Friday, October 24, 2014

Dare


"I dare you. I double dog dare you."

I don't take dares. I never played truth or dare but once. I hated it. It felt as if I were allowing myself to be set up, and I'd had quite enough of that already, thank you very much.

But then I look at the definition 

:to have enough courage or confidence to do something 
:to not be too afraid to do something 
:to do (something that is difficult or that 
people are usually afraid to do)

And I realize, I may not take dares, but I do dare. Every single day that I had acknowledge my survival I am daring to live an authentic life. To call truth, truth. To call darkness and evil, darkness and evil. 

So I dare you today, confront boldly, contend against, venture, try. You might be surprised by how daring you are.






Thursday, October 23, 2014

Anachronism


Do you ever lose your way? Not literally in the "getting lost, I need a map" way, but more in the "this is not the way I intended to live my life" way.

I do. Of course I get lost literally as well, but that's a different story.

I've been feeling a bit lost on my life path lately. I know all the things I am supposed to do -- read my Bible, pray, serve others, find a purpose, be kind to others, keep a lovely and orderly home, cook meals, organize and take care of needs and wishes and desires. But lately I've been suffering from "what's the point" syndrome. I think it's moving into empty nest and having a husband in graduate school preparing to change professions. I also thinks it's my reaction to a society that tells me to do more and more and more. The things I enjoy most are peace, quiet, reading, moving at a relaxed pace, not striving. I get so tired of trying and having to fight for everything. 

[Right around here is the point I feel compelled to throw in my proviso -- I HAVE NOTHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT. I have a great life. A lovely home with running water, heat, a roof that doesn't leak. I have healthy children who have grown into capable, fully functional adults, and they still talk to me. I have a husband of 29 years, and we still love each other (even through the rough patches). So I know I've got it really good.]

I'm not quite sure what my function is, according to other people. Now if I throw the other people out of the equation (again, not literally) what I want is to maintain my home, cook, craft, read, write, walk, yoga, help others, and grow closer to God. So why is it so hard for me to achieve those personal goals while feeling good about them?

I don't work outside the home. I don't volunteer all over town. I don't teach cradle roll at church. I'm a introvert who likes being alone or with the people I feel most at ease with. Does this mean I'm failing somehow? Is my desire for quiet simplicity a failing of my character, or am I just an anachronism? A person out of step with our current society? 

I'm not sure. What I do know is that if I don't live my life as my authentic self, then I have lost my one chance at being who I am. Who I believe God made me to be. I tried living up to everyone else's expectations and I tried pleasing everyone else and ignoring me -- it doesn't work.

So I'm back to doing the things I want to do and caring for the people who are my responsibility. All the while reminding myself that I am my own worst judge and critic.

linking up with 31 Days of Writing


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ramblings of a Disorganized Blogger


I write about my life here. I don't do much in the way of planning. I tend to sit down and start writing. 

I've struggled at times over how much detail to share of the abuse I went through. I've struggled over sharing other family members' information and issues. The one line I've truly tried to honor is my marriage. I only talk about the good stuff where my husband is concerned. I think that's a good plan, as I certainly wouldn't want him talking about all the things that I do that frustrate him to a bunch of strangers on the internet.

That being said, when my marriage is going through stuff it can be difficult to write without feeling as if I'm being inauthentic. I've always had a problem with full disclosure and lying/keeping secrets. On some level I believe that if I don't tell everything, I've lied. If I don't provide you with all the facts (evidence) then you can't make a fair assessment (judgment) of the situation. Of course all of that assumes I looking to you for validation, judgment, and/or approval. Which unfortunately I probably am.

Because ultimately it all comes back to trusting myself. My impressions. The idea that I must have misread the abusers because otherwise I would have known to stay out of their reach. Clearly a 5 year old has the skill and capability to read the nuances of a pedophile and remove themselves from harm's way. Right?

And that paragraph is why I write. Because it is in the writing it out that I see and understand the flaws in my reasoning. Flaws that were embedded by the abusers and the abuse. 

I think it's that way for most people whether they were abused or not. We all benefit from writing down ideas, concepts, and beliefs. It forces us to carry thoughts through to the logical conclusion, and often it's not until the very end of the process that we see the flaw in the logic.

