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Bethany G. Paget

Midwife of words

Month

September 2014

September 23, 1992

September 23, 1992 is the date my Great Grandmother died.  It was my first experience with death and it was tough.  She had been my favorite of the grandma brigade.  She and I also had a special kind of relationship.  It was treasured.

She was a feisty one, a cheater, serious smoker, came to America in 1911 from former Czechoslovakia and had a spicy mouth.  She lived in Connecticut so I only saw her a few times a year and every summer for vacation.  We had so much fun together.  One of my favorite memories of her is when she started wearing her socks mismatched just because it was totally the style then.

She got sick and never got better.  When my dad called to tell me she had died I knew it before my mom even handed me the phone.  It was weird, her name wasn’t mentioned, and nothing about death yet I still knew she was gone.

It was my first funeral, strange enough I wasn’t sad and weepy.  I remember almost having to force myself to cry so I would fit in with everyone else who was sobbing.  I ached at having faced death for the first time.   I was sad, so why wasn’t I crying.?

I wasn’t crying because first off I had never experienced death before and wasn’t sure of my emotions.  I was never shown that grief is okay, especially in death.

Grief is a foreign subject in my family.  We are ones who don’t deal with things, rather push them under the rug so that they can’t be seen or heard.  However when grief pops up instead of tears trickling out like a stream.  The dam breaks, everyone becomes involved and no one ever real stops the argument they just walk away.  It’s never spoken of again.

I have had this happen multiple times in my family where something I was doing was “displeasing” to someone one else.  The family would talk about it behind my back in order for my mom to build ammo.  The bomb would drop, there would be yelling and crying but…….

Never an acknowledgement of it again; no apology, no “can we talk this over’s” that was it.  It was our way of life and functioning for a very long time.

When I came back home though after seven years away, clean now and with a baby I decided I’d had enough of the rug sweeping and the table covering.  I also made the assumption that now that I was clean, everything was going to be fine.

I was wrong, it had made things worse.  Now out of nowhere I became responsible for the healing and feelings of everyone else in my family.  Even though I knew shit about my own.

It became about me apologizing for every wrong thing I had ever done and at the same time being told that my “bipolar/borderline personality disorder” was most likely the cause of everything and I need to apologize to everyone in my family for even being mentally ill.

There were so many repressed emotions that started leaking out during this time.  Memories started to flash back and when I really went to therapy and spoke about my childhood I gained major insight into why I reacted the way I did as a child and now adult.

The abuse that we kids experienced had repressed us all in different ways.

I however was now ready to get it out, talk about it and move on.

In their minds it was still my responsibility to do that for them.

I had my own shit to deal with and it was rising higher by the session.  That first summer I became trapped by the thought and memories of the trauma I dealt with.  I believe this was the first step in my own journey to being able to grieve properly.

That’s why I shared the story of my great grandmother.  Had I known how to process emotions and grief in a healthy way I don’t think I would have needed to hold this days “Anniversary” status for as long as I did.  I needed to move the memory from one part of my brain to the other, where it has the capability to not store the memories in a traumatic way.

I experienced several other physical deaths over the next 22 years, spiritual and familial death as well.  I am now in the daily practicing of holding my grief in a sacred place until I am in a safe physical place to I share it.

Learning to grieve at 33 is hard.  Sometimes I go overboard in the neediness because I am so afraid of being left again.  Otherwise I will sink into my deep dark hole and lie to people about what is going on.  It’s hard to find balance when I have an everyday life that I cannot put aside just so I can weep, lament and mourn for what was lost.

Whether it was the bright light of my great grandmother or the death of my family from abuse, I will now grieve and grieve with compassion.

As Always,

Bethany

Wild Reconciliation

I formerly held very staunch views on forgiveness and reconciliation debacle within in the church. I was told, forgive, FORGIVE, forgive or God will spit you out of his mouth.  Pretty sure that part isn’t true, I don’t imagine God to be a spitter.  In hindsight I did what was told, what I thought the bible said and in my fear based relationship with The Almighty.

