#freedom, American, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Veterans

FUBAR

Have you ever been through something extremely painful or traumatic and thought “I can’t handle this” or “there is no way I am going to make it?”

Perhaps you are dragging yourself through the day, barely keeping your head afloat, and spend the entire day dreaming about the moment your head hits the pillow. Praying sleep will be an escape from the nightmare you are living through.

You somehow get past this pain a little bit each day. Before you know it, you notice that you got through one minute without thinking about it. Eventually, you went one hour or one day without crying. As you keep pushing through the pain, the days turn into weeks, the weeks turn into months, the months turn into years.

You may even find yourself able to mention this event or loss without getting choked up. Hopefully, you are mindful enough to recognize this feat and reflect on it. It could be “I said their name today without tearing up” or “Someone asked me about it and I was able to respond.” 🤯

Eventually, you realize that you somehow survived a traumatic event and just blew your own damn mind.

Peace shows up around the time you have embraced the person you are now. Acceptance of this means that you are now a changed person forever, you cannot change back.

Change, Loss, Pain, and trauma of any kind is difficult.

Obviously some individuals have been through more than others.

As human beings, we have to provide empathy and compassion not only to each other, but to ourselves. This pressure to “get back to normal” after a loss or a traumatic event-only prolongs the process.

We also have to remember that we are not here to judge or compare each other’s pain. Example: “who endured a worse situation.” Or “who deserves special treatment”. Trauma and Loss are not grounds for a competition.

However, there are a precious few who deserve an automatic level of honor, respect, empathy, compassion and an immediate win in the unspoken competition of “who is entitled to special treatment.”

These precious few are not celebrities or professional sports players.

This is a group of individuals who have had to go through MANY of those painful, traumatic events over and over and that most likely took a lifetime to process. Everyday, these “regular” people probably said “I can’t do this. I can’t handle this. How am I going to get through this?”

They did it anyway, for us.

These courageous men & women provided us with an example of the sheer resilience that human beings possess. These resilient members of our society have sacrificed years of their life for our freedom and to serve our country…

VETERANS.

Yesterday, my patriotic side got fired up after I listened to my favorite podcast, Smartless, with guest Tom Hanks.

(This podcast is a comical escape hosted by Sean Hayes, Jason Bateman and Will Arnett. What I enjoy the most about this podcast, is the real, open-ended conversations and the quick-wit of the hosts/guests is captivating. Basically, they all rip on each other whenever they have the opportunity.)

Teacher & Baseball coach-then sent to fight in a War 🤔😢

Anyways, Tom Hanks was asked about his role in Saving Private Ryan and what was the source of his passion and fascination with being a “war guy”. Tom disclosed that during his “formative years every caregiver & adult would make reference to the war as this dividing line” that everyone collectively went through. “Another aspect is that a big chunk of their lives, they had no idea where they were going to be in the next week, month, six months. This was a time loaded with all sorts of problems that we are still dealing with.”

“I’m a schoolteacher. I teach English composition… in this little town called Adley, Pennsylvania. The last eleven years, I’ve been at Thomas Alva Edison High School. I was a coach of the baseball team in the springtime. Back home, I tell people what I do for a living and they think well, now that figures. But over here, it’s a big, a big mystery. So, I guess I’ve changed some. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve changed so much my wife is even going to recognize me, whenever it is that I get back to her. And how I’ll ever be able to tell her about days like today. Ah, Ryan. I don’t know anything about Ryan. I don’t care. The man means nothing to me. It’s just a name. But if… You know if going to Rumelle and finding him so that he can go home. If that earns me the right to get back to my wife, then that’s my mission.

Captain Miller, Tom Hanks: Saving Private Ryan

Will Arnett then points out to Tom Hanks that “What I love about this movie and is that your character is a school teacher, he is just a regular guy NOT a guy born to be a military officer. He had to go to the war, because that is what he had to do. This movie provides reverence for the bravery of these people who did extraordinary things. Captain Miller was an example of one of these regular guys called to do extraordinary things.”

I wrote this In honor of Veteran’s Day, 11/11/21, and “a regular guy that did extraordinary things.” He is the only person that I am privileged to know personally that served in a war. Except he served in a different war and a different time. A time when people were not proud of their veterans. When he arrived home after serving our country, he was treated cathartically. He was humiliated and shamed; he was told to take his uniform off.

Thankfully, on October 27, 2021, he received vindication and a moment of the honor he deserves, through a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring WWII, Korean War & Vietnam War veterans by flying them, all expense-paid, to DC for a day of honor, thanks and dedication.

His wife, children and grandchildren were also able to witness a glimpse of this priceless moment at Midway Airport before he boarded the plane. This beautiful and long-awaited experience was provided through the generosity of http://www.honorflight.org http://www.starsandstripeshonorflight.org.

On this momental Veteran’s day, 11/11/21 and in honor of all the “regular guys called to do extraordinary things” please donate to this brilliant organization to do our part in honoring those who served our country.

