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drafts and half posts

I wrote this nearly 2 years ago. It is incomplete but I like it regardless. There is so much more to say mostly about healing being a journey of fits and starts, about how the pain in the world has set me back abour ten years, how I secretly hate facebook for its' pretentiousness and derision but how I cling to it for the fast food version of true emotional intimacy which, ironically after all my efforts in healing and self-improvement, seems to be distinctly lacking in my life. My logistics are still the same; same job (5 years!), better car as of this summer, same locale, same therapists who have not retired...and no dates/relationships etc going on 3 years. I refuse to type the entirety of an entry on a smart phone and as I am between laptops, I will just end this here as a segue into my aforementioned draft of two years ago....P.S. 51, no grandchildren,neither daughter married and Rachel turning 30 (!!!) at the end of November...

Hello, LJ

I've been thinking a lot about you lately.  I've missed you, in fact.  You see, in the hapiness that is my new life, there is just life.  It's still messy but normal messy as opposed to cra-cra messy.

Change did come in several forms.  I feel like discussing some of them and hence, here I am.

Fifty

Yes, that happened.  This March, I turned 50 years of age.  Guess what?  In the last ten years, my looks changed.  My eternally youthful self actually looks much closer to my age.  Most likely from years of tobacco consuption, this changing of my face wasn't brutal but for the first time, noticeable.  The above pic is the best I could muster and from a very good hair day.

I am single.  I haven't been on a date for nearly two years much less experienced any sort of intimacy, save friendship, from a man who is not related to me.  This is somewhat by default as I have noticed that women my age become invisible as if it's not possible that we are whole and still available.  Conversely, after years of misadventures in dating (and I'm being kind to myself), I needed this time to heal.

I have been incubating.  Culling my unhealthy parts with help through gifted therapists and through a series of life circumstances that have allowed that process to occur without impediment.  I have been gleening from the chaff those things that were buried there of value.  I have reassembled myself into someone whom I am comfortable being.  Ironically, despite best past efforts, I have arrived at this place at an age which, in this reality, isn't conducive for finding true love.  I'm still complex and my electic nature, while not so divergent, is still intact.

Abstinence

 I undertook my second adolence 10 years ago.  " The tale of Two Cities' principle was the theme for this chapter in my life but what look like the end turned out to be the beginning.  Who knew that in order to keep my nursing license retroactive to my convictions for driving under the influence in 2007 and 2011, the nursing board could mandate so many things over a 3 year period including my total abstinence from all substances including alcohol and make me pay to prove it with mandatory random drug testing inclusive of  the enzyme in urine which shows alcohol ingestion for up to 96 hrs after consumption??  This list continues- Attend mandatory weekly meetings with other nurses in my situation and pay for them?? Yes, please!  Be mandated to attend therapy at my expense??  I'll take it!  Self-disclose to my fairly new employer my situation and request they put themselves out by providing the required supervision and document it on a quarterly report for the BRN??  I'm all in!  Allow an independent consultant for the board to review submitted paperwork from myself and my employer to establish my position meets the nursing board's requirements for a probationer prior to continuing my position there??  Thank you, sir- may I have another??

This has been my life for the last 33 months and you know what?  It's the best thing that ever happened to me.  In a life where the pieces never fit and the rug got pulled out from under me on a regular basis, I suddenly found myself with a complete jigsaw puzzle that I could assemble and a rug that was tacked to the floor.  All the players were there.  Don't ask me how but in a life in which I had wished for years for every type of person I had in the last 3 years to assist me, they finally were there en masse.  It was if I had won the spiritual lottery.

Has it been easy?  Surely you jest.  It has been hard work.  However, my tenacity finally has been used to accomplish something of merit in which, over time, I could see slow but monumentous changes.  I discovered that PTSD along with depression was at the root of my life challenges and that after years of battling both, even with medication, I resorted to alcohol out of desperation. Three years of specialized trauma therapy has been the impetus for much of these changes being permenant and because of this, I really don't miss substances as they seem superfluous.

And now, it's almost over and with it, the situation is fading.  All of the people who were introduced into my life for the sole purpose of assisting me on this journey have moved on.  Even my therapists are retiring within the next year!  I finally stayed and everyone else moved on each one for unrelated reasons.  Although at first sad, I eventually found this miraculous as I realized the subliminty of it all!

