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Everything posted by rainingviolets

  1. This is definitely a pet peeve of mine. Why does everyone think they have to have a SOMEONE to be a SOMEBODY? I raised my children with the mindset that they are enough. They will never need anyone else to prove they have self worth, improve their self esteem, or show society or the world that they are successful. They are a complete person. Their success and fulfillment in life can not be achieved through or by any other person. I have four children. In spite of the message my children were raised with, two of my daughters married their high school sweethearts immediately after their college graduation. My son, who was known for his high school harem and picking his dates from all the area high schools, tried out a dating website and immediately found a lovely wife. However, my oldest daughter, who is a very attractive, successful doctor, has CHOSEN to remain single. She was once engaged to a young man with a successful career, but realized that she wanted to fully focus on her career. She had watched women in med school struggle to juggle their career with babies and marriage and knew that was not for her. She broke the engagement. She owns a beautiful condo, travels extensively, speaks all over at medical conferences, has a thriving social life, volunteers a lot, is financially well off, and is incredibly happy. She is an important part of our family and is the fun aunt. Lots of married women would love her life. Her dad and I are so proud of her. I am so glad I raised her to know that she is enough. Please know that all of you - all of us - are enough. We don't need anyone else to prove we have self worth. Stop focusing on finding someone else and start living and enjoying your life. It's the only one you've got.
  2. Reading this reminded me of a counseling session I took my adult niece to at our church well over 25 years ago. She was crying, dramatically telling the pastor what a horrible mother my sister-in-law had been. Compared to the way you and I were raised, her childhood was a fairytale, but I realized even then that it was all about perspective and that my niece had some serious emotional problems. I'm sure her mom was at the root of many of them. At one point the pastor looked at me and asked, "What do YOU think about all of this?" I told him no one had to pass a test to be a parent. Sadly, anyone can do it. There are no job interviews, background checks, references required, or skills needed. It doesn't matter if a person is physically or mentally unfit, morally corrupt, financially unstable, or a serial killer. Anyone qualifies. We need a license to catch a fish but anybody can deeply scar an innocent child for life. I find that heartbreaking. You and I are in that club that no one wants to a member of.
  3. One of these days I'm going to spell your name the correct way!
  4. Hi old friend, I've been here twice and tried to leave a comment, but wasn't able to. I finally realized it was because I wasn't signed in. You're not the only one the Screw Up Fairy messes with. I'm sorry this time of year is so difficult for you. I honestly couldn't tell you the date my mother passed away and the only reason I remember my father's death date is because he died the day after my birthday, which was somehow fitting. He couldn't bother driving my mother to the hospital so he made her take a cab in active labor and she had to carry her own suitcase up the hospital steps. I almost died during birth, which would have been a great cause for celebration for my dad and my seven siblings at home - and they never let me forget it. I can't relate to the feelings of sorrow and grief you are feeling about the loss of the dad you loved. Even though I was always blessed with friends in my journey through abuse, dysfunction, and emotional issues, I always felt that I was the odd one and didn't fit in. I lived a life shrouded in secrecy. Even my very best friends didn't know what went on behind closed doors, although they and their parents were aware I was "troubled". As the repression continues to slowly lift, I'm becoming more aware that my teachers must have known that there was something "off" or "not quite right" about me, but that was a time when the school didn't interfere. I'm grateful it didn't. It would have only created a more explosive environment at home. The Lord must have known I needed those friends to get me through those years! Even today, with the blessed life I am fortunate to have moved on to, I realize I am still going through the long healing process. I still feel like the odd ugly duckling in a roomful of lovely, graceful swans. You and I both have scars, Dwayne. Scars fade, but they don't go away. Earlier today I was looking at the huge scar on my arm from the melanoma surgery I had when I was still working at the church. Not a great time in my life. The day I had my