Advertisements

Tag: love

Paying Homage To Caregiving, And Being Taken Care Of – Part 2/2

No Comments

Hello again, and welcome home. It’s so good to see you!
This post is going to be almost entirely subjective and deeply personal; I hope you are still able to relate in some ways. Let’s begin.

After thoughtful deliberation on part two, I concluded that I would let you in on my experiences and how I cope, often rather clumsily, with being confined by the limitations of my vessel.

The truth of the matter is simple. Sometimes I can cope. Other times, I’m angry that a chair is a reason I’m not yet gainfully employed. I feel guilty that I need so much help, even though for the most part my life is pretty normal: I can cook, manage my household, take good care of my spouse, I can speak, write, and flip people off when I need to. 😛

I don’t even mind being disabled. I’ve been this way since birth. What I do mind, however, is the warped perceptions of other people. People are understandably curious. Some situations are nothing short of ‘cringeworthy’.

As an example, when I got married, it was so strange to onlookers. I am blessed to have my wife; she bathes me, cooks, cleans, and I never need to ask her to pick up the slack or help me out with anything, really. She knows what I need before I do at times. We work.

Some folks never get to experience that kind of love and care, like this dude we ran into in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

There we are, loading our groceries in the car before going home, and he approaches my wife and taps her on the shoulder. He says, “Who is this? Is this your sister?” (Referring to me as I’m standing by the door). She says, “No sir, this is my wife.” The look on that guy’s face was worth a thousand words.

After a few long seconds of awkward silence, he looks over at my wife and replies, “Wow, you’re an awesome person – not a lot of people would do that.”

Look, don’t get me wrong. I get the sentiment. It was wonderful. In my opinion, he is absolutely right. My wife should win the Nobel Peace Prize for all the devotion she’s demonstrated to me. It’s my job to tell her that.

If she wanted people randomly stopping her while we’re just going home, she wouldn’t be in a monogamous marriage. I don’t need to be treated as a charity case or be viewed as an extra sack of potatoes.

Let me tell you, friend, my wife, the one on two perfectly good legs, ain’t all that easy to be with either. None of us are! If my extra needs are a little bit too extra, she would’ve been gone by now. I know I sound bitter, but I’m not, for the most part. Forgive me if I’m just astounded by how conditional commitment has become.

The guy didn’t have any bad intentions, but some shit should just remain admired rather than pointed out. Even better, how about saying you admire us as a unit, a team, a healthy marriage?

It’s not like I just sit and look pretty. I look a little bit scary and pissed off most of the time to be honest, especially if I’m low on caffeine.

Maybe I take care of my wife’s heart. Perhaps, and this is just my take on things, maybe she likes taking care of me because she gets a lot out of it – like love, strength, purpose and reciprocal appreciation?

Maybe the fact that I hold her at night is more than enough according to her individual needs, even though my needs are vastly different. Although independence is of great value in this world, perhaps me being in need of care isn’t an issue because there are always people in the world who find great joy in serving others?

Maybe she knows that I’m the type of person who would do the exact same thing for her if she were also in a wheelchair. Maybe I’m just badass and she recognized that instead of just looking at the hunk of metal on wheels I use to get around.

I struggle to remember this more often than not. I struggle with feeling like I have nothing to offer because of my physical limitations. I’ll probably always struggle with it.

If you’re in the same boat, it might be a challenge for you too. We just have to remember that everyone’s looking to be loved. We know a lot about love if nothing else.

Maybe we’re not right for the world, but we’re right for the ones who love us, and that’s always more than enough. Love is always the best thing to offer someone.



Advertisements

On ‘Eating Shit Sandwiches’

No Comments

Dust settles…

We packed what we could and left.

Our first venture with an air mattress didn’t go so well. In our first go-round with balloon beds, we slept comfortably enough but would wake up two or three times a night. The air had vacated its dwelling place inside the mattress and decided the floor could hold us up.