As I have grown and shifted in my faith I can no longer see Him as angry and vengeful.  I see him as patient kind and loving.  Therefore knowing the cost of each measure of forgiveness I lay down.  I take my parents for example.  I will forgive them, I believe that.  I also believe that going through this therapeutic healing time will aid in the future forgiveness and that which I have already worked through.

Here’s the clincher with that; I will never be reconciled to them.  They won’t know me in the years to come and unfortunately for them they are missing out on a relationship with their granddaughter because of their abuse, manipulative and toxic ways.  That’s the choice they made when they decided that continuously to abuse us.  It was an incredibly hard choice to make, of course because it’s my blood family.  But they were also hurting Abigail and as her mom it’s my choice to protect her.

I don’t know what this forgiveness path and possibly reconciliation looks like with the rest of the people who have hurt me and the people I have hurt.  I don’t some of those bridges completely burned because these are people that I was once extremely close too.  Some of those people fall into the category of being so toxic that I would not be able to have a healthy reconciliation with.

What I struggle with, and there was a bit of talk about this on twitter last night.  What do you do with those people who were part of your formative growth and heels in the ground faith?  We hurt each other and are all in very different places right now.  I easily can see where some of the relationships fell apart.  I was in the midst of a battle and my sights were set on finding god a new way.  When that didn’t go over well there was a definite schism between me and the majority of my friends.

Forgiveness is hard work. Laying aside those wounds and burdens that I have carried that are becoming too heavy.  I don’t have a “way it works” solution because a prescribed thing only works with medicine.

It’s a daily work of changing my own heart, my own ways and learning what healthy relationships look like.  Then moving forward with that.

The way I have worked out being reconciled is that I am doing everything I can do to heal and be a different mom than I had.  I am raising my daughter to see what unconditional love looks like and how a family that loves above all else looks.

I aim to teach her boundaries daily, that she has bodily autonomy and that she doesn’t always have to follow the directions of adults because their directions aren’t always safe or within her own boundaries.  And yes I did say that.  Children do have the ability to say no to adults.

I also saw reconciliation in another totally opposite today.  I was passing by the mirror and saw my hair in a mess, I am sweaty and I don’t remember if I put deodorant on.  I realized at that moment that “this IS my life” Not that messy hair and stink pits are a lifetime ambition but it’s where I am at right now and I had to reconcile that that morning.

Depression is a life sucking bitch.  But I am not fully believing that it’s going to last, I have hope.  The #darknesspassing hashtag with be around for awhile.  I won’t give up this time even if that means that I am going to one small thing a day till I push through the walls that are inside, the walls that are protecting the root of my pain.

That also applies to my circumstances I believe.  They are really shitty right now.  That could be the depression or the depression could be due in part to my circumstances, either way I am not backing down.  Rather slowing down.  Trying to get all the things done in a week is not likely.  But the eternal circumstances (also meaning the growth I carry) don’t apply to my circumstances.  I can be reconciled to the fact that things are hard but not allow it to pull me under.

I am learning, through my circumstances and changing faith that reconciliation doesn’t always mean that things are going to change (relationships) and that things won’t always be one certain way (life stuff)

That’s where my definition of reconciliation has changed on the plain of forgiveness.  I can forgive and move on but know that I did everything I could in a relationship to either forgive or even rebuild a burnt bridge.  However it doesn’t always mean that the relationship is salvaged or even salvageable.

In my heart I know that I am moving forward in a new way, as my life compass readjusts itself.

That doesn’t always mean that things will look like I think they should and that some relationships may never have a bridge built back but when I know that I am and have done everything I could my heart settles.

As Always,

Bethany

What Takes my Breath Away

Let’s see things that take my breath away; that’s a hard one because there are so many different things.  One I picked this topic out of my topics jar, since the last post was heavy.  This one will be more light hearted and fun.

When I think of things that make me breathless I get caught up.  Caught up in what the beauty of simple means and what the gravity of what the deep wants.

These are my languages and it’s tough to share them because it means I am being vulnerable with the things that make my heart pound.

