Do You think that a California girl is supposed to have curls and wear a jean size 3? All the curves in all the right places, spray tanned faces like on TV? And we read in the gospel of Vogue that we’re all supposed to dress and move and be Visions of perfection Such a misconception ‘Cause the real connection is deeper than the eye can see
This reminds me of a post that I wrote about the little squares of life. We do use social media to compare ourselves to others. Anyone can control what they specifically present to the world. What you don’t see is the chaos behind the phone and in the background.
What’s inside of you What’s inside of me The hands that made the moon and the stars The mountains and the seas Made you wonderful, beautiful, marvelously Let the whole world see your True beauty
Aw, Psalm 139, about how God created us. If you haven’t read it, you should!
World Versus Truth
Don’t know much about Dolce and Gabbana Seems like a lot of drama to me And you can keep all your red high heels And open-toed shoes – I’m good in my bare feet Lets get down to the nitty gritty Enough sex and the city What about purity? Skin is just the surface The passion and the purpose that’s burning down inside us Is really what we need to see
Purity is a rarity these days. How sad is that? It is such a slippery slope when you fall in “lust” with someone else. Even if that someone is your forever. Everyone can fall prey to their emotions. It is natural. We just need to be wise, be held accountable, and don’t be alone with the opposite sex. Saves a whole lot of hurt, even if you are engaged!
What’s inside of you What’s inside of me The hands that made the moon and the stars The mountains and the seas Made you wonderful, beautiful, marvelously Let the whole world see your True beauty
Love and Peace
Doesn’t come in a bottle, doesn’t come in a box You can’t spray it on, you can’t wash it off You can’t nip and tuck, you can’t sew it up So don’t waste your time It’s the love in your heart, the peace in your soul The hope in your smile lets the whole world know This little light – you gotta let it shine
Love in your heart, peace, hope, smile, and shine is so important. This is can also be so hard to accomplish. As a person, that deals with mental illness, it can be really hard. This is just something that we all need to work on. I need to put sticky notes up that remind me of these things.
True Beauty from Within the Ashes
This song, True Beauty, is one that I have not heard in years. When this album came out, I bought it. Listened to it faithfully. Then, life happened and over the years, things get misplaced. I was working on my “Worship” playlist that I listen to often from Youtube. Shackles is a song that I love and that was what I was looking for. Then, I found the album.
Thought that since I am working on my blog and feeling the urge to write, I would listen to it. I heard this song and it felt like warm water was poured over me. It speaks to me on a completely different level than it did way back when she released this song.
Events of Today
As I was ministering to a heartbroken young lady, today, we talked about beauty from ashes. This is in Isaiah 61:3. It is one of my favorite verses. Her voice has been stifled for so long. From the abuse that she experienced to what is to come, she has been silenced. In her eyes, broken.
We talked about how the Lord has a purpose for all that went on and is going on. One day, she was going to find the strength to use her story to help others. She would, indeed, hold the hand of another and walk them through the ashes to help them find their beauty.
I hope that you find encouragement that you are not alone. You are loved beyond measure. Regardless of your past, current, or future circumstances, God loves you RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE! You have to do nothing to gain His love. Also, you can do nothing to lose His love. He loves you yesterday, today, tomorrow, and every day till He calls you home.
In this piece, my guest blogger talks about how she is healing through anger. Anger is a valid emotion, as Jesus was angry when He turned over the tables in the temple. Anger is secondary to fear and/or sadness. In this piece, you can see her fear, clearly. Also, you can feel her sadness. Please pray for this young girl as you think of it.
I Am So Angry With You
I know I have said it a million times, but I am so angry with you. If I were in the business of hating people, you would be first on my list. The thought of you makes my blood pressure skyrocket. Why couldn’t you be a normal stepfather? Seriously, why did you have to abuse me? Why me? I was a child. What kind of man likes children?
I wish my mom would have never met you. Honestly, I wish I did not blame myself for what you did. I know I was young, and I know it was not my fault. It’s yours. You are the one who abused me not the other way around.
Tell the Truth
I have had a few opportunities to tell you the truth, to say whatever I wanted to you, but I did not. Part of me wishes I would not have been such a coward. I want you to know how much you hurt me. The other part of me knows that it would not matter what I said you would not care. You would enjoy the attention, you always like all the attention being on you.