biggest surgery the youth pastor gave me a gift at the hospital - a book that prepared a cancer patient for death! He was never good at his job. I had the biggest, ugliest gaping scar on my arm for a long time. It really grossed people out. But I survived. Over the years that gaping scar grew together, healed, and today is still visable and always will be, but it sure has faded. Most people don't even notice it anymore, but I know it's there. Our scars from childhood are just like that. I don't care what the best counselors or theologians say. Scars fade, but they don't go away - even the emotional ones. Maybe especially the emotional ones. And they're the hardest ones to cope with and live with, because other people can't see them and forget that they're there. Even the people closest to us. I had seriously been thinking about leaving this site one last time and never ever returning. I have a lot of ick I'd like to discuss, but this place has turned into a clique where about 5 or 6 people are here just for each other. When someone new shows up they post once or twice and then are gone, because this place exists for the clique. I'm an odd duck who doesn't fit in even among people who are as messed up as I am! Your blog entry made me realize that somebody understands. Thank you, Dwayne. It's so sad that your pain made me cry and feel just a little bit better. -mary
  5. My son's philosophy in tackling new projects, trying new things, or embarking on anything he questions his ability to do is "Be a Risk Taker." He says even if he fails, he gets some satisfaction from knowing that he took a risk to succeed at something. Most often, he is successful. He has passed this philosophy on to some of his friends who tended to be hesitant to try new things, were concerned they might fail, or were simply procrastinators. It's worked for them, so I thought I'd pass it along. Personally, I am not a risk taker. Our financial advisor has my husband's and my investment portfolio in the "moderately conservative risk" category and even that makes me nervous.
  6. Ouch. I was born into an abusive, dysfunctional family that was ruled by Never Enough, or more exactly, Never Good Enough. Report cards were expected to be perfect. If I wasn't shamed about grades, it was weight. If it wasn't weight, it was posture. A silver medal at the state science fair should have been gold. If wasn't a first place finish, it didn't count. Disappointing dad and mom, especially dad, in our abusive home was never pleasant. I lived in terror of my father. By the time I was sent off to college I was an eating disordered perfectionist with no self esteem suffering from PTSD, a repressed childhood, and a wagon load full of emotional illnesses I was completely unaware of. My friends from that time of my life recall me as "a completely shattered person." That life continued after college as there were extreme parental expectations that I marry a college graduate with a worthwhile degree who had already settled into a successful career (I did). I was expected to embark on a successful career of my own, live in a lovely parentally-approved home, and raise well-behaved, attractive, talented, perfect grandchildren (which I also did). Everything in my life had to be something my parents could brag about to others and use as a tool to continue to foster lifelong competition among all my siblings. From birth we were placed in an ongoing battle to outdo each other which is why none of us speak to each other today even though our parents have been dead for years. Of my parents' 8 children, I was the family perfectionist/anorexic/people-pleaser/intellectual as well as the one determined to break the generational chains of abuse and dysfunction. That didn't stop my parents from continuing to drum into my head that I was fat, dumb, ugly, a poor excuse for a mother, etc.etc. They described their genius grandkids as " not worth the dynamite to blow them up" and "never amounting to a row of outhouses." Eventually my birth family was banished from our life, but the damage had already been done. I was a mess. I recovered after a very ugly, painful breakdown. Although I had to confront and make peace with glimpses of trauma, memories, and flashbacks of abuse that escaped out of repression, it was actually my faith that rescued me. You said part of your problem was religion. In childhood I was taught a works-based religion based on being good enough. We are sinful, imperfect humans. It was when I was introduced and understood God's marvelous gift of grace, I realized if I am good enough for the Lord in my imperfect, sinful state, then I am simply "enough" for the people in my life who matter...and for me. I have given myself ulcers, anxiety attacks, migraines, and more in my pursuit of perfection. Not any more. I am finally happy. I still have my emotional struggles, but perfectionism and constantly trying to outdo myself is no longer among them.
