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Over-stuffed

OK friends, time for some bitter, ugly, truth. I am making a life change, a big one, and I have to share, and to do so, I have to tell you some secrets. I decided I will bare all for a moment, let you have a peek at the private life of me, and well, if it inspires just one person, it was all worth it. Just hang with me as I let my guard down and show you some real, raw, me. I know that I have mentioned clutter before, but you don’t know how far it goes. I hate to say it, but I think between my husband and I, we are teetering on the brink of being able to call ourselves hoarders. That freaks me out. It all began several years ago. He and I were both raised very frugally, if it can be re-used or recycled, don’t throw it out. Also, being ever conscious of the growing concerns with out earth, its hard to throw anything out these days, for fear of making more problems, better to re-use it, save money and the planet, right? Ok, so back to where it starts. You now know that both sets of parents taught us to save it if we can. One is going through some clutter issues herself, so sends us as much of it as she thinks we can use. Her heart is in the right place, but I cannot manage it all. Anyway, So, My husband inherited a LOT of family stuff, as well as the stuff he had on his own, and the stuff my son and I had. When we merged our lives, the amount of STUFF became overwhelming. It doesn’t fit in our space. I have tried and tried for years, to find ways to organize, rearrange, and sort through all the stuff, but I get no-where. The clutter holds me back, keeps me from focusing, gives me a constant feeling of chaos and loss of control, but I am only one person, and it is the mostly unwanted stuff of seven people. UGH! Too stinkin much stuff. So, I made a huge decision this week. I decided that one room at a time, one week at a time, I am going to purge the room, pull everything out. EVERYTHING. I am sorting through it one piece at a time. I am sorting into want, garbage, don’t want, let hubby decide…and if he keeps, find a home for, I have piles and piles of stuff going out of my house. I have thrown away three contractors bags of stuff, given away hundreds of pounds of stuff to people who consider it treasure, rather than trash. I have lost at least two hundred pounds this week and it feels AWESOME!   My office got new carpet for my birthday, and I started there. I pulled it all out, and I confess, I still have a small pile to go through, but it was so easy to throw stuff away once the room was empty. I decided which furniture to put back, cleaned it all up, and then restocked it. It was easy to look at the new office, and look at the item in my hand, and say…I dont want to put this back in there…is it garbage, does it go in a different room, or should it belong to someone else. I have a big box of books to take to the used book store, and I feel as though I have control in that one little space. I LOVE IT! This week I start the kitchen and dining area. I think that the office and that area are the two most cluttered, overwhelmed spaces I have ever had to function in and they drive me nuts. I think I will have more control of everything in my life, I will be better at budgeting and I will be able to focus on the things I enjoy without the threat of chaos at any moment in the back of my mind. I am convinced that I will sleep better, and be more productive every day. I have had three days of clean, organized office, and I can already feel a difference in my spirit. I never wanted stuff. I have always been free of that burden, able to drop what I have at a thrift store and head out with a backpack on my back. As a parent, I don’t feel quite that free, nor do I have a real desire to take off like that. I enjoy my soft bed and hot shower, however, I don’t need a whole bunch of stuff to enjoy it, as a matter of fact, all this stuff is killing my spirit, but I never knew how to get a grip on it till last week when I finally got fed up, set my hubby down, and talked it out with him. He has been so supportive and helpful. Had the whole week off work and spent it helping me declutter…start over actually. Its wonderful! I recommend it if you struggle with the clutter of stuff. Once the room is the way you want it, its easy to say…ewww, why do I have this?

So, I have set a one room/one week goal. I aim to do a room a week. I think that the hardest two rooms will take that long, and the rest should be much quicker. I intend to take a day to steam clean each room also, so I have to allow for a day to move it all out and a day to clean it good, then I can start sorting and re-organizing it. Oh the freedom is wonderful. Everyone who comes in my house goes out with a big bag of stuff and it feels GREAT!

So, I ate a meal one time, I was over-stuffed, like too much food on Thanksgiving. It was awful, disgusting, and I hurt for hours. It ruined my appetite and I never ate like that again. I had dieted for years to no avail, but after that binge meal, my appetite changed so much that I lost thirty pounds naturally and have been stuck at a very healthy weight, maybe even a tiny bit underweight, since that day in 1994. The clutter in my home feels like that meal, like I am overstuffed and I never want to feel this way again…out it goes, anything that I haven’t used or can replace for under fifty bucks (within reason, obviously, I am keeping my wedding dress…).

I am making my husband take accountability for all the crap he and his family have shoved to the side over the years, and if he doesn’t want it he has to call his mom or it goes to goodwill. If I am not tied to it, he better claim it if he doesn’t want it to be re-homed or trashed. I am putting my foot down. He is gone at work all week, and I am responsible for the bills and budget, the meals, the home. I cannot manage it like this, and I am really unhappy trying, so here it is. Do you want it or should it go in the trash? Decide today, or I decide for you. I am so happy that he is being supportive in the whole endeavor, and I cannot wait till my home, the entire thing, feels as serene as my office does now. If I get rid of 200 pounds of crap per room (which I have far exceeded with the office) I will lose almost 2000 pounds of crap this next few weeks. Can you imagine? That is a lot of junk. I think I will get rid of more than that, but that is my goal! It might be hard to get rid of two hundred pounds each in the bathrooms, but I can make up for it in other area’s I am sure!

