challenges all by herself.  She thought she had it all worked out, her fake persona, and it wasn't too hard to pretend she was happy, as she was well taken care of.  

But then she was spotted by someone who sensed her lack of confidence, saw her as an easy prey.  His name was Jack.  They immediately felt an attraction for each other, but kept it hidden.  Eye contact was all, at first, until Wanda became active online, and found that Jack was subtly flirting with her through his social media accounts.  For example, she would post something on one of her accounts or her blog, and he would immediately follow it up with some vague response, or "sub-tweet" on his own account.  It was subtle, and practically impossible to detect as the years went on and the need for secrecy increased, but they both knew it was there and couldn't deny the connection they felt, though they kept it secret.  Why the secret?  Because Wanda was married and Jack was in a serious relationship with a girl (Jill) whom he fully intended to marry.  Jill knew nothing of Jack's strange attraction to an older woman, a fascination with this game of reading her blog and leading Wanda to think, at first, anyway, that he was truly interested in her.

Then one day she had enough.  She decided it was terribly wrong and had to clear things up. She felt pity for Jill, hanging onto this guy who was playing around behind her back.  Wanda knew she was taking a big  chance with someone she didn't even know, had never spoken to,  but she decided to reach out to Jill and tell her what was going on.  

First she did her homework.  She found old screenshots and archived messages and tweets that showed the many, many "mere coincidental" posts that lined up with each other in meaning and in similar times posted.  

Wanda also found examples of another person, someone in authority, sort of a spiritual guide known to all our characters, who also seemed to be reading Wanda's blog.  She decided to let him in on the secret, too.  After all, she kind of thought he had started to catch on after awhile, anyway.  Thank God, Wanda had thought, especially after Jack had blatantly turned Wanda in to this guide for some truly inappropriate messaging she had done, but what was so shocking, to Wanda, about this was how he pretended he didn't even know her!!!  And of course, he wass believed to be the innocent one, as he had that squeaky clean image, some years' history with the leader and their clan.  And Wanda?  This middle-aged woman was easy to blame, for no one knew her from Rahab. Easily pegged as your typical Bored Housewife/Cougar type.  

Years later, the evil of this act was still remembered, the bitterness simmering in Wanda's mind, and it cast an unwashable stain on Jack's character.  Lies.  If he was so good at lying to keep up his good image in front of his peers and spiritual authorities, what kind of husband was he going to be for Jill?

The thoughts stirred in Wanda's mind, as they had bothered her for years.  But it was only when she'd had a few years of counseling and had reached a point of claiming that sense of self for good, that she acted upon them.

Wanda made contact with Jill.  Jill was hesitant, but agreed to meet Wanda.  Wanda shared the many many bits of evidence she had against Jack, to prove that he truly was up to some bad behavior behind Jill's back.  Wanda encouraged Jill to approach Jack, with a heart full of grace, and ask him about the incidents.  Wanda would leave it up to them and did not need to hear back from them.  She'd had enough and let the two of them figure it out themselves and decide where to go relationally.

And Wanda left the scene, washing her hands of the crime she had finally uncovered and repented.

The story does not tell what happened with Jack and Jill, but Wanda moves on, her head  held high and her heart free from the chains of dishonesty and misplaced affections.   Wanda goes on to live a solitary, but very contented life, finally living out the renewed confidence that had once been destroyed by events of her past.   Perhaps she dates a little, and perhaps she even falls in love.  But the man is someone who has also been perfectly content to live in singleness.  He doesn't feel the need to always be in a relationship.  He knows that he is enough. He is also too buoyed up on his own passions and dreams in life, to even have time during this particular season in life.  He seeks to be content with his own sense of self, before slowly pursuing a genuine relationship, one with no secrecy, no games.  

Wanda and this mystery man meet, they realize their shared passions and dreams, and live happily ever after.

Yeah, that's the book I might write one day.  
And I'm sure that the day it's published, there will be immediate posts of overflowing affection to a certain person's "bae" all over the internet, as a counter-defense.  For that's the way cheaters work. It's a pattern: They scheme, go astray and cheat, then fly back to their unsuspecting "significant other" with a huge pretense of adoration and so-called commitment.  Scheme, Cheat, and Kiss Up.  I've seen it too many times.

Yes, life is stranger than fiction.  And I've only just begun.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

oh and by the way



                                                                                LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL MAN.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The As If Principle





Hello?  (echo: hello,hello,hello,hello...o,o,o,o,o...)   Anybody in here?