  7. Yes!! Fur pets are the best! I call my cat my therapy cat. She loves me just because I'm me. To know there is this one being who loves completely unconditionally and unjudgmentally is wonderful. It also reminds me of the story of the little boy who was scared of thunder at night and told his mom he didn't want to be alone. She reminded him that Jesus was always with him. He replied. "But Mom, I want someone with skin on!"
  8. It has obviously taken me quite awhile to comment on this blog entry. For someone as wordy as I usually am, I honestly didn't know how to respond. Why? Well, it took awhile but I figured out I can relate to pain, depression, all kinds of abuse, family dysfunction, suicidal ideologies, medication issues, emotional problems, eating disorders, and child issues, as well as being very opinionated on politics and current events. But loneliness had me stumped. So I had to think about it even more. Surely someone with my traumatic background related to loneliness, didn't I? Actually, no. In spite of the veil of repression that blocks a great deal of my past, I am aware enough to realize that I have been blessed with incredible (and some not so incredible) friendships. As time went on there were people here and elsewhere online that I was fortunate to add to that list. My birth family may have been horrible, but I hit the lottery with my husband, children, their spouses, and my grandkids. Until they passed away, my in-laws became the mom and dad I always dreamed of. There have been wonderful Christians who have stepped in along the way to help and mentor me. But when I really thought about it, none of these important people in my life are the reason I have not been lonely, at least since the age of 19. That's when I began my walk of true faith. Not the one I was handed as a child from my abusive family and told "this is what we believe, this our denomination, and you now believe this and are this, too." It was when I finally understood the sacrifice of the Cross and accepted the free gift of grace. When I did that, I started a personal, ongoing conversation with my Lord which has not stopped to this day. I'm never lonely, because I am never alone.
  9. I have lived with chronic pain for almost 20 years (degenerative disk disease, fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, and more) and for about 18 years lived with chronic insomnia. Until someone has lived with 24/7 chronic pain and no sleep, they truly don't understand that the English language has no words to adequately describe our pain experience. You have my sympathy and my understanding.
  10. Speaking from experience with this matter, "hopeless" relates to a period of time and a set of circumstances. Both are subject to change. At the time we experience hopelessness, it makes us feel so desperate, overwhelmed, and emotionally dismal that it manipulates our thoughts into believing our life will always be this dark and empty and will never get better. As difficult as it is to be patient and wait, in my case years, life can surprise you. Time moves forward. Circumstances change. Sometimes medication or therapy is needed. Talking to people who have been there, like right here to people who have survived or are experiencing what you are right now, helps a lot. Why not give us a try. I once was hopeless. Now I'm not.
  11. May I make a suggestion? As the Grassroots sing in a very old song, you're ..."looking for love in all the wrong places." When women go shopping they're hunting for "stuff", not people. They are busy, distracted, and focused no matter what age they are. Instead of looking in stores, why not try some more natural places - work, school, social gatherings, or (my favorite place to meet all kinds of people of all ages) the park. Everyone seems open and friendly when they are not rushed, out in nature, and casual. Take a book and go there and read. Take a stroll. Sit and drink a cup a coffee. Most important - SMILE.
  12. I have never used a dating app but my son did. He met a lovely young woman who is now my daughter-in-law and the mother of 4 of my grandchildren. I think it was a great idea!
