How life interrupts when you have plans.

If you follow me on social media you know that I have been tossed and turned in a sea of personal turmoil.  I got a job worked for almost 3 months then got let go because I was joking with a personal friend of mine and someone misunderstood the comments and situation. I’m okay with that. It’s been for the better I think.

I  have never been fired before……..I have always left on my own terms.  Not the path or plan I had, but as we all know life is what happens when you make plans.

I think many times when things change rapidly it is because we have prayed for an answer and something happens and we take that as the answer and forget to pray and ask if that is the answer or if it is a distraction.  I know that sounds confusing but it’s like this, when you are troubled and you pray for a way to solve your problem and you do all that you are suppose to do not always is the first solution the answer Heavenly Father has for you. It’s like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

We want everything so fast and so easy these days sometimes I think we forget that it takes work. We lose site of the goal like and get distracted by the things right in our face.

When I was young I played soccer. I played on a pretty good team. We won more than we lost and this was in the days when keeping score and being a good sport about losing was a virtue you learned on the field.  I played the position of defender closest to the goalie.  I loved playing. Many times all the other players were down at the other end of the field and the other defender and the goalie and I would get distracted by playing with the flowers in the grass or the caulk that marked the lines. We were not watching the game we were occupied with what was in front of us.  Had we paid more attention we would have probably learned so much more that game.  We would have seen the break away and seen the ball and the striker headed for our side of the field.  We would have been standing up and ready to defend our goal.  But we were not paying attention and were too slow standing up, we were confused as to why the coach was yelling at us and pointing.  Needless to say the other team scored.

I was upset and it was disappointing. I wanted to blame the other defender and the goalie, I wanted to say it wasn’t my fault but looking back almost 30 years now I know it was just as much my fault as it was my teammates.

See I had a plan that day. My plan was to stop the ball and be the “hero” of the team.  As often it happens in youth soccer there is a great amount of offense and very little defense. I wanted to be the first one to stop the ball to keep from the other team scoring, but I was too busy with the distractions in front of me.  I let a moment of boredom keep me from being a team player.

I let the “prestige” of the place I was working get in the way of what my actual goal was.  I also began to let my self slip and be tested.  I am sure Heavenly Father often shakes his head in frustration with me.  I am walking the path but get distracted and stop or just nudge the line sometimes. I am by no means Molly Mormon but I know who I am and where I come from and where I’m going. Sometimes I need a test or a lesson to remind me just how far I have come and how far I have to go.

Getting fired isn’t the end of the world just the end of a page in the current chapter you are writing.

 

LB.

I can no longer stand silent.

When my husband and I first moved to our new ward in G’ville we met some of our dearest friends. One of those friends was a man named Brian E. Kiley.  Brian was such a great person. He lived his faith. He was the same person on Sunday as he was Monday thru Friday.  I had the opportunity to be his Assistant Seminary teacher. Basically I got the great opportunity to teach early morning seminary when he was out of town working on his comedy career.

Just last year Brian met and married the woman of his dreams. They compliment each other so very well. Brian got everything he ever wanted in a family. He even got the chance to be a dad. He was such a great dad too.

Tragically just over a month ago Brian was murdered by a drunk driver on his way to the airport after a comedy show.  The man that killed Brian thought his right to drink and party was more important than the right of other people on the road.

Just yesterday the drummer for a popular band that I use to listen to was arrested and charged with drunk driving murder. He to decided that his party was more important that someone else’s right to live. And today a popular movie star and her husband were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and he was charged with DUI.

Two public figures in two days feeling entitled to do as they please regardless of those around them.

I have decided that I will no longer use my hard earned money to buy their music, go to their concerts, watch their movies or buy their products.

I am one lone voice in the dark refusing to support those that feel drunk driving is okay.  Every year more men, women and children are murdered by intoxicated drivers than people murdered by a gun.

Now I know that prohibiting anything only causes people to want it more so this is what I suggest. Tougher laws when it comes to DUI’s, tougher sentences for convicted drunk drivers, the permanent removal of driving privileges of habitual drunk drivers, the immediate removal and impounding of said drivers vehicle.  Anyone convicted of DUI should have a  notation on the front of their state issued id and driver’s license letting everyone know they are a drunk driver.

There are too many “reality” TV shows that show young people drinking and driving and acting stupid look like fun. They should removed from airways.

It is a startling realization that once a drunk driver gets out of jail they have the opportunity to get back behind the wheel of a machine that they used to kill someone.

When are we going to stand up and realize that drunk driving is not a game?

When are we going to stand up and stop laughing at how drunk people act?