  1. Fresh flowers, wild or otherwise
  2. Little baby laughter
  3. 8 year old who ask to snuggle in the middle of the night
  4. 8 year old who want to hold my hand or ask for hugs
  5. Kid laughter, jokes and differences
  6. Fair trade chocolate, with fair trade coffee in my a big cappuccino mug.
  7. Loud crazy thunder storms, esp when I can sit in a chair and read.
  8. The same goes for wicked snow storms. When it’s coming down hard and fast I love staring out the window, with cocoa or coffee and my journal.
  9. Fresh Baked bread
  10. Songs about Jesus that aren’t remotely boyfriend ish or cheerleader, cheesy Jesus. One of those is “Turn it all around” by Misty Edwards, “Maybe There’s a Loving God” by Sara Groves and “Between the Cracks” by John Mark McMillian lastly “All the Poor and Powerless” by All Sons and Daughters.
  11. Coffee, Coffee, Coffee
  12. Croissants and roses
  13. Dressing the way I want to
  14. My nose ring
  15. Abigail’s idea’s and creativity
  16. Her stories
  17. Her love
  18. Her absolute forgiveness of me
  19. Painting
  20. Getting paint all over my hands
  21. Phrases, notes, scripture, love letters, happy mail.
  22. Healing tears
  23. Birth stories – Every time I lose it. There is something about birth that hits my core
  24. Pictures that Abigail draws of me/us
  25. Happy mail (I think I listen it twice, but it feels good knowing people care and are thinking of us)
  26. Regular songs “Walk the Line” Johnny and June Carter Cash “House of the Rising Son” The Doors, Janis Joplin “Take another piece of my heart” “Man on Fire” Edward Sharpe “So What” by Pink, “Mama’s don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys” Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard.
  27. When the winds blows across my shoulders and I know I am not alone
  28. A good dance party, by myself
  29. “The Dork Dance”
  30. Little hands
  31. My dreads.. MY DREADS. I could not forget how much joy they bring me.
  32. Lavender
  33. Soul Friends
  34. Sunsets
  35. Sunrises
  36. The Mountains

So now you know a few of the things that stir and melt my hearts.  I like writing lists like this because it gives me the opportunity to break down the exterior and persona as a blogger that I feel like I should have.  I get to open up and show you the real, becoming me.

The becoming me is where a lot of these breathtaking things from.  Before healing and hope I didn’t know there could be things in my life that were beautiful, lovely and breathtaking.

I think that is why I wanted to break up the painful stuff with this.

If you want to join in on gathering your own list of things and want to share it.  Come back to this post, comment with the link your blog in it, then comment on someone else’s posts.

Thanks So Much!!

I hope you enjoy.

As Always,

Bethany

Suicide Prevention

***Content noting.  This post contains several, graphic mention of suicide.  Know your triggers and read at your own discretion***

This was supposed to post yesterday but I was extremely sick.  However nothing wrong with a day late post right, as long as it gets done.

Every year the month of September is suicide awareness and prevention month.  On September 10 it’s world suicide prevention day.  Thanks to twloha.com suicide prevention and awareness had grown a very large audience.

Which is beautiful.

What I love is other grass root non profits and companies started off smaller more local names for them selves.  One of them is So Worth Loving.  There message is one of hope and beauty in the midst of a society that judges woman with impossible standards.

The reason for the mentions is that on September 10th which is world suicide prevention day, every year people all across the board are asked to write to write the word love on their arms, wrist.  Somewhere visible so people can see it and ask about it.

Every time the month of September rolls around I feel more confident in sharing my own personal story involving suicide.

This day is important to me because the recent suicide of Robin Williams has renewed  me to start talking about suicide again and raising awareness.  I do this because of the friends and loved ones whose lives were tragically cut due to suicide.  I also share my own story.  Each year it’s been a heavy post but it’s on a topic that needs all lights on it.

My story begins at age 12.  I was in 7th grade and had this boyfriend naked Eric.  He was the “it guy” and he was with me.  I always knew he struggled but what his dark demons were, no one really knew.

We broke up but stayed really good friends. On March 8th I said good bye to Eric after school.  He was looking for a friend of ours.  He gave me a hug.

I remember what I was wearing when he hugged me.  A pink flowered baby doll dress and combat boots.

The next day I was doing my volunteer work at the local elementary school, when my mom walked in to pick me up.  I knew something was wrong.  She tried to keep it from me until we were outside but I stopped in the middle of the school and demanded she tell  me.  When she did I shook, I sat down and cried.