  13. I'm probably not the person you want to hear medication drama from, but it has a somewhat happy ending. Back in the day when we used to communicate I was drugged to the max. I was one of the fortunate chronic pain patients that doctors weren't afraid to help before the oxycotin and fentanyl crisis hit. After we stopped writing I was loaded with even more drugs. At one point there were 18 prescriptions bottles on the kitchen counter, and that didn't include the high dose fentanyl patch I wore. I had tried for years to get my doctor to take me off the fentanyl patch, but she was always concerned I would morph back into that suicidal, pathetic, eating-disordered creature writhing in pain and problems and PTSD she'd been presented with years previously. She'd rescued me from the pit with her prescriptions pad! What if she took away their magic? You want to see people freak out? Tell them you're legally addicted to fentanyl. They will immediately treat you like a street junkie. When I would casually mention I also had medically-approved prescriptions for stuff like Extra-strength Vicodin, they'd just about choke on their spit. Enter our state's new law about primary care physicians not prescribing narcotics. Oops. My doctor had to refer me to a pain management specialist simply to get the meds renewed that I'd been taking for years. Thus began my visits to a long line of assorted clowns who were granted the title "doctor" probably because they graduated last in their medical school class. The "good" thing that came out of that Adventure In Torture was that I was told repeatedly with shocked faces and tense voices, "I can't prescribe you THAT!" I was also told that dying cancer patients weren't prescribed fentanyl patches at doses as high as mine were. Then why were they made? Who needs pain relief more than someone who is dying? But I digress...At this point the decision was made for me to detox off fentanyl. This is a rather amusing story that illustrates the total ineptitude of certain pain specialists, but that would cause me to digress again, which I won't. As my regular doctor has said for years, I have a non-addictive personality and, even though I'd been medically hooked on fentanyl for 18 years, we parted ways with relative ease and minimum discomfort. Here's where it gets good. Very slowly, after I'd completed withdrawal, I realized I was experiencing a new sensation I hadn't felt in years. What was it called? Oh yes! Thinking! What had been diagnosed as fibro fog or brain fog from my fibromyalgia dissipated. Colors looked brighter. My family said my mood was better and I seemed happier. And for the first time in a long time I could sincerely say I enjoyed my life. The trade-off, of course, was the horrible increase in pain. I was told I'd become so acclimated to the drug that it was probably no longer effective at reducing pain. They were wrong about that. I don't care. I'm learning to push through the pain and be a fairly active grandma. Then I considered, if taking away one drug improved my mental outlook so much, maybe I needed to start whittling away at those 18 bottles. I've gotten rid of a few. Many my doctor and doctor daughter say are necessary. I've taken a break but I'm determined to get rid of more of those bottles. I am not saying that medications are wrong. I fully agree with my doctor that the pitiful woman she encountered almost 20 years ago wouldn't be where she is today without those meds. She had to tone down the physical pain to uncover the explosive buried emotional pain...which required more meds...while more pesky physical problems would pop up...and then more ugly emotional garbage. We juggled specialists as often as we did meds! For now, though, many have served their purpose. I know how much medications can help get us from a place of pain and frustration to a place of healing. I hope you can find what works best for you. It's so strange to feel like I have a functioning mind again. I didn't realize it was so far gone until I was gifted it back again. We can't recapture those years we've lost, Dewayne. I've realized I lost a big chunk of my life...an important part. At some point we need to put the past behind. For me that not only included almost 20 years of being emotionally and physically handicapped, but my entire childhood and well into my adult life as a part of a dysfunctional, abusive family. Excuse me while I get just a little churchy with you: Several years ago the emotional pain from my birth family was almost crippling. Emotionally I could no longer handle the flashbacks, the curiosity about the years of repressed memories, the horror of what I could remember, and the current pain those people continued to inflict on me. I went through a very visual mental exercise of walking up to the Cross and leaving all of those people and dumping all of that garbage and ugly baggage at the foot of the Cross. Then I visualized myself leaving it all there and walking away. I have never looked back. -mary
  14. I'm not sure what you mean by "radical Christian." If you're worried your son is involved in a cult, that's definitely something to be concerned about. If you mean legalism, that's not harmful, but it's not exactly beneficial to him either. That's more a matter of choice. Radical can also mean how passionate you believe in something. While I don't witness on street corners, hit people over the head with my Bible, shout at passersby to repent from my rooftop, or push my beliefs on people who aren't interested, I consider myself passionate about my faith. Am I radical about it? I read my Bible and pray daily, consider myself a born again Christian, and am a member of a nondenomenational evangelical church. To some people that would make me radical, but I'm definitely not dangerous (except perhaps to a particular polical party - am allowed to say that?!) It all depends on your perspective. You don't mention how old your son is. That would also be a factor. Is he old enough, wise enough, and aware enough to think through what he believes and why he believes it, or could he use a little guidance? As young children, my own children were raised in the beliefs their dad and I share. However, I always told them that when they were ready, if they ever had questions about different religions or churches, we would get them the answers and even attend one of those churches with them if they were curious. I told them that it didn't matter what the sign said in front of the building. The important thing was doctrine. Children learn through their questioning and curiosity. While my kids were growing up we had many incredible discussions about faith, religion, the Bible, and those debates and discussions continue to this day. I consider that a great thing. Start a friendly dialog with your son.