So I write -- with little or no plan. Mostly to get the thoughts out. But I write in a public forum because I need input and responses, and I need to believe that I'm doing this out of more than just selfish motives.


linking up with 31 Days of Writing


Nostalgia




linking up with Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . October 21, 2014

Outside my window . . . beautiful blue sky and the temperature is in the 50s. Just doesn't get much better than this.

I am thinking . . . about the impact of physical illness on my mental process. It's amazing how a sinus infection (and meds) can throw my mood into the toilet. So happy to be on the mend, both physically and mentally.

I am thankful . . . that Alan and I had a safe and uneventful day trip to Milan and Dyersburg, TN yesterday. I was a bit concerned about my driving skills considering dizziness it always a sinus infection side effect.

In the kitchen . . . last night was take out from The Chill Spot. There's been a fair amount of takeout lately. I'm hoping to get something actually made for dinner tonight, but schedules are wacky.

I am wearing . . . a giant t-shirt and my flannel robe.

I am creating . . . scarves for Presents with a Purpose. I picked up some clothing patterns yesterday and am going to try my hand at making myself some clothes again.

I am going . . . to therapy and then home to tackle the mess.

I am wondering . . . about metaphysics and the Dreyfus Affair. A sick mind is a wondering mind.

I am reading . . . just finished re-reading Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton. I read this series (or parts of it) when I was working at the Brentwood Library. Last week while I was sick I went back to it as I needed something mindless to read. Now I want to read them all! I just started reading An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris, hence the interest in the Dreyfus Affair.

I am looking forward to . . . a couple of days at home to strike order around the house. Halloween is 10 days away and I have nary a ghost, goblin, or ghoul decorating my house yet.

I am hearing . . . the lovely quiet. Sometimes I think this is the only time each week that I stop and appreciate the quiet. Answering this prompt makes me stop and recognize the gift that quiet is.

Around the house . . . The new Hoosier is here, and at least temporarily placed. I have a little nook that I use as an office and it's filling with furniture. I need to consider arrangement options.

I am praying . . . for a stop to all the fear mongering in the news and social media. Yes, there are things to be concerned about, but as a Christian I am called to trust in God no matter the situation. 

One of my favorite things . . . is having the house back in order. The Lord willing, I will achieve that by the end of the week. It won't be perfect, but it will definitely be better than it currently is!

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . a calmer schedule and health to nest around my house. SouleMama has been talking about nesting as summer changes to autumn. I like that imagery, and I think that's the feeling I'm having as well.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
yes, it's that's bad!





linking up with The Simple Woman and 31 Days of Writing


Monday, October 20, 2014

Fear 2.0



I'm traveling today, but here is a repost on Fear (today's word) from 2013.


What's my biggest fear . . . 

This reminds of a post I wrote nearly a year and a half ago. 

What's my biggest fear? It's a ludicrous question to ask a survivor of abuse. I've got a list a mile long. The list shifts and fluctuates, but the one constant is this -- the fear of not being believed. 

It's a deeply rooted fear. Planted by abusers, and tended by those who didn't provide an environment of safety to risk telling. Then reinforced by those, who when told, didn't believe, even offering explanations of why I would make up these atrocities. Explanations that cast aspersions on my character, proving the lies the abusers told me are true.

According to Wikipedia, Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat which causes entities to quickly pull away from it and usually hide. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger. 

It takes a lot of people believing my story to counter the few who don't. 

Maybe that's why I keep telling it.

linking up with 31 Days of Writing and Five Minute Free Writes





Sunday, October 19, 2014

Honor



It's one of those words that has shown up repeatedly in therapy. My therapist is always telling me to "honor" my feelings.

According to Webster, honor means "respect and esteem shown to another. Honor may apply to the recognition of one's right to great respect or to any expression of such recognition".

That's a hard word for me to apply to myself. Respect and esteem. That's a double whammy.

It's difficult to learn self-respect and self-esteem when you grown up being hurt and threatened. When you grow up hiding your own reality. When you grow up with a box of secrets tucked away in your head.

Like so much of healing from abuse, learning to honor my feelings has come oh so slowly. I have good days and bad days. I get confused and think I am being overbearing by stating my preferences. I assume anyone else's feelings/needs/wants are more important than my own. 

And I come back time and time again to "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:31; Lev. 19:18). If I'm going to love my neighbor, I'm going to have to start by loving (respecting, honoring, esteeming) myself.

Another biblical imperative that got lost in my translation. 

linking up with 31 Days of Writing and 31 Days of Five Minute Writing