What I Want to SCREAM
I want to scream at you and tell you that you hurt me. To tell you that you traumatized me. I want to tell you how I cannot even change clothes in the comfort of my own home without feeling uncomfortable or like I am being watched. To yell that you took my childhood and my innocence away from me. That is something I will never get back. I cannot go back and act like a child again. Not all of that is your fault, but a big piece of it is.
I am never a violent person, but I would like to punch you in the face a few good times. I bet that would help me release some of my anger. That sure would make me feel better. I do not understand how you can have four different types of cancers, and still be alive. I guess that is just how my life goes.
Papa T is Crossing the Line
I heard a phrase today that I had not heard in a long time. A phrase that makes me nauseous. “Daddy T” I never understood why you made us call you that. Mom does not understand why that name makes me uncomfortable, and to be honest, I don’t completely understand it myself. All I know is the name makes me physically sick. My sister told me today that you want her daughter to call you “Papa T” And it incited some rage in me.
Yet, That Baby is Safe From You
Luckily that baby lives far away now so you cannot get your hands on her. If she were still around, I can promise you that you would never meet her. I would go to jail before that happened and I would be okay with it. You will never get the satisfaction of her calling you “papa T” which I feel is WAY too close to “Daddy T”
You will never get the satisfaction to take that baby’s innocence away from her, and that brings me just a little bit of you. Your abuse ended with me, and I will do everything in my power to make sure it goes no further.
Working on Forgiveness
I know it does not sound like it, but I truly am trying to forgive you. It is just a slow process. The thing is, I am not forgiving you for you. I am doing this for me. To heal. I am doing it so I can put you in the past and finally move on. To better myself and be the best person I can be. I know in the end you will get what you deserve, and I will not even have to lift a finger.
In Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness, my guest blogger shares her thoughts on this subject. I have a mental disorder that can be crippling at times. When I say crippling I mean I cannot get myself out of the bed. I have thoughts in my head on a continuous loop that should not be there, to begin with. Those days when I don’t call, text. or even speak to people. Hell, I don’t even come out of my room. When I say I can’t get myself out of the bed, I mean, I literally will stay in it for days. I will only leave to go to the bathroom or to eat.
The “Happy” Place
There are also days when I am “happy” these are the days when I can really get myself into trouble. when I talk ninety to nothing and spend all of my money in one place. Or I could get in the car and just drive in one direction not knowing where I am going but going anywhere is better than where I am. These are the days when I bombard all of my friends that I haven’t talked to in days that I want to do something. On these days I don’t sleep, I could be up for days at a time and it wouldn’t bother me one bit. I make poor choices when I am like this.
This is Bipolar Disorder in a Nutshell, at Least in my Case.
I am tired of the stigma on mental illness or mental health in general. If you have asthma, everyone can tell by the physical complications that you have. However, when it comes to mental illnesses we dare not speak of them. They don’t exist to people who don’t have them or at least they perceive it as a negative.
You don’t see people not talking to people with asthma so why shouldn’t they for people with mental illness. Honestly, I should feel free to share that I have bipolar disorder without having people think that it means I’m crazy. Furthermore, I shouldn’t have to own that lie but yet here I am pretending it doesn’t exist or calling myself crazy.
I am Tired of Comparing Myself to “Normal” People
What does that mean anyway? To be “normal”. The definition of normal is conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected. So what I’m seeing is that everyone is supposed to be the same, act the same, and do the same things the exact same way? Maybe I’m looking at it in a negative way but it sounds to me like normal people are nowhere to be seen. Because no one is the same no one is conformed to the same standards.
So why do we make ourselves feel less than just because of a mental illness? Bipolar disorder is my normal just because it isn’t yours doesn’t mean that you have the right to tell me that I am wrong, not to be trusted, or dangerous because of it.
Today, I am thankful for modern medicine. It has helped me look at life a bit more clear. God is bigger than all, but He created man to create medicine to help. Never feel weak because you need a medication to help you even things out. You are not weak! Honestly, you are brave and strong.
My guest blogger writes a letter to her mom. She is working through How to Separate the Good Mom from the Bad Mom. Her path of healing has been long and difficult. She is wading through the good memories and the bad. Right now, sadly, the bad memories are more prevalent. I pray that one day, she will remember the good memories she had with her mom. Somehow, someway, it makes the bad memories more bearable.