We got a new one and saved our backs. For the most part, it’s holding up nicely; I didn’t wake up on the floor as I did with the other one. These past few nights have been kind to us. Both of us are grateful and humbled by the scenery, a good night’s rest, and the gift of the weather’s unpredictability.

I’ve neglected everything in moderation. I now fall asleep at normal hours, and I wake up before noon. Before, I was completely nocturnal. I’d be wired at 4. A.M. – watching the sunrise should never get that old.

We still hold hands, even when we’re asleep. (July 2014)


The water here is different. Showers feel as if you’ve gotten cleaner. Soft water has a tendency to keep your body slick. In contrast, hard water slaps the residue from my outermost organ (if the skin is still considered an organ, anyway). Yes, hard water and soft water is a thing. I didn’t know that until a few years ago.

An address is the furthest thing from my mind, even though the fact that I’m writing about it says otherwise. I’d be lying if I said I was in a rush to get one. I’m not in a hurry, and this town isn’t either.

What a change.

As for me and my family, we were only able to leave with one of our animals. Letting go was hard, but we made the right choice as far as those kinds of painful choices go. It’s funny when we first moved into those duplexes, we were asked to choose which dog we would keep.

In the past, I was unable to make such a decision. It’s like picking a child, and though we all have those we gravitate toward, letting go of the one you don’t think could get their shit together always seems wrong. At the time, we could afford to pay to keep both, and it was the right choice for that timeframe.

This time we were faced with that choice again.

Banjo (left) Annie (right)

(It’s too cold here for him, too noisy, and we decided it wouldn’t be in his best interest to live with us). If there’s such a thing as a good parent, or parents, I believe it would look like the parent who puts the interests of the child before their own wants and anxieties. We wished we could take him with us, and we were going to, but our judgment stepped in, and everything worked out.

We opted to have an older couple adopt him, and they were more than happy to oblige; they said they needed his energy around.

We couldn’t prevent our pain and we couldn’t hold our back our tears. Before that day, I hadn’t touched a cigarette in years, let alone smoke one. Yet, when we brought him to his new parents, I took the one I was offered without so much as a second thought. I said goodnight to him, though nothing would quell the sharp pain we both felt.

My heart kept pulling me to his new home. I could say nothing; it was in the middle of the night. I gently tapped the part of the house where his room was and tried to ignore the fact that I probably looked as if I’d gone mad standing outside of the duplex. I told him goodbye and reminded him (and myself) that I wouldn’t bring him somewhere I thought he would come to harm, and that this decision, though devastating was the best I could do at this time.

My wife still misses him fiercely, but now that we’ve arrived we both agree that this would not be a sufficient place to house him, he’s nervous enough already. I hope he’s well. He never liked the rain, and so far, it has rained more often than not.

Me and Banjo at Bedtime – 2018

As I write this, I realize that this blog has become more about the conscious art of letting go than anything else I had intended. I’m okay with this. I hope you are too. I’m not the type of person that can write a niche blog, though it is wiser and perhaps more lucrative to do so. (I don’t care if you do, do your thing)!

It is true, isn’t it? We teach what we need to learn. I have never been great at goodbyes or letting go. I have trouble processing them, but the more I realize they are often inevitable, the less I suffer.

Pain can’t be avoided. Choices have consequences. Thinking through our fears and shielding our eyes from the terrors of a life lived well only works for a short while.

Letting go of my dog, Banjo, taught me everything about the pain of goodbye and marching forward after a decision has been made. Sometimes, there is no choice less shitty than the other.

Sometimes choice demands you to shed skin, to lose everything to gain something better. Sometimes you need to decide what part of the shit sandwich you’d rather eat, knowing that whatever side you choose will undoubtedly rip your heart out.

We do the best with what we have in the shed, and the tools we are given are all we have, so we might as well learn to build a home when the first house gets burned to the ground.

I love you.
Welcome Home.
You’re Safe Here
.

