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We all wear masks. We wear our armor of goodness and virtue with pride. We take on the battles of life, receiving bumps and bruises along the way. But occasionally, life throws something out that is so left field, we are stripped of our masks and armor. We are left exposed to see who we really are. And that is a seldomly enjoyed experience.

I have worked really hard on accepting people, forgiveness, and extending grace at all times. I had the opportunity to organize a couple of rooms for a disabled man. 

Horrifying truth be told, I was sickened to be around him. He is a nice enough man, however the overwhelming health issues left him confined to a wheelchair, 100% disabled, widowed, and an odd obsession of hoarding medical supplies.

(Houston couldn’t possibly produce enough chiggers after Hurricane Harvey to require his copious amounts of big bite treatments.)

I was overwhelmed by the smell that greeted me at the door. It was a wall of sterile medical supplies, cat urine, and stagnate air. I was blissfully unaware of the medical care situation for disabled people. I never wanted to think about fully disabled people. Because their families should take care of them. Right?!? 

I was pushed into a situation far beyond my comfort zone. I was stripped of any facade to protect myself. I had to look at myself in the mirror. And I didn’t like what I saw. I was repulsed at the level of medical care, I was repulsed by the clients’ obsessions, and I am pretty sure the smell helped.

I am still disgusted with my lack of compassion and trying to distance myself from the situation. I don’t understand why I feel the need to withdraw and it scares me too.

“All that is necessary to perpetuate evil is that good men do nothing”

It’s easier to do nothing and feel nothing, if you look the other way. Welcome to the Masquerade.

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I suffer from PTSD for a variety of reasons. But it never ceases to disgust me when I get triggered. I mean, it has been a long time since many events have happened. I get annoyed to realize that I can be shut down to a sobbing, shaking pile of nothing over a series of events, a sound, a smell, or any combination of those.

Today it was a client taking his first nitro tablet and calming the spouse. I managed to hold it together until I left them (he is fine btw).

I am so tired of feeling. I am good on my feet and in the moment. I have helped people on the side of the road after a car crash, helped a 16yr old get through a seizure and go with her in the ambulance, walked several people through cancer treatments, and lost the man I loved to a personality change after a massive set of heat attacks. It is the heart attack that gets to me. 

And somehow a nitroglycerin tablet brought it all crashing back today. People say that it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. I am here to tell you that that is fucking bullshit. If you never loved, you wouldn’t know what you lost. That grief is the worst pain, I have ever experienced. 

I will never ever forget the last moment of fear in my husband’s eyes and him trying to say ‘help me’ before his eyes rolled back and he lost consciousness. I wish I could forget it. I would take whatever drug they came up with to erase that.

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I care about what Christ called ‘the least of these’. Some would say that that is a gift. 

I do not share this viewpoint.

The problem with caring for the bullied, downtrodden, perpetual downward spiralers, eeyore’s of life, is that 9 times out of 10, they don’t want your help. They are ok with their bed in the mud. They don’t want opportunity. They DO want pity. 

The problem with that is that I have a major aversion to pity. 

I am an empath. Empaths feel people’s the emotions and energy produced from their personality and emotions. Quite frankly, it is freaking exhausting. 

I know people before they tell me about themselves. This gets me into A LOT of trouble. Because I react based off of what I read and not off of the ‘persona’ that they present. They usually are not ready to divulge that part of themselves and sometimes they are in complete denial of its existence.  

This also gets me into a LOT of trouble. 

As I get into the dating world again, I am acutely aware of this ‘flaw’. Men are not ‘sharers’. They compartmentalize EVERYTHING. How the hell am I supposed to start a relationship with someone when I see their history before they even decide that they may tell me ten years down the road?!?!?! W-T-F?!?!

You might say “Well Grace, this should help you weed out the losers.” To that I say, yes you are correct. I have weeded everyone out. Yay me.

I have the couple of confirmed batchelors who tolerate my rambling random comments. Just because I fill the five minutes of unbearable space in their lives. They like their lives and I see why they are still single. And I am fast becoming one of them. Ugh!!!!

The few guys who allow themselves to be real long enough for me to compare their real self with their persona and then weigh the odds of their sharing that with me; usually have decided that I know too much for a relationship and then friend zone me hard. 