To Donate:

https://secured.honorflightchicago.org/np/clients/honorflightchicago/donation.jsp?forwardedFromSecureDomain=1

This listen to the podcast: 👇🏻

https://open.spotify.com/episode/0X7CI0m8VikarcpoRXOSyi?si=KBh5pv4dQGmftVPLwABP-w

More on this:

https://www.military.com/off-duty/movies/2021/11/08/saving-private-ryan-writer-set-pen-movie-about-marine-and-his-afghan-interpreter.html

Importance of Friendship :

https://www.nbcchicago.com/top-videos-home/wwii-vet-4-year-old-boy-strike-up-incredible-friendship/2680795/

#brenebrown, #doitanyway, #freedom, #greatpretender, #homeschoolingrealshit, #millenials, #opportunity, #sidehustle, Badassery, brene brown, glennondoyle, Health & Wellness, Lin Manuel Miranda, narcissism, narcisstic personality disorder, parenting struggles, relationships, unlockingus, vulnerability, Women's Fight, Yoga Pants

Sympathy For The Devil

I may not KNOW a lot of things but one thing I do believe for sure is that BOB (Esai Morales) from La Bamba is one BADASS mother fucker. He has to be THEE coolest and most captivating actor on the planet.

He should have won an OSCAR for best supporting actor for his performance; (Esai Morales) truly MADE the movie.

He literally SEDUCES the audience.

That being said, what I find most ironic is that no matter what he did or said, I still liked his character. I thought he was hilarious, I still do. What is even more puzzling, is that he is a complete dick.

(Side note: Esai also appeared on Ozark for a season or two- I was immediately entranced. )

As a woman, I completely identify with Rosie. As a mother and wife, I empathize with how she feels; I hate how she is treated by Bob. What was also puzzling is that she ANNOYED me. 🙈

I can actually feel her pain, grief, & confusion. You can see it written on her face. The “wait…wtf-just-happened?” face. The “how-in-the-hell-did-I-end-up-here” face. She displays this facial expression the majority of the movie. We all know that face.

This puzzled face☝🏻The “Rosie” face.

We all know that feeling: When you realize you’ve been had. You got screwed over. The worst part about it, the majority of it was your own doing. You assumed. ASS-U-ME.

I get how she assumed as well. Any woman in a could easily fall into Bob’s trap; especially the married ones. Bob’s seductive allure could have wise woman entranced in his spell: After Bob flirts with you: Huh? What kids? What husband? You don’t have a job you say? Ballsy. Hot…You drink every day? Wild & crazy. You live in your mom’s trailer? Sounds cozy. Humina Humina 😍🥰😛

I am embarrassed to admit this, but I remember thinking: Awwww just leave him alone Rosie.. it’s your own fault you got yo self knocked up

☝🏻This is the work of the devil.👆🏻

I STILL liked him after that horrible, disrespectful and honest statement by Bob. Like “Dayyyuuumm.” Why?

Currently, I am an adult and an educated & wise woman, yet I still like Bob. Wtf!? How come? 1. Clearly excellent acting by Esai Morales 2. Amazing directing

However, I am not satisfied with this. Inquiring minds want to know!!!

I was concerned with my reaction when I watching this movie recently. When the mother, Connie Valenzuela, minimized Bob’s cartoonist abilities and reminded him that he is about to become a father, I thought: Jeez Connie, buzzkill, what did you have to go and do that for!? Why don’t you get out of Richie’s ass and pay attention to poor Bob. He is trying. POOR BOB

Poor Bob: your womanizing, chauvinistic, selfish, entitled, immature, unemployed, alcoholic, manipulative, man-baby-son who just was released from prison.🤔 (Bob sounds like a real catch on paper doesn’t he?🤥😂)

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.Proverbs 16

From a biological & genetic standpoint, Bob does what Bob does best. Bob is a an alpha male who is genetically predisposed to flock his sexy shit to attract females. Bob does whatever possible to get laid; ultimately procreating more human beings to populate the earth. (Biology 101: It is vital for males to compete for reproduction and for females to choose between those competing males.

If a member of the opposite sex finds your tail, your song, or your dance moves sexy, you will have a chance to fulfill your primary biological role as a member of your species: to reproduce.

https://biogeoplanet.com/how-do-animals-find-mates-sex-and-sexual-selection/

This is “Bob’s” “primary biological role” aka his job and he rocks it. He got Rosie pregnant so now he needs to “move on” and to do this again.

It’s not his fault…yet. (Please don’t get angry, hear me out;)

From a biological/genetic standpoint, Bob is doing his job. He behaves how all male animals act. Bob is genetically predisposed to be what humans would consider “an asshole”.

The problem is, he also doesn’t know any better. No one has taught him otherwise. No one has had the chance to teach Bob to step above his biological urges.

Please don’t cause him to feel inadequate by making him have to THINK.

Don’t make him feel like a failure by asking him to have COMPASSION or EMPATHY? That is NO FUN.

What a DRAG it is getting old.

What would cause a human being to behave this way? Or to treat women this way?

Bob’s True Story & my psychological interpretation😜:

Just like Rosie, Connie also hooked up with a bad boy at a young age and got herself impregnated (with Bob.) The hot, sexy biological father took off.