When are we going to realize that it is not cool, popular or neat to get so drunk you don’t know where you are, what you are doing or who you are doing it to?

I think the laws need to be tougher for drunk drivers that get caught the first time then we might see few drunk driving murders.

What are your thoughts? What can we do to make drunk driving murder a thing of the past?

Stigma This

There are days when getting out of bed is overwhelming.

There are days when the thought of going out the front door is paralyzing.

There are days when getting out of the house is an itch that can’t be scratched fast enough.

There are days when everyone around you laughs and you join them.

There are days when moving fast isn’t fast enough.

These are the days of my life. I am bi-polar with hypomania. Each person with this defect presents differently. I just happen to function and create on a higher level than others. I can have insanely organized and creative periods and times where being organized is not a priority to me.

Bi-Polar Disorder can be defined as the follow:

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are more severe than the normal ups-and-downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated. A combination of professional counseling and medication helps most people live productive and fulfilling lives.

Bipolar symptoms are sometimes not recognized as parts of a larger problem, so it can be years before a person is properly diagnosed and treated. While some experience symptoms during childhood, bipolar disorder often develops in a person’s late teens or early adult years. It has been reported that at least half of all cases start before age 25. Like diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person’s life.

Bipolar mood changes are called episodes, and people usually shift from manic to depressive episodes.

For many generations the word bi-polar has been taboo. Telling people that you have depression or anxiety or a mental health diagnosis was social disaster. Many patients have been told not to tell anyone for fear of being denied jobs, being considered a social outcast. It can be intimidating to tell people about your illness. You fret and worry about whether or not you will have friends left. You worry about keeping your job, getting a new job. You worry about being shunned by friends and loved ones because you are “unstable”. Due to the stigma many with mental health illnesses will forgo treatment and self-medicate with illegal drugs, alcohol, food or other reckless behaviors. These things can seem to help for some time but are not directly treating the illness especially bi-polar disorder.

Facts v. Fiction of Mental Illness BringChange2mind.org

FICTION: People living with a mental illness are often violent.

FACT: Actually, the vast majority of people living with mental health conditions are no more violent than anyone else. People with mental illness are much more likely to be the victims of crime.

FICTION: Mental illness is a sign of weakness.

FACT: A mental illness is not caused by personal weakness — nor can it be cured by positive thinking or willpower — proper treatment is needed.

FICTION: Only military personnel who have been in combat can be diagnosed with PTSD.

FACT: While PTSD is prevalent in men and women who have seen combat, experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event can trigger PTSD, including violent personal assaults such as rape or robbery, natural or human-caused disasters, or accidents.

FICTION: People with a mental illness will never get better.

FACT: For some people, a mental illness may be a lifelong condition, like diabetes. But as with diabetes, proper treatment enables many people with a mental illness to lead fulfilling and productive lives.

FICTION: Children aren’t diagnosed with mental illness.

FACT: Millions of children are affected by depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. As a matter of fact, 1 in 10 children live with a diagnosable mental illness. Getting treatment is essential.

FICTION: “Mental illness can’t affect me!”

FACT: Mental illness can affect anyone. While some illnesses have a genetic risk, mental illness can affect people of all ages, races and income levels, whether or not there is a family history.

There has been some amazing and ground-breaking research in the last 5 years regarding mental illnesses especially bi-polar disorders. Quite a few studies have linking bi-polar disorder to a defect in DNA. The Medical News Today article explains the new research being done across the nation into what exactly causes or can cause bi-polar disorder.

The facts are that 1 in 6 adults are living with a brain-related illness including depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD and schizophrenia.

The fact is, your child’s teacher, the bus driver, the next door neighbor, husband, wife, best friend, police officer, fire fighter, pilot, soliders and just about everyone knows someone with mental illness.

We can all agree that bullying is wrong that making fun of people is cruel and mean. Why is it then that when someone is acting differently than expected they are describe as being “bipolar” or you hear “The weather is totally bipolar” We expect our parents and Military to be strong and brave. So much so that men and women in our armed services are committing suicide at a rate of 17.5 suicides per 100,000 in 2010. That is 17.5 to many. Many are afraid that asking for help and getting counseling will undermine their career. As of September of 2011 there was an estimated 1,468,364 active duty service personnel. This number does not include reserves on active duty for training.

Now I’m not great with math but let’s take a look at the numbers. 1 in 6 adults are living with a brain related illness so that means out of the approximately 1.5 million activity duty military personnel approximately 250,000 of those men and women are living with a mental health issue. Now don’t quote my math. Some of you know I married my husband to do the math and well he’s sleeping while I write the post……..but back on topic.

