binaural beats……mind blowingly amazing!

I discovered binaural beats yesterday and I am hooked!!  It’s been at the bottom of my list of things to try for a long time.  I would much rather listen to my wild and free folk music on my old but good stereo, than listen to what seems like totally canned synthesized music over headphones.

Thirty seconds into my first taste ever, my mind settled down, and I felt grounded.  There is not much in life that does that for me.  I’m a hard one to talk off the edge and get my feet planted on solid ground when I’m in the midst of anxiety or depression.  So if my brain says yes to binaural beats, so be it!

Happy listening!

17 years old….

I was 17 years old.  A sensitive, sheltered, vulnerable 17.  I was spending more and more time in my bedroom basement.  In bed, in the dark.  Alone, out of my mind with grief.  No one to talk to, no one to walk beside me.

I always hated school, and had to work hard to make it onto the honor roll.  Now I could no longer concentrate, I had no interest in learning, no motivation to get out of bed in the morning, exhausted every waking hour.

Dad and the principle had a meeting and it was determined that I might not be able to graduate.  The principle suggested counselling, getting a couple of tutors and encouraging me to do what I needed to do to graduate.

Dad came down into my den of darkness and had one of his really unhelpful, unpleasant ‘talks” with me.  Not with me, at me.  I needed a Mom to enfold me in her arms, to cry with me.  To hold me in the darkness.  Not the Dad who made sure he worked day and night to spend as little time at home as possible so he wouldn’t have to be around Mom.

I told Dad I wanted to die and he cracked a joke about it.  I really could end my story there.  What else is there to say? But ending the story there leaves the rage roiling in me, so I will continue.

With total lack of conviction, empathy, or belief that it would work, Dad suggested I start the counselling and see a doctor.  So at 17, I went to a doctor by myself.  I didn’t know why I needed to go to the doctor because there was nothing wrong with me.  I walked out with a diagnoses of depression and a sample of anti-depressants.  My world was shattered in a whole different way.  It didn’t give such a thing as mental illness.  It was spiritual weakness or just plain laziness.  How could I talk to anyone about it?  The guilt and shame that I experienced…

It was my impression that Mom didn’t even know or care about it.  I didn’t tell any of my friends.  I don’t know if I took the pills or if they just stayed in my drawer.

The counselor was in my school, so I had to skulk away to see him without being seen.  I saw him alone too.  No support, no follow up from my parents.  Nothing.  He was most harmful in his conservative evangelical proselytizing.  Pray harder, decide to change, it’s not that bad, you’re not trying hard enough.

I did manage to graduate high school, though I couldn’t have cared less what happened to me.

The next few years, things got progressively worse.  I wasn’t safe in my own skin.  The trauma, anxiety, depression, grief, despair and anger had no way out.  I became very unstable and didn’t want to be left alone, ever.  But my family wasn’t willing to admit there was anything wrong with me.  There wasn’t any ability to show empathy, or compassion.  There were derogatory remarks made about having to babysitting me.  They were constantly leaving me to go on family vacations, sometimes without telling me.  I was made to feel… I can’t even describe it.  But the pain I feel as I write this now threatens to overtake me with its darkness.

I starved myself in an attempt to get Mom’s attention.  I started self-harming.  I turned 20 in the psych hospital.  Alone.

That’s pretty much my story.  Trying to make it through alone.  Not able to process my grief, not able to change and being blamed for it.

To this day I’m very angry at my parents, my extended family, my community for the way I was treated as a grief stricken teenager.  It’s probably more to the point to say I hate them.  I work at forgiveness, acceptance and all that shit, but when I recall a story like this, it seems like the rage is still so deep down inside of me, it hasn’t been touched yet.  I’ve managed to smooth out the exterior wrinkles.  Sand down the rough edges, but the deep healing hasn’t occurred yet.  It’s bubbling away, waiting for a crack so it can come spewing out.  I do everything in my power to keep it under wraps, but it seeps out no matter what I do.  Toxic waste, eating at me like acid.

——

My wise woman told me this week that she was having friends over at her B&B that were into suicide prevention for teens.  That triggered a shit storm of ugly memories for me.

Why do people have to be so closed minded?  So judgmental?  So harmful to a child?  It seems like there are so many questions, and so few questions.

