In love with a porcupine

Sometimes, I feel like I am in love with a porcupine, a very cute porcupine. This porcupine has some very, VERY good qualities and a good heart. But it is covered in sharp, painful quills. It just seems like every time I let down my guard and get close – OUCH!!

I want to trust the porcupine – OUCH!! I get stabbed by the LIE Quills.

I want to believe things will change – OUCH!! The addiction quills!!

It hurts.

But I still love the porcupine.

Is it his fault for hurting me, or is he just being what he is?

Is it my fault for trying to love a porcupine?

Or do I just need some sleep?

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Going around the same mountain

The Israelites spent 40 years going around and around – I get that.

I feel like I am going around and around the same mountain, and I just can’t get it right.

The same demons keep cropping up – so around I go, making another trip.

I cannot stop a loved one’s addictive behavior. I cannot make the outcome different – so what I am failing to learn?

I see the train wreck down the line, but what don’t I see? Should I just get out of the way and refuse to be collateral damage again?

What about compassion and forgiveness and responsibility and commitment?

Sometimes, I just drop to my knees and ask GOD, how broken do I need to be?

Where is the line? Strong people break too.

Casualties of Grief Part 3

Holidays and Parties – for me – are definitely on the casualty list.  I used to love parties and family gatherings.  In the fall, we would always build a huge bond fire and invite family and friends to the farm.  We would eat my husband’s chili, roast hots dogs and marshmallows – just enjoy.

I have not hosted or attended a party since losing my son – I just struggle being around groups of people.  Truthfully, I cannot get “in the mood” to host a party and I don’t want to attend some one else’s party and bring down their mood.

Has anyone else experienced the awkwardness of the grief journey?  The isolation?  When I encounter people, acquaintances who either do not KNOW or I do not see on a regular basis – there is an awkwardness in our interaction.  I can tell it is on their mind and they feel uncomfortable – and I feel uncomfortable.  Conversation just feels “forced”.

Holidays and party days are ahead – AGAIN.  If I muster the courage to accept  invitations, will I would be socializing with people I have not seen since my son’s memorial service?  Will they feel uncomfortable?  Will I be a dark cloud on the party?

I cry privately.  I grieve privately.   I work to always maintain my composure in any public situation.  I do not want to burden others.  What to do?  Go?  Say no?

Blanket Fort Morning

My  morning began in a blanket fort.

First alarm just went off at 5:30 am.  My mind acknowledged the alarm with a snarky snarl, “I have 20 minutes before second alarm goes off.”

I am snuggled in my blanket fort with the blanket pulled tightly over my head.  It is a soft, cuddly blanket – feels like kittens  – fresh from the dryer last night, smelling sweet.  I want to burrow down into my blanket fort and just think of you.   No grief, no tears, no pain – safe in blanket fort with happy memories.

I remember pulling couch cushions and blankets and turning our living room into a camp site.  I remember looking through the view master at dinosaurs, and pretending they were binoculars and real dinos and we were brave explorers.   I remember the giggles and the tickles – blocking out the whole world in our little blanket fort.

The second alarm pierced my perfect memory – had to finally drag it out of my blanket fort.  But don’t worry, Son, I will be back.  Does anyone else have a blanket fort?

GOD loves me anyway

My grief is not weakness.  My grief is not sin.  My grief is not a lack of faith.  My grief does not offend GOD.  It is a very human response to a very profound, devastating loss.

I am flawed, broken person.  I make mistakes.  GOD knows me and loves me anyway.

I live for somedays.  Somedays, I am OK.  Somedays, I am not OK.  Somedays I make good decisions and I make progress.  Somedays I make stupid decisions and I slide back.  Somedays, I do all that before my first cup of coffee.  I know GOD loves me anyway, that’s why I keep trying.

Some days, I do things I don’t really understand, like carry a pebble around all day, clutching it for dear life.  Someday, I will retire and explore other ways to support my family.  Someday, I will go to the World Equestrian Games in North Carolina – and Someday I will go to Ireland and take my followers along.  Someday, I will be able to devote myself full time to hobby farming and crafting.  Someday I will something- …. Or maybe never, maybe nothing – I really don’t know.