ANd, as for keeping up the energy to keep going with it…wow that Apple Cider Vinegar does good things. I spent a couple weeks drinking it, feeling kinda crappy, detoxing, and tired and grumpy. I now feel a WHOLE lot better in many ways, but I am sleeping like a champ. I have always slept well, but usually not till two or three am. Now, I am tired at ten thirty at night. I get up at five or six am, work hard all day, and get tons done, and fall into bed exhausted at ten o’clock, to wind down and wait for my child to sleep so I can. It’s amazing how normal and regular I feel. I also LOVE that. My dishes are done every night, I don’t look around saying, “I don’t feel like dealing with this today”. I am attacking the chaos in a nearly manic way, and staying charged, rather than binge cleaning and burning out. I have sustained. I am not binge cleaning, well, kinda, but not really. I stop to eat, I sleep the most normal hours ever, and I clean when I am awake. My aim is to get it cleaned and sorted enough that I can sit on my couch and put my feet up and sip a cup of tea without feeling anxiety that I should be cleaning. I have a two month goal. I will keep you all posted. Meanwhile…many blesssings my friends! Till next time…

 

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The time has come…

The time has come for so many things…

I struggle to write this week. I am a positive person. I don’t dwell on the negatives, and I see the best in the darkest of situations. That is why I struggle to write. The times we live in have brought me to a harsh realization that the end of life as we know it is here. I don’t jump on Y2K or 2012 bandwagons. I have never had a doomsayer attitude, but I feel a sense of heaviness as we move into this period. It is a bittersweet feeling, as I also feel a sense of relief that Jesus will do a great job with the Earth, however, I had a scare today that shook me a little. I have been in this place where I am desperately aware of how bad our food source has become, I am aware of the distinct changes in the weather patterns and the amount of disease around me is at an all time high. I have never known so many people with so many mysterious illnesses. I am blatantly aware of the police state we are currently living in (although most Americans have no idea that we are in this place), and I am growing more conscious daily of the “revelations” around me. I want to discuss all of this, yet how do I, for fear of being labeled a doomsayer.

The time has come for Rocky Mountain Rescue Ranch. It is here and we are so close to being ready to get started on that adventure. The savings account is almost to a place that allows us to step outside of our small, restrictive, but owned home, and into a rental that is going to cost us a WHOLE LOT more than our current home does. An overwhelming, intimidating, amount. I pray for the perfect rental, that has what we need to do the work that God has in mind for us. I pray that I can stay focused on His will and not get to caught up in my own excitement. Oh, how I pray, that He sees horses in my life! I am so excited about the prospect of having a huge garden and some chickens next spring! I am watching my little container garden grow thinking of what I can do with a real chuck of garden. Oh the daydreams I have for a garden when we buy a ranch. Meanwhile, I will be happy to care for someone elses ground as it exists for a while.

The time has come for me to get my self esteem up off the floor and start selling some of my homemade goods. People like them and my self esteem is the only thing holding me back.

The time has come for me to do the work that was intended of me. I see my self from a very different perspective now. I see some of my special qualities coming out, when it is happening. I see the skills He has given me, and the gifts and blessings, on a daily basis. I realize that He takes my dear little friends cancer, and uses it for good in so many lives, and in my life, He used it to show me how much I am capable of…it was quite shocking, still is, and I can see clearly several lessons in it. He used it to show me some of the more important things. Things that I know, but took for granted, like finding time to visit a friend. Realizing that money doesn’t mean ANYTHING in the grand scheme of things, and learning that God blesses the poor. Grasping that concept in a new way. I felt led to start a Womens Bible study, and while nothing profound has happened, I feel like there are several women who are pretty active in the group, which indicates to me that there was a need. I think the gift that surprises me the most is the profound ability to work with kids. Traumatized ones especially. I love kids, always have, but went through a brief period where I was convinced I didnt really care for them. I find it ironic that I now feel compelled to step into almost any situation to soothe a hurting child, parents present or not. I have no problem walking right up, and looking some kid in the face and saying,  “Wow, you seem really frustrated, is there anything I can do to help, or can you see what you are doing to your mom? Try to use your good kid manners for ten more minutes while she gets through the store K?”  Kids just need to be talked to a certain way. We don’t give them enough credit for their ability to make decisions and choices, and we give them way to much credit as far as being resilient. They really do harbor a lot of hurts that we don’t acknowledge from childhood, we just don’t see the results till adulthood, at which time it can be very hard to fix. I find myself consoling upset children in the strangest of places, and when it works, parents look at me like who are you?