January 12, 2017, I will be released from all requirements having satified all of them for the mandated time.  I will be free but not just of this situation but of many things previously attached but unneeded and I find myself profoundly humbled and grateful beyond measure

Pedigree

I have a one now.  Four years of a full-time nursing position in which I was required to be the sole clinician visiting people in their homes and making complex clinical decisions that sometimes required lifesaving measures with only the assistance of an MD or a nursing supervisor by phone.  I thought after 15 years of hospital nursing, I had seen everything but nothing trumps being in the home of various patients and being involved in their family and personal dynamics as well as their health care habits on a weekly basis for sometimes 6 months or more.  Nothing.  I have learned a wealth of clinical knowledge, gained volumes of wisdom regarding living and dying well, observed the consequences of either resisting or applying planning, humility and acceptance of having an aging body with many limitations in order that one is care for well and safely</p>

Reflections on reflections...

These days, I love reading what I have written in the past year or so.  While I've not posted much in the way of quantity, the quality of what I've posted bouyes me in the re-reading of my entries.  This is in stark contrast to some of my earlier writings when everything was a redundant spiral of chaos.  Presently, I write  and re-read to encourage me through my imperfections.  Previously, I wrote only to have a voice; to bolster my ego and make sense of my pain by coloring it with language that hopefully, would disguise it as something less ugly than it was.

This year has been full of changes and surprises. The lesson I have learned this year is  that if one is given the gift of restoration, surely trials will inevitably follow and with it, the slow ebbing of the memories of the multitude of blessings one may have experienced in those times of quiet joy and gratitude.  Also, too, will be the waxing of temptations, the forgetfulness of how one's frivolities might have been so harmful to self and others in the past.  Especially if after the season of restoration comes a season of change and with it, the impending sense of loss and grief.  However, despite this, there is the consistent difference in my reaction to such things which is a constant reminder that the work of healing that was undertaken has taken hold and sunk deep into the core of the soul.  No more the reactionary but much more the contemplative; no more the crushed and defeated needing consolation in every storm but much more the weathered and well-worn able to withstand trials without the crumbling spirit.

Such it is with me these days.  I find myself learning to cast aside child-like idealism but not faith or wisdom. Some days, however,  I still find myself growing impatient for not being able to sustain that state of contentment that  I extolled as my boone companion in the last 18 months simply because in experiencing change and loss, I become discouraged by the return of impermanence to my world and in doing so, my sense of having undergone change and healing is thereby lessened. Even though my personal circumstances remain stable, my surroundings are changing and this heralds the onset of a global shift in my world within the next 18 months.  There is nothing tangent as of yet but like an old man who knows the weather is about to change by the aching in his worn-out knee, so is change upcoming in my world.

 Thankfully, I am being ever reminded by God that I AM is love; that Love is not just a place or a set of people but an Entity of Perfection which is inscrutable but which, if we are willing to trust and have faith, will continue to reveal Itself and which fully knows us even in our inability to fully comprehend I AMs' infinite perspective.  We have not been left orphaned or alone in the dark without ways of knowing what the character of God is like.  I AM didn't leave us to simply guess but left us stories of others' experiences with I AM so that we might know and feel comforted by them.  God has spoken and foretold all that we might expect. In the faith story in which I believe, I AM even incarnated I AM into man in order that no one could say that I AM wasn't willing to go through that which I AM asked of us as imperfect humans burdened with sin and surrounded by the evidence of evil.  I AM came with the full knowledge of  that which should be accomplished in order to rectify the necessity of sin and ultimate evil to provide us with free will and comparsion/contract to Perfection. All of those things and more were foretold and have been and will be fulfilled in days to come.

In this, and not in the temporal. must we take comfort. Only in learning to love and be loved wisely, to Give Grace and Forgiveness to ourselves and others despite our imperfections and mistakes, which we will surely continue to commit until we die, will we ever be able to knit together any semblance of a higher perspective wrought over time that is cohesive enough to help us to forgo the temporal which if pursued exclusively, will rob us of that which we truly desire- truth, hope, joy and peace and most importantly, the ability to choose to  spend eternity with perfect Love.