I know you “love him” Rosie, but unless you want to cook dinner on his motorcycle…

Connie then met someone else (Steve) and Connor married Steve when Bob was two years old. Steve loved Bob and treated him as his own. Steve and Connie then had a child, Ritchie. Ritchie was a reflection to Connie what she did right=Ritchie=golden boy. However, Bob was a reminder of her bad decisions.

Connie, Steve, Bob & Ritchie were doing well together for a while. Bob assumed Steve was his biological father and Bob loved him.

In an interview, the real Bob Morales states his life took a bad turn when he was 14 and his parents (Connie & Steve) separated.

“I moved in with my mom while Ritchie went with my dad. One day I told my mom that I wanted to live with my dad and and that’s when my aunt told me ‘Why do you want to go with him if he’s not even your real father.’Bob Morales 

Despite Steve conveying to Bob that he loved him as his own son, the shock devastated Bob. Also, it was horrible timing for Bob to find this out because soon after this discovery, Bob began high school.

Bob was getting into fights frequently so he stopped attending. Instead he gave money to the homeless nearby who would buy him alcohol.

While his now single-mom was working two jobs, Bob was not going to school and had no structure all day, no guidance, no direction=idle time which is the DEVIL’s playground.

Therefore, Bob ended up going to a detention center from age 12-17! Connie, his mother, signed him over as a ward of the state. He did not see his family that entire time he was locked up.

👆🏻AKA Go Fuck yourself Connie. I will never let a woman hurt me again.

The first time Bob saw his mother or Ritchie in years; was the day of Steve’s funeral. Which also means he didn’t get to say goodbye to Steve or to grieve properly.

Bob learned to adapt to his lonely life by becoming the life of the party. He learned how to get what he needed by finding comfort in women and selfishly move on. This probably soothed his resentment toward his mother for while, but then he felt guilty; so he drank the pain away.

Of course he was jealous of Ritchie. Ritchie got his Dad and his Mom. He got nobody.

The point is that all of US are capable of evil depending on what we are exposed to.

I thought of this blog when I was about to bitch at my son for not cleaning up the mess he made after making quesadillas. I realized that I can’t assume he knows how. Instead, I showed him how clean it up. I told him that this is what I expect. I didn’t talk to him like he was stupid. I thanked him for making his own food. I didn’t clean it up for him. This is the only way they learn.

Mothers: We cannot assume that our sons are just going to know how to treat women when they’re older. We cannot assume that their Dad’s are going to teach them either. Most Dads are working their ass off and are never home. (Probably chasing tail 😂 not knowing why. Kidding!🤪)

We have to teach OUR SONS what WE want from them so they can learn how to GIVE this to their future partners. We need to teach them about affection, connection, friendship, compatibility, respect, and the long term.

We have to teach them that this may be a biological urge to continue to chase women and populate the world, HOWEVER, we are not animals.

It costs a lot of time, money, energy to raise a human child properly into a respectable adult.

We need to teach them that human females can be hot and smart. Women can be attractive, fun, brilliant, and confident. We have to teach them, not ASSUME, that a Human FEMALE’S purpose is not to populate the world.

It’s Biology Rosie- kidding! You can have both!

We also have to teach our daughters: What they tolerate will become their future. Being a victim will not get you anywhere.

It’s OUR job to ALSO teach the FUTURE MEN of this world these skills. We need to teach them how to love unconditionally. Parents need to be a TEAM.

There is a chapter in this book on how we “go easy” on our sons because we don’t think they can manage it all and are tougher on our daughters 🙈

https://markmanson.net/love

https://markmanson.net/compatibility-and-chemistry

#markmanson

#ericthomas

#glennondoyle

#brenebrown, #doitanyway, #freedom, #greatpretender, Badassery, Find A Way, parenting struggles, relationships, unlockingus, Women's Fight

True Romance…

When I win my Oscar for best screenplay and give my speech; I would love to say “and last of all, I’d like to thank my husband for not giving a shit.”

Despite how it sounds, I mean this in a good way. By his “not giving a shit” or being “too tired right now” is actually helpful. My anger at him forces me to figure it out myself. When I do, my self-esteem sky rockets. I am no longer mad at him because I am too empowered; but not in a self-righteous kind of way. Like in a “men and women are equal” way.

In the heat of a debate. Both stubborn AF

Whenever I ask my husband for help, it is like an imaginary tennis match. He takes his pretend racket (tongue-on-roof-of-mouth-click-sound effect) and just hits that request right back to me. My rebuttal (tongue-click) back to him. This continues the longer I debate and the longer the match. Kinda like this: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-e3V7MDtMi/?igshid=z3swsvcatt03

I hate asking for help and I’m not a damsel-in-distress type of chic. I do not need or want to be taken care of or to be saved. (It does feel nice to think about it, perhaps my stubborn pride gets in the way.) When he does offer suggestions or the “right” way of doing things; he is met with a straight up tirade of obscenities. Therefore, deep down I must really not want him to help me.

Or…I would rather do it myself than deal with this:👇🏻

My husband after getting rid of yellow jacket nest 👆🏻

My old man is the most tired man in America; he works three jobs; so it’s understandable why he is exhausted. However, it was kinda weird that was able to stay up through rain delays until 1:45am when the Cubs won the World Series. Miraculously, he was still able to get up for work at 5am the next day. But…that’s another story…😂

Anyways, I get that he’s tired; which is why I cannot expect much from him. They say having no expectations leaves you pleasantly surprised right? My expectations are so low it’s kinda like when someone goes out for a pack of cigarettes and doesn’t come back. 😜 When show back up, you are pleasantly surprised.