It is an odd feeling, but if I made one moment of that child’s life make sense, if only for that moment, I am happy. I never, ever envisioned myself to grow up to be a person whose entire life would be to work with traumatized people and animals and help them heal themselves. Crazy wild blessing. So flattering and humbling all at once. What a gift! I have also learned that parents are only working with the tools that they have, and when I see a parent misbehaving, I have learned to remember that little mantra, and realize they are probably doing a better job than their own parents did with them. We all work with the tools we have. I find that working with traumatized children is very much like working with traumatized animals. We need to move slow, be un-intimidating, but firm and strong. We need to ask their permission and wait for it to be granted to move forward. This can really take a long time sometimes, and other times it comes so fast. The biggest thing the two have in common is that when you “train dogs” to be successful, you don’t really train the dog, you train the handler what kind of body language to use, what kind of control to exhibit and when to let the dog have control. The same holds true for parenting training. You aren’t fixing the kid, you are giving the parents the tools the kids need to thrive, to learn to process and express emotion rather than act out for lack of better way s to express their “pain”. Both animals and children will act out when they do not have a calm alpha. Children need control. Just like adults, they need to know they have some control over their world. They need consequences that fit the “crime”, not punishment. They need to be validated, and told that their feelings are valid and matter, with no ‘but’ attached. Children need to know that they are respected to learn what respect is. They need to make mistakes to learn how to make good choices, that is the reason they are given parents for 18 years of guidance, after all. Screaming at your child and sending him to his room wont fix it, but having a good, sit down one on one discussion about how a particular behavior makes you feel, and finding consequences that fit naturally will stick with them for a lifetime.

How on earth did I get on that tangent? I was thinking about a girl whom I helped the other day. I was at a therapists office. She is the person whom I am licensed under, and I was in her waiting room, when a little girl came in a kicking and screaming and saying NO NO I DON’T WANNA TELL. Her dad kept saying, you wont be in trouble…she just kept screaming louder and louder. After a few minutes, I cautiously stepped out and said something to the effect of I know I am crossing a line here but can I try something. Her dad looked at me like “be my guest”. I opened the conversation with the little girl by asking her if I could ask her a question. She said yes but kept crying. I asked her if she was feeling scared to tell the therapist something. She told me she was and I asked her why. I listened to her answer, she had quit crying before I asked my second question. I got her answers, and reassured her that I could totally understand why she would care so much about what therapist would think. We used names of course, but for privacy, that seems inappropriate here. I also told her, hey, you know what? I have known therapist for almost thirteen years, since my boy was smaller than her, and he was actually bigger than me now and he still loved to come here, and I know a secret about her. She doesn’t get mad at kids. not ever. she helps them understand why they are feeling the way they feel, but she doesn’t even know how to get mad at a kid. By this time the girl was up, playing, smiling, climbing and ready to be there. I told her if she had an more concerns she could come find me, and I went and sat in peace and thought about what had just happened. Her dad seemed so incredibly grateful. I am certain that I made a difference in their day. I have no choice but to thank God for a gift that one day not so long ago I would have sworn I would never have. I recall sitting in Church thinking, Oh please don’t call me to the daycare. I really don’t have much tolerance for kids. Oh how wrong I was. Oh how funny God is!

Hmmm, I started todays post, with an overflowing heart. I have been longing to write for so long, but fear that the end times concerns within me would reflect as negative thinking has held me back. I open up this blog every day planning to write, and cannot  make myself do it. Today, it all comes gushing out. had no intention of talking about kids, at any point in the day did I plan to write about children, or gifts, and yet, here I sit, spilling it all over the keyboard.

A close family member has been diagnosed with Lyme disease, another very close friend, like a nephew, got Kawasaki disease last week. Two girlfriends have gut health issues far worse than mine, and one close friend is allergic to everything, including her own sweat. Not literally, but when she gets hot, her whole body gets covered in purple hives…big, itchy ones. The food source is tainted, and we are all getting sick because of it. I cannot wait until my garden veggies come to fruition. I hate buying veggies in the tore any more, and I rarely crave meat. I am not a vegetarian by any means, i just don’t require a lot of meat for my own tastes. I prefer veggies, and boiled eggs and cheese for protein. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good steak, but they are so heavy and hard for my body to process, that my cravings for them are few and far between. I have found that my body readily accepts soups, any time of day. I assume that is because they are so broken down that I don’t have to work hard to digest it.

I found a great source for beads on the internet and have been on a crafting kick. I am so incredibly thankful to be released from that rest, and creativity is flowing through my veins like the woman I once knew. Now if this darned heat would just break! Gardening is also at the top of my priority list, as well as making sure we have a good “nest egg” ready before we jump into this ranching business.

