Homeless Little Girl

While getting ready to be picked up by some friends recently to attend a popular musical in a nearby city, many thoughts kept coming to mind that I haven’t thought of since I was a child. At least this much thought.

I do not give myself such luxuries to attend these types of events often enough. One, because they are too expensive and I am not too terribly fond of musicals. Perhaps for this very reason I am writing that I am not a fan. This one had a meaning, as my son was in the orchestra pit so you bet I would pay and make myself available to be with others to enjoy. Slowly crawling out of my shell, too.

Since it has been years, like I said, I was a young child and I might have been ten, if not a bit older but not by much. There was this girl at the other end of our small, country town and we were becoming friends, hanging out, as we talked on the telephone like most girls do, which was all nice. While I liked her friendship, I knew she was more outgoing and just better than me. I have always thought everyone was better than me, a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem.

0941A85F-F0C1-4B8A-B855-1CD52ED17D18It was when Jen called me at home one evening. As a typical young girl, I played outside, did not dress up much and spent just an ordinary day at home, most days and weekends. Her call was to ask me if I wanted to go with her, her mother and maybe another person to a play, a musical or something fancy. Knowing and thinking that I may never have this opportunity again, I agreed and thought it would be fun. Of course, with that agreement, I had to be ready within minutes. Sure, I am ready, I said. Now, I had no idea what or where we were going, just with my friend. I felt special knowing I was asked to go. I felt special and important.

It was when they arrived to pick me up and my friend, younger than me by a year, walked through the door with her mother. I remember the exact place I was standing, looking at them, probably thinking oh my. I’m sure my mom and others in the living room were thinking, what the hell. While I do not remember what the mom had on, I do remember my younger friend looking like an adult. All dressed up, 14C7F979-C6D1-454A-B751-78D4DD1A1062wearing her mother’s mink stole and makeup. They were both classy looking. Here I am, probably greasy hair somewhat, in my normal clothes from the day. Remember, I only had five minutes to be ready. Not knowing what to expect, definitely not this night or what followed.

I do remember my mom asking me if I really wanted to go. I know now that was to protect me from being hurt due to the way they were dressed and the homely look I 8cb1ff75-fa04-467a-aec4-0c7793a42308-43917-00000876b968150aportrayed compared to them. At that time, I did not give much thought to this, although I remember the shock when they walked through the door beaming, but I made a commitment to go so off we went. No doubt my mom was concerned, but I did not know how to say no and to go somewhere was a luxury.

As I gave thought to this fancy outing with my friend dressed to the nines and here I stand with them in the lobby area of the event feeling very insecure, as I see people stare at me. To them and those around, I did look homeless and I am sure I was an embarrassment to them, sorry they even asked me.9EF4F1E2-2795-4293-890E-F52792B130A8

As I got ready to go to the musical for my son, I felt a little apprehensive about what to wear, which brought up all of these memories. Dealing with excitement to go but the torment from the past. I was dressed nice, my Sunday best somewhat, but I caught myself scanning those that picked me up and others in attendance around me. Fear. I found I was dressed appropriately although I was overdressed probably to some. Anything goes nowadays, anywhere but not so much back in my day.

0e3b2b0e-2c25-422e-a280-f8ab576f69be-10228-0000025b43f0b48bInteresting how my morning getting ready to go dealt with the night almost fifty years ago. I felt as though the Lord was revealing some hidden hurts that need attention and healing. No doubt, enough to make my head swim.

So many thoughts took me back, as a lot of negative roots in my feelings of myself and even others grew from that night. I remember them all dressed up and we are standing in the foyer area to enter for seating.  It was like I was frozen watching others look at me and then those I was with.   Strangely enough, I do not remember anything else from that night. I was there physically but nothing more.

d0033ac5-e020-490d-a057-24f0c1a90c7c-43917-00000875474bb142I wonder if I disassociated myself during that outing and have allowed that to happen throughout my life, at times, when hurt or placed in predicaments where I was uncomfortable. I felt anger from these thoughts of that night. As I thought of this event and that this so-called friend used me because probably because a classier friend could not go or maybe others and I was was the last one on her list. Last resort is what I felt like. To still remember seeing myself standing there feeling like dirt, perhaps that is why all my life I have felt I never measured up. Interesting how such things affect us throughout life. I freeze in fear and other issues. How sad that such an event that should have been a big deal and enjoyable but it caused some major issues for me that I have kept buried.

No surprise, our friendship did not last. Even though I never discussed this back then with anyone or since, it all affected me. Here almost fifty years later, I am remembering and writing about it and acknowledging the moments. I understand a little more about me, which brings more healing. That in itself, I will accept and move forward.