In order for the rose bush to bloom, the gardener must cut away all it's blossoms lest the bush expend too much energy feeding that which is inevitably dying.  In doing so, the Gardener conserves the energy of the bush so that it may once again focus on blooming.

and so it goes with God and us.  I AM is our constant, omnipotent, ever-mindful and ever watchful garnder only allowing that which might strengthen us, even if painful or temporarily inscrutable, to enter into our lives; pruning away our blossoms so that growth will continue to occur.  I AM promises that I AM in the end will be altogher perfectly Just and perfectly Loving regardless of whether we can see the sense in the interwoveness of tragedy and triumph on our myopic, limited scale.  All I AM asks us to do is to trust and believe in Unconditional Love wrought through Perfection and in doing so, to listen. learn and grow as much as we are able in order to emulate these character traits.

I came across a quote by Dostoevsky that I feel perfectly exemplifies this:

"I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world's finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they've shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened."


Again, I am left to wonder what the future holds.  However, I can finally say my life and my past in the last 3 years have landed me with a stability I have never before achieved and a life I could never imagined.  If in I AM's infinite Grace, Love and Knowledge, this not yet the end of the road and these are not those with whom I shall reside, know and love until my old age, then something more glorious must await and if not more glorious, certainly filled with more growth experiences.  How blessed am I to have a Creator who made me in such a way that my abilities are such that I would be entrusted with such scenarios in which the depth and breath of the human soul is ever stretched!  To this will I  continue to revisit, hold fast and focus on even in those days when I am in between blooming  and having been freshly pruned.  And with this, I will end once again refreshed and  mindful of my blessings ( and still not knowing how to spell!..lol)

With Love and Blessings,

Elizabeth

God is Mighty to save..

I am becoming what I prayed for.  I have ventured on this journey of healing as a willing participant and I am becoming whole.  I am meeting myself for the first time in my life.  I have been able to integrate my past with my present all without substances.  I enjoy sitting in the present; the quiet of stability.  My life is NORMAL.  What a wonderful feeling.  Sometimes I feel like I need to pinch myself. While my past has made me more empathetic to myself and to others and given me a broad perspective on Love and life that emcompasses people's weaknesses with compassion including my own, it no longer defines me.   It has allowed me to move past being both victim and perpetrator.  Because of these elements,  it is no longer the only thing I am.    In my new life, I am respected, I am well-liked and I am confident and comfortable in my own skin.

I have done the work and continue to do so.   EMDR is wonderful therapy.  If you haven't tried it and you've experienced trauma, you should.  You'll never regret paying the money or spending the time doing so.

I am safe with myself these days.  I have good boundaries, I know who to give my love to and at what distance I need to love people.
I have learned the difference between helping those who have bought into their own recovery and those who are not ready and want to make a kaliedescope of rabbit holes out of their various maladies.  I trust God in His infinite wisdom to remember them and to help them to open their eyes to way through like He did mine.  Free will is the root of unconditional Love but it is also the pathway to evil.  It is the double-edge of the sword. I'm digressing but without contrast, we would not know the difference.  Only the heartiest souls are entrusted with the gift of trials.  It is up to them to allow these to temper their sensitive and wild hearts and choose Love over Hate; Grace and Mercy over straight Justice and Judgmentalism.  Remember, a God the equals unconditional Love is bigger than your free will and This will pursue you continually trying to help you gain that peace in your striving to be a more authentic and whole you.  As I said, I'm digressing but as frustrating as my life was in the past, the converse is as infinitely and stunningly beautiful.  It is not so in a loud way but in a million quiet ways on daily basis that come together to form a gentle yet formidable whole.  I am so humbled by my journey and can only hope my story will bring inspiration to someone out there who needs it.

Lastly, using substances to augment oneself is a lie.  Remember, you are operantly conditioning your brain to think you can't function without them; that just being you will never be enough to celebrate the joys of life, to overcome the tragedies and to mitigate your own circumstances without them.  Give yourself the chance to discover the beauty of you just being you; to get to the bottom of whatever got you to that place originally because at the end of that, you will find how wonderful it is to meet yourself unfettered by that lie.

In the end, each one of us is the only one that will ever exist.  Our DNA is unique throughout the milennia.  Never forget.  Never diminish that.  Use your existence to Love and be Love; to spread Grace and wisdom in the unique way you were created to do because throughout time, no one will ever do it exactly like you .. unless you are an identical twin and even then, the intageable inside is unique :).  Many Blessings,

Elizabeth

The happy ending...