Ahh, finally a quiet place to spill my thoughts.

Ew, is that a cockroach in the corner?  Gross, i hate those. Well, as long as it doesn't talk, doesn't tell anyone what I say here......but IF IT DOES....I will STOMP on that nasty critter.

Yes, I am here again, but on a different channel.  Trying to hide away from the hustle and bustle and nastiness of the internet world.   I am purging myself of most of my usual online habits, in order to keep some peace of mind.  I had gotten to a place where I could no longer take the roller coaster ride of emotions I was riding from surfing social media pages.  Seeing things that sent my heart plummeting, as if I had a reason to think I had any business caring about this stuff anyway.  Realizing that no, I really don't have any special connections "out there", that I was just hopefully reading between the lines of junk.  I had to get out...FAST.

At first I was so upset I just wanted to go cold turkey, but realized that wasn't realistic.  I enjoy some aspects of social media, around people who are real and "safe", or for news and stuff.  So I created some boundaries.  I know what hurts most, so I eliminated some specifics.  I may slip now and then, but only in the safer places.

This change put me in a new place.  Sort of like doing a detox cleanse for the body...only for the soul.  I realized, that without my imaginary internet connections, I am just a very empty, brokenhearted, lonely individual.  That isn't a comfortable feeling.  I feel extremely vulnerable, and prone to revert to my heart-numbing habits of pretending, if I'm not careful.

So I am choosing to be thankful for this time apart from my grand illusions, and focus on getting my life right.

I am still on sabbatical, by the way,  it's only just begun, but I had to find a place to share what I'm learning in counseling these days.  It might help someone, for free!

It's definitely helping me.   Like today's session.  We're actually talking about this upcoming "transition", referring to it like it's actually a thing!!!   That makes me so happy, and so scared, and sad, yet hopeful.  But we're not rushing anything, or setting a time frame yet, and I'm beginning to understand why.   In today's session, I relayed to her that my "numbers" (the score of my mood from 1-10) have been in the low 3's and 2's.  Pretty low place to be.  So we talked about finding ways to get those numbers up, by looking to the future with hope.  By starting now and planting seeds.

She encouraged me to keep planting more seeds, meaning, keep dreaming big for my future, brainstorming all the ideas and opportunities, career possibilities that I can imagine, and then taking those small steps to reach toward those dreams.  May sound simplistic and silly, but it makes sense.  She encouraged me to think about where I want to be in ten years from now.  And then to start researching things about that place where I want to be, and figure out how to get there.  To break it down into smaller steps.  Doable ones.

Image result for plant seeds quotes

I'm excited about dreaming again, with the hope that these dreams can really come true.  I will start planting seeds by starting my new "job" tomorrow.   I will take my boy to school, then go to work.  I will go to my job two days a week, for just two hours each day, for starters.    My new job is great.  I get to drink lots of coffee, and there's no dress code.  I can show up in a chicken suit, if I want.  Just one rule: I have to wear a shirt and shoes.  (darn!)  The place of my office may vary from one day to the next... I will start out at the Ugly Mug.  Another day it may be Starbucks.  Yup, I'm starting my career as a writer.  Well, more seriously now, that is.  I can't "work" at home just yet, too many distractions which I don't have the self-discipline to avoid at this point, so I'll hang out at coffee shops for now.

My assumption is that, once we get me on a steady track of small successes in my new job, the beginnings of a self-sustaining income to provide for my needs in the future, and get a HUGE boost in my overall well-being and happiness with life again, THEN she will determine when it is time to start making those big changes.  (I'm SOOOOOO glad I finally found a counselor who isn't just pussy-footing around the issue, and who is also sensitive to my readiness, or lack thereof, (yet)  to take on the new changes!)

So I have to stay happy.  Avoid those sad places.  The more I look at things online that make me sad, the longer this thing will take.  I can't do it from a place of emotional hopelessness.   I need to be strong, with the kind of faith that believes in those things that aren't, as if they ARE!

Kind of like this principle she shared with me today, based on a book by the same title, which she also recommended.  It's called The As If Principle.  Here's the very same video she pulled up on her laptop and showed me this morning.  Take a looky:



Interesting, huh?   Maybe it sounds like a bunch of experimental psychology mumbo-jumbo, or maybe it really works!  Either way, I don't have anything to lose, so I'm going to go ahead and believe in the positive outcomes I dream about. And ACT on them!

That's all for now.  I've got a busy day ahead tomorrow, so best get to sleep.