I could not be more thrilled at the notion of having a foster child. Of giving stability, safety, and comfort, to a child who does not know those things. Oh how I long for that day we get our first foster child. I will cry myself to sleep with tears of gratitude that first night. I have a spay/neuter event that I have not focused enough on, and I am going to be hustling this week to get my volunteers and food put together…

Well, my friends, I suppose I have stolen enough of your time today. Have a blessed day…

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Adjusting…or loss and growth

Well, I never imagined I would have so much time on my hands without my husband here. I have been such a lazy bum the last few days. I feel no pressure to get anything done (this is NOT a good thing), and I feel like I am walking around in a daze. I have spent some time reflecting on my loneliness the last day or two. I am happy, content, not feeling like I need to ‘hang’ with anyone. I am enjoying loneliness very much. I didn’t even know that you could enjoy loneliness, but I am. I have had a ton of health problems the last few years, and someone recently said to me that I needed a rest. Not the kind of rest you need when you are sick, but the rejuvenating rest you get on vacation. I spent some time thinking on that, and realized that I don’t think I have ever had that. It occurred to me that you all may hear a lot from me, with my husband gone, and it looks like I am finding truth in that thought. I spent a minute today thinking about my desire to chat it up, with a gal who understands me. They are all gone…kind of. In order to deliver today’s thoughts, I have to give a LOT of background on myself, so please bear with me as I explore things I have left alone for years. First, let me explain in very simple terms, I am not one to cry at good-byes. Don’t get me wrong, I cry. I cry when I need to. I am a highly sensitive person. I have been meaning to make a tab on my blog for Highly Sensitive Personalities for a long time now. It is a real condition, it does exist, and there are a lot of people who possess highly sensitive personalities. Beautiful things hit me in the chest like a ton of bricks, as do terrible things. Look at the humanitarians in your life. It is very likely that at least some of them are HSP’s. If you are reading my blog, and interested in what I have to say, you may be an HSP. I think it is a privilege and a gift from God. But, back to my point about crying at good-byes. I am not sure if it has to do with the overwhelming amount of death in my childhood, or with faith, or just simply that I did a lot of the leaving, but whatever it is, it works for me. It started when I was seven, the death rate in my life. I am so thankful that God gave me the tools that He did, and I imagine he did that because only He could know I would need them. Remember that I consider myself blessed to be able to take positives away from a situation. I believe that is the tool that got me through my childhood. Looking back, it was the only chance I had at survival. I realize now, that He prepared me for everything I needed to get here, and spend the rest of my life glorifying Him. What else could a woman ask for? So, a brief history of my childhood. I had a hard time, but I was convinced that so many people had it so much worse. That was my mantra, my go to phrase, and my get me through it. It could be worse…

I had a roof over my head, clothes on my back, a family that loved me, and food in my mouth. I thought my needs were met. Little did I know, you also need validation, trust, a safe place, parents who will stand up for you, respect, and the chance to be a child. As an adult, I have become thoroughly educated on the finer needs in life, and I spend my days passionately trying to validate other people, help them see their shame platforms, and help them realize that they were created perfectly by God, and to believe otherwise is a great insult to Him. To let other people tell them otherwise is an injustice to the self. That is where my joy comes from. The Bible tells me that the only one I have to please is God. There is a level of safety in that, that I just cannot put into words. But, I digress. I never imagined I would have a passion for PTSD in children, but looking back, it is clear God prepared me to help a lot of people with that one. I have even been asked to write a book about it by my sons therapist! Talk about flattering, if you can use that word to describe God’s work through a person. He trusts me with the little ones. That nearly brings me to tears! When I look at my life, I realize that He trusts me with the damaged, the weak, the injured, the sick, and the just plain needy. I am so blessed! He directed my life to a place where I would be in a position to do the work that really matters. He gave me the responsibility of understanding compassion, validation, trust, faith…all of the skills necessary to save the lost. I didn’t even realize it was happening till it was here. I always said He had great plans for me, because there was no other reason for me to go through all of these trials, tribulations, learning situations and so much misery if not. But I did not realize I had arrived until I was standing in the middle of it! What a beautiful realization! The PTSD in my life starts young, as an infant. My parents both had their own shame platforms, and drugs and excessive alcohol were most certainly the influencing factor in my early years. I lost my father to drunk driving when I was seven. I think that is the day I knew God, but it was not until much later that I admitted it to myself. God protected me from even that event. I was at my grandmothers house when it happened. She was the ONLY Christian in my life. My grandmother was Catholic, and despite my misgivings about some Catholic “laws”, she was a true and devout Christian. I cannot thank her enough for that now! My would be step-father moved in when my dad had been gone two weeks. I was yanked away from my biological family to another state far away, with no explanation. By the third grade I had attended six schools. From that point on, I had experience after experience with death. My very first grade school boyfriend was shot in a gang war (and we didn’t even have ghettos or gangsters where we lived. It was a quaint little midwest town, even rated #1 while I lived there). Another friend has a brain aneurism from a drug overdose, gramma and grampa, great aunt and uncle. I watched them pass one at a time. Soon I learned that death was inevitable, a fact of life. By the time my very best friend in the whole world died of cancer, I was praying for God to take her. She was an angel, too good for this word anyway, and she did not deserve the suffering! I was so incredibly relieved when she passed, and this is when I knew I had fully accepted death! I have quite the gang of angels, let me tell you! I still cry cause I miss her…It took me years. I didn’t cry because she had passed, but I would love her to meet my son, and my dad too. I cry occasionally for my own selfish reasons…but I am glad they are in a better place. Oh boy, it is going to take a long time to get through this, I keep getting distracted.