His death shook my entire being; partly because there was no one there, other than my other 12 and 13 year olds.  We banded together and sat together at his funeral.  We kept a memory of his at school when they allowed us to plant a tree and bury a time capsule underneath it.  The school showing such attention was a healing balm.

I experienced suicide personally at age 13.  I had been given medication buy my psychiatrist to help me “concentrate” Turns out it was an anti-depressant.  I was so angry at my parents for deceiving for tricking me.  One night I took the whole bottle and passed out on my bedroom floor.  I woke up in the middle of the night covered in vomit.  I cleaned it up as best I could but it was still there when my mom woke me up the next morning.

Her only response was very nonchalant “Oh you threw up in the night”  Nothing about possible reasons, nothing about staying home.

Just silence.

I slept through every class in school that day and no one noticed anything, never said anything.  I felt invisible.  I had just tried to take my life and all I got was silence.

My adolescence was went in different therapists office, different psychiatrists’ and on different medication.  It was as if my parents were trying to “fix me.”  Fix me indeed.  Somehow my “behavior, due to my severe mood disorder” I was diagnosed at age nine and shoved in my face every year since then.

It was as if I needed to be fixed so that my behavior stopped making my parents look bad, like they had a daughter than was unmanageable.  I know that was incredibly difficult for my mom because she needed control in every area of her life and she needed me to act a certain way.

From 18 until 24 I was suicidal, anorexic, hooked on crack and looking at no future.  Then the most miraculous things happened I got pregnant and it suddenly stopped being about me.  I really struggled the first few months of my pregnancy.  Things with Jeffrey were hanging by a thread and my emotions were fraught.  My OB prescribed medication and BOOM things got better ( I also left Jeffrey)

For the first time I didn’t feel depressed.  I was truly happy.  I struggled greatly with Jeffrey’s abandonment but I wasn’t depressed.  Giving my life to Christ helped, I do believe that was a huge source of help.  I would come to learn that I needed to lean more on the the therapeutic side rather than the faith side so that I could heal.

I gave birth in July of 2006 and for the first couple of weeks I was okay.  And then I started thinking about leaving everything behind.  I expressed my hurt to the director to the house and they got me in counseling with the leader of the women’s ministry at church.  She was amazing but had a very busy schedule.  So I didn’t really get much counseling.

My depression was leading me to make poor choices and by the time Abigail was a year old I was miserable again.  Back in that old cycle of feelings except that this time I had a baby girl to raise and couldn’t afford to fall back.

2009 was part of my undoing and I finally was able to admit and accept that I needed medication again and the change was almost instantaneous.  I felt better than I had in years.  I was also in therapy which I think helped keep me sane.

On the inside though I was still struggling; I had started coming to terms with some of my abuse and it was more than medication alone would help.

I started seeing a new therapist in May of 2011.  I had finally reached the end of my rope and a way out just wasn’t enough.  The women’s ministry, bible thumping, Beth Moore groupie way of living wasn’t getting me anywhere.  I went deeper within my cocoon of pain.  Numb to the outside.

I started therapy and that first summer was rough.  At one point I was texting my therapist every day as an accountability to remember my safe place.  I wondered everyday if I needed to check myself into the psych hospital.

I did prevail, and started to get better.  My circumstances seemed to ebb and flow with my healing so sometimes I felt like life was covered in sunshine and other times I wasn’t sure I would make it through the day.

I wasn’t prepared for what was about to happen.

No depression, no suicidal thoughts, I was “filled with joy” and thumpin away at my bible.  Then I went to Africa and returned home to a shit storm even the toughest person couldn’t have weathered.  There was no life raft, no helicopter and certainly no burning bush shit during this time.  I couldn’t even look at God.

With everything ripped apart and nowhere to turn I fell and I fell hard.  I was still in therapy but our sessions were mostly filled with my anger and needing to express it.  I didn’t get much processing done during this time.  But we walked through it and I thought things were getting better.

And then it hit me hard…. AGAIN.  Just as I thought I was making my way out of the pit I got slammed back in.