Thanks for reading.  If you’re hurting tonight, know that you are not alone.

barefoot in the sandy forest

print

A big ass foot print, the size of my hand.  Maybe a timber wolf.  Gives me shivers.

Bare foot in the sandy forest
The sun kissing my shoulders

Ticks crawling up my sweats
Cramps come and go

Companionable silence
Awkward silence

Smiling dogs
Thundering down the trails

Don’t want to leave
Don’t make me leave

What is she thinking?
Have I ruined our friendship?

I breathe in the silence
I want to die

———-

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My favorite pic of the day.

Why does there have to be dichotomy in everything I do? It’s exhausting. Obtrusive thoughts rule my life, and ruin the good.

Me and Amanda went hiking in our provincial forest. That’s as close to perfection as it can get for me. I revel in the forest sounds, uninterpreted by traffic, corrupt farmers, trains. The smell is invigorating, no noxious odorous manure that makes me want to vomit.

The boys smiled the whole day. Sticking close to each other. Exploring just out of view, but never to far away.

I wish there was an off switch to my brain. It’s been uncontrollable the past week. Constantly churning. Feeding the angst, anger, sadness, and depression. It wants little to do with gratitude, meditation, or healing at this point.

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Impatiently waiting to be let out of the car to start the day!

ohsheglowscookies

Amanda made cookies from the Oh She Glows cookbook.

crocus

These beauties are in bloom.  Crocus.

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burn area

We walked about 8 miles through various ecosystems.  There was a huge fire several years ago, and the growth of little trees is mind blowing.

Yesterday I Had A Job

Yesterday I had a job
Today I don’t
I had to quit, but it broke my heart
It broke my Dad’s heart
My sister might never talk to me again

We’re all one, we’re all separate
We all want the same thing, but can’t seem to get there
Floundering
Drowning
Caught, unable to end it

Some of us growing in leaps and bounds
Breathing in peace, strength, calm
Exhaling gratitude, respect and love

Others only interested in hiding
Taking no responsibility, just accusing
Engaging in cold silence

What do I do?
Who do I take care of?
I can’t please everyone
I wander down the path of insomnia, panic, depression, panic, depression…..
Days get blacker
Tears start to flow

I want to hide,
Rescind responsibility, accuse
Stop communicating

I feel nauseous as I say the words,
“I’m handing in my notice.”
I summon up the courage no one else has to cut off the beast’s head and end it

Today’s the aftermath
I feel sick
I want to hurt myself
I want to sleep, but can’t rest
I need respite, I need so much, it’s no where to be found

A hug, a meal, a drive on the country roads
A compassionate ear
A cuddle

But I’m alone
Always alone

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————————-
Until yesterday, my family had a small agri-tourism business. Mom was the one who ran it. At least she tried to. She was not a nice person, struggling with depression and anxiety but lived in total denial. Apparently there was only room for one sick person in the family, and that was me. I embraced my depression, anxiety, borderline and PTSD and sought help. Everyone else decided mental illness wasn’t really a thing and they were fine. Is my bitterness singeing your eyeballs?

Mom died about a year ago from leukemia. It was a longer death, but I don’t think there was one conversation of what would happen next. There was no planning, no getting ready for death and the changes it would bring.

So now we’re left with a family business that was never managed properly. Never made any money. But it was Dad’s dream to be able to retire and just work there. He hasn’t been able to pull the plug.

I had several conversations with him about why he wanted to keep it open. He kept saying “for you and your sister.” I told him, that’s not a good idea. You need to open it for you, I don’t want the responsibility of whether it opens or closes on my shoulders. Turns out, he couldn’t hear what I had to say and kept it open just for me and my sister. And now I’ve pulled the plug.

I was looking forward to running it with him. As partners. But he couldn’t do it. He wanted me to do it all, while I kept telling him, this isn’t working for me. Stop and listen Dad, this isn’t working. But he wasn’t able to hear me.

I’m all about taking care of myself. Most days I don’t feel like it’s getting anywhere, but I try damned hard. I can’t drive myself into the ground over anything. I’m taking care of myself and now we have a mess. All I can think about is running away.

I’m an incredibly sensitive soul trying to navigate a hardened, jaded family. Right now, It’s breaking me apart.

A horse and a dog

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Mr. Sam I Am: Have you seen the cute little red skinned coon hound around the neighborhood? I
heard she just moved in.