When I was twenty six, I went to my first wedding. I realized that I had been to more funerals than I could count on all of my toes and fingers, but this was my first wedding. I felt a bit gypped that day! I remember my pity party quite clearly. I am an expert in saying good-bye. We moved to that far away state, and I was pretty much prohibited from talking about my daddy I had lost, or any of his family members. I had nine aunties and uncles, most of them I was very close to, all gone in one swift move. Trust me, as an adult, I had a  lot of anger and resentment to work through, especially for my mother and step father. I grew up with an abusive step father and an alcoholic mother. The only thing my step dad didn’t do was hit me. Verbally, and sexually, he abused me repeatedly. I was a grade A student, never skipped a day of school in my life, till I was seventeen, when I realized I had been going about it all wrong. All I wanted was to hear my mom and dad say they were proud of me. I did everything I could to please them. I never heard those words. I heard about how I was going to be a drug addict, barefoot and pregnant, waste of life. I heard about how bad I was all the time. He even made fists and told me it was my fault he started smoking again. Thankfully, I was smart…I didn’t lose that. I told him that he was an adult and I didn’t make him do anything! I dared him to punch me. It would have been a way to get him in prison without shaming my family with the sexual abuse. If I could take sexual abuse and verbal abuse every day for eleven years, then I could certainly take a punch! I told my mom when I was seventeen, like most mothers, she chose not to protect me. We have since mended most of those broken fence posts, although there may be one or two remaining. I am not sure. I guess I have mended those, she just started therapy, so she has some mending to do and I imagine with that will come a conversation or two that is healing for me. I had a very strict schedule, and was very limited in activities outside the home. I understand now it was a control issue on his part, and a money issue on my mom’s part, but at the time, I just thought they didn’t like me. This is when I started journaling. I am thankful for the tool of words! We got through the drama of all of that, all the while, I went through life with the nickname SMILEY. I always had a smile on my face, never cried. The more I hurt, the bigger I smiled. When I was nineteen, I ran away to another state far away with a good friend. That is where I started over. That is when my life began! I wonder if she has any idea the role she had in saving my life. I guess I had better tell her! I realized I had not cried…ever. I could not remember my last tear shed. I started crying, and I could not hold it back. I have never stopped. I searched and searched for answers to my heartache for years. I was a social butterfly, which is the whole entire point of this post. I had a ton of friends, everywhere I went. I fit into every social category, and was rarely not included in an activity. I spent years chasing fun, afraid to miss out on something, but I was depressed, and bi-polar as all get out. I later learned that the birth control I went on when I was nineteen had a HUGE role in the bi-polar tendencies, meanwhile, it really aggravated the situation! If you have bi-polar, and are on a hormonal birth control, get off, right away! The tri-cyclic hormones mimic the bi-polar cycle. You will find a huge change in your ability to control emotions. I also had the dumb luck to see a therapist, in my ten years of therapy with various individuals, who in a very short time, taught me three tools to happiness, and they work. I will go into more detail another time, but they including “shoulding all over myself and other people”, learning that five bad minutes only wrecks five minutes of my day, not the whole day, and walking to stimulate the amygdala when I am upset…to get the living hormones going and the fight or flight ones to stop. It is not healthy to live in a constant state of fight or flight, you have to physically get yourself out of that place, and hard walking does it. It was my sons therapist who really changed my life for the long haul. She taught me how I should be treated, what co-dependency is, what I have to tolerate from people, and what I don’t have to tolerate. I must have been a good student, because not only did she ask me to write a book, I am now being represented under her license to work with traumatized kids that she refers to me. That is huge growth. I went from thinking I was not good enough to deserve the basic right of respect, even though all i did was try to be good enough. I broke myself trying to be good enough. I spent years in rebellion, when I realized my parents didn’t want me to be good enough. When I realized I was going abou tit all wrong, what I cam e to was that my parents told me every day I was a loser. They didn’t want to be proud of me, they wanted a drug addict, trailer trash, drop out…so fine, that is what I would give them. I abandoned my education in my senior year, started skipping school, doing drugs, and having sex. If there was a way to rebel I would find it. I had, after all, finally figured out how to make my parents proud of me! Or so I thought. Thus began a downward spiral in my life. One that led to rock bottom, and ultimately, to Jesus. I dug that hole for years, and years, and years. I just kept going deeper, never finding the treasure at the bottom of that hole. I became a single parent. I never really understood it until a good Christian put it in perspective for me.

