Yes, KristiMarie, powerful sharing. I was especially touched by your insight into the prisoners.
You might or might not enjoy a book I read a few months ago. Here's what I wrote about it on my book blog:
Do Tampons Take Your Virginity?
Bawdy and brutal, sweet and sad, this is a memoir of growing up Portuguese Catholic in America, the product of a belt-wielding father and a mother who really did believe that good Catholic girls don’t use tampons — and this not in the 1950s but in the 1980s.
Here are grannies who start a feud so bitter they divide a community; a neighborhood where “the people who were the most uptight Catholics always had the best smut”; church clothes that are hung outside in the fresh air because it’s cheaper than dry cleaning; and above all the sorrow of life with an abusive father. Simas’s memories are striking for their raw emotive power, and they leave the reader rooting for her to succeed, as indeed she does when she first stands up to her father at the age of seventeen.
The book had me alternately holding my breath in horror and laughing out loud. Despite the fear and the shame of her upbringing, Simas manages to find dark humor in the ironies of the adults around her. She ends on an optimistic note: “Don’t regret your choices . . . don’t despair. . . . Just put one foot in front of the other, and you’ll do just fine.”
Marie Simas. Do Tampons Take Your Virginity? A Catholic Girl’s Memoir. CreateSpace, 2010. Paperback. 161 pages. ISBN 9781453799758. $9.75.
I am floored hearing this... (Yes, I had heard some of it before in part) The way you put it to words here, what strikes me at the moment is that He is writing you. By that I mean, (and you know I am a simple gal) God is co-authoring your story.
The strength that you possess, the very strength that probably helped you survive such a hell... in your strength a major vein of compassion flows, And the thing that floors me is that the compassion you write of feeling towards the inmates was born of your own suffering...
Of course, I believe the Lord desires to tell something about Himself through all of us in the body of Christ, and we all are being written in different ways... So, a living epistle... a life to be read...I get that sense when I read your posts... Is that way too out there?
I love the verse: Let mercy & truth meet together & kiss. Our Lord is strong & tender and I see those reflection of Him in you...
And I suspect that the compassion of the Lord is already yours and if you don't mind me saying, mine too. I pray He opens our hearts doors to receive what we will grant to others who have the residue/fallout of abuse to ourselves. (Forgive me if I was way too gushy here)
I really got a kick out of them saying:"Sarge, you should be a nun."
Have you read: "Tattoos on the Heart" by Gregory Boyle? I would love to hear what you had to say about it.
Gail, I haven't heard of that one. Did you enjoy it?
O, Yes! I will go over to the book thread... See you over there after awhile.
This has been a wonderful sharing and discussion so far and I hope it continues. I am fortunate to have grown up in a loving family and so haven't had to deal with the consequences of abuse that some of you were inflicted with. As a substance abuse counselor years ago and now a spiritual director, I have been in countless sessions where people shared their stories of abuse, and so I've come to know this darker side of life empathically, which is nowhere near the same as when one is a victim. One thing I have learned is that we are not at all determined by our past, as I have seen many experience deep healing if they are courageous enough to address their issues, especially with the support of a counselor or recovery group of some kind. We're certainly hearing of that in this discussion.
Kristi, your sharing, in particular, is a sign of hope for all of us; also, Gail and Shasha as well, and others who have posted encouragements. This is the Internet at its best.
The video: Bridge over troubled water is beautiful & moving...I trust Jesus is our bridge over our past, present & future. Thanks for posting it. In His Love, Gail
Kristi--Yes, it makes sense.
Makes sense to me. I will respond later.
In my Tender Wounds, Gail
Anything that makes one feel vulnerable makes one feel angry to start with. Fight or flight. If one can not fight, then one attempts to flight. If fight or flight does not work, then they have a total break down and things go from there to sick and they die, whether it is by their hand or illness.
This is what makes things tricky when it comes to helping others. There is some sensitivity involved here if one wants to help others, because if one works those that one is attempting to help into a corner without solve, they die. It is not about right or wrong as a gift to change. It is about adjusting things in a fight or flight reality so that the one that you are attempting to help does not feel cornered. The instant that they feel cornered and fight or flight are no longer an option, they are a goner. The whole thing about helping an other is extremely tricky.
What is interesting is that some people have the gift and they are considered therapeutic personalities. Ariel you are a therapeutic personality. My wife is also a therapeutic personality. I am not because of my upbringing and I am a man as a part of that, but I am studying things "straighten your act out or I will thump you" is not actually a functional reality.
I am like you Kristi, God changes me slowly into something better. And gentle change is best. In the meantime we do the best that we can and appreciate the patience of others until we are better.
I spent most of my life very angry, one day I decided to no longer be angry, from there I started have sever panic attacks and ended up in the emergency room several times. The last time I was there I got a good doctor and he told me that I was having panic attacks. I went ok that is cool, I give up anger and now I am having panic attacks that are almost killing me.