My ex husband told me a year ago that I needed to leave my psychology at the door and be his wife for once. Major cop out. Just because I love the world of psychology, doesn’t mean that I analyze everyone because of it. I have analyzed people since I was a little kid. Psychology just helped me fill in a couple of blanks. 

So yeah. I care about people. I care about why they do and say the things that they do. I care about the pain that they compensate for. Because I know what it feels like. I know what pain and loneliness feels like. I know what it’s like to hurt so much that you try to end your life. I know what it’s like to endure abuse in hopes of finding something better. I know what it’s like to be disowned. I know what it’s like to be told that God no longer sees you. That you don’t exist anymore. I know what it’s like to walk into an abuser at Wal-Mart and have your stomach drop through the floor. I know what it’s like to lose someone that you love. I know what it’s like to lose a baby. I KNOW WHAT PAIN FEELS LIKE.

The danger of giving a damn, is that you set yourself up for more pain and heartache, but……..you also have that 5% chance of reaching that person and showing them God’s face in their desperate hour. And that 5% is the most amazing high there is on this earth.

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Marvel

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Yesterday, a friend of mine was talking about asking his employees to create a user manual for themselves. It’s kind of genius.

So I am going to give it a shot. First, a user manual has its own audience. If I am writing a user manual for a significant other, it will say things specific to that use. A mom user manual would be very different.

Since this blog has definite divorce vibe this year, I will write my significant other manual.

1) Do’s & Don’ts

A) Don’t ignore me. If I am taking the time to talk to you, don’t you dare blow me off.

B) Do understand that I overthink everything. When a sentence comes out of my mouth, you must understand that I have thought of 20 different angles for what comes out of my mouth.

C) Never cut me off. EVER.

D) Phrases that automatically piss me off:

1- You are just like your family.

2- Whatever

3- You may study psychology but you don’t know how to use it obviously.

4- It gets better

5- God is punishing you

And my personal favorite

6- I’m busy

E. Needs

1) I need physical contact. Often.

2) When I get frantic, I need to be hugged.

3) I need to be told that I am doing a fabulous job. Often. Because my inner voice doesn’t tell me that. 

4) I need you to understand my history. There are so many valleys and left turns that I need someone to look out for me.

5) Understand that although I may look like I know what I am doing, I am still that girl cowering in the corner of the room. And I need more than anything to have that understood.

F. What to do when everything goes wrong.

1) Reassure me that you aren’t going anywhere. No matter what happens.

2) Chocolate

3) Flowers

4) Cleaning.
What will you get in return for the proper care and maintenance of myself?

The most loyal, hard working, loving, silly person that exists. Someone who will give every opportunity for you to get yourself together. 

If proper care is not take , the light for you will be exatinguished. Never to be lit again.

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I’ll be honest. I’m pretty angry right now. I didn’t know I was. Until yesterday.

Every year, I attend the Global Leadership Summit. Every year, I am moved and inspired in a deep and meaningful way. This year was no exception.

Bill Hybels gave a challenge to everyone to examine ourselves and find out who we needed to forgive in order to be able to move on. It turns out, I was angry at God. Kind of surprised me. I thought God and I were somewhat decent in our relationship. 

Not so much.

God answered my prayer and hundreds of other’s prayers to keep him alive two years ago. But He saw fit for him to not have the same personality. I assumed that I had accepted that. There is nothing I can do to change it. I was overwhelmed suddenly with relief and a torrent of tears and sobbing. I know, classy right? 

A friend asked me a crucial question. “Why do you think that God is unhappy with the failure of your marriage?” 

Simple right? Simple but mind blowing. 

It had never occurred to me that any of this was a part of God’s plan.

 It never occurred to me that my ex-husband had a large part in any of this. 

It never occurred to me that whatever is just around the corner in my life, is so big, that God needed my undivided attention and has gone to this length to get it. 

Earth shattering right? Ok, maybe not earth shattering, but it has sparked a LOT of thinking and reflection on my part. What is next? I have ZERO clue. But rest assured, God has my attention.

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It absolutely makes me crazy when people can’t just be upfront with their intentions.

Granted, some things are better left unsaid. Two evenings ago a former coworker from a decade and a half ago, asked me for nude photos. (I hate being single)

But by the same token, I wish people would just tell me if I get on their nerves, or they would rather never see or hear from me again. It would save so much time and SO much heartache. 

I love people. I love their capability for incredible things. But I hate their capability for manipulative behavior. Just freaking be honest!

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