So I live my life expecting him not to come back, but he keeps showing back up to sleep, eat and watch sports here so now what? 😜 I work full time as well and handle everything at home with kids such as an being an Unpaid Uber driver, bank teller, chef, grocery shopper , scheduler, drama processor… I’m TIRED!….

For every insult, there’s a counter insult.
No one ever wins. 😉

I know that he knows it’s difficult at home and more difficult than what he does because my situation is unpredictable. He will never admit it. It’s not black and white how he likes. I hate things that are black and white except movies. Being at home plus working is all mutha effin gray. Kids and teens are unpredictable. You never know what you’re going to get.

Anyways, Our most recent endeavor. About a month ago, our washing machine stopped working. It’s a LG High Efficiency washer, equipped with smart diagnosis. This means that I can connect my IPhone to the washer and it can diagnose what’s wrong. My washer continued to display “IE”. He has an Android, I have an iPhone which probably contributed to his feelings of inadequacy. 😂

In the manual, “IE” means that you have to clean out the water inlet valve, Manual says to clean inlet valve monthly. I know we have NEVER done this. So I asked my old man to do it. He didn’t feel like fixing it right now which led to the “tennis match”.

While sitting on the couch, he told me to call the repairman we used for the dishwasher. The woman who answered the phone asked me what was wrong and I told her.

But what are you doing right now Floyd?

She replied, “Yea, that Washing machine brand isn’t the greatest. That code means you need to clean out the water inlet valve”. I said “Like I know what that is or how to do that, thats why I’m calling you.” (Whorebag, in my head)

So she calls me back and said she can get me in on Saturday between 12pm-4pm.

Me: “Ummm that’s four days from now, you have nothing sooner?” Whorebag: “Nope. Mmm-mmm. No. We will call you the day before AND the morning of to confirm.”

Me: “Ok, thanks” (In head: “Dont you condescend me, man. I’ll fuckin kill you man.)👇🏻

I confirmed the service call from the know-it-all, condescending lady Friday night and Saturday morning. Shocker: Husband is too busy to wait for fix it guy. We go out to breakfast because we have nothing else to do. I overeat carbs to feed my resentment, he leaves. Then on my day off, in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, I have to wait. Me sitting on the couch, after a large, carby meal and doing nothing but waiting is not a normal situation and unfortunately, I fall asleep.

Three unanswered calls later from the fix it guy, I missed my repair window. His voicemail:

“Yea, since you aren’t answering the phone, I am not wasting a 20-minute trip since you are my only call out there today.” Me: Ew. Wasting his time? Who the hell does this guy think he is?

Off topic: True magician, Gary Oldman as the pimp Drexel Spivy

Me: (Furiously calling him back-but I get the awful lady 😫) Me: “I thought after I confirmed three times, he would just show up. I left a note on the front door for him to just come in. I missed his call but I have been here waiting.”

Know-It-All-Lady: “Yea, no, he’s too busy. If you missed his calls, then we have to reschedule. Where were you anyway?

Me: (wtf-now who does SHE think she is?) “Where was I? I was home, sitting here waiting, doing nothing. I never do that so I fell asleep.”

Know-It-All-Lady: “You fell Asleep???”

She says it in that shocked, angry, judgmental how-dare-you tone like Rachel says to Ross after she rambles for 18 pages… .Front and back

Now if my husband dozed off on the couch, this would completely accepted and understandable. For a woman to fall asleep-Unheard of. This woman should know how tired women are in general as a species; this is a complete betrayal.

I’d rather die than have you fix my washing machine bitch

Me: “Well, I think it’s ridiculous that you guys make me wait four days for this appointment. Despite my confirming both calls and wait on my day off on this beautiful Saturday afternoon. His time is too valuable to drive here? I’m sorry my shitty machine isn’t worth his time. I’ll call another company.” She began to talk and hung up on her. (Damn that felt good)

So… I have had a hell of a time finding someone to fix this thing; but I REFUSE to call that company back. I really do not enjoy cleaning my cleaning appliances. 😂 I swallowed my pride, watched some you tube how-to’s DIY fix it videos and did it.

I thought of the jerky boys while doing this. “Should I bring all my tools?” https://youtu.be/5F-VQtEfbTU

Yea, I fixed it. It cost NOTHING. I’m a bad ass. I’m muthafuckin Charlie Bronson. I’ll tell the old man the guy came out and fixed it. He won’t question a thing. I win, kinda. However if I said I fixed it…you know what will happen. Tons of questions, skepticism and he still won’t admit it. That’s all I really want. So who really wins? 😂

You a bad ass.

In the end, I know how to fix the washing machine. I know what a water inlet valve is and what a pair of pliers is. I don’t need him to admit it. I’m not even mad anymore. The irrational thoughts have left and I’m left with realizing this was about a stupid, replaceable washing machine. As much as I hate his guts in the moment, I realize now I’m doing the same thing he is doing. Everything I say about him, he could say about me. He handles stuff I don’t think about. I don’t give a shit either. 😂

The big picture.