I chose to share my journey, not force it on anyone.  I do not know where this journey will lead me – I don’t have that kind of “written-in-stone” plan.  I cannot look that far ahead.  I may have to change directions, alter my path a few times as I trod along.  I will stumble.  I will take wrong turns.  I will continue.  I will make my journey with GOD, communing with and answering to GOD.

If in my little rantings even just one person can find a pebble they want to pick up and hold for comfort – I am grateful.  If sharing my journey can let them know they are not a bad Christian if they scream out in pain, if they cry in the shower, if they suffer with grief or depression or pain – let them know they are loved as they are– then this is a journey worth sharing.  GOD loves us all anyway.

Playing the game

OK, I am not a sports person, at least not any sport that does not include a horse.  So please forgive me if I use the wrong terms.  

My husband is a sports fan, all sports.  He was watching a replay of some baseball game – one team was down by 12 runs or something like that.  Essentially, the game was over for them.  They already lost.  But they keep playing, taking their bat turns.

It made me cry and I struggled to understand why – I don’t care about baseball.  But then, I realized, it is how I feel.  The game is already over.  I lost, when I lost my son – GAME OVER.    But I am still playing.  There are still innings left.  I don’t know why,  but apparently, I still have innings left.

Just like the baseball players keep playing for the sake of their pride or their team or their fans or advertisers – whatever reason.  I keep playing.  I keep playing for my husband, my family, my animals – I just keep getting up to take my turn at bat.  I will never get a home run or even a hit – I just feel like I can only strike out – but I am going to keep swinging.  I know there are so many depending on me.  

I am sorry, this is such a dismal post this evening.   I am just on the dark side tonight – strong people break too – they just break on the inside where no one sees.

Thank you, GOD, for loving me.  Thank you for my Charlie Dog.  Hugging him helps so much.

The sun will come up tomorrow.

Prayers for all enduring storms.

Dreamer of Dreams – Frozen

I always considered myself a dreamer of dreams – willing to try new things, to step outside my comfort zone and “make” changes.  Before the darkness came, I had so many dreams, things we were going to do.  Then everything shattered.

Now I seem to be frozen – stagnant.  I am not happy in my current state, I have dreams of change, but I don’t seem to be able to put any action to them.

I talk about my exciting “business idea” and I live that life in my head – but that is all I do. I know I need to make some changes – I can’t stay here in the dark – but I am struggling.

When I was in basic training at Fort Jackson way back in 79, (Yes, I am a veteran – US Army) I remember we would finish our forced Marches by climbing a hill we lovingly dubbed “Drag Ass Hill”.  It was steep and sand!  For every step forward, you would slide half way back.  It took dogged perseverance to get up that hill, and a drill sergeant chomping at my heals, but I made it.

Now, I feel like I am on Drag Ass Hill, without the youth and strength and motivation to keep climbing.

But, I need to suck it up – and take a step.  Just a step – GOD, I need a push!!

 

Dial Up

Earlier, I shared my struggle and desire to “reconnect” with GOD, loved ones, ME.  It is a slow process.  Sometimes, I feel like I am making progress, then some memory or maybe a small comment triggers the pain, the tears and I relapse and disconnect.

I certainly struggle to connect with sleep, which I why I am rambling on now.  Although, I do seem to be able to connect very well with ice cream, chocolate, coffee, and bacon.  Yep, I am definitely connected with those.  Oh, and bread.

I feel like the rest of the world has high speed, and I am still on dial up.  I can almost hear the tones of the modem.  Of course, out here in the country, there are times when it may as well be dial up.

But, I am not going to give up.  GOD is with me – HIS rod and HIS staff, they comfort me – and tomorrow is another day to try.

I pray you all have positive connections too.

Mad as HELL at ME!!

Another revelation or a bit of grief evolution.

