FORGIVENESS (A DIFFERENT TACK)

[I’ve been trying to write this post for the last ten days and struggling with the very powerful emotions attached to it. It’s an alternative view and a different way of thinking about the post I wrote exactly two weeks ago, entitled ‘A Stronger Woman (I Will Rise)‘. This alternative view, which has been brought to mind by a very close friend is about forgiveness and moving on]

The following image came to my attention …

People have to forgive

I was also touched by the following brief quote:

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

– Buddha

My anger, hatred and bitterness, although directed at this woman, this therapist who was so abusive, *JG, is not affecting her as the perpetrator in any way – she is completely oblivious to how I feel. By holding onto these feelings and fueling the fire within me, I am indeed the individual who gets burned, and badly so.

I’ve written several posts about *JG in my blogging days, and now I ask myself, “Am I going down the wrong path? Should I be changing tack?”. Perhaps, forgiveness is the key to my door to freedom. Perhaps, I am tying rocks to my feet by remembering, raging and allowing this fury to burn a crater inside of me, and perhaps, they are too heavy for my wings to carry, as the above image illustrates.

The other tack, being forgiveness, is not done for the person who caused the harm but for the person who has been wronged and who is the one suffering. Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. It’s also done in faith, and The Lord’s Prayer quotes in the bible:

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

– Bible

Perhaps, I need to talk to one of the Ministers at my church for advice on this subject although I think I already know the answer.

I have thought that maybe it would be a good idea to start afresh with a new counsellor, bearing in mind that my current therapist works for the same organization as *JG did. This fact means that I am going back to the same building over and over again, as I have been for nearly twelve years now (which only serves as a continual reminder of what happened there).

I am aware that this post is written from an entirely different angle to the post mentioned above but this new train of thought doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate all your relative and kind comments. They are still relevant and appreciated as I don’t know how long this new train of thought will stay current in my head?  (Those of you who have known me for years will know that I have Borderline Personality Disorder, which means I can be very impulsive. This ‘condition’ also means that I am super-sensitive, caring of others but very critical of myself). However, I am not ‘mad’ or incapable of rational thought as some people assume (and I make clear that I am not referring to any of my blogging friends, potential ‘likers’ or ‘commenters’, all of whom I treasure).

Finally, I leave you (and myself) with this image:

forgiving2

‘IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS’

brusssels and christmas hats

If I could have a Christmas wish come true just for Christmas Day, it would be to be able to spend that day with all of my family; that’s my son and my two little ones; my daughter, husband and little *J and *B; my Mum and sisters and their families.

Given that this isn’t likely to happen … ever … I’ll quite happily settle for whatever I’m offered (within reason, of course). I do draw the line at hiking to the North Pole to celebrate the festive season with Santa, and an Eskimo in an igloo, even if he does promise to put the two-bar electric heater on and serve the line-caught Arctic Skate with roast parsnips and stuffing.

As you know, my family has always been … well, shall we say … a little dysfunctional thereby not making Christmas the easiest time of the year. We are all so far away from each other that we usually just do our ‘own thing’, which is for me, usually spent on my own which I’ve kind of got used to over the years. It does entail an oven-ready, chicken flavour ready-meal eaten on my lap, in front of my laptop watching a cheesy film in 14″ panoramic view with only the goldfish and my favourite bear for company. Hey ho! Things could be worse.

As it happens, although I’ve been a bit of a bah humbug character this year, suddenly, all that’s changed and if Michael Buble doesn’t mind me pinching his line, ‘It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.’

My son, Tom has decided he’s not going abroad as planned this year for the holiday period, (although he’s obviously devastated not to have his two little ones with him this year as they have been taken overseas by my son’s ex and her family). So, he’s invited me over to his house which entails a two-and-a-half journey each way by car with my wheelchair neatly folded in the back, having strapped both it and me into the car firmly as my son does have a habit of putting his foot down on the pedal rather too eagerly for my liking.