However,👇🏻Admitting it is sexy, I hope men don’t wait until they are this old to see the truth.

Off topic: See the best of Floyd: I still laugh 18 years later

#Beyourself, #brenebrown, #freedom, #opportunity, #simonsinek, brene brown, davidkesler, glennondoyle, Grief, unlockingus, vulnerability

Quarantine-ING

DO-Ing

typing, writing, blogging, documenting, lifting, texting, Editing, painting, cleaning, spraying, wiping, exercising, scrubbing, folding, washing, bringing, dropping, returning, buying, framing, ordering, shopping, selecting, carrying, drinking, posting, networking, punching, pushing, pulling, decorating, eating, spending, clicking, entering, hanging, filling, loading, unloading, tapping, cutting, pasting, organizing, sorting, driving, downloading, uploading, swiping, scrolling, teaching, knowing, competing, disciplining, tweeting, taming, fearing, sorting, worrying, numbing, controlling, binging, guessing, confusing, dying, producing, moving, locking, journaling, questioning, debating, arguing, avoiding, fixing, finding, searching, planning, resisting, wishing, looking, filling, running, circling, drowning, refusing, fighting…

BE-ing

Sitting, sleeping, watching, hydrating, laughing, smelling, crying, listening, hearing, seeing, dancing, playing, talking, touching, baking, prepping, praying, snuggling, creating, bathing, planting, soaking, replenishing, strengthening, zooming, holding, learning, riding, napping, enlightening, dreaming, calling, connecting, hugging, stopping, quieting, soothing, reflecting, enjoying, smiling, loving, empowering, grieving, pausing, living, giving, feeling, staying, appreciating, facing, unplugging, growing, resting, helping, healing, shining, hoping, fasting, unlocking, braving, allowing, permitting, surrendering

Which “ING” have you been doing?

Yea, me too…

I recognized this morning that “I’m doing it wrong.”

Weekend Goals

BE-ing

#greatpretender, #landmarkforum, Badassery, empath, Grief, gun control, Health & Wellness, march for our lives, vulnerability

Finding Time For Grace

I decided in the last year that I’m not cooking dinner anymore. I decided this but I still felt guilty like I “should” cook dinner.

I definitely had this unrealistic vision of sitting down together every night, saying grace, eating a balanced meal and connecting about the highs and lows of our day. Reality: we end up fighting•everyone sighs in disgust when I put the food down• kids are never hungry because I have to feed them a “pre-dinner” because they are ravenous after school. Then a “post” dinner -again conveniently before bedtime. I make them breakfast, lunch, & snacks.

Kids have games, practices, homework, and us parents may have unfinished work from both our full time jobs and side jobs, traffic to fight and no energy left to use 15 dishes and load dishwasher for the 2nd or 3rd time that day.

Last year, one of my friends with five kids, 11 and under, said to me “I don’t cook”. I was in awe. She said that sometimes she goes to Mariano’s to get chicken and they grill it for her for free. Sometimes they have sandwiches. She doesn’t cook…ever.

She is my hero.

However, she does have time and energy to do fun things with her kids, coach them and spend time with them. Kids will remember her presence; not the amazing dinner she cooked. I decided to do this too, however I always had this nagging “should” guilt. This is also exacerbated when my daughter exclaims “you don’t feed me.”

I wrote myself a permission slip this week to myself, for myself, that I no longer have to cook dinner and permission to not feel guilt. (Concept by Brene Brown). A permission slip, means “it’s okay”& “I’m off the hook.” Like how you write a permission slip to excuse your kids for stuff; do it for yourself.

I stopped comparing myself to other families and feeling like a loser because other people eat dinner together. It might work for other families and their schedule. For my family, it doesn’t work… ever. It never has and I doubt it ever will.

My kids are old enough now to read directions and make their own dinner. You want chicken nuggets, go for it. Frozen pizza- I don’t care- go ahead. I surrender this battle. If my husband wants dinner, he can cook it, we both work. He also is a way better cook with less mess. I’m done with this standoff every night on who will suck it up and cook. 😂

Since giving myself permission and by letting go of this guilt; I have felt very liberated and free. One day last week we were all home together so I actually cooked dinner because “I felt like it.” There was no fighting, kids were starving because it was like 7:30pm.😂

I discovered that I now have more time for other things than making dinner and saying grace. I now have time to notice grace.

Despite my kids going to Catholic school, I struggle with my faith at times. With all the tragedies and evil that is done, it is difficult to not become jaded.

Which in turn may cause a person to question their faith and remembering how to stay on their own path.

How can you experience joy while people are getting killed by some senseless massacre? How are you supposed to feel content and at peace when there is terrible illnesses in this world? I feel like a real asshole experiencing frustration about my kids game conflicts or having fun with my friends when there is so much pain in the world.

I put this audiobook on hold at the library a long time ago (like 15 weeks). I forgot about it. The book became available at exactly when I needed it.