In fact, my fourth grade timeframe has been zapped from my memory and I never could understand, as I have mentioned to my counselors. No doubt, I bet this event lines up, as I was swallowed up with shame.834FBE85-E9B9-42FC-A0FF-56650D179ABA

Feeling used and ‘used’ might not be the word I am searching for but I do know how hurtful it was and to feel like a no-good human being due to looks, clothing, etc., can be devastating. This whole scenario was wrong in so many ways.

I hope and pray that from this point on, remembering and analyzing the dynamics of this classy musical or whatever it was that was fancy enough for them to wear mink and to appear more than what they were, I hope I never put on an air to be something I am not and make someone feel so worthless. Also, to cause some hidden hurts that I have carried due to this situation but I must forgive them, too. My friend’s mother passed away many years ago and sadly my friend, too, just years later.

I have no doubt that the Lord saw me then and knew I would be at this place now. He has carried me way too many times in my life of hurts. How awesome! ūüíē

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Back Off Girlfriend!

I realize people have a good heart and Christians want to witness and make contact with church members and/or friends/family that need to be in church and become a Christian. We are all to show ourselves friendly and to help others.

There comes a time though when it is wrong for a single, divorced woman to text me about my husband’s church attendance and if she can contact him and encourage him.  No! 3B8113F5-CED4-493B-A900-31D1501F8164What makes me crazed about this situation is that she should know better. We have heard the same messages at church.

How or what would you do?

There are many of us women (wives) that attend church alone, I see it all the time.

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I want to text her back and might at some point or see her at church and if asked, say that her requirement as a single, divorced woman should only be to pray for him.  For a woman to contact a married man is not okay in my books.  This opens up a whole can of worms, as they say.

Whether or not my marriage is perfect is none of her business or others; there is still a marriage license in force.

I’m just floored that she had the gall to contact me but I guess she feels we are friends, close enough that is to either get the scoop or my permission.  No!  If I was not so nice, I would rip into her.  If there is definite contact made, I will.

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Sometimes, I just shake my head and this was one of those moments.  Crazy enough and just like the Lord, I was questionning her a few months back about an interest in him, figuring it was just a fear on my part.  Now, I wonder if that was a warning.  No matter.  No!

Pay attention to your gut instincts!

If he goes to church with me or not.  None of your business.  He is a grown man, too, and he has choices of his own whether to go or not.  Not mine.  Not yours.

As Christians, we are to pray for others.

In passing, to invite to church is one thing.  There are other men in the church that should be reaching out to care and witness to other men, not a single, divorced woman. Same with women contacting other women with care and concern.  It‚Äôs conservative and respectful but for a reason.

Sometimes, I am just amazed at people and crazy enough, church people.

Forget Me Not

BAAB3740-FFE7-4AD1-819D-4F4B6AD5ADAAThroughout my life I have always dreamed of doing and giving to help others, which is a good thing, if only I had the millions of dollars to do so.

Still, I do what I can when I can and usually not on special occasions but out of the blue, just because.  Everyone needs to get a surprise now and then and plus it is fun for me.71799F7E-3E53-4D12-8FD0-B94D24337DD9

Realizing this pattern in my life, it was when my former counselor mentioned this to me.  It has been amazing how much she made me understand life and myself.  Asking me why I do this for her or others.

I find that throw pillows make a room.  I love pillows and found that you can buy pillow covers from Amazon to slip on and zip up to change the theme; so my life, in my own home, has been exciting.

With the pillows though, my counselor had purchased a new loveseat for her brightly, painted walls in her office, but I felt it needed a pillow to bring it all together.  I was on a mission and made sure this was done.  It made me happy 5CEE944E-BCBE-45A8-A0BC-74DFA8D7A6A1to do this for her and she accepted my gift, which I was unsure she would. It also settled my mind while in counseling as I could focus on the colors or rub my hand over the texture of the fabric to ground myself if in a deep, emotional moment.

Still, even though I no longer sit on that loveseat as she is no longer counseling, I see pillows that would be perfect and I just smile and think, that would be perfect.

With the pillows given through the years, to change out, I often wonder now if she still has them and uses and thinks of me, as I do her when I shop.896F8327-E201-435B-A212-4E1C958290A3

Her comment to me was asking why I give gifts.  Crazy enough, it is like how a cat shows its love by bringing a mouse to its owner, the cat is grateful and loves the owner.FCEF7A64-675E-40A5-8AEE-517720495064

It was when we had discussed abandonment in my life so much that she felt the gifts given were to remind her of me.  Leaving a piece of me with her so I would not be forgotten.  I remember that moment well and while shaking my head, I replied with, Yes.  Again, she understood me.  To be heard and understood, brings healing.0ACBF96B-DC5D-442B-AF24-CE7340C5CC0C

Abandonment, whether young or old, the lack of love shown through life will be visible to those that really care.  She did.  How could I not bring and give her gifts?  I was grateful for her bringing light to the dark corners of my life.  I love and miss her as my counselor, who knew me better than my own family and close friends.