That’s when the depression set in I wasn’t surprised but I was determined to break it through creativity. I started writing more, reading more and spending more time buried in my art journal.  There was a beauty within those acts and though I do struggle still to do them, the peace I feel when I pour my soul into my work.

I won’t say it’s been like rainbows and cupcakes the month of May had me checking myself into the psychiatric hospital because the anxiety from being assaulted 11 days prior was out of control.  It was the best thing I could have done for myself.  I wasn’t suicidal but the flashbacks and triggers were overwhelming.

My time in the hospital helped. After I got out Abigail and I went on a long vacation.  It was so nice to get away and be loved on by people who genuinely care about us.  We also met some new, forever friends and some friends I have only known online.

I am still struggling. Most days it takes a lot of me to not stay in bed after my daughter goes to school.

I am so exhausted and still fighting chronic physical pain.  But somewhere within me I am refusing to stay down.  This is the first time in my life that I have hope that even though the darkness looms there is light, somewhere between the cracks in the walls.

I live for my daughter too.  She’s my all knowing, spunk-tastic, mini me.  She shows me how to smile when things are tough.  The snuggles and the laughter, the games of tic tac toe and the color books my life is full.

Even though sometimes I can barely hang in, I do because this girl saved my life.

There are resources out there:

www.soworthloving.com

www.twloha.com

Suicide Prevention Hotlines

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

RAINN

1-800-656-HOPE

NAMI National

1-800-950-NAMI

If you’re local in denver

Arapahoe Douglas Mental Health

303-730-8858

Metro Crisis Services

888-885-1222

NAMI – Denver

303-321-3104

Reach out, ask for help. There is no weakness in suffering from a mental illness or suicidal thoughts.  You ARE loved, you are WORTHY of love.  There is hope beyond the darkness, someday and not always like me thought it would be, but baby hold on because it’s coming.

I am always here to answer questions.
As Always,

Bethany

Messy Pieces

Jesus never said “take of your cross and follow me but make sure you leave any doubt behind because I don’t play with doubt” 

I am pretty sure that Jesus never said anything like that.   Rather He comes along side us with gentleness sharing stories from the bible with us about great biblical figures who doubted.

Even Jesus had his doubts in the garden; who wouldn’t?”

I was always told that it’s a sin to doubt or lack faith.  According to the people that introduced me to the evangelical world, doubt is caused by sin that hasn’t been confessed.  I would pray and pray, on my knees begging God to take away this sin that I didn’t even know I had.  Doubt is wrong I was told, just look at Job.

I soaked it up because it seemed reasonable at the time.  So I would pour myself into the world, into women’s bible studies and serving at church.  I hoped that doing those things would clear up the doubt and lack of trust in my heart.  My reasoning was the more I did for Jesus, the more he would love and accept me.

All I wanted was for God to accept me.  I was terrified that if I did anything wrong that he would remove his love from me.  I was incredibly misguided and the theological standpoint I had at the time was one of an extremely rigid God who expected perfection from his followers.  Grace was not a concept I understood.  So I worked for God rather than believing and growing out of that belief.

I wanted to be a ministry girl also.  I saw the women in ministry as super Christians and I wanted to be like that.  I so desired to have an extremely close and intimate relationship with God like these women all seemed to have.  Women’s ministries can be extremely oppressive and I am only able to see that now, being out of it.  I was in ministry for a long time and it was one of the most uncomfortable times in my life. 

I was trying so hard to be perfect and impress these women with my totally radical life changing God moment (I really wish you could put tone and facial expressions in) Ministry just sucked the life out of me because not only was I trying to impress God I was also trying to impress the other women in the group.  I didn’t and it was right around the time that things started to shift that I knew I had to quit.

Bible studies were also strongly recommended so that one could constantly be surrounded by Jesus loving women.  The thing is, I never fit in.  I didn’t fit the mold of a pink, wrapped in a bow cookie cutter Christian.  I was loud; my music choices were not something most of them would listen to.  I kept going through because that was the only way I was going to heal and get to my earthy promised land.  That was one of the biggest lies that were taught to me.  That there is a place on earth where once we get through our “stuff” It was pressed into my life that one day I would “get there” Yet “there” was elusive. 

