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rainingviolets last won the day on September 25 2017

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About rainingviolets

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    safe in the arms of love
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    Family, eschatology, gardening, theology, chronic pain management, art, children’s issues, music, reading

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  1. When I went away to college a new friend and I spent many evenings debating religion. Since I had been raised as a Roman Catholic who regularly attended mass on Sunday, never missed a "holy day of obligation", and visited the confessional like a good little girl, I felt that I always had the upper hand in the these debates. My friend was merely a Baptist. She was the first one of those I'd ever even met. Since there didn't seem to be a plethora of Baptists inhabiting God's creation, they certainly couldn't know that much about God or His Creation. On my birthday this new friend gave me the gift of a New Testament Bible. It was a Phillips translation in easier to understand terminology. It was the first time in my life I'd held a Bible. I certainly never had owned one or read one. In the weeks and months that followed I began to realize that I had lived a lie. The things I had been taught as Catholic doctrine and rituals were manmade ~ they were not of God, they were completely made up. Nowhere in the Bible are there instructions about rosaries, holy water, sacraments, baptizing babies, and the constant threat of hell. God's plan for our salvation is incredibly easy on our part. An entire new world was opened up to me. A world of love and not fear. A world of understanding what God's plan is and what my part in it is. Existing under a cloud of lies and fear is a horrible way to live, especially as a child. To take a young girl who is already being horrifically abused by the parents who should be caring for her and then, in the name of God, subjecting her to constant threats of hell and damnation is unspeakably cruel. I don't ever remember a kind, caring face in all of those 18 years. I mostly remember fear. Fear of damnation. Fear of God. Fear of my father. Fear of nuns and priests. Fear of being physically hurt or publically humiliated by the nuns. Fear of being bad. Fear of thinking bad. Fear of doing bad. Fear of some BIG Unknown. I hated going to church. I hated being in church. I soon came to realize that the debates my friend and I had were not about religion, they were about God and theology. It took me a bit longer to realize that those debates had gradually morphed into discussions where I bombarded her with questions about topics that were suddenly vitally important to me. Matters dealing with eschatology, the Great Tribulation, the antichrist and the millennium along with having her helping me get straight the differing views of young and old earth creationists and why it was important. What does preterism mean? What is the difference between millennialism and amillennialism? It was as if the flood gates in by mind had been blown open and there was so much I wanted to know. I would take in the information and then later, mull it over and decide what I thought about it all. I grew up in an dysfunctional, abusive family. Obviously, the emotional scars from my childhood are the result of what happened to me as a member of that family. Those experiences are what caused almost my entire childhood to be lost to repression. I do not blame the mess in my head and in my heart on the Catholic Church. However, my parents made Catholicism a huge part of my childhood. On the top of our family crest is a cardinal's hat ~ real bragging rights within our family ~ because a few generations back a member of our family became a Roman Catholic Cardinal in Rome and hung out with the Pope. Whoopee. There was also my aunt the nun, as well as a priest that my grandmother put through seminary by working as a maid in a motel even though she had PLENTY of money. It was a "personal sacrifice she'd made for the Church." Although I remember very little of my childhood, I remember the confusion over the terrible things the adults did to my body, the horrible words I heard all the time, the "badness" I knew that was happening daily within our home, and trying to reconcile all of that with being brainwashed that we were holy and good and special because we were Catholics. That DID have an effect on the emotional mess in my head and does play a big role in my negative feelings toward the Roman Catholic Church. Several years ago I posted several blog entries here about my time being employed with the Baptist Church we attended, the breakdown I had while I worked there, and the criticism and stigma I encountered among those saintly Christians because I experienced depression, PTSD and other forms of emotional illness due to the trauma and abuse I experienced during my childhood, the chronic pain I constantly endure, and the horrible stress of that job. The scars from that experience are still deep and open. My family and I ended up leaving the church and now attend a church in another town. According to the Baptists, my emotional problems are the result of "unconfessed sin" in my life and "disobedience to God." The pastor of that church, who had once been both my friend and my boss, told the congregation to "pray for her deliverance." As a result of what happened to me at that church after my breakdown, I was diagnosed with spiritual abuse, on top of everything else. I didn't even know there was such a thing. I removed all of those blog entries long ago that detailed my breakdown and the role the Baptist Church played in it. Educating myself to who God really is, the incredible gift His Son gave for humanity, and how God's plan continues to unfold is the greatest gift I have ever given myself. When I was 19 years old I was baptized again ~ not as Catholic or a Baptist or any other denominational name ~ but as a Christian...a follower of Christ. I know that the act of total immersion is completely symbolic. We are not "saved" through baptism. I did it because in the Bible we are told that God desires it. A baby does not have the capability of understanding that Christ's death on the cross took the punishment for all sin. Since the day that Bible was placed in my hand, I have never stopped reading, researching, and learning about the God of the Bible. I am not a religious fanatic. I don't try to convert people or go around hitting people over the head with my Bible. I don't even consider myself religious. I consider myself a Christian. My faith has pulled me through many bad times, and brought our family a few incredible miracles.