I’m so looking forward to spending Christmas with Tom for the first time since he married his ex-wife (and rather, unfortunately, her mother into the bargain). I’ll have to get my best Christmas jumper out of mothballs, polish up my fluffy red and white Santa hat and don a pair of flashing earrings. I’ll get practising peeling the Maris Piper’s, rush round to the Co-Op for a bottle of non-alcoholic punch and a kilo of Brussel sprouts. I’ll pick up a large box of mince pies, a box of assorted crackers and streamers, a Yule Log with the traditional plastic robin on the top …. and a partridge in a pear tree.

So, for once, at this time of year, ‘It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas’, and my wish to all who may be reading this, a jubilant and blessed Christmas and may all the best things come to you in the New Year.

A STRONGER WOMAN (I WILL RISE)

For those of you who know me well, you will understand, I expect. For those of you who are not familiar with my story, it may be helpful to read a previous post at https://elliethompson.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/the-sting-the-toxin-within/

You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt. But still, like dust, I’ll rise – Maya Angelou.

 

You will not ‘trod me in the very dirt’ – I will not allow it – I am stronger than you gave me credit for, three years, nine months and eleven days ago, to be exact.

You left me that day, the day my father died. You left me, a whimpering, callow wreck, on the lowest storey – the basement of my life. You left me for dead.

Did you not think that I would survive? Did you honestly think I would perish without your permission to do even as so much as breathe? Honesty? You do not know the meaning of the word.

Well, I tell you now … you have not won; you have not destroyed me as you might have liked to have done. You will see that I mean it when I say ‘justice will be done’. You have no idea what I have in mind for your wicked mentality and your sick soul.

But, I am not a law-breaker, nor a criminal but I am strong. Strong enough now, (no thanks to you) to beat you down with the very authoritarian stick you used against me for those eight years of therapy at your abusive hands. Those hands should have been safe hands. I trusted you, and you betrayed me by almost taking my life.

I have decided to take action, legally and from a moral standpoint. I am lodging a formal complaint about the ‘therapeutic’ abuse that you inflicted on me back then. Do you think that I don’t know that you are still preying on other vulnerable lives – that you still hold your accreditation in your deceitful hands? This situation is so wrong, so very wrong and I will not stand by and see other innocent lives destroyed in your wake.

It will not be easy for me to stand and face you in a court of law and you would never have credited me with the strength to do so back then but I have become strong now. And although I have tears in my eyes, I may bend but I will not break. I will no longer cower in fear at your disapproval.

I claim back that power that you so willingly took from me. I claim it back as my own. I will not shatter like glass. I will not disintegrate in front of your very eyes. No way!

I AM A STRONG WOMAN AND I WILL RISE LIKE A PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES.

phoenix from the ashes

 

ROCK – PAPER – SCISSORS

black and white tattoo female arm

So, you honestly think you can read her like a book

as you flip through the pages of her paperback novel.

You think that this is telling and her words correct,

and you think you know her well … know her well, perhaps?

Rock – Paper – Scissors

Words can be emotive and hearts can be hard,

where once they were candy floss, soft and pink.

Her cheeks may blush, though talk conceals the truth,

and you think you know her well … know her well, perhaps?

Rock – Paper – Scissors.

 With her feisty character but cotton wool charm,

her thoughts can be wicked, almost vile.

Her morals can be spurious, her tongue can be sharp

and you think you know her well … know her well, perhaps?

Rock – Paper – Scissors.

Her speech is impeccable and her lips softly smiling.

Her skin white as snow and innocence prevails.

Her eyes reflect the stars … but oh, the cache of lies,

and you think you know her well … know her well, perhaps?

Rock – Paper – Scissors

SURVIVING THE STORM

storm waves crashing

My previous post spoke of how it feels to lose someone or many people, close to you; how the waves of grief come crashing down on you. It is talking about death in these instances. But what if the person you are grieving for is still alive but just out of your reach. This is also excruciatingly painful.

When the person is still alive but not in your life any longer, the pain and heartache are also almost unbearable as the waves still come crashing down on you time after time. These tidal surges continue as if they are beating against a ship, wrecked out at sea.

[In advance, I apologize for the length of this post. I wrote it for me. I wrote it because I needed to. I’ve needed to for a long, long time. Even if it is not read by anyone else, that does not matter. This is me … Ellie.]