All chapters are summaries of different super soul Sunday’s that Oprah has done. (Now you may have a pre-judgement about Oprah as I once did and immediately say, “I don’t like Oprah. She bugs me. She’s full of herself.” Oprah will tell you and admit “I am full of myself, I have to be full in order to give.”) I now understand her more and realize I was judging her instead of paying attention to what her true intention is…to serve others.

Every chapter of this book gives you something truly thought provoking.

I obviously cannot write everything out for you to read and highlight it all. That’s why it’s a book, not authored by me. But, I can share how this book impacted me:

I see patients at my job who are disabled. Many have dementia and Alzheimer’s. I have to keep my boundaries up at work to stay unbiased, objective and remain detached. This is healthy and necessary to prevent burn out. These boundaries are to prevent myself from becoming too emotionally attached. The brain is truly fascinating how it can be trained to do certain things. My “fortress“ goes up in work mode as if I push a button in my brain. It just…happens.

I am sure police officers, firemen, nurses, doctors and anyone in service industry all possess a similar capability. It’s essential for survival.

Anyways, I am at home where my boundaries are not up and going through the motions of doing this online training for work…it was on Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s makes me cry.

Alzheimer’s makes my heart hurt.

Alzheimer’s makes me question my faith.

I don’t want to feel this.

I don’t want to think about it.

I don’t want to think of this harsh reality. I don’t want to think of my friends who have had parents go through this. I don’t want to think about my mother-in-law.

This CBT work training was 10 chapters, I was on chapter 6 when I felt this overpowering need to stop.

I was becoming crabby, frustrated and sad.

I wanted to keep bulldozing through it and “get it done”. Then things continued to happen; my kids needed me, I got a phone call, I had to go to the bathroom…etc.

Finally I surrendered and gave up attempting to finish the work training.

I woke up yesterday morning on my own… very early. I took this opportunity to “get this dumb training done.”

I was listening to the book-Chapter 8 on GRACE; Oprah interviews Dr. Caroline Myss.

(All the chapters are extremely well done and the audio is excellent because she has the actual recordings from the show.)

Oprah asks Dr. Caroline Myss, “What is Grace?”

Caroline: “Grace is something that will prevent you from doing something that you cannot take back. Grace comes in and says “you will be OK”. Grace is a power that comes in and transforms a moment into something better.”

Oprah asks Caroline “How does Grace work?” .

@caroline.myss: “When you are in a huge argument and you are so angry and you want to say something so intentionally hurtful and mean…and that inner voice says, “You sure you want to do that?” …That’s Grace. 🤯

Finally, something I can use!😂

She also answers questions raw & real like:

“What is prayer?”

“What is your definition of God?”

“How do you know when to surrender and let go?”

“How do I know I am making the right decision?”

You have to listen to this for yourself to discover your own enlightenment.

I will share though, Dr. Caroline Myss’s concept of “The Sacred Contract”

“The shared contract is the reason you were born. It’s not a literal document. It’s a spiritual document that our soul recognizes. It’s the feeling of “there’s something I know I was meant to do.” It’s a fundamental agreement that you simply feel because it reveals itself to you through ideas, coincidences, synchronicity’s, obligations that you can’t get out of, mad love you can’t stop, serendipity’s. People are in the dark about their reason for being here. People define it by what they want instead of what they have. People suffer when they pursue a life or chase a dream that doesn’t belong to them.”

So I listened and cried…I was vulnerable and my heart was wide open. (I try to avoid feeling this way🙈 Hello white claw, amazon, donuts, gossip, Netflix binges.) This time I sat with it. I felt it. I resisted the urge to run away and “do” something else. I resisted the urge to stop “feeling”.

I got it together eventually and turned on my computer to finish my training for work on Alzheimer’s.

There it was…

Chapter 7 SPIRITUAL & PALLIATIVE CARE FOR ALZHEIMER’S

Right there…was GRACE.

If I read this last night while crabby, frustrated and jaded- I would’ve missed what I really needed to learn. Thankfully grace intervened telling me to take a break, it’s ok. Grace was giving me permission.

I was now able to read this chapter on spirituality and what individuals with Alzheimer’s need with an open heart and open mind; despite my struggling with my faith the day before. Instead of being annoyed and complaining about this training I had to do; I was exceptionally grateful that I was given this opportunity from my employer to learn this. I realized by “hurrying up” and “just trying to get it done”; I would have missed the joy and pain of learning this.

I oddly found clarity by feeling both sadness and gratitude/joy and pain simultaneously. I was able to see the answer to my earlier question about “how am I supposed to feel joy without guilt?” to fully grasp and recognize what I read last week in Brene Brown’s Braving the Wilderness below:

“The more we diminish our own pain or rank it compared to what others have survived…the less empathetic we become. When we surrender our own pain to make others feel less alone… or to make ourselves feel less guilty… we deplete ourselves of what it feels like to be fully alive and fueled by purpose.” -Brene Brown

Below is Caroline Myss Ted talk.

https://youtu.be/-KysuBl2m_w

Caroline Myss

http://www.supersoul.tv/tag/caroline-myss

Brene Brown On Practicing civility

https://brenebrown.com/articles/2017/11/08/gun-reform-speaking-truth-bullshit-practicing-civility-effecting-change-2/

Permission slips

https://youtu.be/NY6hZf6kI4g

empath, narcissism, narcisstic personality disorder, relationships, Uncategorized, vulnerability

Left feeling like John Coffey…

Left feeling like John Coffey…via Daily Prompt: Narcissism

The words I used to associate with narcissism are: Pompous, arrogant, grandiose, cocky, conceited with an inflated sense of self-importance.