Goodnight, Cockroach!!!

Image result for seed dirt

"The tiny seed knew that in order to grow,
it needed to...
be dropped in dirt, covered in darkness
and struggle to reach the light."
              - Sandra King



Thursday, July 21, 2016

P.s.

A person  can only get their heart broken a certain number of times before they realize it's just not  worth it. Pull all the plugs.
(Why is this stupid thing still on? Freakin ghost in the machine i exorcize you NOW!)
The heart learns to forget and move on, I think. Toughen up. Mind over emotions. I can do that. Been doing it all my life, no need to stop now. 
Well here comes the bus.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Heartbreak

I hate Sundays.  All my bad feels that've been lurking in my brain for the week come out of hiding and try to scare the pants off me, try to hurtle me into a dark pit of depression that twists my mind into thinking nothing but just ending it all.  
And that's just not acceptable for me.  Not anymore.

So I'm trying to be more proactive about this, to look at my pain from different perspectives.  Like today. I was in a pretty major funk for some reason, doesn't matter, and then I found this.   The following is a blurb I read on facebook, by the great author Elizabeth Gilbert whom I follow, the author who wrote the book Eat Pray Love which of course we all know was made into a major successful movie.  

     


Anyways, without further ado, just read this:




Now to be honest, I never even watched the video she was introducing through this (and pardon the technical awkwardness, i had to screenshot it from my phone as i haven't figured out how to copy stuff from facebook yet..).. but this bit of prose was all i needed.  Really stuck with me, turned me around in my ugly thoughts.

Made me realize the absolute beauty there is in heartbreak.  oh not at the moment, of course, not even three years later.  In fact, i'd just been lamenting about how my life has been nothing but one long string of heartbreaks, one after the other.  Except for about 15 years of it, though, when i lived in a cocoon of comfortable numbness.  A place where i was unable to experience heartbreak, not very easily, anyway, because i had convinced myself that i had all that i needed.  I was secure in many ways, and on the outside it looked like i had the perfect world. blah blah blah i've said this all before.  Until a wrecking ball came along,  crashed my glass house and made me pitifully aware of what i didn't have, and gloriously anticipating of what i wanted to have.  Even had a shape and a face to what i thought i wanted.  But as i set my heart on that, it became like a mirage.  Every time i thought it might be real, the glass was shattered again.  My heart broke over, and over, and over, and over again.  Yet i didn't lose hope.

Image result for eat pray love quotes soulmate

Till today. Realizing i've been a fool. No, i don't regret a minute of it.  Instead, I am wildly thankful that the wrecking ball came and shattered me, tore away the bubble wrap that had artificially insulated my heart for all these years.  Began the process of healing some old, scabby emotional wounds of the past, and set me on a new path, a new vision.  Back to the old, real me.  Feels so good to find my real authentic self again, and it keeps getting realer and better every day.

Will i ever find true love, in the romantic sense?  Maybe not. And that made me sad. I was pondering this on my walk through a woods today, and I faced the fact that yes, i can easily imagine myself one day dying on my own, having never, ever ever  experienced true love.  The kind of true love that's not just in your head, but shared in person, with another person. It may never be had for me in this lifetime.  And, maybe that's ok. Like the author of this blurb above said about heartbreak:

Heartbreak makes you feel your humanity, and "it's so good".

Heartbreak can be an invitation for incredible change, 
an invitation for heightened self-knowledge and self-exploration.

Heartbreak is a great teacher, if you can believe that every message it sends you is for your own benefit. "But you gotta be able to stay awake and aware and compassionate and loving through the whole experience. And that's hard."


oh don't i know how hard that is.  And the message i think i'm hearing today, is, don't be fooled. That wrecking ball experience may have been only that.  Just a wrecking ball to smash me out of my glass house.  I may have foolishly put my hopes in it meaning something more, but by now, by the looks of things, I shouldn't be so stupid.  Not stupid anymore, but thankful.  Thankful that my heart is now a heart of flesh that can feel deeply, hurt deeply, and deeply appreciate, most of all, the love of Jesus, in a deeper and more intimate way than ever before.  Of course I'm not done suffering yet.  There's more hardship to go before i can finally be free.  Maybe never to obtain that holy grail of human love, no, not me.  But to live more fully, deeply, and to live totally free, never to be locked up in a fake illusion of security again.  

Thank you, dear heartbreak.  I embrace you.  You taught me to live again. 


