Rumination

worried-girl-413690_1920I sit here and sometimes I can’t believe how bad things have gotten. I haven’t wanted to write because it seems if you share an opinion that does not follow lockstep with the loud verbose “I’m following the science and you are selfish” side you are berated sometimes to the point of not caring to talk to anyone.

It is heartbreaking how much more mean we have become since we put on masks. Oh things were bad before because of who is president, but the minute that we were forced to put on masks the more perfidious we have come to be.

Yes, I said forced to wear masks. We have been forced by science and a media that can’t seem to decide what is the best way to combat this virus, but would very much like us to stay in a fearful state and believe that they are the only ones that are going to save us. Ronald Reagan once said, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” He was right. People that I never thought would bow to tyranny are willing to put their convictions, morals and even spiritual beliefs on pause or suspend them all together and it scares me!

I have been called selfish, uncaring, small minded, vicious, told that if I had friends before this I shouldn’t after, told that I should not call myself a Christian, that I care for no one but myself and the list goes on. Some of those were from people I thought were friends. I have to be very careful who I talk to and what I say to them, not because I am telling secrets or that I am bad mouthing anyone….it’s because I have a differing opinion. It hurts my heart and drains my soul. I can’t disagree with anyone I know, because I get called those things or the relationship is damaged, so I become a keyboard warrior with people I don’t know and don’t have any relationship with and even then find myself just walking away because it’s too damaging.

I decided to come here and write out some of my thoughts and the heck with the consequences.

1). Why is it that if lockdowns were so successful that the curve did not flatten much faster? Even with partial compliance it should have effected the virus at a much faster rate than it did.

2.) If masks worked why has there been an uptick in cases? Even with 60% compliance that shouldn’t have happened, or at least to the degree that they would like us to believe that there were.

3). My time is determined here on earth. It is not going to change because a virus has decided to change the way we all live life.

4). We all have a 50/50% chance of getting it; either we will or we won’t.

5). We are teaching our children to be afraid of their own shadows, that fear fuels life.

6). We are teaching our children that being mean and calling each other names is the way to behave.

7). We are teaching our children that violent protests are good. That rioting is ok to get your point across.

8). We are teaching our children that the government should run our lives and that they aren’t there to govern, but to tell us what to do, when to do it and how to do it (wow that was so incredibly frightening to type).

9). I do care about you even if I don’t want to wear a mask. In fact I care more about you than you do about me. I don’t want to force my beliefs on you, but you sure want me to comply with yours. You are scared and I get that and I have no problem if you think the mask makes you safer, go right ahead and wear it. I promise not to sneeze, cough, or spit on you at all. But please be aware that I do pick up things in the store to look at them and I may not have hand sanitized while walking in.

10). I care that you do not want to go where people are, stay home that is the best place for you. There are thousands of podcasts, video teachings, live stream events if you wish to “go to church” or even concerts. I care so much that if I don’t go my mouth may once again run away with me and I will not be kind nor will I be nice next time you impugn my character.

11). Why are we so afraid to use medicines that have shown efficacy in doctor’s practices simply because the president said it worked. (please do not use the argument that it has side effects. So does Tylenol for goodness sakes)?

12) Why is it that my moral character is constantly called into question because I am not willing to put my reliance on people like Dr. Fauci who was found to not be wearing his mask, along with his wife who is a nurse and bioethicist who serves as the head of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, at a baseball game? Or when he told us masks don’t work, or that he has a stake in one of the pharmaceutical companies that makes a medicine that is far more expensive and may help.

There are so many more things I could ask or say, but they all circle back to the some of the others. I don’t go out much anymore because it’s not worth ridicule, viciousness, and fear surrounding me all the time.  I’m tired of trying to speak out, I am tired of trying to fight an uphill battle. However, one thing those that are perpetuating the kind of malevolent behavior or wallowing in fear need to be aware of…..I think there are many more of “me” than there are of “you” and I don’t think you are going to like the outcome come November or when God takes His people home .

 

(any nasty, rude or verbally abusive comments will be removed without warning)

Me and Quarantine

mask-4964590This has been hard. Harder than some other things I have faced. I have mentioned before I have bipolar II disorder. I have learned to live and control it without medications. It wasn’t because the medications were bad, they were just bad for me. I am by no means saying that this is the way to handle this mental disorder, I am just saying that it is the best way for me to handle it. Well until “lockdown” happened.