I tried my hand at college, but not understanding that my child had special needs, I thought I was a terrible parent. I could not keep a job or get to class. I was a straight a student when I made it, but it was just too much for me. I wondered how other mommies did it. I just couldn’t understand how I could be this smart and still fail time and time again, until the therapist put my son in perspective for me. We got some testing and diagnosing done. I had always known there was a creator, but I refused to call it God, because of the social stigma related with that name, and the only influence I had was at a prominent catholic church. I refused to believe God would not love me because I wore jeans or patent leather shoes. I denied Him for years. I also refused to go to a church for help because I felt that it would be sacrilegious to take help from a church while denying God. One day I got so low, I had no choice. I attended the church I planned to call two Sunday’s in a row, decided I could appreciate this new take on God, and called them for help. They opened their arms to me, and really helped me out. I sat down after that first meeting, with tears streaming down my face, at the end of my bed. I put my arms up in the air, and said “that’s it God, I cannot do this by myself anymore. I am giving it to you”. Wow! I cannot even express the way my heart opened up that day. I can’t explain the change that took place in me. My life has blossomed since that day, and I owe it all to one man, who opened my heart to the idea that God could save me. When I dropped out of school, I got a job on a ranch. I met the most amazing Christian I have ever known that day. He didn’t judge me, he talked to me. He heard my story and told me his perspective without judgement. When I told him that I wondered what on earth made me think I wanted to be a single mom, he said, well look what the men in your life have done to you. I know why you chose that path. I guess you don’t know yet, that at 22 I decided I wanted a baby, and the way the world was going, it was easier to be a single mom anyway, and I didn’t want a dad in my child’s life. I even told three people I felt that way, and every single one of them supported me. Even I could see I was trying to find someone to tell me not to do it, but they all supported me wholeheartedly. What in the world…? so, I got rid of my very awesome and respectful boyfriend, and got me a loser! Unfortunately, he stuck around, and that led to my child having to be exposed to such things as meth and violence in his fathers home. I have to just tell myself that God has a plan for him, just like I did when I was going through my own childhood hell. The fact that this eighty year old devout Christian could love and respect me, and even understand and tell me why I did what I did, made me realize there might be something to this Christianity thing. When he talked about the Bible, he talked about love, trust, forgiveness…not the horrible things people try to use to condemn the Bible. I have since learned how to understand some of those horrible things, and they are often taken greatly out of context, in my humble opinion. I am thankful for eyes that read the Bible an translate it to interpret love. I suppose I ought to get to the point one of these days.

When I first found my son’s therapist, she taught me a lot of the very same things I learned as a dog handler with stressed out dogs. It is pretty amazing how child rearing and healthy household dynamics are much like healthy dog packs. I think dogs have the heart of Jesus. They love unconditionally, punish swiftly and get on with it. They forgive quickly, and they forgive everything. They don’t turn their backs on you. Dogs…Jesus, just think about it. So, much in common that I think God gave us dogs as an every day reminder of TRUE, UNCONDITIONAL love.I use my dogs, when I work with problem dogs, to train said dog, while I train the handler (that is the trick to good dog handling and good child rearing, train the handler). This week, that same therapist made a comment about how good my Aspergers son is a t socializing other Aspergers children, and she is sending us another client for him to socialize. Like I said, just like dog handling. I use my mutts in my training. I never imagined my son would be such an important part of parent training!

When I decided to grab the codependency bull by the horns and reign him into submission, I had to drastically change my habits…finally getting to the point. This was the hardest part of my recovery. I had to quit going to the bar (I went to the bar to be sober and drive people home at the end of the night, how bad could that be for me?) Right, I didn’t drink, so it wasn’t that. I was afraid to miss something. I sobbed and sobbed about how these people were my friends if I came to the bar, but they wouldn’t come to me in my house when I was home with my child. I went when he was with his dad. As a matter of fact, most of them have had nothing or little to do with me since I stopped going to the bar, and I guess I have learned to balance and accept that, and have even come to a place where I want nothing to do with people who only want to hang out at the bar. It is the best feeling. When I told the therapist through tears that I was a social butterfly and I didn’t know how to live without out all of these people in my life, she put my reclusive nature into perspective for me in a big way.  She told me it was coping mechanism. I went back to the bar one day for a special thing that one of my friends was doing, and I can say, that even though I did not have one drink, I felt truly hung over the next day, and I understood what the bar was doing to me. Especially as a sensitive person, I was absorbing all of that terrible energy. I avoid the bar at all costs now. I don’t want to feel that way again. I had been using social time to survive all these years. I had become dependent on other people needing me. Oh dear! This is not healthy. I realized that in high school, I was up and out of the house and at school with a smile on my face every day. I realized school was much better than home, and I loved it, and all of the nice people there. No one insulted me, touched me, abused me, violated me. School was my safe place. To think I almost threw it all away in my senior year. I am so glad I made it through that very tough time