  2. We're not allowed to post links so I'm going to send you a link for an article about this topic from a Christian magazine. It doesn't give concrete answers, but it will give you more to consider. My husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary this past summer. The only gift I wanted was a large framed photo of all of our grandkids. We have a huge, happy, hilarious family. But there was a time long ago when I sat at our kitchen table looking through the phone book for a divorce lawyer. Even though we're a "born again" bunch and biblically I had no grounds to end my marriage with the man I'd always called my Prince Charming, I was depressed, suffering from flashbacks and PTSD from an abusive, traumatic childhood, battling an eating disorder, and simply just wanted to escape from life. Escape is listed nowhere in the Bible as a God-blessed reason for legally leaving your husband and 4 kids, but at that time in my life I didn't care. When I look back on that day I am so relieved that the attorney I contacted never returned my call. Please give yourself some time. You may be surprised how your perspective changes when viewed from the distance of time. Since that miserable day I sat searching through the phone book I have made great strides in healing emotionally. Since you are here visiting this forum I assume you, like me, may have some emotional reasons to be here which may effect how you are viewing your marriage and life partner. As you heal, those views may also improve. Since that painful day I pondered divorce my husband and I have welcomed more adult children into our family as our own children have married. We have shared the incredible joy of greeting our grandchildren as we watch our own babies have babies. As you progress through life experiencing the wonderful, the sad, and the memorable moments with the person you chose to marry by your side, you'll find that a strong and special bond of love and friendship has gently and mysteriously wrapped the two of you in a wonderful embrace. Give yourself the time to grow something beautiful!
  3. My dear friend, You have an annoying habit of constantly telling yourself you are stupid. Do you have any idea how ridiculous that is? You certainly don't write like someone who is stupid. Your poetry doesn't reflect the thoughts, feelings, or general intellect of someone who is stupid. The advice you give comes from someone with compassion, kindness, and a heart that is anything but stupid. Stop looking at yourself through the eyes of that abused little girl from a dysfunctional family. If no one else will tell you that you were an abused little girl from a dysfunctional family then I will...because I was also an abused little girl from a dysfunctional family and I KNOW what I'm talking about. Your ED took root there, just as mine did, even though it didn't blossom until later. Your horrible self image and your self loathing were learned during those early years, just as mine were. Your lack of confidence in yourself, the constant questioning of the decisions you make, the waffling when you need to make a simple decision because you constantly doubt yourself - yep, all part of that messed up childhood. No parent "loves" their child by whipping them with a belt or hitting them with a wooden spoon. Is that how you show your daughter that you love her? You were physically, verbally, and emotionally abused. Don't make excuses for your parents, your siblings, or even your husband if he is contributing to your pain and lack of self esteem. Embrace that little girl inside of you. Recognize where all of your painful issues started. Until you take the blame off of yourself you won't truly begin to heal. You and I share much than our eating disorders and our love of music and poetry! I care! -m
  4. I've read your post a few times and I'm not sure I understand. Do you think you have repressed memories (something I am very familiar with) that you are ready to confront?
  5. Don't live "for them" ~ live FOR YOU! You will be a happier, more fulfilled person and they will both reap the benefits of living with a woman who is not only satisfied with her life, but anticipating each new day. I have only recently just started to learn how to do that with myself. It isn't easy and I don't have it all figured out. But I know it is a gift we give to our self. I started by looking at the mess inside myself that was caused by other people and going to work fixing it. If you have internal damage caused by others and you're living your life trying to make everyone else happy, and perhaps allowing them to do further damage, how are you going to be the person you want to be for you or for anybody else?