Normally it is just like a basic static noise in the background unless I am cycling hard. Then the volume gets turned up slightly. However, lately it has been so very loud in my head. I have heard myself snapping in anger, saying things that had virtually disappeared from my vocabulary and feeling trapped.

Things that I would do to combat the noise have been taken away. I cannot go visit my favorite public garden and just enjoy the flowers, I cannot just go window shopping, or go to national parks or just about anything. Yes, I agree, I could go for a walk, but for some reason I am also challenged right now with the inability to walk ( I have a genetic disorder in my spine that caused a fusion in 2013). My sciatic nerve has decided that it needs to be firing causing my right leg and back to hurt when I walk more than a very short distance.

What has really been difficult is social media. I guess I have been looking for that connection with people that don’t live in my house. I have found that I don’t like as many people as I thought I did. I have unfollowed a lot of people just so I don’t engage in yet another battle with people that I supposedly like. Then there have been the few, very few, that I have unfriended. On a normal day I don’t suffer fools gladly, but I find that I don’t want to even suffer then on a not so normal day.

Just recently a person that I am not overly fond of in real life got up on their hind legs and decided that, not for the first time, they were going to admonish me for my behavior on my own page. I’ll admit I will debate if I have taken a stand that I feel is right and just. But the one thing that no one can ever say about me is that I waffle and I don’t stand on my convictions. I will say that in this place in time it is not the time to challenge me because I will just make you go away (the unfollow button on Facebook is awesome). Tick me off enough and unfriend is in your immediate future. I don’t have to be your friend on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

The static in my head does not allow for me to offer as much grace as I would normally.  Sometimes I know too much about you personally to want to deal with you on social media. Sometimes I don’t really like dealing with you in real life so right now I can’t deal with you in a forum where keyboard warriors (myself included) abound.

I hope that soon the powers that be will see that what we have been doing in this time is really not working like it should have. That they will release us from lockdown so that we can breath again, work again, and be free as we should be.

 

I Don’t Think I Can

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I sit here and I read everyone getting up on their hind legs and telling everyone else what they want them to do, they want them to stay home. They want to flatten the curve, that it isn’t that hard, that our grandparents had to go to war and we only have to “go to couch”…I am here to tell you it is that hard.

For most of my younger life I lived this life of quarantine. My mother had 4 heart attacks before I was 16 and she never drove. My father traveled for work and was not home much until after I started school, so I was home all the time with her. My mom tried really hard, but she was confined to a bed in the living room off and on as I grew up. She taught me how to make paper dolls and I learned really well how to play by myself. I had some good memories, but I think it is a big part of why I am an introvert. I escaped into books and tried to copy how crafty she was, but it was lonely.

I heard my parents argue and worry about how they were going to pay the bills because my mom was sick or something went wrong with the car and my dad was the only one working. I was young, but some things just imprint on you.

Granted there were times where I played with friends and we went places (but only when my dad was home). Yet my world was pretty small. So now here we are almost 40 years later and we are being forced to quarantine in our homes. We will eventually not be able to pay our bills, we will not have arrested the virus by these actions (strictly my opinion and you are welcome to disagree if you like, but do so politely.  I will delete nastiness.) and we haven’t gained anymore than we should have just being the people that Christ has called us to be.

I sit here and I guess I begin to revert to that little kid who sometimes felt trapped in her own home. I hear people who can work from home calling it not such a big deal (yeah you, the one telecommuting……you still get a paycheck) and I remember not being able to do things because we didn’t have enough money or I couldn’t go because my mom didn’t drive and my dad was away so someone had to be home with mom.

I think to some degree this is the worst I have handled anything. I don’t want to think about your feelings because I can’t get a handle on mine. I don’t want to hear one more time about social distancing or sheltering in place because that was my life for so long. I absolutely do not hate my mom for her illness, but I am really beginning to not like a lot of other people in the present.

I’ll be over here and it’s best to leave me alone because I don’t think I can……….