Today, my friends get upset with me because I won’t come to them. I won’t go to the bar and to their parties. They do not understand what I have learned. They think there is something wrong with me, or I am depressed or something. I am the happiest I have ever been. I blow it off, because it is not them I aim to please. The ones who get it, come to me or hang out with me in their houses or at the park, or in the woods. I am no longer stressed over friendships lost because I don’t go to the bar. So, people come, and people go. I am happy with my solitude. Today I find myself lonely. In a good way, mostly. I used to have a lot of friends, but I have since scaled down my social connections. I have a few good friends, whom I can count on when I need them and not just when they need me. I don’t struggle with good-byes. I know if they are worth being sad over, I will see them again. My bestest friend in the whole world is fighting cancer with her daughter. They are far away an another state with a good children’s hospital. She gets me to the core. She never judges, and is just plain awesome anytime. I miss her so much. In the last six months, all three of my other close girlfriends have moved out of state. I did not struggle with a single one of them leaving, but as a whole, I feel like the people who most understand me are all very far away, and I am very lonely to just talk life through. I have had a ton of goings on in my life, and now even my husband is far away. I enjoy loneliness, but I fear that I will talk the ears off of almost any adult at this time (or reader of my blog, lol). I am word girl. I talk, I write, I sing. Words are what I do. I love comfortable silence, and I am enjoying my loneliness, but I really do need some good woman time with my dearest friend. I guess I feel like I have stuff too, but everyone else has more important stuff, and I sit quietly, waiting for my turn to have worries to share, and wondering if I will even be able to remember them all by the time I can share them with someone. I am feeling a little trapped in my brain with health concerns for myself, and who do I share them with? I am feeling excited about how close I am to Rocky Mountain Rescue Ranch, and who do I share that with? I am excited about my Bible Study on James…I want to talk to someone on a peer level about it. But who? I want to have someone’s ideas about things I am processing through, but who do I bounce them off of?  I have behaved for the last three days, as if this is that vacation that my friend spoke of. I have spent three days doing very little but thinking and wishing that I had someone to bounce it all off of. Someone in particular, who gets it, and me. Who I don’t have to give a background to, or who won’t interrupt before the thought is through, to tell me how it will fail. I just want to spend a few minutes with someone I can let my guard down with. I want to tell someone I am worried about things. Instead, I smile and say “good”, when people ask how I am. It is true. I am good, and none of them are people I want to share the worries with. They are just the day to day worries of a woman, but as far as I can tell, we all need someone to share those worries with. I want to tell someone about my new progress on the rescue ranch without having to give them the whole danged background story first. I usually never get to the point anyway, cause I get distracted on the details. A lot of people have advice on it, and some have even taken my explanation as an invitation to start this ranch with me. Not that I  have ever given anyone that impression intentionally. I don’t believe in going into business with friends, and if God wants them there, He will put them there when the time is right. One person had the nerve to tell me she was going to start it and hand it over to me when I was ready and this is how it was going to run. She and I don’t really speak much any more. Holy cow, dear readers. I have been sitting here a while. I think I made it to my point inadvertently, and I have responsibilities, so I will have to be back later with more. If I try to proofread now, I will be here all day adding and rewording stuff, so bear with me if you get to editing errors before I do. At very least, you got to see what my brain does when I go too long without adult conversation. Have a nice night all, and I will elaborate more later… until then, God bless.

 

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Change

Ahhh change, and a little more sweet relief! My husband finds himself traveling for a period of time, and the guest on the couch has to go. It was already determined that he would leave before hubby did. It just didn’t feel ok to me, to have my husbands best friend sleep on the couch while he was away. It was a good thing anyway. He overstepped about a hundred boundaires while sleeping on our couch for the last month, but the last straw came this weekend when I got a homepage from my internet service provider reporting too much abuse coming from my IP address! Excuse me? How is that possible. Come to find out, that after being asked three times not to look at porn on our son’s computer, by both my husband, and me, he not only looked at some really nasty stuff…titles like sleazydates, but we got a virus. A BAD virus! Are you kidding me? We have been deep scanning my sons computer for two days. It takes twelve hours per round, and the virus attacked the antivirus software and opened up the camera. Oh you can bet I was livid. I was calm angry. At that place that comes after raging, shaking angry. Calm, quiet, ready to punch him in the face angry. I don’t hit. Never have, don’t plan to start now. Seeing white angry! You can bet when my husband looked at me speechless, overwhelmed, and not sure where to begin, I had plenty to say. When my friend started to talk, I told him he didn’t get to talk. We had talked to him about this three times. It was disrespectful to our home, and everyone in it. He not only had the nerve to access that stuff while my respite client was here, and five feet away on the couch, he also knew of the virus, shut down the computer, and went to bed without telling anyone. Oh livid! When I was done, I apologized to my husband and son for what they had heard, and how mean I had been, and my son actually told me he had never heard me be that mean before. I can promise you one thing, and one thing for sure…Messing with pornography and my son all in one motion will get you to my deepest rage. That is a promise. I am a kind, caring, nurturing, and compassionate person. I have even spent a moment or two dwelling that my friend is out there, alone. Not a friend in the world. Lost his wife, his house, his job, in one day, and only sees his child occasionally now. Our other good friends turned their backs on him. He is a good friend, he made a very rude and disrespectful mistake, but I do get where he is coming from, and it most certainly the sin that I hate here, not so much the sinner. Him, I am angry at. The fact that he is lost and wandering in a dark world is not surprising, as it seems the norm when I evaluate the behavior of myself and others coming out of a long term relationship. I am not saying everyone handles loss with porn, I am saying that every divorce or separation I have seen has come with some sort of rebellion and irrationality. That does not excuse his inappropriate behavior in my home, and he knows to stay away for a while.  I was mean, I was vicious mean. Part of me feels guilty, but most of me feels like “how dare he?” I sent him away with the knowledge that he would be replacing my sons computer very quickly if I did not get it fixed, and that I would be sure that happened. I explained to him exactly how angry I was when I could not get to my little friends cancer awareness page, and that he had lied to me over and over and over again. I can forgive almost anything, immediately, if you can be accountable and own it. Lying to me will get you anger, mistrust, and a cold shoulder. People often tell me how big my smile is. Sometimes I am forced to remind them that while my smile is my favorite facial outfit, the rest of my emotions are just as big! Few understand that until they push me too far or see someone else push me too far. I am not a spiteful or vengeful person, I am just patient. I take a lot of crap, but there is a line, and when you cross it, that’s too much crap. I get cold and rational….and smart. That crushing wit I talked about…it leads my conversations with or without my permission. My husband thinks its funny. I think I need to control it well, but I am pleased that I was able to get my point across yesterday, and quite frankly, on a human level, it just felt good to tell him how badly he treated us and to get the hell out of my house…now. I hate it when I enjoy making a grown man cry. Thank God it doesn’t happen often.