I guess that is my point Kristi
I don't know if it is shame or I am shy about getting too personal on a public forum... But, I thought about responding after you posted last night about fight or flight... I didn't because your response upset me, and I didn't know if you would answer me.
My story is so very messy. Anger was beat into me as a little kid, see the only way I could get my father/dad to stop the beatings, was to say "I love you daddy, please stop" Inside I didn't love him, I hated his guts...
There was so much that was wrong, I will not bend your ear, but all of it took a toll, made a huge impact/impression/imprint on my little heart...
I wrote this poem some twenty years or so ago, long before my first therapy session.
Lord, What does my heart do with all the years
of drunken brawls, rage and tears?
What do I do with the feelings of hate?
that I stuffed down inside
with its tremendous weight...
How do I change my internal reality?
where my thoughts are skewed
and fragmented in me...
Will You Lord, help me to clean?
this heart of mine that is unseen
which is soft, hard, tender & mean...
I have known the drill with panic attacks too. So you have my prayers...
In His Loving Grace, Gail
Gail, I think your poem is beautiful, so full of emotional honesty. Kristi
Gail .. i loved the poem too....the honesty touched me deeply....
Kristi.. i loved your post truly it is a beautiful thing to share from a place where you have been or when you are in the midst of working thru..
BOTH you and Gail touch my heart so....you gift of writing , to reach out to others in the strength of this honesty is.. well a great gift.. ( both of you) is well received .. thank you!
this is what i LOVE about this forum.. honesty... in the forum of tears or being 100% straight concerning where one is at... very refreshing...
Thank you, Christine
I think I relate to what you mean here due to my long involvement with horses--they have a very clear flight of fight response, and in the face of an unbearable threat where they "cannot flee physically, they will flee mentally" as Harry Whitney, a true horseman, put it. They will disassociate, quite similarly to people.
I don't really have a therapeutic personality--I have, in fact, made every mistake available, and learned a little better to really listen to horses after getting bitten and kicked and bucked off and bolted away with, all due to my own denseness in pushing an issue with a horse. It's a wonder I'm still alive--I've been that thick-headed.
Kristi, in her 4:43, post, has spoken in such a true manner, with love, in every word. Read it, Tuck, and take it in deeper and deeper--every word of it is trustworthy and what Jesus offers all of us alike as a next step for growth.
Gail--Wow--thank you for your post about your childhood.
[quote]Kristi, in her 4:43, post, has spoken in such a true manner, with love, in every word. Read it, Tuck, and take it in deeper and deeper--every word of it is trustworthy and what Jesus offers all of us alike as a next step for growth.
First, Thank-You Ladies...
Well-said Ariel (& Cristine)
Kristi has been a model for me here. In naming some of her wounds & struggle, she has unwittingly given me courage to share.
One on one I try (with His help) to be real and right where I am at. But putting myself on the forum that is another story. I too thought her post was loving & trustworthy.
Great post above, Kristi, and this is a good point. I see so many drawn to "spirituality" as a means of escaping pain and brokenness, some even seeking "no-self" and "enlightenment" as a way of rising above it all. They might even succeed for a time by living in higher states of consciousness and detaching from the lower energy centers, and that really can be a relief. But, as you noted, it is not yet healing, and authentic Christian spirituality is very much about healing the whole person.
Spirituality enables us to come to centeredness in God, and this makes it possible for us to courageously face those wounded parts of ourselves that we might become whole, with body, psyche and spirit integrated. We often do need the assistance of those with expertise in healing the body and psyche along the way, and this need not conflict with our spiritual journey. Quite the contrary. I think your story and sharing (along with others who have shared on this thread) is a good example of this kind of integral healing.
Guys I am too screwed up to be on this message board. I was too screwed the first time I was here and I am too screwed up this time.
Thank you everybody for giving me some things to think about.
May you and your loved ones be blessed and prosper.
I know that you wish the same for me.
there isn't a one of us that isn't screwed up.. thank God for the Lords mercy!
i hope you change your mind and stick around.. i felt very much like you back in December. i was all over the map emotionally.. but people here loved me thru it .. today there is way, way more trust within my heart and i am deeply grateful for this forum..
give yourself a few days to reconsider.. and i for one hope you come here and grow from your experience here.. i know i have....
either way i will pray for you and hold you within my heart! and wish you the very best!
warm regard, in Christ Jesus....
Same as Christine...I hope you decide to stick around.
I thought these were good points you raised Phil. I have seen this occurring in some folks.
Then when I mention a connection between crown
& stomach it's viewed as being inferior work cause it's into the body.
You're most welcome, Kristi. And don't be troubled about Tucker's leaving. I'm sure he'll come back when he feels the need.
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