Unsettled

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Where do I start? I don’t know. I am still shook about the nasty message I got last night. Someone I not seen or heard from in forever storms back in and begins to berate me? Yeah, that is not sitting well with my soul. My inclination is to school them, publicly on a few things, but that is my flesh talking. I am sitting here pouting because the Holy Spirit has a restraining hand on my typing. It would not be profitable, but it sure would feel good.

I think in this life there are times that we have to create family because our own flesh and blood are not who we need in our lives to be content. I was rarely content when interacting with ANY of my flesh and blood family. Yes, some of my thoughts and opinions were colored by my parents and how they felt, but there were actions and deeds that tinted how I perceived things. There are most definitely three sides to every story and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. My dad is a good man. He is patient, but most definitely aloof. My mom had an acerbic tongue and could cut you off at the knees, but she also had soft heart. Much like our home, when my dad would have rather not connected with his family, my mom was the one who prompted him to reach out. There were some to whom I know my dad was close, because it was never about the old feuds, it was just about love. Now he is just trying to keep his head above water caring for a wife who is leaving us piece by piece.

I need to let go of the indignation and the need to just “let it rip”, it is not what needs to be done. I long ago forgave the players, now I am being forced to let it go again. I was told that I was prayed for and I won’t turn down prayer, however, I too will pray, yet it is prayer to change how I see this person and others, so that I can be settled in my soul.

Haters Gonna Hate

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Yes, I know it’s very late and yet here I am writing. I am wide awake because I chose to check my email after awaking to a noise and received a nastygram on this blog from someone I haven’t heard from in years. Surprise, it was from “family”.

The comment will be deleted because I am not going to entertain that kind of nonsense after addressing it once, here….. No matter how you believe things to be, you don’t get to tell others what they have experienced is wrong, you didn’t/don’t live their life and from your end things probably looked a lot different, however, you don’t get to negate their experience just because you don’t like it.

You don’t get to sneak around peeking in from the outside and pass judgement on them if you haven’t spoken to or contacted them in years (like close to 30). You don’t get to try and chastise them now when you have been MIA. You also don’t tell someone that you have prayed for them and then and then backhand them in the next sentence. You can try, but in my experience that usually leads to dirty laundry being aired.

My experiences are exactly that, MINE. They are what I have lived and am living out with my family here and now. If you don’t like how I see them that is for you to work out, not send a “bless your heart” email thinking that you have made things right, that the record is now correct.

Despite not having extended family in our lives, we as a whole, are happy. My parents are doing the best that they can without extended family and I know they are ok with that. I know, like me, they don’t miss what didn’t exist. Just as this “family” member has the right to be indignant on their parent’s part I do too. I can be upset that my father was not included in goings on and had to find out that children were born or lives were being lived by a third party and I know that it hurt his heart. I can be upset that communication that had dwindled rapidly to a once a year phone call (sometimes) on a birthday did not make him feel loved and missed. I also know that he cringed when my mother and I were provoked to wrath on his part because he never felt he should rock the boat (probably because he knew he would receive a nastygram or call and didn’t want to deal with it).

I admit many years ago I stumbled and said some things I shouldn’t and offense was taken. I apologized sincerely, but I couldn’t and can’t make it be accepted. However, don’t lurk and sneak about and then believe it is your duty to berate me for my experiences, my perceptions and writing about it. I choose to “ramble” about my what I am dealing with or what I am contemplating at the time. YOU are not required to read it.

BTW the people that are around me? Some of them are family……CHOSEN family.

 

 

Frayed

stress-2061408_1280“I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world…

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I’m too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left”

These two verses from the song Worn by Tenth Avenue North are really about how I have been feeling lately. I seem to keep saying, “I don’t like people…” I add today in there, but it has gotten to the point that it’s not just today.

Even people who normally would be those I would consider friends have either disappointed me or just plain ticked me off.

Just the other day I got caught in the crossfire of a power struggle between two people and got seriously wounded.  I never thought I would be spoken to by this one person in the manner that they spoke to me, and I most certainly did not deserve it. I was trying to simply do what I was told to do. It reminded me of my car accident several years ago, I did everything right, but still wound up with a totaled car and an injury that would later cause me to have surgery.

The funny thing is, this all happened in church. Now I know you cannot expect perfection when you put a bunch of sinners under one roof. It can sometimes look like a refuge camp at Sinner Town with the same attitude of a toddler who hasn’t had a nap. However, for quite awhile now I don’t feel like I can do much right and it makes me not want to step out and serve for fear of snap back.