-

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ground zero

Knowing that the only thing that would bring me freedom
would also throw the two people i love the most
into a lifetime of horrible pain and dysfunction
plus breaking the hearts of countless others
diminishing any last speck of faith or respect they had for me
all of that only doubles my pain..
to the point where i want to end it all...
yet that would double their pain even more
which quadruples my own...there is no escape, no none.
how i wish i could go back to ground zero.
start all over. new choices. new chances.
but i cannot.
so if not ground zero, then six feet under will do.
take me please, Jesus, before i take matters into my own hands.  my desperation is making me bolder every day. please jesus, don't let me do this. please please please please please please please do it for me.
amen.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Long walk

Think i'll just start walking and never come back.

Monday, August 18, 2014

To be continued ......

And the dark days get darker.
Sometimes i frighten myself. seriously.  is this how i end?
what's it like to die? is it like a giant panic attack, but instead of feeling like it's just invisible ropes that tie me down because i'm afraid of running out in front of all those people, they're real, and i really can not breathe anymore, it's not just in my head, and my racing pulse is speeding up to the point of an explosion, and i'm hearing those voices, those voices, angry voices, screaming at me, telling me what i'm doing wrong, how evil i am, how wicked, those fingers, pointing fingers, my breath is lost, i'm tightening up...when will i feel the release..oh please take me now jesus...i want that peace. that perfect silence. that light. that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. do i see the rush of my days, seconds flashing before my eyes? do i feel the heartbreak i've caused, do i see what could've been, the should'ves, the oughts...

oh what's that you say? my 10-minute break is over? ok. back to work. i'll try this again another time. with a better plan.  time to make the coffee.  maybe just one last time.

goodnight.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

one sentence


Currently reading; The Mermaid Chair
by Sue Monk Kidd

(New York Times Bestselling author of
The Secret Life of Bees)

I typically do not read a lot of fiction, because:

 A, My crazy mind can easily concoct ridiculous fantasies and nightmares on its own, without the help of someone else's ideas, and

B, Anything with even a speck of romance in it is sure make me depressed, as it contrasts so deeply with the lack thereof in my own life.  makes a mockery of me.

However, I am preparing for a beach trip in a couple weeks, so I want to sort through some good beach reading materials, pack them along with the beach towels, boogie boards and sunblock, so on those lazy afternoons of just lying there watching the waves ebb and flow, and when the kids are happily occupied in the sand, i can escape my life for a few minutes and just veg out awhile.  Savor the deliciousness of a good author's excellent choice of fresh words, delicately roasted with just the right amounts of adventure, character development, clever dialogue, and served up hot and spicy with plenty of savory adjectives and thought-provoking sub-plots on the side. yum.

But just as I'm digesting this good read, one simple sentence stops me and threatens to gag me till I throw back all i've read and give up.  just. one. sentence.  this:

"Hugh reached out his arm, and my shoulder slipped into the groove beneath his collarbone while my head glided into the nape of his neck, an oiled, automatic movement as old as our marriage."
(pg. 26, Kidd)

SCREEEEECH, slam on the brakes, stop right there.  Excuse me, will someone please tell me what that is like?   (actually, no, don't..)  To actually have someone who knows how to instantly comfort you with their touch?  Who can hug, cuddle, embrace you in a non-sexual way that speaks volumes of comfort without saying a word?   Really?  There is such a thing? Excuse me, waiter, i don't think this is what i ordered, could you take it back please?

Over the years, I guess I've just trained myself to live without that special gift of friendly touch that one cherishes in any close relationship.  Not that that's a good thing, but I can just brace myself, hold my shoulders strong when I feel like I'm crumbling inside and wishing I had a nesting place to lay my head in a relaxed, nurturing pose... (so I do rely on the Lord for those times I need comfort, but dang it, Lord, i can't feel you sometimes, and besides...just let me complain here a minute, it's my pity party and i'll cry if i want to...)

Instead i aspire to be strong in all aspects of the word.  Even though I may sometimes be treated as if i'm "small" (in a cute but still patronizing, demeaning way..) and my thoughts don't matter, yet I have to keep up an incredibly strong front to avoid collapsing in a heap on the floor, bawling my eyes out.. (yes this happens)...alone yet not alone, as I am observed from above, like a hawk looking down on a mouse on the ground, but not held.  Reasoned with, given practical suggestions as to how to solve the problem... but not...held.  a very lonely place.

so i need to stop reading these *&^&^$%%$^%$& stinkin stupid books.

tbt, rip