Then I actually had “interactions” “friendships” and “relationships” and with men and women who have narcissistic personality disorder. The word narcissism has taken on a different meaning and vibe.

When I hear narcissism now, words like selfish, manipulative, predator,  heartless, soulless, delusional, toxic, emotional-vampires, self-absorbed, and mind-fuck come to mind. They literally “search” for impressionable and innocent individuals as if they can sense your weaknesses like an animal.  Individuals with this disorder are very charming, charismatic and complimentary at first.

They know exactly how to subtilely flatter you and make you “feel good”. Over time they intensify this excessive and insincere praise to butter you up and hook you. They usually have some kind of “sob story” to facilitate compassion from your kind heart and lead you to believe that “you are the only one they confided this to.” Hence they take advantage of your good intentions and thoughtful, giving nature by inadvertently causing you to feel special.

This initial euphoria (dopamine release) is what keeps you coming back for more. You like how you “feel” around this person. For once, someone is giving to you and it feels amazing. You feel full, admired, cherished, adored and loved.

They enjoy being responsible for your emotions and having power over your reactions. They groom you to become dependent on this euphoria until you become vulnerable enough to allow them to invade your soul.

  • You trust them wholeheartedly.
  • You feel like there is no one else is this world who understands you like they do.
  • You feel a deep connection to this person that almost becomes an obsession.

When the narcissist is aware that you are completely defenseless and completely enamoured with their tantalizing charm; this is when they strike. Usually it begins with subtle passive aggressive comments that confuse you and trigger insecurity and/or self-doubt. You may feel stung or humiliated and react emotionally. They will then minimize your reaction by twisting things around to make you look or feel irrational. #gaslighting

Then they will turn up the charm again, deepening your vulnerability by preying on your weakness in this raw, emotional state. They will use all the information and disclosures you provided them in confidence. Either they will hurt you more by using it against you or they will fill this void with whatever is missing. They will do exactly what makes you feel the most loved. Usually with whatever your love language is: lavish gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service like cleaning without asking, fixing your car or surprising you with dinner. The most dangerous is the physical affection or mind blowing sex that will completely impair your judgement.

They will “feed” off this emotional roller coaster they put you through and this “feeding” will temporarily sustain them. This pattern will continue until you begin to question your sanity, your decision making and how you feel about them or yourself. They will sense your ambivalence and “up the ante” and do things to make you feel crazier.

They may suddenly withdraw by ceasing to return calls or texts. They may stand you up for lunch or not show up for things. They behave aloof, rude or become cold and distant. They may begin to pick fights with you, accuse you of cheating, start “hanging out” with another “friend” making you jealous. They may play favorites with your siblings leaving you feel never good enough. They may cheat on you or talk badly about you to someone else.

After this, you may be convinced you are clinically insane.  Your emotions will feel so out of control and irrational that you wonder if perhaps you are the problem; not them. Since you have been strung out on the dopamine high they have been steadily supplying you, you will feel an intense withdrawal. This withdrawal is similar to a deep exhaustion or a hangover. You could feel worn out, drained, exhausted, depressed, anxious, paranoid, hopeless, worthless, and weak. You may feel imprisoned and trapped like there is no way out.

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Then they pounce on your vulnerability and feed off whatever emotion and reaction you provide them. Negative or positive reaction; it doesn’t matter. They need this emotional fix to survive so they will do whatever they have to do in order to receive a “reactional feeding”.

You may begin to feel desperate and do things out of character. You may even wonder how you used to be happy before this person walked into your life. You may re-trace when you started to care so much about how this person feels about you. You may speculate why you keep trying to win their affection or attention.

Out of this desperation, you may precariously decide to do anything to make this person happy. You muster up the strength for one more last-ditch effort in order to see that charming, charismatic, loving person they once were. F1BCA709-407E-4573-8489-308BDB71612B.jpeg

Under the delusional belief that deep down “they care about you” and they have empathy; you may attempt to “force” them to understand how you feel.  You will inevitably be heartbroken and devastated. This is an endless cycle that you can waste years on.

Hopefully you will love yourself enough to recognize that this “emotional vampire” has an insatiable thirst. They will leave you once you have nothing left to give and there is no supply left to “thrive”. They are incapable of true love and believe your purpose on this earth is to serve them and supply them without ever having to reciprocate. They do not feel guilty or remorse. It is all an act.

This person could be a significant other, sibling, family member, friend or in worst cases; a parent. The only way out is feeling the pain, learning and growing from it. Meanwhile, maintaining no contact with this person at all. Zero communication or reactions is the only way to end this cycle and break free from their control and toxicity.

The devil doesn’t show up wearing horns and a pitchfork; they show up disguised as everything you ever wanted.

