Be Grateful

Over the years I’ve always tended toward gratitude. This morning, though, I wanted to list some of the things for which I am grateful. Being grateful even during times of trial is one of the ways people like me survive our trials. I remind myself that time is short and that ‘this’ trial shall also pass should I just keep on keeping on.

What am I grateful for? My kids. My health.  My sight. My ability to breathe. The house I live in, the roof that does not leak, the heat in the winter, and air conditioning in the summers. The fall air this morning. The ability to awaken from a deep slumber into a soft bed with a warm blanket.

I’m grateful for the sunburn I got from sailing, for if I hadn’t then I wouldn’t be reminded of sailing daily as it heals. I’m grateful for having dropped my computer in the river, for if I hadn’t then I wouldn’t have been able to recognize the miracles of being able to pull it from the depths of the water despite not seeing it, the fact that it currently works after only a few days of drying. I would have missed the miracle of a God caring enough about me that even the little things count to Him.

I’m grateful for being snuggled by my dogs. Of my geriatric dogs still enjoying their time with me. I’m grateful for coffee. For having enough food to never go hungry. For enough money to pay my bills, even if it’s not all of the bills covered it is enough to maintain a house over my children’s heads. I’m grateful for bills, for without these I might forget that life is a journey.

I’m grateful for soaps that smell like flowers, for books that make me cry, for friends that make me laugh, and for shoes that keep my feet from hurting.

I’m grateful for my mother who forced me to start taking Juice Plus so many years ago, who gave me her business so that I could continue it, who trusted me with her legacy regardless of how I determined to go.

I’m grateful for school, for the opportunity it provided for me to excel, to grow, to mature. I’m grateful it was hard, for if it had been easy I would have never learned that I could accomplish something so difficult. I’m grateful for the patience my teachers had, for the friends I gained despite myself, for the books that crowd my bookshelves, for the notes that crowd my brain.

I could go on. I have discovered that being grateful in the small things helps me to see through the hard things. I am grateful for you, my reader, for without you I might have not found my voice.

thank you for reading,

me

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Life continues and another loved one is included…

I decided to allow my eldest to read my book. I needed to explain things that would allow her to come to her own decisions without making the same mistakes I had. I wanted to give her the gift of my experiences. And she wanted to know what I wrote. I allowed her.

Once I handed over the book, I felt a little bit frightened. I wanted to take it back but I let it be. She read it quietly, I never saw her with it until she was about half way through. She seemed to be doing well. The second half of my book is a bit more difficult for me than the first, yet I wasn’t going to take it from her. I just didn’t know quite what to expect. Love? Hate?

I didn’t know which way it would fall when she learned more about me, my secrets, my past. Today she took my book to work. She came home early. Tears. Sobs. My heart was breaking as I held her. She let me hold her as we both stood and cried. I knew it would be difficult. I was right. She is strong enough and she needs to know.

I’m an open book now. Literally. Our relationship is strengthening more than I could imagine. I regret she hasn’t finished the book yet, there’s more terrible things to come before things turn around. However, we’ve both decided she should continue reading it at home.

This was yet another step for me facing my fears. I love my children like I love myself. They will be better for having a mom like me. My how I’ve changed over the last couple of years! I once said I loved only my kids, not myself. I once thought I should die so they could have a better mom.

When I started all of this I never imagined I’d be the person I have become. I never imagined I would be able to hold my head high and yet have the past that I have. How can this be? I surprise even me.

thank you for reading,

me

My first book – Conversations With My Therapist

I wrote a book that touches on many of the common issues of women today. It’s not written just for women it’s just that I am one, a woman. I speak on abuse, both emotional and physical, divorce, and abortion. I show the reader my transformation from a timid lost girl to a woman with power. I let the reader experience my feelings and thoughts throughout the process. My goal is to empower others to find their own strength.

I’m new to publishing, and once in awhile I feel a streak of fear run through my system; but, my story is the same as many others’ and the world needs it. The more people who know the secrets and the better others understand, then maybe it can stop. Maybe reading my story will help another escape his or her hell. Maybe.

Please let me know if you’re interested. I’m an open book now.

Thank you for reading,

me

conversations with my therapist

My Book – Conversations with my Therapist – A Path To Freedom

Imagine for yourself what it would be like to be free. Truly free. I allow you to be like a fly on the wall listening to the many conversations I had with my therapist. You get to read my mind as I go through some of the most intimidating, intimate, and private times of my life.

I’ve never written a book before now. It was definitely a daunting task. I believe, though, that all of my time and energy was more than worth it. May you be blessed in your journey.

Below is a link to my book, it’s available through Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2/135-8495823-2278467?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+my+therapist

thank you for reading,

My book is finally done!

It’s done! My book is finally finished awaiting publishing. I’ve been writing it for five years, but only knew that I was writing it for a little over one year. That’s what happens when you journal. My journallings have been a consistent way for me to get my thoughts out of my head. With so many things going on, my head was noisy! I could barely hold a single thought longer than a few seconds, my thoughts would race from one event to another and I couldn’t breathe, let alone sleep. Journalling provided my means of escape.

My book? It’s a good book. It still makes me cry, smile, and laugh. It brings back terrible memories yet provides proof of how amazing my life is now. It shows how a person can climb her way out of chaos and create a life that she loves. It provides proof that life is changeable, no matter your age. If I can do it so can you. It shows determination, fear, love, peace, and hate. It is my first written masterpiece and I’m excited that it’ll finally be published.