  6. We NEED to talk!! I want to REALLY talk...not here out in the open, though. I have kids and grandkids coming off and on all week starting tomorrow so I have to run to town so I have something to feed the masses. I'll will return and will send you a private message.
  7. rainingviolets


    Even if you don't post them, send them to me!! I don't understand why you stopped sharing them by posting them, but do what your writer's/poet's/artist's heart leads you to do.
  8. You're paying your therapist to help you discover what your problems are and help you work towards making your life better. If your therapist isn't doing that, it's time to find a new therapist. Of course a therapist can't just tell you what's wrong and how to fix it, but the two of you are supposed to work together to make this happen. It's not unusual to have to go through several therapists to find the one you "click" with.
  9. TRIGGER WARNING Not long after my breakdown I became good friends on a depression website (not this one) with a guy who constantly battled suicidal thoughts. This was during a time of my life when I lived with daily suicidal ideations. Late one night we happened to cross paths in a suicide thread when I was on the brink of following through with my plans. His obsession with ending his life actually played a big part with me hanging on to mine because I felt like he needed someone to encourage him to keep living. We bonded in the suicide forum over late night pity parties. It was a rather odd relationship! I thought it was amusing that my friend’s user name was RoyGBiv. Everyone I knew ~ including my 4 children ~ had learned the colors of the rainbow by being introduced to Roy G. Biv. What an unusual name choice for such a brooding, desperate guy! He had a terribly unhappy life and had absolutely no family or friends. He was a diabetic and had all sorts of diabetic-related health problems that kept him going in and out of the hospital. He was honest with me about being extremely overweight. He lived with chronic pain, which formed an immediate connection between us beyond our shared ponderings of suicide. Only another chronic pain sufferer is able to truly understand the agony of living with relentless pain every minute of every day. As Roy’s depression worsened, his messages to me became almost creepy as he became completely obsessed with thinking of a variety of ways to end his life. He was constantly ordering "supplies" from other countries off the Internet that he planned to use. He recommended books to me and sent me links to really horrible Internet sites. Everybody else on the forum disliked him because of his dark posts and ridiculous statements. I knew Roy needed help and encouraged him to find it, but I was just a faceless name that lived in his computer. He had no real people in his life that cared about him. It bothered Roy that I didn't need to plan or research to order "supplies" if I was going to follow through on my suicide plans. My pain medications fill a huge basket and most of them are potent narcotics. Every message Roy sent to me talked about how he was "going to do it" and that he "couldn't hang on another day" and that he was "totally giving up." I heard these threats several times a week for over a year. Since I was often in the same state of mind Roy was, I took these threats seriously. I shared my concerns about Roy with another friend on that forum. He told me that Roy was just bluffing because he liked the attention I gave him. The one thing that seemed to be holding Roy back was the fear that he would do an incomplete job and end up physically and/or mentally disabled or that he would be unsuccessful and would end up locked in a mental institution. He knew that I had traumatic experiences with being hospitalized involuntarily and that I could sympathize with his fear. One day I got an email from Roy telling me he just couldn't go on any longer. It was a message I had received from him many, many times before. His message came at a time when I was going through a bad time myself with physical pain. My son was graduating from high school the coming weekend and I was pushing myself to the limit getting ready for his huge graduation party ~ cleaning, shopping, cooking, decorating, and moving furniture. I had lists and lists of things to do and physically I was having a rough time. I didn't reply to Roy's message right away because I was hurting so badly myself that I didn't feel I could give him the same pep talk that I'd given him so many times before. Several days passed before I replied to his message. Evidently I had waited too long. I never heard from him again. I repeatedly sent him messages both by email and through personal messages on the forum, but he never replied. He also abruptly disappeared from that forum, never to be heard from again. He had never told me his real name or what