Kintsugi

 

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     The sickeningly sweet smell of a rose scented candle fills the air and I am instantly transported through tangled webs of time and space. To a time I was desperate for his love while being destroyed by the other woman, who was also him. The comparisons I couldn’t live up to. The pain of being heavy with child and being told how disgusting I was.  I rush for the outdoors longing for the brisk air to chase these demons of the past away. The insufficiency clings to my skin like a leech, sucking away at my self-esteem. The knowledge of my failings laid bare before the universe.  I throw my head back and stare up at the stars inhaling the brisk air as if life itself was contained within.  My bare feet begin to ache from the frost covered deck that I stand upon.

 

     I’m mostly free from that time. Lord knows how much therapy, prayer, yoga, and all manner of cures has gone into getting over the pain. But the brain has a sneaky way of hiding pain in the forgotten dusty corners of one’s mind until some uninvited guest goes rustling around and stirring it up.

     Rude. That’s what it is.  Being thrust into memories and dreams without permission. I don’t want to remember my step dad.  My ex. Fear. Pain. Loss.

 

     Is there a purpose to this remembering of things l keep trying to bury? Perhaps, these glimpses of pain past can serve to remember that even on my darkest days, I survived. Maybe that’s not much of a success story. Survival. There were no miraculous interventions or answers from above. But I kept breathing. Kept loving my kids. Kept putting one weary foot in front of the other even when everything seemed to be burning down around me.  I was imperfect. I was a mess. I still am, I guess. But I survived. And I live to hold people’s hand while they hurt and tell them that they can make it through. One day at a time.

 

     There is a Japanese art called Kintsukuroi or Kintsugi. Which means golden repair. It is the art of repairing broken pottery with silver or gold with the understanding that the finished piece is far more beautiful for having been broken and having a history. I rather like that. Maybe all the cracks where the pain leaked out of my brokeness can be repaired by something beautiful. Love. Kindness. Light.  Peace.  I am not quite there yet, I’m afraid. Transformation takes ever so much time and work. At the end of it all, may my finished soul be more beautiful for all the repaired damage…….

Panic’s Cruel Grip

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I try to stop the rising panic

But my mind has its own will

Hijacking my body into its cruel service

I attempt to force oxygen into warring lungs

And relax the ever-tightening knot in my belly

To no avail

My heart is racing, drilling its

Intense rhythm into my head

The only real proof that I am still living

Though I feel like I’m dying and death?

Death would seem a mercy

From this torture

But no such relief comes. Not yet.

I lay curled in a ball feeling cold and

Hot at the same time, sweat droplets

Winding a path down my face

I feel utterly alone even as my husband

Lays beside me sleeping blissfully unaware

I fight the urge to bury my head into his body

Even in torture, I put my own needs last

Martyrdom always comes at a steep price

Especially when you’ve lived it for 40 years

Tears mixed with sweat are dampening my pillowcase

“You’re okay, You’re okay, just breathe” I tell myself

I try to picture beautiful things instead of the darkness

That works to take over

It feels like days, weeks even, not an hour or two

It is gone almost as quickly as it started

Not gone, gone. Not disappeared

I still feel the remnant of its hold on me

A small dread that something bad

Is just over the horizon

That the boogeyman really is right

Under my bed, ready to grab me any moment

But I can breathe again, for now.

 

Footsteps

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Footsteps   By Brandy Watson
Footsteps, boots on the floor

And I am just a little girl once more

Little heart beating through my chest

Finding it hard to catch my breath

 

Your anger burned like a flame

Sucking out the joy, and leaving pain

Loud and angry hands left permanent scars

On my body, on my soul and on my heart

 

Why couldn’t you see, I was just a little girl

Trying my best to figure out this big old world

All I wanted was to love and to be loved

But I was never just quite good enough

 

Now I’m part little girl and part old soul

Picking up the pieces that make me whole

Learning to trust, learning to breath

Though fire scarred lungs ,down on my knees

 