Samuel: Have I ever!! She is a looker. Shy and reserved though. Not one for too much stepping out.

Mr. Sam I Am: Hmmm… You know, I think I might stand a chance with her. Most of the dogs in the area are unkempt, uncouth farm dogs. I have some class, I sleep in a queen sized bed, I get one or two baths a day. I actually have a bit of pedigree, being half double doodle/half basset hound.

Samuel: Has Mom had “the talk” with you yet? You know, the birds and the bees. All that jazz.

Mr. Sam I Am: She preempted the “the talk” with “the snip.” As long as there are no babies, no coming home drunk or high and no sexing it up in her bed, Mom’s pretty easy going.

Samuel: Your Mother is a wonderful gal, that one.

Action shots and a faulty memory.

I’m a talented photographer who knows little about the mechanics of getting a good shot. They just happen for me… until they don’t and then I get frustrated because I can’t fix something. So I’m working at teaching myself. It doesn’t help that I have very faulty memory recall due to depression. Hopefully things will start to stick around in my brain!

I love taking pictures of Mr. Sam I am running, so I read up on how to take action shots. The boys got a lot of practice with their stays and come, and I got a lot of practice snapping pics.

I find it difficult to get good pics of Hephzibah, the black pooch. And since Samuel is so photogenic and just fricken cute, he gets front and center of most of my pictures.

Help

Born with a broken heart.
Born to broken parents.
Why can’t my broken heart give up and cease to beat?

It’s been a year since we said good-bye to Mom.
She decided her broken heart couldn’t keep beating.
Now we live in the aftermath.
What wouldn’t I give to trade places with her?

I’m too tired to further my journey of self-discovery and healing.
Life is gray. Fuzzy round the edges.
I don’t have the strength for another step. For another meal. For another meaningless day.
Help.

——–

I choose gratitude, love, resonance and strength as my intentions for 2017. The reality looks more like major depression, anxiety, sadness, and despair.

 

Am I hot? Or did I get creeped??

I went to a hoity-toity business mixer this week. Translation: a networking party.  I walked in the door and saw a sea of black.  Everyone was wearing black from head to toe, and it caught me off guard.  It was at our local Co-op Gas Bar Headquarters, so I thought the dress would be casual.  Apparently not.

Then there was me.  All six feet of me decked out in a long teal skirt, creamy white top and maroon colored sweater.  Purple highlights in my hair.  Oh, let’s not forget the handmade moccasins on my feet.  Very country bumpkin.

Due to a light brown, long haired dog named Sam, the only black garment I own is a pair of panties.  Imagine me striding in co-op adorned only in a pair of black granny panties.  Saggy boobs, stretch marks from top to bottom, skinny legs and a midsection I’m not comfortable with.  Quite an entrance!

Is black the color to hide behind?  Does it signify that you are rich and your business is happening?  Does it mean that you are miserable and need to fit in with the other drones?  Always searching after the next dollar?  Is it any coincidence that the business I am associated with doesn’t make a profit and hardly pulls in any cash?  Would that change if I started to wear black?

I can’t see myself running an agri-tourism business in my black panties or in a black pant suit.  It’s not to practical.  Between the sunburn, mosquito bites, or incessant sweating and dry cleaning bills, I wouldn’t be up to being the boss lady.

I’ll stick with my comfy homemade skirts and colorful tank tops.  That way if a sheep takes a crap on me, I take a header into the mud, or get blood on me while tending to child who cut his finger on a corn stalk, I can throw the clothes into the washer and be done with it.

What did I learn from this event?

I haven’t made a lot of head ways in healing my anger towards rich folk who keep all their money to build a bigger house, buy another car, a boat, go south for the winter…..

Rank amateurs need not attend.  No one said hi to me, even though I attempted to make eye contact and be open to whatever would happen.  I was so out of place and out of my comfort zone.

I am smoking hot.  I noticed the photographer take several pictures of me.  (Either I’m hot or he was creeping me.) ; )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Stop….Major Depression

I`m exhausted, I`m sleeping more, food is tasteless, life is grey around the edges.  I know what that means.  I`m heading into a depression.  Probably a major depression seeing as how my normal state is somewhat depressed.