state he lived in. The only information the forum administrators had for him was his email address, which I already had. He had no family or friends that would realize he was missing and could go check on him. I was devastated and overwhelmed with guilt. I'll never know if I had replied and encouraged him like I always did if he would have held on…but then I’ll never know for sure what happened. Maybe he just got angry at me that I ignored that last frantic message and stopped emailing me, although I doubt he would end our friendship over something like that. If he did finally do what he’d been threatening to do for over a year, I prayed that he would be missed from his place of employment and that sooner or later someone would go to his home and find him. In the years following Roy’s disappearance from my life I've gone through several almost-over-the-edge/I'm-going-to-do-it suicidal episodes. The same Internet friend that assured me Roy was just bluffing told me afterwards, "I knew you wouldn't do it." That “friend” was wrong. I really was going to do “it.” That "friend" and I rarely ever correspond any more. Thoughts of Roy have been circling like vultures overhead lately…scavengers waiting to pick through the remains of that friendship if I ever get around to pronouncing it dead. It’s been an extremely slow process, but I‘ve finally discerned the difference between what I thought was grief and what I knew was guilt…guilt that burned inside me and wouldn’t let me go. Webster’s College Dictionary defines guilt as "the state of one who has committed an offense especially consciously." The Dictionary of Psychology defines guilt as "An emotional state produced by the knowledge that one has violated moral standards." An article I read about guilt states, “The mind is full of despair and does not have any kind of hope to resolve the situation.” For years I’ve been hauling around this emotional baggage because I had waited to email Roy. With the weight from all of that guilt no wonder my disks are degenerating! But did I really commit this offense “especially consciously”? I’m on board with the hopeless despair, but if anyone violated moral standards here, it was Roy mixing his final cocktail. I’m finally ready to let go. I’m ready to release myself from this heavy guilt. The fire is over and I’m dealing with the ashes now. The vultures are free to land.
  10. rainingviolets


    How can I read them if you hide them??? Why no more creative pieces when you are so good at expressing yourself through them?
  11. My parents very actively and consciously created a competitive environment in our home. Life was a constant contest where they would favor one sibling over the others. Was there any kind of dynamic happening like that while you were growing up that your feelings of rejection might be rooted in?
  12. You would probably get more responses to your post if you copied and reposted it in the suicide forum. I hope you do that because what you say is from your heart and there are so many people here who have been in the exact place you are now: they don't see a purpose for themselves. I was in that place a few years ago. I was completely convinced that this world held nothing for me. Today my thinking is completely different. My life and mindset have totally changed. If I had followed through with my plans I would have missed so much! While it's beautifully romantic to think we each have only one soul mate, I've read that there are actually many people that we each would have a special "connection" to if only we would meet. You could meet someone else tomorrow or the next day. But the worth of our life isn't based on whether or not we have a special person in it or not. My life changed because I changed...it had nothing to do with meeting someone. "I know what I want: to see deeply, to thank deeply, to feel joy deeply. How my eyes see, perspective, is the key..." Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts
  13. Do you have a pet? If you don't it might help for you to get a dog or cat ~ something that you can show love to and who can love you back.
  14. I did the same thing you are doing several years ago and it was a godsend for me. I began communicating with people from all over the world who not only understood my physical pain, but also understood my emotional pain. I began writing to people between the ages of 16 and well into their seventies. I treasure these friendships from all over the world. I am much older than you are and realize you are probably looking for people more your age to communicate with. I wish you great success and hope you are able to form the lasting bonds of friendship and understanding that I have. If you ever need someone to listen, send me a message. I have several chronic pain diagnoses, as well as depression, an anxiety disorder, PTSD, repression, and an eating disorder.