There are so many false stigmas about those of us with mental health illness. Why? Why do people automatically assume that you are dysfunctional if you share your mental health status?

One of the websites I’ve quoted above www.bringchange2mind.org is one of the best resources on the internet.

Another voice in the dark stigma of mental health is Logan Noone here is his story Bipolar Disorder Recovery.

I’ve read it and heard it said “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

I draw the line in the sand and I refuse to hide. I have bipolar disorder and I am not a stigma.

Domestic Goddess: Not so much

Okay so I have a confession…………..I am NOT a Domestic Goddess on the level that some obtain. I’m like a Demi Domestic Goddess. I love to cook, I have a decorated house with a theme and most often my kitchen is clean

Image


I may need to change my laundry schedule (much cooler said with a British accent). Waiting until neither of us have clothes to wear is NOT a good plan. See when you wait that long you end up with a ton of laundry. There is no reason that a family of two should have 6 loads of laundry. I know families of six that don’t have that many loads. I’m not exactly sure why it is I dislike doing laundry. Maybe the next time I go for a counseling session I can discuss my hatred of laundry. That would throw Dr. Y off don’tca think?

Image

I’m sorry I do not find joy in laundry. I have tried to find joy in having a house that is completely put together not a smidge out of place. Sure it’s nice to know where things are and to be organized don’t get me wrong.  I just find that it’s not fun, I do not enjoy the process of “constant vigilance” when it comes to housekeeping.

I’d much rather watch a good movie, read a book, chat with friends on the phone or internet. Discover the newest silly video. Or blog and avoid watching my next two hours of lectures and take the test and write the paper that is looming on the sidelines.

I keep telling my husband that when he graduates and we finally buy a house that I am hiring a housekeeper. He thinks I’m joking. I have no problem paying someone to do the things I dislike.

This issue goes much deeper in our society. As I see it we have three different sides of this issue. We have the OAHW’s (Over Achieving Housewives) that just make the rest of us look like dropouts from the Martha Stewart School of Housewifery. Then you have the media and society telling us that there is no way we can be leading a fulfilling meaningful life if we stay at home, then we have those of us that want to stay home yet do not find joy in dirty underwear or museum like home. Don’t get me wrong I would love to be the type of Domestic Goddess that could have her home be on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens. I am sure that I could be that OAHW but I’m just not willing to spend 8 hours a day scrubbing toilets and floors and laundry and, and and.

I want to have time to do nothing, and everything and to never have to say “Sorry I can’t come to lunch today I have to clean my carpets.”

So how do I solve this problem? I work a bit at a time on the guilt of not being an OAHW. I say okay my living-room will always be put together. I find small and easy ways to achieve these things.

Sure life barges it’s way into the state of my home, we are lived in not dirty. Sure the coffee table top hasn’t seen daylight in a few months but hey I know where everything is.

We need to STOP feeling guilty if the sink if full of dishes or the laundry doesn’t get done like clockwork. We need to ignore the dust on the lamps and feed our souls.

When I die no one is going to remember how clean my house was, unless I end up on “Hoarders”. People will remember me for the time I spent with them, the laughs we shared and the love I gave.

So I say let the dishes soak another day and go play in the rain, snow, sun or at your favorite local spot with the favorite people in your life. The dishes and laundry will be there later.

LB.

Here but not.

Clocks ticking marking time
The sweet summer breeze passing me by.

Alone in my head, so crowded here.
No room for lazy Southern days.

We all look for a way out
Running circles chasing rainbows.

Sipping the koolaid rubs me the wrong way. So not how I want to spend my day.

Melting walls leaves me exposed torn broken, too bad for all the kings men. Not enough left to begin.

Before my end where’s the beginning? Not sure how I got here. 
Don’t care how it ends just need some space. Not enough room in here for you, me and boy blue.

Take a breath, breath it in deep. One step at a time. Clock is ticking marking the time.

Sweet southern breezes blow by clearing the air and my mind.

As the Universe turns and The Leftovers all at one time.

This week was an emotionally draining and uplifting.  I have to share some background before I can share the change.

From the time of birth till my 8th or 9th birthday I had what some would call an idealistic childhood. Mom and Dad and baby sister. What I didn’t know then was that my parents marriage was in shambles. They were originally married in 1972. I was born in December of 1973. They then divorced in approximately 76 and remarried in 78 or so. My sister and I joke that we are so different because I’m from the first marriage and she’s from the second.  My parents we later divorced for a final time in 1982.