I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  Trust me.  With people who respect,  admire *And* like me.  I have a  job I absolutely love in which I have good pay, benefits and bosses and co-workers who know about my past and could care less.  My bosses love me and I, them.  I'm super busy all the time due to work but  I get to literally help change lives and to me, that's the best part of it.  Yes, I am still a nurse.  No, my shenanigans didn't come without a high price- literally and figuratively.  However,   I am willing to pay it and be done with that nonsense.  My love affair with romanticizing drinking is finished *and* done.  I no longer drink and I'm totally fine with that.  In fact, I don't do a lot of the things I used to do.   Finally, through a great work of Grace, Forgiveness and Mercy, my life came to exactly the place of stability I always dreamed about.  *insert rhetorical, cliche statements about my life and me not being perfect here*;).

I owe a new car and all the payments are on time.

I gave therapy another chance and I'm glad I did.

I never found true love but truly loving oneself is of infinitely more value.

I learned how not to idealize or idolize people mostly men.  It's the best miracle that ever happened to me aside from reading 'The Reason for God' by Timothy Kellor or finding Britt Merricks church, Reality, in Santa Barbara California.

I still have all the things from my old life  in storage back in Atlanta. I've lived in Fresno California for over two years as of this writing.  I hope to retrieve them some day soon.

Neither of my daughters is anywhere closed to be married, having it together or having children and that's ok.  It took their mom an awfully long time to get there.  I just pray they do it sooner than me.  In the mean time, I'm here with open arm if and when they need me.  If they don't, I love them unconditionally.  They are both independent, not addicted to anything that I know of besides nicotine or caffeine and they are doing like I did.. trying, striving and hopefully, growing.

Lastly, I miss the people whose lives I followed on livejournal.  I never met most of you but reading your life for nearly ten years gave me a window of intimacy that helped me feel a kinship with most of you especially if we had similar thought processes,  writing styles  or similar life struggles.  I may not have ever known you personally but I felt I got to see a piece of your heart for a very long period of time.  The comments and support you gave me over the years gave me much strength, courage and wisdom.  I sometimes find myself going to my friends list and clicking on your journals to see if just maybe you might have updated.  I wonder what became of all of you.  Mostly, I hope you are well.  In the age of social media crack where things must be succinct and veiled less the 'clowns eat you' or your job fires you, livejournal stands out as more intimate, more genuine and a much more safe haven for finding 'friends'.  Thank you for sharing your lives and more importantly, your hearts, with me.  Really.  Even if you are 80 and just reading this for the first time, thank you.  Each of you left a deep impression on me that  I will always treasure.

I sound like I'm writing a good bye post but I'm not..  The less drama, the broader your prospective, the more engaged you are the less time you have to ruminate and the more time you have to be content.  Being content and busy doesn't really make great press ergo, your accounting of it languishes.

I set out to write the story of my strange life and in doing so, I wrote the story of my healing; warts and all.

That's a good place to stop and rest, don't you think?

*hugs*

Elizabeth

Thank You

Thank you to those of you who read one of my  recent  posts regarding my missing your presence here and took the initiative to post something yourself.  It was greatly appreciated.  I'm glad those who have done so are doing well!  It was great to sign on and read you:)

Writer's Block: Lassie, come home!

Have you ever had a pet that ran away? Did you eventually find her or him? If not, how long did it take you to recover?

I lost my cat, Cocoa  on the road with the Renaissence Festival while in Ohio.  I was staying in my boss's trailer and when I went to bed, my cat was there and when I woke up, she was gone.  There were no open window or doors; it was as if she'd vanished into thin air.

It took me about 3 years to get over losing her as I always wondered what happened to her and if she survived and found a good home.

To emphasize my point...

This is the number of people on my friends list who post with any regularity currently: Two.  That's right... Two.  I love them both but I have at least 15 or 20 other people who I wish would start posting again as well.  My friend's page looks really bare.... and sad *sniffs*.


If you get bored with the first part.. fast foward to about 5min  in to hear the Kingman, Az news... lol.

Writer's Block: Everyday I write the book

If you were to write your autobiography, what would be the title?

"To God, with my apologies"