I`ve been living with depression most of my life and yet, I have no plan for when it gets bad.  Having a plan would entail having a support system in place I imagine.  I have bare bones support, but no one to help me with practical things like helping me clean my house, bringing me food, checking in on me, asking me if how close I am to hurting myself or what where the suicidal ideation is at.  I`m quite alone in this journey of mine.

I take really good care of myself when I have the energy, but when the energy wanes, I need help.

I`m off to start my bedtime routine so I can get up tomorrow morning and trudge my way through another long, heart breaking day.

 

I know why I am alive!!

Why am I alive?  What`s my purpose?

I`ve been asking these questions for many years, but particularly for the past 3 1/2 years.  Four years ago I sunk into a deep depression, and felt like I was being led to empty my life of everything that I held dear.  I let go of being a college and career group leader. It was something that I threw myself into and even though I found it incredibly challenging and uncomfortable, I was able to shower my love onto these women and I received their love back.  I also let go of being a youth leader to a group of high school girls.  Being a part of those two groups was my purpose in life.  Without it, I because an empty shell.  Devoid of any life, I went through a dark night of the soul.  I knew that my life was being stripped bare so it could be built up again, and I clung to that for as long as I could.  A year into the darkness, I lost all hope and I let go of my faith in God.  The pain was too immense.  The loneliness was all-consuming.  The nothingness terrified me.

Then my Mom was diagnosed with cancer and died a few months later (May 2016.)  That tipped me straight into a hazy craze of panic and anxiety.  When the panic occasionally eased, the depression hit me like a ton of bricks.  It`s not the hardest thing I`ve been through, but a very close second. 

I`d done much searching for answers over the years.  I changed my diet, my life style became simpler and simpler as I let go of my car, I decluttered…..  I listened to podcasts, read blogs, I tried anything I could that was free.  I knew I needed professional help, but wasn`t able to afford any sort of private therapy.  I had tried government-funded therapy often enough to know that the system is a nightmare and would make things worse.

When my Mom was pronounced terminal and I started talking about killing myself, my relatives put together some money for therapy.  I looked around long and hard before settling on seeing Kalyn, a Christian Spiritual Director, (a strange choice because I didn`t identify as Christian at that point) and getting EMDR.

Kalyn was wonderful, but I couldn`t fully trust her because I feared her abandoning me, so there was always an unease in the relationship.  I met with the EMDR therapist once and it was a disaster.  I was crushed.  I was literally counting on it to save my life.  I had 36 years worth of trauma stored in my body, and no way to release it.  The panic attacks were crippling.  The anxiety symptoms were off the charts.  I was back to burning myself with my iron on a regular basis.  I was not coping, and those closest to me were scared.  I wanted to be hospitalized, but it didn`t work out.

My aunt suggested body talk as an alternative to EMDR.  Her therapist`s waiting list was two years, but Kalyn also did bodytalk, and Jenna was able to see me in a couple of weeks.  I walked into her house crying, unable to communicate, shaking, not able to fill in her intake form.  She finally said, let`s go downstairs and get started.  That was the start of a beautiful transition.

It`s been seven months, and I`ve found the answer to my questions.  My purpose is to be present in the moment and figure out who I am.  That resonated as truth for me as soon as I heard it. 

How am I working on it?  I practice gratitude.  I read Radical Forgiveness, and am working at practicing it.  I`m starting a meditation practice.  Walking meditation resonates with me, so every day me and Sweet Sam go outside to give love, to receive love, to notice different body parts, to hear the sounds, and to talk to my spirit guide, Joshua.  I`m learning about living life with intention.  I`m digging deep into who donna marie is by doing an audio course by Danielle Laporte.  (It`s called Fire Starters.)  I found a wise woman to learn from.

I am already obsessing over the next set of burning questions.  How do I attain balance?   What is balance?  What do I need to do to take the utmost care of my soul, my mind, my physical body, and my physical possessions?  Can I experience joy and peace while taking care of myself?  Will life always be exhausting?  Will I ever feel physically strong and resilent?

It would be nice to take a sabbatical from all this heavy lifting my mind is going through.  I`m weary in all sorts of ways.  But that`s not how it works, so I continue forwards with self-love, and a strength that I`m not quite ready to acknowledge. 

Once again the end of the day has come, and it`s time for my little family to get tucked into bed.  Thanks for reading!