I will let you know how to purchase it, hopefully within the next week. It’s terrifying letting my secrets out of my closet for millions to read. Yet it is so freeing, knowing that I can be authentically me. No more hiding, no more lies, just me. Thank you for being a sounding board as I struggled to find my way to air. May you, my readers, be blessed beyond your wildest dreams.

thank you for reading,

me

Claiming Power in Life

As I prepare for life outside of university, I have discovered that life is really up to me. Yeah, I know that’s obvious, but hear me out. For the last five years I’ve had my scheduled planned by outside forces, specifically school. I had to arrange all that I do around when my classes and exams were. There was no way to change any of it. What they said was what I had to do if I wanted to pass.

Prior to school, my life was led by my family, specifically my husband and kids. If I wanted to do something on my own, for me, I had to make certain it was okay with everyone else in the house. My name was last on the list. My husband, kids, dogs, all came before me when it came to scheduling ‘free’ time.

Prior to marriage, my life was again controlled by university. Prior to that I was a child.

Now? Now, for the first time in my life I get to choose whether I get up in the morning or not. I get to decide if I want dessert for breakfast, whether I want to take a shower, or laze around in my pajamas all day. I get to decide how and who I want to be.

This is odd. It’s odd because I have no idea who that is. Who is the person who rules my body? Who is the one who controls my thoughts? Is it really me? Weird. Who is responsible if everything fails? Me? Wow. The enormity of it all is breathtaking. The ability to decide how my life will be from here on out?

Yes. I get it. I cannot have a great life if I just sleep all day, never shower, never eat… I know that. But, I have the power to choose. I may have had that power before but I never claimed it. So who do I want to be? How do I want to look? behave? What on earth am I supposed to do? ‘Supposed to?’ What’s that about?

Life. What a rush! Claiming my power has been the absolute hardest, and most rewarding, thing I have ever done. Claim yours. Need help? I’m willing to chat about it.

thank you for reading,

me

Experimenting with Nightmares

I love my life. I love how I get to choose who I speak to and who I spend time with. I like that my kids want to be with me and I love the opportunity to be with them as they grow up. I even love that I’m in school, loving more that school is almost done. I love it all. My life is amazing. Yet… I still feel the sting, burn, of my past.

I had hoped that I could establish a ‘friendly’ relationship with my ex. I set myself out to be kind, to learn to speak of small things, to chat while waiting for the kids. Two or more times I put myself out there, allowed myself to be just a tad more vulnerable, allowed myself to ignore my feelings of fear, of abandonment, and of abuse. I thought, since all of the legal mumbo jumbo had finally ended, that I’d be able to show a positive forward movement for my kids to see. I want them to have the best in their lives. I don’t want them to see me complaining or whining. I want them to see me strong, brave, and willing to ‘make amends’ for their benefit. I wanted to see if I could handle it, you know, test the waters.

I started to get grouchy, I started having nightmares again, I began to feel tired all of the time. I got sick. I felt overwhelmed, lost, and scared. My old feelings began to resurface and I finally caught on. I wasn’t ready. ‘The way to get over a fear is to immerse yourself in it.’ I believe that’s true. I, however, don’t think I’m going to ever get over the abuse. In fact, I don’t think I’m supposed to. What happened to me in my past has shaped who I am, and I like who I am. I have an empathy for those who have walked similar paths. I care in a way that allows others to grow. By allowing that my past is real, by remembering I didn’t make it up, by knowing that he was plain evil to me, and it wasn’t my imagination; I have the opportunity to be truly who I am meant to be.

I have a habit of slighting myself. I don’t give myself credit for the things I’ve accomplished. I have belittled myself, and spoken words to myself that no one should ever hear. That needs to change. The power I gain by remembering who I am, by being honest to myself, and others; that power is mine for the taking. I am the one who was there. I was the one who packed up the kids to hide. I was the one who collected rent money near midnight alone. I was the one who faced the fury of our neighbors. I was the one who slept with the kids when they were ill. I was the one who manged the house, the bills, the schooling and numerous other things. I was the one who earned the respect of my kids. He was not.

He was the one who pouted when he didn’t get his way, he was the one who whined and who gave up. He was the one who couldn’t decide if he was happy, sad, or angry. He was the one who sat and cleaned his gun, who left in the middle of the night, who left me crying at church. He was the one who went to sleep rather than see that I made it home safe from working an extra serving job. He was the one who didn’t care that I had hit a deer at one in the morning. He was the one who pushed me against the wall, who held me too tight and bruised my arms, who pushed his son into the door, who punched his nephew in the stomach, him.

I spent too much time in his presence. I saw him on Tuesday and came home remembering how awful it was. Although he didn’t touch me, I could still feel the weight of his body and the slime of his skin on me. I could still smell him and it affected me. This isn’t a problem that time is going to fix. What he did while we were together was wrong, always will be wrong. I will not be subjecting myself to making things better again. This new strength and freedom that I have found must be protected. He does not have the right to real estate in my head, let alone my body.

I was snappy, sarcastic, and rude to my family that night. They had done nothing wrong and didn’t deserve to be the brunt of my emotions. True, I didn’t realize why I felt the way I did, but now I do. In order to protect my family, I need to protect myself; and that includes putting my kids’ dad back into the little box in my head that he belongs. The test of strength, the test to see if I could deal with him? That was a success, not a failure. I have learned, I can be cordial, friendly and kind; but I don’t have to do it unnecessarily. I have a right to protect who I am and who I am becoming. We all have that right.

thank you for reading,

me