I was talking to my therapist this morning. We spoke of my late night, yesterday. I was sitting, staring at my computer screen for hours, trawling the internet. I was searching for details of my previous therapist, *K, who I now, (after some years), recognize was emotionally and psychologically abusive to the point that I was totally in love with her, hung on her every word and believed each sentence she spoke. I was desperately searching for her name, her address, her photo, anything; a memory of this woman that I loved so much.

I travelled a round trip of two hours (at a cost to me to the point I was seriously in debt), on three mornings a week for eight years, to be with her. I was so emotionally dependent on her; I could barely breathe without her approval. All those years … all those wasted, damaging, life-threatening years. I don’t use the term ‘life-threatening’ lightly or as a casual, throwaway remark but because on one occasion when she was presumably cross with me for some reason I cannot remember, she actually said ‘Why you don’t go home and kill yourself’ and I tell the God’s honest truth here.

I attempted to take my life. I say cross as opposed to angry because the roles we took were of she, the strict, authoritarian parent, and I, the obedient child. She encouraged and nurtured this to the point where I loved and depended on her more than I did my own mother. There were hugs, kisses, gifts, cards etc. Every time she didn’t reply to a text or answer the phone (all of which were smashing the boundaries leaving nothing but a ship wrecked at sea), I punished my body in a self-destructive way because I assumed she didn’t ‘love’ me anymore and therefore, I envisaged that I had done something wrong; I had been the disobedient child. I actually took a blade to my skin, a bottle to my lips and dozens of pills to my throat on many an occasion.

It ended suddenly. It ended on the day of my father’s death when she questioned me as to why I was so upset and wasn’t I happy on this day, bearing in mind he had seriously abused me for all of my childhood? Nevertheless, he was still my father and somewhere amongst the hate, the terror, the disgust and the shame, he was still the only father I had and yes, I was upset that my father had died. In disgust and frustration, (because she had been insisting I relive the sexual abuse that took place all those years), she walked out on me and never came back. As well as losing my father that day, I lost my therapist, my guide, my mother, my friend and ally, my everything. I was devastated. I wanted to die along with the loss of her. I attempted this and woke, days later, in intensive care, but I survived and recovered slowly, at least physically but never, emotionally or psychologically.

Despite all this, four years later, I still miss her, pine for her affection, long to see her again. I love her. I hate her. I miss her, with those waves crashing down on me so often that I feel I will perish like a ship at sea. The pain of losing her is sometimes unbearable and I don’t want to be living and breathing on this Earth at those times.

shipwreck2

But … I am here. Despite everything, I am still here. Somehow, my time was not up yet. And although those waves still frequently come crashing in around my ears, I survive them, all be it bruised and battered emotionally. I recognize her for the controlling, sick, manipulative woman that she was and I hate her for what she did to me.

I love her. I miss her, I want to remember her face which has strangely faded from my memory. I search for her. I need her. I want her back … but do I? Do I, really? Do I want my life smashed against the side of the shipwrecked vessel, time and time again till I am worn away and engulfed by the sea?

NO! I don’t. Not anymore. I have come too far. I do not wish to turn back as often as I’m tempted to. I deserve better. I am stronger than that. I am here. I am me and will remain so until my true time comes. I am a survivor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHIPWRECKED

I am posting this copy of G.Snow’s moving advice for a reason that will become self-evident in my following post. Please take the time to read them both. It means a lot to me. Thank you x

The beautiful piece of writing was done by a commenter, four years ago in response to a poster asking for advice on grief.

The original post simply read: “My friend just died. I don’t know what to do.”

Here was Reddit’s, GSnow’s moving advice:

Alright, here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.
I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.
As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage, and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.
In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.
Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.
Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.

A DAY OF FIRSTS …

happy woman in wheelchair

(photo sourced at Bing)

Today is a day of firsts. The first time I’ve connected with social media and also the first day at the gym, starting a new modified exercise program geared specifically to my disability. I am feeling suitably proud of myself and my first steps into the world of fitness, and socializing has released a whole jumbo pack of those little happy chemicals, endorphins, flooding into my bloodstream.