Giving gifts is one of my love languages.  The five love languages are not just for spouses but in life and in all relationships.

For me to receive gifts, it is not easy although nice, but it is a joy to give.  I’ll take touch (all the hugs, mostly sincere, tight motherly ones I can get) and words (so I can write them down and repeat over and over to myself and be reminded of spoken love toward me).  Due to abandonment and emotional neglect, this would be typical in my situation.

Where do you rate in the love languages?

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Grades of Grief

1CC51986-2CC6-456F-BCB2-98B5AF2690B2     I have had my share of grief in life and no doubt, you also.  It, of course, can come from a physical death of a loved one or friend but grief is shared among other losses and the pain is there.
     Growing up and probably until my own mother passed away, I dealt with deaths and the visitations, funerals and family gatherings afterward never wanting to lose touch with cousins and extended family members, but you do.
     It was when my mother passed that it all became real, the grieving of what was and what will never be.  While we were not the mother-daughter connection as pictures show and memories are made of, still she was my mother.  Sitting at traffic lights looking up at the beautiful sky and seeing the clouds, the tears would flow were my usual bouts of grief.
¬† ¬† ¬†Just a few years later, while trying to maintain my own home but also my father’s home and all of his financial and medical affairs, my marriage was dying.¬† I could feel it, I knew things were not right. I blamed myself as I was being pulled in many directions and apparently neglecting him.¬† While that was all true of caring and doing for many, I am not to accept all the blame and I will not.¬† Still, grieving the marriage of what was and what will never be.
F36661FC-75AE-4792-88F7-1F4EFB5ACE0E     Through the years, I have lost friendships for whatever reason by job change, moving, etc. no doubt, you have also.  Realizing their friendship was just for a season, whether it be their season or mine, it still hurts to lose the closeness. Depending how close we were, the grief can become intense, not just uncomfortable for a bit.
     With that I found myself to be distant with some because of the hurt, the grief of losing them. They are still alive but not there. Just recently, I went through this with someone very special to me. Every level of grief was there still and I knew it. Even today, I now teeter between the depression stage and acceptance.  This can last for a bit.  When sadness hits, I cry and then I get back up accept what is. Thankfully the anger has lost its power but it was there and normal.
     Whether it is a person, a pet or whatever to cause your heart to ache, it is normal.  It just shows you are normal and have a heart and love within that you shared.
Looking at the chart of the many levels of grief, I recognize each one and understand when it hits. ¬†One of those, ‚Äėbeen there, done that‚Äô quotes. ¬†No matter what your situation, grief is hard and exhausting.
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     Understanding the levels of grief in whatever you are facing, it will help you through it.  Normal.  Cry if you need to and then carry on the best you can. Some days you will need to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other.  Normal.  Will life be the same?  No.  A new normal will form and you will adjust.  One day, your experience will be encouragement to another; you made it and they will also.
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Nothing!

0518437e-e078-4127-b784-db8ae8dcfe70-4006-000002db793c0401Here I am alone in my office and no desire to finish my work that can really wait until tomorrow, so I write for a bit.  The quietness in the office space far from everyone in the building, hearing the HVAC motors on the roof above me makes me feel as I am on an airplane ready for take off.  Anytime now, the flight attendant will be at my door offering up those yummy cookies.  Hey, I can dream.  Dream to take off in flight to somewhere exciting and yes those cookies. cb2b0a80-d041-46e4-877a-cb3a7c4cf0a9-4006-000002dbad019654 Tick tock tick tock, as I have two hours left to maintain this status until I can leave.

Even then, the boredom of life exists.  I joined classes and get regular exercise but my energy level and joy is depleated, as I just fall into bed.4b4d5133-5fef-4f5b-925d-25af21d5693f-4006-000002e1177629f6

Depression, perhaps.  Exhaustion, perhaps, Grief, perhaps.  Loneliness, perhaps.  Put those things and probably a few more it becomes overwhelming.