My mother promptly married my step father. At 8 years old I’m not really sure what I was expecting or what was going on.  All I knew is that we (my sister and I and mom) all moved out of the house we lived in to a trailer park.  The trailer was smelly and the kids were not very nice.  We then in some twisted fate ended up moving back in to the house with my dad, my mom us girls and my step-father. Even as young as I was I knew something wasn’t right.

Eventually we moved to another city and then one night in the middle of the night my mom and step-father packed up some bags and we left on a Greyhound bus for California.  I remember some of the trip but not much.  We moved in with my mother’s parents.

This is when my terror started. My step-father hated the way I ate, walked, dressed, talked you name it I did it wrong.  The abuse started as mostly verbal and mental.  Calling me dumb, stupid and telling us that we were nothing but poor white trash and that was all we would ever be.  The physical abuse didn’t start until my grandfather passed away.

For the next ten years I lived in terror. Never knowing what was going to set him off.  I didn’t want him to hurt my sister so I took the blame for her. Took the beatings, the verbal barrage that never seemed to end.  I remember one time we were walking in to a pharmacy/drug store and there was a greeter at the cart area. He was shaking hands and saying hello to everyone. He was wearing a red vest with the logo of the store in the front.  He said hello and shook my hand.  My step-father was furious. He grabbed me by the should and dug his thumb in to it and “steered” me out of the store to the car.  He forced me into the back seat hitting my head on the roof as he did so. We sat there in tense silence till my mother and sister came out. When we got home I was yelled at and screamed at and belittled and eventually was told to drop my shorts and bend over the footstool for a spanking.  I was crying so hard that my nose ran onto the footstool and floor and I got hit more because of it.  I could not sit down after and my mother had to keep my home from school.  To hide it from my grandmother I was told not to tell her or the police or it would be worse the next time.  I always dreaded her going to work or on vacation. We lived in her home. When she was there I felt safe.  I ended up missing several days of school because of the bruising on the back of my legs and back and tush.

This was just one of many of his cruelties.   We couldn’t cuff our pants because only poor people cuffed their pants. I got grounded from reading because he was tired of seeing my nose in a book.  I was studying for a spelling test once and he was giving me the list of words, one of the words was “while”, with his Tennessee accent it sounded like he was saying “whale”, that cause a split lip and more time out of school.  We couldn’t sit on the concrete porch because some old wives tale said we would get hemorrhoids.  Some of these things seem silly but to me these things kept me in a constant state of terror.  Elementary, Jr. High and High School was miserable. They just brought about more things for him to get angry about.  For the most part as long as he was at work things were okay. Weekends were rough and if my grandmother was on vacation he seemed to pack in as much misery as possible.  He also kept us away from others. As many abusers do.  We were sheltered and kept in the house as much as possible.

There were several times that my mom promised to leave him all we had to do was ask. We asked, we pleaded, we begged. He would always make her promises or get her high.  That’s how a co-dependent abusive relationship works.

My mother passed away in 1993 not long after my grandmother and step-father moved my sister and I to Iowa.  I was 19 by the time but had no idea how to function with out my family. I wasn’t allowed to make any decisions with out fear of abuse.  I started my first job in January of 1992 and even that was controlled.

Not long after moving to Iowa my step-father just left. No reason why, no note nothing.  I guess he found that he couldn’t bully may aunt and uncle. Soon after he left I started spreading my wings. I traveled here and there and eventually ended up back in Tennessee. In the same area that my step-father was from. Since 1995 I’ve been looking over my shoulder and out of the corner of my eye. Worried, concerned and partially terrified that I would run into him.

On Thursday September 6, 2012 on a whim I signed up for one of those “find anyone” pages.  I like to keep tabs on what is out on internet about me and what people have access to.  After double checking my info and opting out I looked up my step father not sure why after all this time what made me do it, but I did.  It had him listed as deceased.

I sat shocked, this was overwhelming. I had to have confirmation. I started looking for SSI Death index confirmation. I couldn’t find it not really sure how to find it. I called a friend of mine and she found it.

I cried, I laughed, I sat quiet. It was finally over. The door and darkness finally gone.  He passed away back in 2008.  For almost 20 years I have been on edge just waiting for this evil man to pop back up. I have fought for the last 30 years I have struggled and fought to be free.  Having confirmation that the information was actually true was the final piece of therapy.

The Gospel has helped me grow and learn to forgive and move forward and heal.  Knowing that he can no longer hurt anyone. Knowing that now he has to answer for all the evil he did, for all the pain and suffering he caused.

I am FREE!

And that my friends is As the Universe Turns AND The Leftover.  Thank you for reading this far. Thank you for listening and understanding.

L.