My Dearest Mother,
My Dearest Mother, you have caused me so much pain for the past ten years of my life. I cannot count how many times I have laid in bed at night and cried because of you. Sadly, I have cried because I was not good enough for you. I have cried because at the times I have needed you most, you were not here. Also, I have cried because when I have had a hard day at work or school, I cannot call you. It is so frustrating to me that you are so thickheaded that you cannot see what you did wrong. I have written you numerous letters in hopes that they would somehow reach you, and you would come to your senses.
Spoiler alert, you have not.
For years, I walked on eggshells just to be sure I did not hurt your feelings. At this point, I do not care. I am fed up with the lies you feed everyone. Imagine saying that your eleven-year-old daughter made up a story about how you locked your sick son up in his bedroom and would not give him food. Like, I did not just wake up one day and say ‘Hm, I think I want to make up this lie and make my mom look bad today.’ Imagine trying to blame you and your husband’s actions on CHILDREN. Honestly, I have not asked you for much, just for you to admit what you did and apologize.
I know that is something I will never get.
One time you told me you were raising us the way you wanted to be treated. That just does not make sense to me. Who wants to be sexually abused by their stepfather for years? Because I certainly did not. I did not want him to watch me every time I took a shower. Also, I did not want him to watch me get dressed. I did not want him to put his hand on my butt every time I stood remotely close to him. Furthermore, I did not want him to take me and my sister up to the garage that day and assault us. I did not want all this trauma you gave me. All I wanted was a mother.
At this point
I do not even try and wonder what my life would be like had you not met my stepdad because it tends to hurt my feelings. Why wasn’t I good enough for you? Honestly, why? Why? Just why? I have so many questions for you, and I know I will not get a single answer. All I want, is a mom. Someone to look out for me, give me advice, and most importantly I just I want to experience a mother’s love.
Every night, when I pray, I pray that I am not like you. I pray that I never cause my children pain. Also, I pray that my kids will NEVER lay in bed at night crying because they feel I do not love them. I will be nothing like you, and that is a promise. Maybe one day you will come to your senses, but that is doubtful.
In this A Letter to Myself piece, my guest blogger wants to step back in time and parent that child who was abused and never truly parented. She wants that little girl to know that what is happening is wrong and that she is not at fault. What a beautiful way to begin the healing process.
I have written numerous letters to other people who have greatly hurt me, but I have yet to write a letter to the person I feel has hurt me the most.
That person is me.
For years I have “punished” myself for things that were not my fault. Its been hard for me to keep in mind that when bad things were happening to me, I was between the ages of 7 and 11. U have blamed myself for years for the people around me dying. I have blamed myself for not being there for them while they are dying. Like for goodness sake, Sarah, you were like 9. It is not your responsibility to take care of people who are dying.
When my dad got divorced for a second time, we had just moved, and we were tight on money. It is not that my dad was not making enough, it was because he was giving a good chunk of his money to his ex-wife. So, I started skipping meals just to make sure everyone else had enough to eat. When I would eat, my brother would make comments on my weight or how much I was eating. That’s when I stopped eating for weeks at a time and started working out six days a week.
After over a year of doing that
I finally realized that it wasn’t my responsibility to make sure everyone was eating. It was my fathers, and he was incredibly absent at that time. So I slowly started eating again. I have better eating habits now, but I still have my days where I feel I shouldn’t be eating. To this day, if I have to get weighed, I can’t look at the scale because If I see what it says I will spiral.
Around that same time, my dad was incredibly absent. All of the cooking, cleaning, and children basically came my responsibility. I was basically the parent in the household. I juggled all of my responsibilities at home, schoolwork, and band.
About the only thing I remember from this period of my life is being incredibly exhausted. It was at this time sister would hardly sleep. And she became violent. So I would wake up at three in the morning to her punching me in the face or her pulling my hair. I remember countless morning of me just crying because was so tired and in pain.
That was a super dark time in my life.
This was the beginning of a super dark time for me. I had zero will to live, I didn’t care what happened to me. Honestly, I wish this part of my story had a happier ending, but I’m still learning that Madison isn’t my child or my responsibility.
I feel guilty when I go out while she’s at the house. Also, I feel anxious that something bad is going to happen to her while I am gone. I feel like I have been better about leaving her home, so that is a step in the right direction.
Then, I guess the last piece of this story is about the shooting. I remember that morning going into the band room with my friends and I stood across the room from him and I just stared at him. The atmosphere that morning felt off.