I did a Beth Moore bible study about the Israelites crossing the Jordan and getting to the Promised Land.  I was taught that there is indeed an earthly Promised Land that we would reach.  That meant in some way that I would “get there” I figured that getting there meant that I would no longer struggle and the pounding waves of pain that were crashing into my life would stop.

I became a “Beth Moore groupie ministry girl” And I really thought that was going to do it.  I was talking with a friend this morning who just couldn’t believe that I had ever dressed nor acted like that because it’s so different from who I am now.  My internal identity is very well worn on the outside.  I was trying to play a part, like a little girl dressing up in her momma’s high heels.

I kept waiting for this promise land that was written in all of these books and bible studies I was pouring myself into.

It never came.

The flood came, life was ripped apart and I was left with dirt and sticks.

The God I thought I knew had failed me.  He promised me a land of safety and freedom and I got losing my career and brain surgery.   I am angry, still.  I realize that.  Underneath anger is hurt, fear and anxiety. These things and people that were supposed to be there for me vanished.

Yet I have grown over the last two years since I sat in my car and wailed out at God.  I don’t believe in the god I did in the years prior.  I am thankful for that and the way He has shown himself to me.  The angry, wrath filled god who would smite you for even daring to question him; that god has died.

The God I found was one of hope, peace, acceptance and grace.

Feeling God’s grace wrecked me, in the best way possible.

I did used to miss the routine of the faith life I lived before.  When I look at the shattered pieces of the last two years I can find some peace as I begin the process of putting them back together.

A God of love.

As Always,

Bethany

Needing Community

My girl and I are going through some really hard times. Hard enough to were we may lose our apartment. There are bigger things at play, my chiari is still causing me debilitating headaches. Leading to being told I have to file for disability.

Our lack of vehicle makes things difficult as well. Rent is another thing. I had a housing grant that was cut this month.

My friend Caleigh set up a gofundme page to help with rent, necessities, bills, hopefully a car and a move to Portland.

The two years have been hard, brutal for us and we need some peace and light.

Here’s a link to the page

http://www.gofundme.com/e3ms6g

As Always,

Bethany

Not Like This

It wasn’t really supposed to be like this.  I wasn’t supposed to be here again.  I thought that I had put up every possible protective measure that I could have.  To keep myself cocooned from harm, from assault; from rape…….

I have always had this fear that it was going to happen again.  I had a contingency plan, who I would call and where I would go.  The thing is in that plan the rapist was someone who broke in, not someone I willingly let in my front door.  But this time that’s what happened.  I had no idea what was about to happen.  Obviously if I had I would of run, locked my door and deleted my profile.

I didn’t though because I trusted this guy, I trusted that he knew what he was coming over for, we mutually agreed on sex.  I know, I know what you’re probably saying.

“Girl what the fuck were you thinking?”

I wasn’t thinking that’s the problem.  I try so hard to keep this part who desperately feels that sex is going to fix the pain.  I try to keep her buried because she carries so much shame.   I did pour her heart out to you the day I wrote the post about being drugged and raped.  I can think of no other reason for posting that, than that hurting girl needed you to hear her.

Lately it hasn’t been that way.  I have attempted to shut her down because her memories are too strong for me.  I began having panic attacked in the elevator last week because I remember being there with him.  I remember everything about him, about the way he was so aggressive with me, how I was uncomfortable with it but didn’t think I could say no because I had put up such a show in the text messages we had sent back and forth.

I really didn’t want to go through with it once he showed up but I couldn’t back out.  I let him do what he wanted, then we drank and that’s when everything stops.

I keep thinking that if I can just search my brain hard enough that the memories with come back.  It’s likely they won’t.  He gave me a powerful sedative mixed with alcohol.  Those memories are gone, buried in my subconscious.  I have nightmares about it but that’s as far as it goes.

Not having a memory is terrifying because I have no idea what he did while I was unconscious.  I don’t even remember him leaving. 

I cannot spend my energy wondering what happened because it isn’t going to help me move on.  Nothing is going to change what happened and that’s why I am at where I am at.  I am scared, no lie.  I added an extra lock and now carry the strongest pepper spray possible.  Even though I know this wasn’t a random attack it helps me feel a little bit safer.