Firstly, I’ve officially come out. That is on Facebook, you see, and I say ‘you see’, pointedly as it’s the first time that little old me, Ellie, has gone public in the Facebook world. You can find me there if you wish at Elliesofia Thompson complete with a cover photo that has some special meaning and relevance to me. My profile picture is as my WordPress blog image which I fondly call my little lantern girl. 

lantern girl

Why this breakthrough and statement is of any importance, I really don’t know but it does feel kinda scary stepping out into the big wide world all on my ownsome. However, prepare to be stampeded by the swarms and crowds of admirers, dedicated fans and new supporters that are going to be accompanying my regular followers (and you know who you are, bless you). So, come along for the ride and join me on my travels.

If you have only just stumbled across me via Facebook, I would like to extend a very pleasant welcome to you and invite you to make yourself at home. Do feel free to drop me a line via my page or Private Messaging, if you prefer.

Well, as far as my new fitness regime is concerned, I enrolled at the local sports center in the city today. To take this action was at the top of the list of my New Year’s resolutions for 2015 and we are now fast approaching New Year of 2016. Ah, well, better late than never. Hardly an original idea for a resolution, I know. My usual and primary form of exercise is stretching out my fortunately still nimble fingers across this computer keyboard into the small, wee hours. So, I think that moseying around the gym floor in Charlie, my wheelchair (for those of you who have yet to become acquainted), admiring the shiny, important bits of machinery was particularly tough going and burnt off a considerable number of calories. 74 to be exact.

Next time, I should really come on in leaps and bounds as I’m going to start on the much higher level of exercise which consists of lifting an HB pencil, complete with an eraser on the end, in each hand for thirty seconds. I will try not to strain myself so as to ensure that I will be to cope sufficient tapping of keys for me to be able to to update you on my progress in my next post. Next stop, The Paralympics!

THIS WORLD IN WHICH WE LIVE

THIS POST IS TAKEN FROM MY SECONDARY BLOG WHICH I AM TAKING A BREAK FROM FOR A WHILE. IT INCLUDES (AT THE BOTTOM), A BEAUTIFUL POEM WRITTEN BY MY FRIEND, KATIE MARSH, WHICH I WANTED TO TRANSFER TO THIS, MY USUAL BLOG, TO GIVE IT CREDIT. SOME OF YOU WILL HAVE ALREADY READ IT BUT FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVEN’T, I HOPE IT TOUCHES YOU AS IT DID ME X

gif - power of love - power of war

I don’t claim to be an expert or even a particularly knowledgeable person when it comes to the subject of Planet Earth. I failed geography, abysmally at school. However, I do care about what we are doing to our world and beyond. I care about all the people who have suffered and lost their lives, those who are still suffering and those who will suffer in the future whether it be by natural causes, illness, disasters, war, poverty or by any other means.

I care that we are destroying our planet; destroying our population; destroying our people, wildlife, and nature. I care that we are ravaged by war; that we are polluting our planet and the atmosphere. I care that a huge number of people are homeless, roaming the streets, roaming the deserts, the plains, the forests and the wilderness. I could continue further, but many of us know the facts already.

I am scared for all our futures; I’m scared for our children’s futures, our grandchildren’s futures and all future generations after that, if by then there is still a habitable planet to live on. The list goes on and on … and on … and on … and on … until infinity.

And the very recent and past atrocities have really brought home to me just how fragile our lives are. If only the power of love could overcome the power of war then maybe, just maybe we could experience peace in our time. Perhaps it would be a start.

A very close friend of mine, Katie, wrote these very moving words about the current situation that I wanted to share with you here….

The winds of Mother Nature are blowing on the Earth
Accepting all we’ve done to her since our sweet sacred birth.
There are babies curled in cradles unaware of hate and crime
Dreaming of their Mummies in the loving hands of Time.
Forgive us sweetest Mother for the ways that we’ve grown old
For independent streaks in us that turned our hearts too cold.
We’ve sinned so much we’re hurting and the pain is plain to see
That first we were so innocent on a gentle, rocking knee.
How love could turn to awful hate and safety turn to terror
Is based it seems on single thoughts that have their root in error.
Behind us and in front of us is such an awesome Love
That would have us in its gentlest hold in time with God above.
If only we could fall down flat and beg to stop the violence
Our hearts might cry sincerely out, then rest in hallowed silence.

©Katie Marsh 2015