I used to blame myself for not talking to him that morning. I used to think that if I had just talked to him, that he wouldn’t have killed two people. That was his choice, not mine. It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. It is not my fault. After a while of repeating that to myself, I finally believed it.
Being who I mean that I do not have many friends. It is hard for me to open up to other people, because of how often I have been used. Also for being backstabbed by these so-called “friends”. My circle of friends is very small due to this issue I have had in the past.
I have maybe 4 close friends who actually care about me and my well-being. I would do anything for them. Honestly, I am loyal to the end. It is hard for me to let go. Especially when potential long-lasting friendships end. I also tend to take on my friends’ problems. Sadly, I claim that I am the cause of their issues. I will just as easily take the blame for everything rather than have them take the blame.
This One “Friend”
This one “friend” is currently my co-worker and unfortunately my neighbor. The first nightshift we worked together we instantly clicked. We became comfortable with each other which is incredibly rare for me. As the days led on we continued to text constantly about work and life. We would hang out at my place and watch movies on our days off. His friends and family became comfortable with me as well as we continued to hang out. Working together was a blast since we got along together and the kids enjoyed it when we both worked on the same day.
He was always there for me when I needed him. There was a huge party at the apartment where I used to live. There were easily at least 200+ party-goers. This definitely goes against the contract of the apartment complex. Unfortunately, the party got out of hand. There was a tragic event that turned the party into a nightmare.
My anxiety was at an all-time high and I needed to get out of there, my friend came to rescue me as quickly as he could. He was so understanding and was there to help distract me from this event. My friend even insisted that I did not return to my apartment until things calmed down and the police finished their investigations.
Maude My Orphan Kitty
My friend was also supportive of me when my little orphan kitten died that I was trying to bottle feed after her mom rejected her. I stayed up late nights and took that little kitten with me literally everywhere, we eventually had a routine and I was so proud of the way she was progressing. I do not do well when animals die, especially if I am the one dedicated to their health and well-being. The little baby passed away and I was heartbroken, my friend was with me and he took the kitten and buried her for me since I could not do it myself.
I Told Him Everything
We did not have secrets and we knew each other pretty well. He was concerned for my mental health and physical health since the job profession we work in is extremely taxing for someone with mental health issues. I was grateful to have someone to talk to that has some of the same problems that I struggle with on a daily basis. This person was the true definition of a real best friend, or so I thought.
We did not date even though he admitted having feelings for me that I just could not reciprocate for personal reasons. But we remained best friends for a long time, that is until his current girlfriend came back into his life. They had dated once before in the past. I was supportive. I still wanted to hang out with him and I also wanted to get to know his girlfriend because I was trying to be supportive of their relationship.
All of a Sudden
He stopped talking to me and he did not text or call me at all. I had no clue what I did wrong to make him not talk to me because we spent almost every day together. Things just got worse from that point, I tried to talk to him but he refused to acknowledge my existence and futile attempts to get him to speak to me.
I admitted to him that I was jealous that he spent every day with his new girlfriend and the fact that she moved in with him only two weeks after them dating. Not jealous in the love sort of way but jealous that my best friend put all of his attention on just his girlfriend and nobody else.
Then One Night
One night I was walking my dog and he was outside on his back patio with his sister and girlfriend. I did not say a single word to him. He shouted from his yard that he needed to say something to me and he let me have it. He told me never to talk to his friends or family again and that if I had something to say I should say it to his face.
Instantly I got defensive and shouted back an obscene comment while rushing back to my own apartment. Granted, I should have handled that situation with better decorum but I was not prepared for that verbal attack. He would text me nasty things and his girlfriend even got in on the action and told me to stop talking to her boyfriend or things would get bad for me. I did not know how to handle this situation at all so I just ignored him.
My Depression and Anxiety
My depression was through the roof and my anxiety about the whole scenario kept my mind running in 20 different directions. He drunk dialed me one night and I just broke down and told him everything that I was feeling and how betrayed I felt about the whole situation. He blamed me for his drinking and dipping problem and he told me that I am the one that caused drama between him and his friends and family. Being the person that I am, I claimed his problems as my own. I honestly started to believe that our entire friendship had been some sort of one-way street and that I caused all of his problems.
After we were mature and decided to end our silly feud, when we would work together, he started talking to me more and we kind of fell back into our usual best friend ways. He said that his girlfriend did not like me and she did not like the fact that we would hang out all the time and text each other constantly. I told him that if she was threatened by me trying to “break up their relationship” that I could never ever do that to someone. I’m not that kind of person. And I reiterated the fact that I will still support him and care about him because he played a part in my life whether I wanted it to happen or not.