Autism, Grief, Uncategorized, Women's Fight

The Eye of the Sparrow (Part Four)

For about ten years, things were great with our team. We became a little family. We embraced each other’s idiosyncrasies. We invited our spouses and kids to our quarterly get together’s. MF invited all of us to her husband’s 50th party because all he wanted for his birthday was to “jam.” I had never been to a party where they had a real band in the backyard equipped with stage, dance floor, microphone, and instruments. MF’s brothers and brother-in-laws all were musically gifted as well. They all performed and sang on stage, even MF, her husband, her kids. It was by far, the coolest party I had ever attended.

I had planned on sleeping over so I was lucky enough to witness a real “acuostic jam session” between MF, her brothers, sister, nephews, nieces, and her kids etc. Everyone was enjoying drinks and were sitting around with their instruments.  MF nephew asked her if she had heard of the song, “Angel of Montgomery” By John Prine, sang by Bonnie Raitt. MF replied “Kinda”. He said, “All right, Let’s do it.” Her nephew handed her a notebook with the lyrics written inside. All of MF brother’s, nephews etc began playing as if they rehearsed this everyday; which they didn’t. They all had regular jobs but played music for enjoyment.

I always knew MF was a good singer, however, I had never expected to witness what I did that night. I hate to sound like Stepbrothers, but honestly, she did sound like a combination of Fergie and Jesus; as if Bonnie Raitt or the Angel of Montgomery herself was in the room. It was fascinating to watch.  When she was done singing and the guys were all done playing, everyone seemed to say “Whhooooaa” simultaneously.

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Soon after, MF’s husband hurt his back really badly while landscaping, his mother died of Alzheimer’s and his business fell apart. He was unemployed and lost.  Meanwhile, their son was approaching high school graduation and becoming a legal adult, which was setting MF and her husband into a tailspin of anxiety and concern about his future. It did not help that MF was going through menopause and this seemed to trigger a new onset of mood disturbance symptoms. She could not sleep, she would fly off the handle and at times it was as if she could not stop talking. One day I teased her and asked her how much coffee she had that day. When she asked Why, I told her she reminded me of Kramer from Seinfeld when he drank too many cafe latte’s. That didn’t go over well 😬.

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Thankfully, the Doctor and Rokstar could always get MF laughing no matter what was going on; usually by taking a break and watching a few SNL clips or Thug Life videos. Of course her flying off the handle led to some comical stories. MF would often to refer to herself as a “Straight up Ridah” inspired by “Ambitionz of a Ridah” by Tupac.

Our personal favorite “Ridah” story was when MF got into a debate with a bad ass, hilarious, six foot tall Amazon woman at work. At our next party, the two of them decided to settle this debate by agreeing to disagree and then by having a “dance off”.  Both tenacious women claimed they won and it was an event we still laugh about, mainly because of the “Ridah’s” perspective and comments about it.

Following the dance off party, MF was doing well again for a while, until her family was struck by another tragedy. Her niece that she was extremely close to,  lost her 10 day old full term newborn. Understandably, MF fell apart again, and it seemed to take her much longer to bounce back. This seemed to break her heart and spirit more than anything else ever had. Seeing a beautiful, angelic baby in a bassinet/casket is something that no one should have to witness and it is a traumatizing sight. It is one of those things I deeply wish I could “unsee” because that image is burned in my brain. I cannot fathom the pain that  MF, her family or this baby’s mother had to endure.

One day MF conveyed to us that she finally found comfort from the tragedy in the bible verse Matthew 10:29, 31. It was difficult for her to see God’s plan this time through the baby dying, however her faith helped her find peace. I still was detached from my faith so I ignorantly teased her for being a “Bible Person”. When she explained it to me, I hated to admit it made sense but I had not yet made my peace with God and everything tragic that seemed to happen in this world just kept my resistance alive.

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After this incident, MF’s husband to seem to spiral out of control. It seemed he could not cope with the severe back pain, the financial pressure of losing his business, his autistic son’s future, his daughter’s college career and then his wife’s grief and depression. MF was struggling with her husband’s episode because he was always the rock that kept her and her son together. His patience with his son was limitless and MF would frequently say that he has the patience of a saint. However since her husband was self employed, worked alone at home, he did not have time for many friends or a support system of coworkers as MF did.

Rokstar was very concerned when MF did not show up for work February 8th, 2016 and she was not responding to texts or phone calls. Rokstar, The Doctor and I were talking on the phone together three way and we decided that we should stop over at her house to make sure everything was okay. It was snowing and we were thinking something may have happened with their power. Deep down, we all knew something was wrong but unsure what happened.

No one answered the door, it was eerily dark and quiet until the dog started barking. The Doctor called the police on her home phone while the three of us remained on our cell phones together. We all had a sick, nauseous, trembling feeling. The police would not disclose anything to Rokstar and myself except that there was someone deceased in the home and that they would contact us once the identity confirmed.

One can only speculate why MF, her 18 year old son and her husband were found dead in their home. One can only guess what happened based on the information that is known. Ironically I found peace and comfort in “Don’t be afraid, you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” One thing I do know is that when you have a a friend that you love, you do not want to see them in pain. I do believe she is no longer afraid and in pain anymore and does not have to worry about her son’s future because she is right next to him. Additionally, she would be going ballistic everyday if she were here to see Trump president😂.