  15. There's a little addendum I'd like to add to my story. I have a brother who lives on the other side of the country from where I live. Except for exchanging Christmas cards with a couple of my siblings (with only our names signed) there is virtually no communication among the family any more. This brother bullied and abused me during my entire childhood. Yesterday I received an email from him. It was a newsy message about his life, but there was one hateful paragraph devoted to our father. Our dad passed away many years ago. My brother is now an old man at the end of his life. How very sad that after all this time he is still surrounding himself in a dark cocoon of misery over circumstances that happened decades ago. I had many family abusers. He had only one. I gave myself the gift of healing by giving myself permission to leave those toxic people in the past and move forward. Those traumatic years rarely cross my mind any more. I enjoy my life. Paul says in the book of Philippians, "I have learned the secret of being content in every situation." (NIV) I never thought I'd get here! I doubt my brother ever will. Give yourself that gift!
  16. It may seem like you have a mixed bag of complicated issues, but I think you'll find once you get to know people here that many of us are in similar circumstances. Many of us are dealing with emotional, physical, social, relationship, and family problems. Quite honestly, when I showed up here many years ago I was a total mess with a boatload of issues. This website was a busy, thriving community back then and I credit the friendships I formed, the kindness I was shown, the helpful words and advice extended to me, and simply having a place to go to "hang out" when I was feeling extra down to the progress I made. I have been in and out of here through the years. I've changed my username several times. I've started and deleted many blogs. But even though things are quieter and slower here now, I always find my way back. All of that to say: give this place and these people a chance to give you a little direction. Sonetimes all you need is an ear to listen, a little kindness, and a new friend to get you started down the right path. ❤
  17. I can't believe you wrote this in May and I'm just just seeing it now. I pop in and out of DF but never think to check the blogs. All of our good friends from years past are long gone from here so I never expected you to be visiting your blog. I've changed my username several times so I don't remember what you knew me by...was it cookiecrumbs? You knew my real name is Mary and that I'm married with 4 kids who I used to love writing about. They are now grown up and have made me a grandmother 10 (almost 11!) times. I deleted my blog years ago, started another one under a different name a couple of different times, and deleted those also. The change in this place is so incredibly sad! It used to be such a thriving community of good, close friends. I appreciated all of you so much back then when I was struggling so badly. We had such good talks and shared so much. Those were special friendships. After Joanna left things started changing. It sounds like you were going through another rough spell when you were writing last spring. I am so sorry! You've lost so many people in your life you were close to. I remember you and I had chronic pain in common. I pray that you are at least doing better physically. I miss your trademark Deebear humor that often found its way into your writing - no screw-up fairy? Or wasn't that her name? I also wonder if you are still the exotic plant man with the wonderful green thumb for growing gardening wonders. Life started to improve for me when I banished my toxic, abusive, dysfunctional birth family from my life. I still live with several chronic pain issues, but I've learned to adjust and accept that they will always be a part of my life. My strong faith has helped me conquer most of my emotional problems, but I still struggle with the effects of PTSD and repression/flashbacks. My eating disorder rears it's ugly head now and then and that dance begins again, but it comes and goes. The depression and suicidal thoughts have been gone for several years, and for that I am sincerely grateful. I know that my greatest blessings are my husband, my children, their spouses, and our ever- growing tribe of grandchildren. The youngest is barely 2 weeks old and she is a charmer! I hope you stop back in and see this. You truly will be in my thoughts and prayers! -mary