I realized something in the wee hours of the morning, when I really wanted to be asleep.  I was thinking I was so frustrated with a loved one for lacking self-discipline and continuing unhealthy habits.  Then my mind wondered to another person I criticized for sloth; and yet another who described me in a unflattering way and stung my feelings.

Suddenly, I realized – I wasn’t frustrated with these other people at all.  I was mad at me!!  I am mad as hell at ME!!  I am mad at me for not exercising self-discipline and losing weight.

I am mad at me for lounging, wasting time and being slothful – when I have chores to do, tasks I once enjoyed.

The only reason the hurtful description cut me so deeply, is because I believe it – I look in the mirror and all I see is tired, fat, and old.

I am just angry at me.  I really don’t like that old lady in the mirror.

These others have no power over me – and I have none over them.  We are each the potter’s hands, and I am not the potter.  I cannot make someone else make better choices and clearly I am not making the best choices for me.

Matthew 7:3

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

GOD, please forgive me for wrong thoughts.  I clearly have a beam in my own eye and I need to roll up my sleeves and get to work on pulling it out.  OK, so HOW?  Grief is so heavy, it ways on me.  When I want to exercise or clean the garage or clean out the tack room – I have all this extra weight, both in my heart and on my bum!  I am wide awake at 5 am, but I struggle to drag out of bed by 6:30.  It takes all my strength to work all day and then do just my daily chores– let alone major cleaning and upkeep.  My brain keeps cycling back to, “What’s the point?”  “Why try?”  “It hurts!”

Come on ME!! Get it together.  What would I say to ME – if ME was my best friend?  I would say, “It’s OK, don’t be so hard on yourself.  I am here for you.  I care. How can I help?”

Well, ME –  maybe instead of trying to fix everything all at once, just set three tiny goals – for a 24-hour period.  OK, here goes, after I get home from work and do daily chores – I will also complete three tasks from my To Do List:

  1. I will sweep the feed room.
  2. I will give Baby Dog a haircut, at least around her backside.
  3. Tomorrow morning, I will make sure to be up by 6:15.

With GOD’s help, that all seems doable, not too overwhelming.  Oh, and maybe I will give me a little hug.  I think ME really needs it.

 

Eating my Pain, and anything else I can cram in my Pie Hole

I have gained 40 pounds on this painful grief journey.  Why?  What am I doing?

I feel this constant pain in my entire body, an ache that radiates from my chest through my entire torso.  My joints ache.  I swear, even my hair hurts.  Nothing helps.  As crazy as it seems, I try to combat the gut pain and sour stomach with food.  It doesn’t make sense, but I am shoveling chow in at an alarming rate.  For example, I am stuffing peanut butter crackers in my mouth right now.

Funny thing about all this junk I eat, I don’t enjoy eating it.  It’s like the flavor is gone or my ability to experience the flavor is gone.  I don’t really enjoy eating at all.  Strange, because I always did enjoy food before, always.  I mean seriously – LOVE ME SOME FOOD.  I know that chocolate is still chocolate, but it doesn’t taste the same anymore.  Cookies are still cookies and I still cram them into my yapper as fast as I can – but I don’t taste them the same.  I crunch them.  I chew them.  I swallow them.  The calories and fat hit my thighs, but the flavor is lost.  I can’t imagine the cookies are different, so it must be me, I lost my flavor.

Matthew 5:13 says: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?  It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”

So, am I good for nothing?  Lord, I am trying so hard.  Gobbling sweets I don’t want and don’t enjoy is not making me any better and serves no purpose – helps no one.

NO, STOP – I am NOT good for nothing.  I have value.  I have WORTH.  We all do.

I trust YOU, Lord.  I believe.  I have faith.  I know YOU love me, YOU love all of us.  I am still praising you.

I continually recite the Lord’s Prayer.  I recite the 23rd Psalm.

OK, putting the crackers down.  I am going for a walk, outside.

I am making a commitment right now to start shedding the weight.  Stay tuned!  Let’s do this together.