Yes, I am fragile in the feelings department. Living day to day has become a little harder than I expected. Slowly losing my parents, still trying to raise my adult children, and losing bits and pieces of me with each surgery or malady that comes along, it makes for someone who is easily hurt or angered depending on the day.

But I am tired, I am worn…and I am crying out with all I have left.

People are just messy.

Human

man-2125123_1920I got a really good lesson recently. I am human….go figure. I, without a doubt, know that I have a strong personality and I still find myself having to stop fighting just to be right. I have to force myself to think, “Do I want to die on this hill?” It has lead to me biting my tongue more often, but there are times that I just don’t stop myself soon enough.

One of the things that will cause me to be less than loving in my response is when another person’s tone of voice is condescending. When I hear a, “what do you know” type of attitude my hackles are raised and I respond in a less than appropriate manner. It’s taken me a lot of work to reign this attitude in. Growing up in my home my best was never good enough. I couldn’t try and not succeed, in fact I had to excel, which led to me many times not even trying.

I have stepped out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways since leaving my home, some 30 years ago, simply because of my husband’s personality which has forced me to be less of an introvert, but also because that still small voice wouldn’t leave me alone and I have found myself in places such as Africa and China.

Now I sit here believing that my inability to quelch my right fighting has lead me to a place that I haven’t been in a long time, or least since living with my parents. I am in a place where I know that quite possibly I have lost something that I enjoyed doing and loved doing it with the people who were involved. It hurts and it’s where I find myself being very uncomfortable with my own humanity.

This one is going to leave a mark.

Make It Count

memory-4111092_1920I don’t know if it’s a wives tale or not but yesterday it was proven to be true for my mom; it is said that if you take a dementia patient out of their normal patterns the disease shows up in all its glory. Well, it did.


My mom had fallen a few days ago and apparently was still complaining about the pain from the bruises she sustained, so my father took her to the ER on Sunday. The doctors decided to keep her overnight for observation. My illogical resentment reared its ugly head over this development. When I was growing up, I was never allowed to really be sick. I was always told that it wasn’t that bad, or that I needed to stop complaining so much. So, when my dad called to tell us he had taken her to the ER I had flashbacks to all those times, and I was not very nice about it.


My dad had to have a dental procedure and not too subtly asked me to go sit with my mom at the hospital till he could get back there. I got there early and they occupational therapist was helping her to move to the chair instead of sitting in the bed. The therapist was asking all kinds of questions that my mother was answering as if it were 15 years ago and she was not in the world she has been transported to lately. If I tried to correct the answer, I was told that she (my mom) did not want to be called a liar and I was to be seen and not heard (yeah like I hadn’t heard that growing up).


My mom’s attitude wasn’t bad, she was cranky and a bit snappy at times, but overall it wasn’t horrible. Yet, I could see that my dad at 84 and with a fib could no longer take care of him by himself. However, my parents have been stonewalling me at every turn when we discuss any next steps to be taken. As an example, I don’t even know where their paperwork is for the cremation they paid for ahead of time.


The physical therapist showed up and started asking me questions in front of my mom and she was becoming more adjugated, so I asked to speak with the therapist in the hallway. I let her know the situation at home with my parents. I also let her know that they don’t listen to anything I say.

The physician’s assistant then came in and we essentially repeated the same process. She said they would be having a meeting about the patients in a little while and maybe if they spoke to my dad, things would change. I felt horrible going behind his back, but to them I am still very much the child to them. 


When my dad got there, it was like a switch had been flipped in my mom. She became combative and belligerent. She was rude and outright nasty to the people that were trying to help her. I spoke to her much like you do a child that is misbehaving telling her that she was being rude and that was not appropriate. I tried to negotiate her making a choice so that the nastiness would stop, but my dad looked at me and said, “Cool it right now!” I picked up my stuff and I left.


On the way home I realized I still had my mom’s cell phone in my purse, so my husband (who has been my rock in all of this) called my dad to let him know we would get it back to them this evening, since I did not want to speak with him just then. We found out that at least the hospital heard me and refused to release my mother unless my dad signed a paper stating that a home health care nurse would come to the house every day. My dad told my husband that he supposed he needed to apologize (haven’t heard from him yet).