  15. "Establishing boundaries for yourself is always hard. It will be especially difficult if your boundaries were severely violated in childhood. No one who has avoided childhood victimization can truly understand what these individuals go through. Of all the injuries that can be endured, this type causes severe spiritual and emotional damage.” ~ Boundaries, Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend My life reads like the story of an ugly battered doll that God threw out with the trash. I was raised in a very dysfunctional family. To the outside world we were a good Catholic family who attended church every Sunday and lived in one of the city's better suburbs. Very few people knew what went on inside of that lovely home. My father was a brutal, violent, and angry man. In public, he acted the part of the refined successful businessman. In private, he was crude, abusive, controlling, manipulative, and hostile. When something didn’t go the way he wanted or expected, we could be assured of a violent tantrum. My parents treated us badly and allowed all of us kids (8 of us) to treat each other badly. Foul language, constant ridicule, name calling, slapping, punching – we literally were forced into hating each other. As the youngest child, I got the brunt of the insults and the abuse. No one ever told me they loved me. I remember furniture being thrown, doors being kicked in, screams of pain, loud swearing, breaking dishes, and the constant repetition of having yelled at me that I was ugly, dumb, and worthless. I lived in constant fear and spent a lot of time hiding under the bed. I have blackouts about most of the incidents that happened while I was growing up. I see these huge lapses in my memory as a gift from God. The memories I do recall are so awful that the ones that the Lord blessed me by removing from my mind must have been truly terrifying. Life in our house was a constant competition among the 8 of us for some crumb of parental approval, which my parents greatly encouraged. As kids our worth was measured primarily by our grades, our physical attractiveness, and our weight. As adults our worth was measured by who we married, the value of our home, and if the grandchildren we produced were attractive and intelligent. I lived my entire life successfully repressing, controlling, and/or ignoring the abuse and pain of the past. It was a skill which, kept sharpened and shined, served me well. From the time when my memory “kicks in”, which is some time around my freshman year of college, I have been a perfection-driven person. It’s never been a mystery why I’m that way, because even with my damaged memory I know that it was hammered into me from birth that nothing less than the best was acceptable to my parents. The environment I was raised in, aside from being abusive, was cut-throat competitive. The only way I know how to do anything is to give 150 percent of myself and then feel guilty that I didn’t give 160 percent. In the book Boundaries the authors, Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, write: “To let go of what you never had is difficult.” When I read that I KNEW that was why I kept giving my parents another chance. Those words made me realize I was holding on to nothing. When I ultimately made the break from my parents I was physically sick for days. My teeth hurt. I finally figured out I was clenching them tightly all day waiting for the ground to open up and suck me down into hell for upsetting my parents. There was all kinds of drama with phone calls and letters. The authors go on to say, “Many people are cut off by the family they grew up in when they stop playing the family’s dysfunctional games.” That is exactly what happened to me. My parents got custody of all the siblings. None of them would speak to me…and out of 7 siblings to this day only one has any contact with me. I cried for a long time. I felt sad. I had let go of what I never had ~ parents who cared about me. I had long ago given up hoping for parents who loved me. After several months passed I realized that I had stopped crying and I no longer felt sad. Days could go by and I didn’t even think about them. Letting go doesn’t mean we don’t care. It’s having faith that things will work out. In one of Max Lucado’s books he writes, “You could be the world’s best daughter, but if your father is a jerk he still won’t tell you so.” That thought stayed with me for many years because the wording at the end of it can be so easily changed: You could be the world’s best daughter but if your mother is a jerk she’ll still make your life miserable. You could be the world’s best daughter but if your father is a jerk he’ll still break your heart. I think Lucado’s point was that the fault in this kind of dysfunctional relationship does not lie with us. Demystifying it all allowed it to become something of which I was no longer so afraid. There was nothing I could do to change the way my parents were going to act, so I needed to stop beating myself up over something I had no control over. The only person who was able to stop my parents from acting like a “jerk” was my parents. I needed to learn to walk away from these situations and these people…and so I did. That inescapable dungeon of pain wasn’t inescapable after all. The author Nicole Johnson says that we are like Swiss cheese, and the holes in us are actually supposed to be there. The holes are the things that make us who we are. I spent so many years trying to plug up those holes before I realized that they were part of the landscape of my life. Walking away from my parents ultimately meant cutting my entire birth family from my life. That process was painful. Sometimes doing the right thing doesn’t cover us with warm fuzzies. However, it protected my own children from the abusive, dysfunctional people who had destroyed my life. It was the act that helped me to successfully break a link…the chain of generational abuse stopped with my family, although it was passed on through my siblings. It was also the first positive step I took in healing my own battered life. Townsend and Cloud write that, “To forgive means we will never get from that person what was owed us. And that is what we do not like, because that involves grieving for what will never be: the past will not be different.” Job 11: 16 ~ 18 “You will surely forget your trouble, Recalling it only as waters gone by. Life will be brighter than noonday, And darkness will become like morning. You will be secure, because there is hope; You will look about you and take your rest in safety.”
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