  18. Today I talked to a friend that I haven't seen in almost 30 years.
  19. "What did you think the last days were going to be like? A picnic?" - Jan Markell
  20. Nothing. My eating disorder is raging and I'm dancing with dragon once more.
  21. As a survivor from a toxic, abusive, dysfunctional family I think you are asking the wrong question. The question shouldn't be "Is this an apology?" Your question should be "Will allowing this person back into my life be healthy for me or improve my life?" Only you can answer that question. Before you answer it please think your response through carefully with both your heart AND your head. ❤
  22. Of course you're allowed to feel depressed! You're at an age when everything in your life is getting extra complicated and confusing. You have big questions and aren't sure who to ask them to or if they even have answers. The next few years may be rough for you. That's why it is excellent that you are identifying now that you may have a problem with depression so you can get help. If you are self harming, then you also need to recognize that is also a problem you need to deal with now before it gets worse. My teen years were traumatic, and it saddens me when I hear about any young person experiencing emotional pain during those years. Coming here to ask questions and reach out was a great first step. People here understand what you are going through. Talking helps. Are your parents or is anyone in your family aware you are struggling? Is there a close friend, trusted teacher, school counselor, or family member you could talk to? Have you tried keeping a journal to write your feelings out? Continue to come here and talk to us.
  23. This is the best answer yet. After college, I escaped my dysfunctional, abusive family by marrying and moving to another state. Distance did nothing from keeping my toxic, narcisstic father and the rest of my abusive family from poisoning my life. It was only until I refused to allow them to do to my children what they continued to do to me that I pulled the plug and stopped all visits and communication. At first I felt like a horrible person, but then my emotional healing began. Over the next several years life improved for me dramatically. After my mother's death, my father remarried and I slowly allowed myself to re-enter that family. Nothing had changed. It was just as toxic and abusive as ever. My father was still the King of Narcissists. What had changed was me. Fortunately, I quickly recognized that the problem was them and not me. Their horrible words and behavior this time didn't destroy me. I don't need those people in my life. Once again, I freed myself from my toxic family. The legacy I leave to my children is that, at least within our family unit, I broke the generational chain of abuse, toxicity, and narcissism. Do what is best for your emotional healing.
  24. No problem...I became a grandmother (again) late last night to a gorgeous princess so I am immensely happy and all is well in my world. There is absolutely nothing like being a grandparent- it is the best! Baby Hope (isn't that name great?) is #10. #11 is due later this fall. My life has been difficult, but I am blessed.
  25. Don't base how you feel today on how you expect to feel five or ten years from now. Depression is not a life sentence. I have experienced more than one deeply disturbing depressive episode in my life. Mine were caused due to genetics, PTSD from a traumatic childhood, chronic pain, years of living with an eating disorder, and working in a stressful environment. My last horrific episode was 15 years ago which almost ended in suicide. The only reason I survived was because of a bargain I made with God, and He came through in a big way. I don't recommend tempting The Almighty. I was definitely not smart, but thankfully I am still here today. I say thankfully because my life today looks absolutely nothing like that shattered life of 15 years ago. I still live with chronic pain, PTSD, bad genetics, and the effects of that eating disorder, although I did resign from that stressful job. What essentially changed was ME - my outlook, my perspective. It took time. It took medication. It took my family. It took me taking advantage of all the tools available to heal. Give yourself the gift of time. Take advantage of therapy, medication, and whatever else is recommended. Be good to yourself and give yourself some grace. It gets better!
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