I know to keep moving and doing and not be isolated, but that comes so easy.¬† Vacation time is nearing so hopefully that will help, to get away. ¬†A change of scenry, shopping and laughing with a dear friend although tears will fall, too.¬† Just to get away from nothing here and probably nothing there to really gain but a brief change and there’s nothing to lose.

a4f22023-0749-45cb-bf53-147ea2129562-4006-000002dc8f2ccc3aOh Lord, I need you.  I need your loving arms to hold me.  Only You know me like no other.  Give me strength to keep moving forward and be kind to others and to share your love and your mercy and grace. My focus needs to be on you, as you know my name and where I am when I do not even know myself.

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Gently Woven

4156B4E3-9EAE-4A84-BFA9-DE9EAD041FD3There have been times in life, I have wanted to forget something that I did or happened because the thought either brought torment, insecurity, embarrassment, etc.  No doubt, you also.  Things happen in life.

Plus, there have been times I have wanted to forget somebody or several due to being hurt, etc.  The pain of remembering either/or was too great.

Giving thought to how to forget, I found myself Googling just that.  Believe it or not, Google comes through yet again.

As I read the information and the six to ten steps on how to forget someone, etc., I had to laugh at some and come to the realization that no matter what you do in following the steps and recommendations, you can truly not forget.  Our brain is so complex that a scent, sight or memory will be triggered.

06AB7B8F-F83B-4FF0-91BA-26F25A57817BAlthough the pain, as in my instance recently, I would like to forget in order to ease the pain, but in all honesty, I really do not want to forget.  I just want to get through the pain and I will.   Plus, I know that their life is woven into mine and always will be, and mine in theirs.

770B8D89-A272-41BF-B607-CF77AB91ED78So many facets of my life are connected that I do not want to forget how they all came about. To toss them aside, to delete and block out all of the resources received, learned and love shown, it would be impossible.  My life has been and was touched.

Given thought to another, someone that caused me great pain and years to require forgiveness and come to terms with the hatred they have toward me, still they are woven in my life and I am theirs, whether they like it or not.  They can try to shut me out of their lives but family is family and the blood is there.  Still woven, just not so tightly.

Believe it or not, your reading this, we are woven together.  There might be something down the road that will bring this to your remembrance by being with someone.  You have touched a life of someone or they have touched yours.  Woven.

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No matter how or whom we come in contact with, we are gently woven with one another.  It’s pretty awesome to think of how we can or others affect one another.  Perhaps just a kind gesture or even a brief smile that made your day or a touch of somebody’s hand on your arm to encourage.

In life, we are woven to care and show God’s Love.

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Walls Up, Walls Down

Which is it?

There were many discussions through the past four years of discussing my life with my recent counselor of having my walls up.  For what I dealt with in life, rightfully so.  Was it right for each person in my life?  No.  Why take a chance until trust is built and still no guarantee hurt won‚Äôt come again.

9C514E57-818D-418E-80A8-7C1F2F882E9FAs we discussed the walls, I recognized I did just that.  Odds are, if everyone was honest, walls are present in many if not all lives.  How could there not be?  Life dishes out crap at times in situations and words said to us.  It hurts.

35EB0068-1190-434F-AAFE-6FC114CD6268Then, there are others that will talk about having your walls up as a good thing.  Talk about confusion.  Between my real-life conversation (walls down) and then hearing this (walls up), I could understand them both.  With that, I felt I had dyslexia, unsure which is right.

Depending upon the situation, they both are.

In my years as a client, we discussed a lot and this counselor knows some deep, soul wrenching parts of me that only God knows.  My walls were down.  I needed and also wanted help to understand me and she had the knowledge and expertise to do so.  I trusted her, I had to. Would I do it again?  Yes.  Probably now, moreso; wish I had more time with her. Now that our time is over, I did feel anger for doing so but if it had not been, I would not be where I am today.  Today, I am grateful.  Walls down.  God is doing a work within me.

Walking with a new friend recently, she probed into my life a little more than I liked of my marriage and depression from it.  Pretty bold of her, I thought. Using my words carefully, I gave her enough to calm the curiousity within her.  I was not comfortable in that situation and there will be a wall and general conversation from this point forward.  Walls up.

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Even last night with several of the church ladies for a small group, I knew of them only in passing.  This class is for healing of hurts and abuses. While I know what is said there, stays there, I could not be transparent.  My walls were up and I knew it, although I could encourage them and recognize their pain.

This past week has been an emotional roller coaster for me, and I had to question my walls.  I recognized and felt when they were up.  Right or wrong, they were there.  While they can protect, they can hinder.  Just knowing the difference.

No matter if my walls are up, down. half way or sometimes made of steel, the Lord knows my heart.  He knows my every emotion and fear that entangles my life of being hurt yet once again.

I owe no one fullness of me, unless I choose.  We have that choice. Like me or not, I may not you or trust.  God has given us discernment and we have a right to use it.

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