The world is in a smoother, more relaxed place now. Bad friend off the couch and outta my hair, hubby off on a far away job, computers both clear and free of viruses and other malware, and the house is in a state of peace and quiet. I have the parental setting set so high in my sons computer, there wasn’t one piece of infected file attached to his account. I had no idea parental controls worked so well. The settings that high also prevent him from operating the camera, and yet the camera was activated, so I think I am just going to put a piece of electrical tape over his camera. My father in law laughed at me, but I saw a tv special the other day on pedophiles, and how easy it is for them to turn on your child’s computer cam remotely, in seconds, without anyone knowing. That scares the daylights out of me. My child is a teenage Aspergers nerd (I say that with the most pride and affection you can imagine). It is just that he would rather play an engineering game than talk to people or look at girls online, but that doesn’t stop people from watching him, and I am NOT ok with that.

I am pretty lazy and unorganized today, but with the start of a new week, I am looking forward to what the days should bring. I anticipate getting some lists made, getting my house clean, getting some crafts done, and getting paperwork responsibilities managed. I think I will get a chance to pamper myself one or two times while he is gone, and I look forward to a quiet, relaxing, clean, home. I think it will take me a week to get to that place. I anticipate the following week to be productive as I work on focusing toward the future and some of the responsibilities that come with getting to a rescue ranch. I can turn the heat up a degree or two, without anyone caring, and I don’t have to worry about my hubby being sad when I don’t go to bed as early as he does. My son’s sleep disorders physically limit this behavior in our lives, and so far we have not been able to find a solution to the fact that he hates to go to sleep without me, but I have to stay up with the boy, and he needs more sleep than I do, so he can’t make it through the week if he sleeps on my schedule. It will be nice to not feel bad about that.

The grocery store near our house is remodeling, and there are so many great deals to be had. I look forward to grocery shopping this week. It seems like everything is on clearance, which is not true, but a ton of stuff is. I LOVE CLEARANCE! It could be a hoarder tendency I think…I am not a hoarder, but I could be with the right amount of space and money…kidding. I grew up without a lot of money, and then was the single mother of a special needs child for ten years. I have a tendency to want to buy things cheap, and when they are cheap, to stock up. I think it is more a survival instinct than a hoarder tendency, since I like it all to be neatly organized and in its place with labels and dates.

I just remember the relief, when I was supporting two on less than four hundred dollars a month, when there was a spare shampoo under the sink for days when I had three dollars to my name. Speaking of that time in my life…if you are having trouble handling your finances, may I suggest Financial Peace University. Dave Ramsey. The man is a genius. I was able to support two people on under four hundred dollars a month, without accruing any new debt, for almost a year. My church paid for the class and materials for me, and I went. It was amazing. Nothing like I imagined it would be. He didn’t tell me I had to quit doing anything, he didn’t set strict rules I couldn’t will myself to observe. He taught me to make common sense changes in my life, in a Biblical way. I will go again and again to the classes (they are free once you have taken it once), and I would recommend, and will purchase the class for people in my future. I have already bought it for one person…my friend whose world was upside down. he didn’t make it through, but maybe when he gets back on his feet he will try again. I will offer these classes to the community when I start my rescue ranch. I feel strongly that the simple skills outlined in those classes can turn anyone’s life around.

Dinner is made and the dishes are done. Son is relaxing for a few minutes before he has to get in the shower and get ready for school tomorrow. Mutts are pottied and quietly snoozing. I have not bothered to turn on the tv today, but maybe I will do that in a little bit for some quiet background noise. I even got some food processed today that was not going to make it any longer in my fridge if I didn’t do something about it. I have roasted a turkey and a chicken in the last three days. That is a lot of white meat in my freezer. I got the clever idea to grind some up for chicken salad before I froze it, so all I have to do is thaw and add condiments when son wants chicken salad for a snack. Here is hoping it works. I tried to press as much of the air out of it as I could. I look forward to a lovely, quiet evening of list making and regrouping myself for my week that starts tomorrow. I love regrouping on Sunday night. A fresh start first thing in the morning is awesome. Especially on Monday morning.On that note, I believe I will go start my nighttime routine. You kids have a lovely day! God bless!