Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday

A friend of mine participates in "Thankful Thursday" and it seems like a nice idea, so I thought I'd give it a try.

This has been a roller coaster week. Probably a good time to stop and think w/gratitude about my blessings.

1. I am thankful for good medical care and good insurance.
2. A loving husband who still makes me laugh.
3. Good friends who say things to remind me I'm not alone.
4. Food brought even when the sink isn't working (thanks, Lezlae!)
5. Reminders that it's not only ok, but imperative to take care of myself.
6. Lessons learned and applied
7. Tea!
8. The ability to take a walk w/my dogs
9. Good books.
10. Opportunities to learn and have fun.

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!”
~ Psalm 100:4 (ESV)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Forgiving and Forgetting

I've been thinking a lot about remembering lately. Going through my history to get things in perspective is often painful, and yet I believe God is leading me to go through all of this again for a purpose. In the midst of this reverie, I've read some blogging on forgetting as a part of forgiveness. Given that I "forgot" a great deal of the abuse only to have it return uninvited, it raises the question, "Is forgetting necessary for forgiveness?" Personally, I'd answer a resounding "No" to that one. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First let's define forgetting. Webster's defines forgetting this way: "1: to lose the remembrance of : be unable to think of or recall; 2. to treat with inattention or disregard; 3. to cease remembering or noticing".

The first definition implies an inability to remember. This is not a choice, but rather something that is brought on without my control. If I can't control it, I don't think I can be required to do it.

The second and third definitions are more inline with one another. "To treat with inattention or disregard" is a choice; something that is within my control. "To cease remembering or noticing" -- I really like this one best. It is obviously a conscious choice and decision. It does not imply that the events are no longer a part of my history or that they never occurred, but rather that I have dealt with them and chosen to put them away.

For many this may be nothing but semantics, but for me it's all about choices and control. I had no choices or control when my abusers were around, but now I do. I have forgiven and I have forgotten. I choose not to dwell on the events of the past, but at the same time I choose to learn from them and incorporate them into the reality of my life and who I am.

For me forgiveness only comes through understanding responsibility. Once I have that one squared away, the forgive and forget becomes a lot easier.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Second Week

Back before Christmas, Teresa asked me if I'd be willing to write a weekly blog for T2. I was really honored, but took some time to think about the reality of it. Shortly after Christmas, I agreed to give it a try. Today is my second posting. It is nearly 8:00 on Wednesday night. I have promised Teresa I'll have my posts ready by 9:00 on Wednesday nights and I've got nothing. Don't get me wrong, I've meditated on (okay, make that read) the verse for the week, and even tried out a couple of ideas, but nothing seems to fly. My only tangible excuse is that I have been sick since Sunday, but that hasn't kept me from reading, watching TV and even doing some laundry. I mean how hard is it to write some thoughts out to share with other women? Pretty hard let me tell you, when the clock is counting down the minutes.

So here's the deal for this week. I've got no great insight into the verse; I don't feel great; I've got family stress; I've got personal stress -- and it occurs to me that you all have those same things and maybe even more. So this week's post is a list of books I REALLY want to read. I hope you get some ideas from my list and share some of yours here for me! Have a great week : )

Little Flowers of Assisi: A New Translation by Robert H. Hopcke

Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence

New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton

Wisdom Distilled from the Daily by Joan Chittister

90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver

Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Memories, Dissociation, and Flashbacks

Today while working on some of my history, I took an unpleasant stroll down memory lane. I went to an episode that I worked hard to forget, and have lately been working hard to retrieve. I am frequently amazed, and a little frightened, by what the human mind retains and releases.

I can describe the room in techni-color detail. What the backyard looked like. What Mrs. Rosa was wearing in her backyard. I can hear her calling her little, fluffy, white dog. I can feel the cool grass of evening and hear people coming in from work. What I can't tell you is where my parents had gone; whether it was spring or fall; if I'd already had dinner; or what would happen once I was in my pajamas. Time and memory are said to be fluid. What does that mean about truth and memory?

This is what I know -- bad things happened to a little girl who didn't deserve it (no child deserves to be hurt). No one was there to comfort and console her at the time, so I must comfort and console her now, retrospectively. It isn't as effective, but at least she's not alone now. So now I'll put on my warm jammies, get my new doll (Ruby) and pop in a pleasant movie. Relax, unwind and remember that all the hurt is in the past. I got through it then; I'll get through the memory of it now.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Writing It All Down

My dh has been after me to write a book about my experiences for years. A couple of months ago, he talked with me again about it. I'm a procrastinator at heart, and while I would like to have written a book, digging through all the ick from my childhood and beyond is not something that warms the cockles of my heart (what is a cockle anyway?). I told dh to have at it. Write whatever he wants. In many ways it is as much his story as mine. Were it not for him, I wouldn't be where I am today. He doesn't believe that, but I do.

He's been writing for the last little while, and has completed the introduction and first chapter. I need to know where I'm going to end up before I can start writing. He just starts writing and winds up where he winds up. He's good at too. Years of listening to me has made it possible for him to get inside my head pretty well. I'm glad he still takes such a keen interest in encouraging me to tell my story. It's not a pretty story, but it is mine, and as awful as some of it is, these are the events that formed much of who I am today.

So maybe I'm not ready to write my full story yet, but he is. It will be interesting to see where he winds up.