All I can say is that my prayer is that this trial counts…..just make it count.

Lost Innocence

Columbine1.jpgNineteen years ago today I was 2,000 physical miles away and what I thought was a lifetime from my graduation in 1984. I was raising two little boys who weren’t quite 4 yet and trying to navigate married with a hefty dose of motherhood. Cell phones were not the huge thing that they are now, but my oh so elegant flip phone rang and my mom was on the other end. I was a bit panicked hearing her voice because we usually only used cell phones for emergencies. She asked me where I was and I said I had been shopping for clothes for the boys as they were growing so fast. She told me to turn on the radio because a shooting had happened at Columbine. That was the day that 13 souls were lost and as an alumni I lost a piece of my innocence.

Yes, I went to Columbine. I graduated in 1984 almost 15 years before two young men went on a rampage and killed 13 people, wounded 20 others and eventually killed themselves. I had only lived in Colorado for 5 years and moved back to Pennsylvania, where I was originally from, two years after graduating. My high school years had a huge impact on my life and I treasured my time at Columbine. In the time it took for those two young men to slaughter those 13, a piece of what I had thought was a safe and comforting place had been taken and as I said my naiveté had been stripped away.

It’s still hard when people talk about what high school they graduated from and they turn to you and you say, “Columbine” and the gasps and the, “THAT Columbine?” is what comes next. Yes, THAT Columbine. The place is not evil. The principle Mr. Frank DeAngelis, the community and the alumni worked diligently to help remove the stain that colored responses when the name was mentioned. April 20th became a day of service, where we were steadfast in stretching out our hands to those who needed to heal and it helped us all in the process.

However, today I am angry. I, like the many other alumni, are angered at the March for Lives movement that have co-opted a day when the Columbine community comes together to heal just a little bit more, for their political and fame garnering agenda.  Parkland Florida students who admittedly were bullies themselves are protesting on the anniversary of Columbine. Let’s be honest it has NOTHING to do with healing or change and everything to do with a political agenda and what will get them the most publicity.

I have to work not to let my anger become vengeful and move from righteous indignation. Go march on Washington DC where any change you want to affect will have to come from, check your true motivations and take a hard look at your heart if you really want things to be different, but don’t take away the modicum of peace that a community has worked for to further your agenda.

 

Past Hurts

sorry graphicMy uncle died two days ago. He was my father’s brother and only 4 month older than my mom. That really isn’t what has me so sad, I know it should and my heart breaks for my dad because now he is the only one left.

I guess I am really lying when I say he is the only one left. There is extended family and my cousins are still living, but we don’t have contact with them. Part of it stems from me letting my mouth run away with me. I said something that I shouldn’t have to my cousins. It’s not a moment I am proud of and I did sincerely apologize, but the damage was done and apparently grudges are a part of life for this side of the family. That should be quite clear since my mouth got me in trouble mainly because my father’s family essentially cut him off once he decided not to return to Texas and then really cut him off once he married my mom. My grandmother’s side of the family were a bit mean and would like to pretend that we don’t exist. I made it known that fact was noticed and got called a few choice names and was kicked off the family Facebook page.

There were things that my grandmother and my uncle did to my parents and I that were uncalled for, rude and even tried to cheat us, but I point out bias and I am the bad person (insert shrug of the shoulders here). I have forgiven them, but it makes me wonder how hardened their hearts are/were to have behaved that way. When my second oldest cousin called to tell my dad that his brother had passed away she couldn’t even remember my mom’s name when my mom answered the phone. Does that tell you anything?

My dad and I just by being his daughter were always the bad seeds and I had the additional black mark of being raised Catholic and a Yankee. It hurt and I know that it hurt my dad more than he ever admitted. Yet there have been shot gun weddings, divorces and children who have been MIA for one reason or another and in our family no matter the trial we manage to hold it together, and we are the ones who are shunned.

The lesson in all of this has been even if you have forgiven those who hurt you it doesn’t always mean they are repentant for their misdeeds and even if you apologize for your own stupidity it doesn’t stop the other party from holding a grudge to the grave.

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”Leviticus 19:17-18

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”Ephesians 4:32