I have said it before that I wish I never told anyone, that I had kept it a secret.  But secrets build lies and the deeper into the assault I went I needed people to know even though that was painful.  I still fear what people might think about me. 

I felt ashamed because I thought I had my bases covered, my double locks, my fight or flight attitude when fear set in.  But his drugs took all of that away.  When I woke up the next morning I needed to process what happened.  It didn’t take long to figure out that I had been assaulted.

I felt great shame in sharing what happened yet there was a part of my heart that was screaming for freedom.  For people to once and for all know that I had been assaulted that night and many times before.  I realized in those moments that it was no longer my shame to carry. That the shame, lies at the hands of my abusers and I know longer need to carry it.

It’s going to take a lot of time to get through this one.  It adds a heavy layer to my already abusive past. 

But I know now that this isn’t the end of my story.

As Always,

Bethany

Grief Mountain and the Climb Down

Grief and loss are emotions that I would rather push off of my shoulder then look in the eye and feel.

I have been enmeshed in the grips of the evil bird of depression for three years.  I do take medication and I have had three years of therapy working towards dealing with the root of the depression.   I can whether most of the emotions.  I can feel them, see them and hold them in.  I can even look on them with compassion because I know how brave they are for coming out.

It’s a huge thing for me to feel anything.  I went through a several year period where I couldn’t cry.  I was numb, dull to the abuse that was falling around me.  It chased after me and everywhere I went I found myself in a abusive situation.  I weathered it, almost died and came out with a baby and an addiction.

I also have years piled on where I experienced abuse at the hands of those that were meant to nurture and teach me the ways to live.  Those roots of abuse have dug so deep that at that every window of hope there is a cloud of grief in the way.  It’s a heavy and palpable thing.  I can feel it building and there are certain things that trigger those feelings.

When I watch anything with levels of loss, from anything to someone being accused of something they didn’t do (real or fictional) or worst, like the beginning of Season 5 of Sons of Anarchy when it got real and the loss became to much.  I am crying as I write this because it struck me in a painful way.

SPOLIER ALERT

So in the first or second episode of the season the guys get busted and Jax, Trig, and Happy all get picked up on manslaughter charges.  The sheriffs come to the club house to arrest them Opy beats up a cop so they drag him in also.  While they were in Prison the gangster whose daughter trip accidentally killed, wants one of the Son to die in exchange for his daughter life.  Jax had to be the one decided.  The person was gonna get beat down buy the correction officer and other prisoners.  Jax went to jump in and Opy pushed him back, jumped in and said “I got this bro.”

Opy didn’t survive and even though it’s a TV show I had a visceral reaction to his death.  It struck a jar of pain and tears that I didn’t realize was really there.  Most of the time I was levitating between angry/controlling to fine and happy; I didn’t see how bad everything was internally.

The tears don’t stop coming anymore.  Ever since that death I have been crying at the drop of a hat.  The tears will come rushing up my gut into my eyes and I can’t control them.

I am learning that it’s okay to be sad.  It’s okay that I am extra tearful right now.  I have my friends who are tear catchers and I have God.  And I am really holding onto him lightly, though it’s there.

It’s okay to let the tears fall.

It’s okay to not be okay.

I have people around me who check in my me and encourage me to get out of bed, one friend bribes me to write with the promise of gummy worms and others just love me.

I have one friend, a dear friend who did so much for Abigail and I this summer.  Her name is Rachel and on her Instagram once she wrote “I am learning to have compassion for my grief”  Reading that was like a balm for my weary soul.

I pinned it next to my bathroom mirror so I can see it every day and remember to do the same thing for my grief.  Grief isn’t this big, three toothed hairy monster that wants to eat us alive.  It can become that if it’s not expressed. It can easily become something that can whistle out slowly as it’s processed.  It becomes that monster when the grief and loss are stuffed down and not given a name.

That’s what I am doing now.  I am naming my grief, naming my loss and expressing it in productive ways.  I am writing more and art journaling more.  I have also started to express my mood and be okay with that.  There is nothing in the bible that says I have to wear a smiley face 100% of the time.

I know this will pass; it’s just where I am now.

This time I am giving it the space it needs to be expelled.

As Always,

Bethany

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