I Missed my Best Friend
Honestly, I told him that I missed my best friend, and I truly did. I missed the days we would hang out together and just be goofy and have fun with our two dogs. The thing is, is that I hold onto the people that come in my life. I try to make any situation better by offering to help however I could at the time. My friend kept in contact with me but we never actually hung out except when we were working together at the boy’s house. He fell into a bad depressive state and I tried my best to be there for him since I know how rough it can be when you get in that depressive state.
One Random Night
His girlfriend added me on Snapchat and sent me a message. I dreaded opening it because I hate confrontation. We talked for a good long time and we were okay, I explained that I did not have feelings for him other than feelings of being a best friend, and that I was not trying to break up their relationship. I called my friend and told him what she said and how everything was good between us again. Everything was fine for the next two weeks.
Enter My Mom
One day my mom came over to visit me and she wanted to introduce herself to my boys and my friend since I had already told her about him. All she did was shake his hand and introduce herself. Two days later, I got the most hateful message from him early in the morning. He accused me and my mom of trying to start drama and that she came over to his house unannounced. I was confused and hurt by all the hateful things that were sent to me.
He called me a crazy psycho manipulative bitch and that he never wanted to see my face ever again. We were NEVER friends were the exact words that were texted to me. That was along with some other things I will not mention. I was at work at the time so I had to excuse myself to go to the bathroom to cry and then compose myself best I could. My hands were shaking and I could feel my blood pressure rising with each nasty message. I was confused, hurt, betrayed, and I seriously started to believe all of the things he was saying to me.
Is This a Joke?
I honestly thought at first that it was a joke. That it really wasn’t him because my best friend would never say things like that to me. I profusely apologized even though I did nothing wrong, but he did not believe me. He said that I am not innocent and that I think that I never do anything wrong. I allowed myself to be sad for a little while. Then I had to get over it and finish out my shift so I could go home. Why?
Seriously, Why me?
Why do I always end up getting into situations with people that betray me and my trust? I love fiercely and I am loyal to the end. I would never do anything to hurt my friend. But he hurt me. He hurt me so badly that I felt like my chest would rip open. I was miserable for the next week or two. His friends would always come at me. They would send me nasty messages. I just took it all on my shoulders like I usually do.
I really need to stop doing things like that
And that doesn’t make me a bad person. I am allowed to have feelings. To be sad and mourn my best friend who I managed to alienate in my life somehow. After I attended a church sermon one day, my pastor said something that resonated within me. It probed me to remember how badly he hurt me. He said that even though someone might have done us wrong, we need to forgive. Also, pray that God will bless their lives abundantly.
I started to cry thinking about all my past friendships that crashed and burned for whatever reason it was at the time. Then, I sent every single one of my so-called “friends” a message. It was a ‘to the point’ message which said exactly what I wanted to say. I did this in a kind and Christ-Like manner. I do not know if any of my friends even read that message. At least I sent it to them and forgave them.
Message to my “Friend”
I still see my neighbor around and I also see him at work. Today, I will choose kindness. Also, I will choose to still love (as a friend). Furthermore, I will care about him even though it is hard. I will choose to make friends if God brings them into my life. Also, I will still love fiercely and be loyal to them no matter what comes my way.
And to my friend, even though he says we are not friends, I hope that you have a fruitful life. That you and your girlfriend are happy together. That is all I ever wanted for you. I want you to be happy and successful. Even if that means our friendship is at an end. That’s okay. I will be okay. Because my heart belongs to God and I believe in his everlasting love for me.
This Powerful Note to Self is by a guest blogger who is working through some intense emotions and trauma. Remember, if you are a survivor of anything….it is NOT your fault! That can be so hard to believe, especially if you struggle with implicit memories and you cannot remember.
Implicit memories are memories that are from conception to three years of age. However, explicit memories are from the age of three until the present moment. Those are the memories that you can pull from and have validation, so to speak. Implicit memories are ones you just “feel.” They, to me, are harder to process and reconcile.
Sadly, any type of sexual abuse or molestation is devastating. It can take years to heal. Honestly, it may never heal this side of heaven. That is something that I’ve had to settle within myself in order to process things. My guest blogger is deep in the trenches. I am so proud of what she is doing to get help.