Sunday, October 10, 2021

Perspective

 At almost 60 years old I thought I would be experiencing peace, joy, happiness, love and all the other great things in life. These things I have experienced in the past. Over the past 2 years terror has invaded my soul and my mind and has brought to me many sleepless nights and thoughts of dying are ever so close. Trauma from early childhood experiences has resurfaced with a vengeance and is desperate to take over my mind and put my soul to rest for good. 


The memories are so intrusive that they come at any moment, the pain is real and the experiences are just like yesterday. I can feel the pain and feel the hits, my head jars and my body moves with motions of the torture. It’s not just abuse, it’s not just a hit to the head or to the gut, or getting up off the floor just to be there again. Sometimes I would just lay there and act as if I couldn’t get up, that would often come with a kick to the head or stomach, but worth it not to get knocked down again. Seeing those legs and shoes turn into a different direction walking away was a relief. I would say in my mind, “it’s over for now.”


So, what am I saying in writing this out. One is, it brings my memories to life, out in the open so to speak, they have been in hiding for so many years. I’ve referred to them as an invisible soul, it drives you and can kill you if you let it take over. I know it sounds a bit psychotic indeed but the reality is your memories can kill you. I know of so many that have let their past destroy them. I’ve been thinking a great deal about them lately. 


I had a dream a few weeks ago and as I sat on the end of the bed with the gun in my hand I found it hard not to pull the trigger. It was so real, I was out of my body watching the event unfold. I could see me getting up walking towards the gun, getting the gun in my hand, I found myself staring at it wondering was this it? Is this how it’s going to end? Then waking up, I was asking myself, “was that real?” I even looked for the gun to make sure it wasn’t moved. It had not been. My sweet Lisa has since move the gun. 


As the “flash backs” and thoughts of harming myself got worse I sought help! I just happened to have a friend who is a wonderful therapist. She agreed to see me, Lisa went along with me as I thought it important that after 37 years of marriage we are in this together. I had shared what was going on with Lisa before seeking help. She was in agreement that we needed some help. 


The first session was not weird at all, as I knew my therapist and had often joked when I saw her that I was in need of a “session.” We sat down and her first question was, ”when was the last time you were in therapy?”  She already knew some of my story but to the depths that she would soon learn. I told her it had been more than 40 years since my last session. She ask me, so what’s been going on? My response was the above. I told her, “It seems that I’m not getting through this and not sure if I will.” “Tell me more about what’s going on George” she said. These words echoed in my soul as I had not heard that question in more than 40 years.


After a few session I really began to put things back into perspective. Don’t get me wrong now, I’m not there just yet and not sure if I will get “there.” But what I do know, is trying to identify what triggers these memories, some say flash backs, some call it trauma that creates specific emotions. It is not an easy task. It requires me to look and each event and understand why it’s being presented to my mind at that time and try and expose what caused it to surface. 


The dreams being as real as they are have been identify as my mind giving perspective of what that event would look like if played out. It was quite a relief to know that my thoughts and dreams were not abnormal. It can be a place, a smell, a person, a certain walk, a specific day, a birthday, a funeral, a sound, a song, a food, so many different variables that can trigger an event. On a side note, the therapist did expose that I didn’t have a plan to carry out my suggestive murder and that is a good thing. 


For now this is the plan of exposing and managing these memories. We have identified that my mental health is tied directly to my level of exhaustion. When I get exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed or feel out of control I start to egress back to a bad state mind. This has helped more than anything. So the plan right now is to keep identifying and not take on more than I can handle. Trigger’s are important and I believe we all have them just some worse than others. 


As of late I have had more joy, more peace and been enjoying life more, if you find yourself experiencing theses things don’t hesitate to seek help. Sometimes it takes a good friend, a great therapist and a wonderful wife to help put things into perspective. 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Shoe Laces

 As I sit here trying to figure out which of the fifty or so stories I need to finish, I realize that none of them may ever be brought to life. The year 2020 seemed to silence both my time and creativeness. I guess you could say I got to caught up in all the politics and social media events that 2020 brought to us. 


Realizing this, here I am sitting peacefully on my front porch facing the most beautiful lake in the world. I’m pondering what to write. It’s so quite this time of year and the rain drops are ever so slow hitting the ground and making fun in the water. The wind is nowhere to be found and the temperature is close to 65 degrees, mind you this is January 2021. 


Peace instills my soul and a story is evolving in my mind about learning to tie shoes. What is this story that looms on the distance fog that covers the lake. It’s a simple story I think but applicable to us all.


Let’s unpack this from my thought barn. Well, not sure where to begin but at some point someone had to teach us how to tie our shoe laces. I have a very faint memory of someone teaching me how to tie mine. 


There was a repeated step by step process instructing me how to get this most complicated knot to work and how that would keep my shoes firmly in place on the soles of my feet. Each day I would say, “can you help me tie my shoes”, and each day I would get the same response, “I will be right there.” Whoever that was would come into my room and bend down in front of me and go through the same process as yesterday, cross the laces, make a bow, then make another bow, circle the lace and then pull tight. 


Day after day I got this but never fully understanding the process. The instructions were clear but my brain could not seem to grasp this simple process. Then one day as I called for help a lady came in and sat behind me, her arms reaching around me as to give me a big hug. She grabbed my hands and my shoe laces and said, “cross the laces, make a bow then another, wrap and then pull tight.” There it was as plain as day, my shoes were tied. I never had to ask for help again. 


So, there is something to say about that the way we are taught and how our brain see things. As I said early on, 2020 was a year to remember. I don’t believe it matters to what extent we learned things. We all learned. Fact or fiction, the stories kept coming last year. 


The comfort for me was the fact that learning from the Spirit of God is Him reaching around embracing me, showing me, teaching me that it’s going to be ok. It’s not what’s in front of me but who has me in His arms. So for 2021, lean more into God’s arms, trust His hugs and His Word not what’s in front you, be it television, social media, friends or even family. 

Perspective

  At almost 60 years old I thought I would be experiencing peace, joy, happiness, love and all the other great things in life. These things ...