Fight or flight, should I run or should I hide

You can’t imagine how many times I’ve cried

Not all men are monsters, I know that’s true

But it takes all my strength to forget you

 

Why couldn’t you see, I was just a little girl

Trying my best to figure out this big old world

All I wanted was to love and to be loved

But I was never just quite good enough

 

Praying for redemption, praying for relief

Maybe one of these days I will be free

From a life lived with one foot in the past

Sweet little girl, you’re safe at last

 

Footsteps, boots on the floor

I am not a little girl anymore

 I’m  learning how to fly

Far from the past that I survived

 

Footsteps, run away run away

Footsteps……….

Footsteps I’m  okay, I’m okay

Footsteps

 

Gone too Soon

Chubby fingers reaching skyward

Diamond sparkles in your eyes

Dancing, little feet on tiptoe

Accompanied by angel song

Safe from loud and angry hands

No more pain and suffering

Only love surrounds you now

Even so, my heart is breaking

For all the things that should have been

All the firsts uncelebrated

Lost teeth, school, first loves

A future wiped away in a blink

Couldn’t they see how little you were

How precious, how priceless

Endless potential in human form

Now they must live with what they’ve done

God have mercy on their souls

Dance free in peace little one

May your absence remind us

That we can do better than this

For our little ones on this

Revolving ball of life and love

 

In Memory of two little ones murdered at the hands of adults who should have cared for them.  Leiliana Wright and Kenzley Olson, rest in peace……

I used to think that silence was my salvation

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I used to think that silence was my salvation

Bondages formed in a house of violence

Stay quiet, stay small, stay hidden

Don’t make a fuss,Don’t state an opinion

I learned to tiptoe instead of stomp

And whisper instead of shout

I learned to dodge loud and angry hands

And pretend that I was happy even when crushed

I stayed hidden in a magic world of books

Living out bravery vicariously through

Fictional friends that became beloved to me

And I thought this is what God wanted

A small, quiet, easy obedient girl

One that doesn’t ever speak up

And say no or stop or that’s not okay

I even went to churches that  seemed to agree

This is what God wants from you

Stay quiet, stay small, don’t ask questions

We men in charge know better than you

It was the power of God’s love and the love

Of my friends and husband that created

A space for the real me to leak out of the

bandages of bondage that had held me tight

For decades

Now I know that my voice should not be silenced

That isn’t what God had in mind for me at all

I asked Him to remove the bondages that had

Held me so tight for my entire life and He did

And it was PAINFUL and SCARY and HARD

How do you find your voice when you’ve never used it

How do you learn to stomp when your toes have formed

To the permanent tiptoe of silence

It was a slow healing, over time

A rehabilitation of sorts, learning to use my brave muscles

I had to be patient with myself and ask patience of others

Metamorphosis is a messy business

It’s hard to see what beauty can ever come of it

But there are glimpses now as I speak out

For the poor and the oppressed and the lonely

The misfits and the struggling and the refugee

Somehow I am finding freedom through my

God given voice and feel like maybe this is

What being part of God’s kingdom feels like

Something beautiful being redeemed from

The depth of the darkness

I wrote this blog post as part of Sarah Bessey’s synchroblog post with the prompt, I used to think___ but now I know___ . Sarah has released her brand new book, Out of Sorts:Making Peace with an Evolving Faith and it is FABULOUS!! Sarah’s new book! If you have time, please read some of the other amazing blogs participating today! Sarah’s blog

Finding Eshet Chayil in my family history

One of the things that I have taken away from Rachel Held Even’s book
A Year of Biblical Womanhood was the concept of taking back the Proverbs 31 woman,Eshet Chayil(woman of valor), not as a to do list but as a blessing by celebrating women of character. I am descended from generations of Eshet Chayil. Women who bravely fought to  create a good life for themselves and for their children in spite of circumstances. Ribbons of abuse, abandonment, and mistreatment at the hands of the men they loved weave their way in and out of several generations. Poverty and hardships ever present. Yet, my mom and my grandma, my great grandmas, and generations of women whose stories I do not fully know, have done the best that they could with what they had to work with at the time. Determined that the next generation should have it better than they themselves did.

In the past, I admit that I have stood in judgement of some of my  female relatives and their choices. I picked at their imperfections. Maybe not out loud, but in my head. Now I have lived enough of my own life to realize just how hard life can be and how sometimes now matter how hard you want something to work out a certain way, it just doesn’t happen the way you wanted.  I’m tired of comparing myself to the perfect woman I have in my head that has it all together all the time. I have run out of  energy for picking apart  the flaws in the women in my life. As for the men….. ha, I’m still working on it. Though truly, I am working all the time to become the kind of woman who is compassionate not just to people who are distant, which is easy for me. I want to be able to love those closest to me with less conditions and more acceptance for who they are. I want to be a Eshet Chayil, woman of valor. Not because I have stood up to a long poetical list of the perfect woman but that in spite of everything I have been through,  I have fought  for hope, for love, for joy, for a better future for my children and will not give up until the last breath leaves my body. There   I will be  joined once again with my creator and perhaps all those lovely Eshet Chayil that are waiting for me in heaven will pull me into their bosom  and welcome the daughter who did her best with what she was given and trusted that God would take care of the rest.

Dreams vs. ugly reality……

I woke up this morning from yet another night of restless sleep.  The images from my dreams swirling around like  a dancing fog over my morning. I have always had vivid dreams. Sometimes I consider it a gift but on nights like last night, it was much more like a curse. I was back in my childhood and once again I was trying to save the life of my family. I have been having various versions of this dream for as long as I can remember.  You see, I grew up in a home where there was domestic violence and abuse.  I was the oldest child of three .The daughter from my Mother’s previous marriage. I would learn very early on in my parents marriage to fear a certain look in my stepdad’s eyes. I lived most of mychildhood with a rock in the pit of my stomach wondering when the next blow up would be and would we live through it. Yes, I spent my entire childhood afraid for my Mom’s life. Afraid that I would come home from school and she would be dead and somehow that would be MY fault because I wasn’t there to stop it. Yeah, I know, heavy stuff, right?

I do not rehash this scenario to try to crucify my step-father. He faced his own demons and has apologized to me for the pain he caused. I do share it because I know that our family was not alone in the horrible dark place that we existed in. I know that right now there are thousands of women and children who are living what I lived and probably worse. I am begging you from the depths of my very being, find a way to escape. Get help. There are shelters all over the country that will help you.  Make a plan and get yourself and your children to safety. I know that it’s not easy. Probably the hardest thing you will EVER do. But noone deserves to be hit, called names, belittled!! It must surely break the very heart of God to see you going through such things.  You may feel completely alone but God WILL help you. The person abusing you need help too. And they will more than likely never get it while you remain in the home.

I only pray to keep another child from the nightmare that I lived and sometimes still live in my dreams.

Oh and if you know someone that you suspect is being abused in the very home that is supposed to be a safe haven, Do not turn and look the other way. Please.  Offer your prayers, love, and support to get them to safety. You may just save a life.

I wrote this poem some years back. Related to my journey to trust in a loving Father God.

  Found

           Little girl scared, she runs to hide
           She tries to keep the pain inside
           Noone sees her noone’s tried
           The devil laughs

         Years fly past, little girl no more
           She locks the gate to her hearts door
          What had God even made her for
           And God cries

          Hiding becomes a way of life
          Filled with sorrow, pain, and strife
          She tries but fails, to be a wife
          Her heart weeps

         Long around her heart a lock
         Until one night a gentle knock
         Her creator wants to talk
         And she listens

 His love comes in so pure and sweet
         She sits and listens at his feet
         She finally feels complete
         God smiles

         Chains that bound her fall away
          His mercies new to her each day
          Hiding she will no longer stay
          She’s found  
                       Brandy Roy 4-2-05