The first smile

No Comments

the first time she smiled at me/it felt like her smile was forbidden/She buried her face in my pillow and she laughed as she bared her fangs/she never used them as a weapon with me/and I felt like I was one with the pack/Age wasn’t a factor and we/ fell in love starting from my first glimpse of her copper hair/Lines I traced in her hands/Often, I’d wonder why she’d chosen me/evidently fate had chosen us

To you, Sweet Baby

No Comments

I cant seem to smoothly connect with you in person, to no fault of your own. My baby, I know that you’re trying. It pains me a bit to know that I love you on paper, more than I do right beside you.

Still, when I am gone, I will leave my writing to you, since all of this was inspired by you, and written for you, by me in the first place.

I love you. I admire you. These words will never suffice, because my anxiety, and codependent thoughts get in the way.

I really appreciate you.

Seven years. We’ve been through your gender transition, the loss of our only biological child, our family stepped out quietly. And I’m not the greatest at coping with Cerebral Palsy.

You still bathe me. You still clothe me.

You still hold me. You hold me when rent is past due; when the debts are high and the accounts are low, you still hold me. You believe I am worthy to be embraced.

You play Stardew Valley with me. You make time for me.

You believe I taught you what love was, simply because I stay; when it is you teaching me how to love – calmly, steadfastly, and quietly.

Thank you.

I love you always.

-Your Wife

I’m Here For You

No Comments

Instead of telling you to keep going, instead of telling you that things will improve, I will sit with you. I will shoulder that burden with you. I will sleep on that floor with you. I will eat in the dark with you. I will lurk on the streets with you. I’ll break through windows so that you can feed your hungry children, with you. I will be there as you cry yourself to sleep for the fourth time this week. I’ll be there when life’s laughing at you, yet again. I’ll be there. Thank you for letting me be there for you. I love you.

Welcome Home.

You’re safe here.

The Purpose Of Welcome Home Healing (Part Two)

No Comments

It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

Epictetus
Picture of the author
Hey there, is this your first time seeing me? I love you. ↨♥

In Part One of the Purpose, or story that inspired Welcome Home Healing to come to life, we talked about some tough stuff that I experienced. If you would like to read it, please do so here, it does have a trigger warning as it mentions abuse in various forms.

Part two is where I’ll show you how we can take our power back — how we can move from victim to victory – from powerless to empowered.


Step 1:

Believe that you will heal the way you’re meant to.
When we first come out of the F.O.G. (fear, obligation, and guilt) that has caused us to stay silent about our abuse, we are often so overwhelmed and overburdened, that we come to doubt our ability to heal. We’re so beat down and used to abuse that it colors our world and vines ensnare our soul.

We come to truly believe that we are doomed to be in despair for the rest of our days. We see healing techniques and mindfulness as jokes, as bullshit, to be honest. I’ve been there. Some days I still feel that way.

But. Believing in our God-given right to feel better, and in our ability to reintegrate ourselves back into life – to trust again – is the first step to rebirth and growth into ourselves. I have been fortunate enough to find a trusted therapist to show me where the light was, and I encourage you, gently, to do the same.

(I will post resources that may help you, depending on your situation). If you need assistance feel free to contact me, and I’ll try to point you in the right direction.




Step Two:
Rediscover, and reinvent your world on your terms.
When we’ve been mistreated, abused, bullied, whatever term you wish to call it, our power has been taken from us. In severe cases, our inner selves, our inner world, and even our imagination. We lose our ambitions, our goals, our drive.

white and gold mandala wall tapestry
No mud, no lotus.

The painter who paints will cease to paint, the writer will cease to write, the speaker will become mute, the passionate lover of people, of animals, places, and comedy sitcoms, will morph into someone who is indifferent. When this happens, it shows in their surroundings, in their environment.

To give you a real-life example, the first thing my wife and I started doing after she left her toxic environment behind, was redecorated our house, the way we wanted.

picture of cozy work desk with dim lighting
♥ This is where I typed this post for you. ♥

Next, we got hanging light fixtures (I think they were actually meant to go outside) but we made it work by placing them on detachable hooks and draped the lights around our living room.

Then we got a small water feature that continuously has a stream of water flowing. The noise and visualization help us stay grounded.

We then moved on to smaller things, like putting pictures of our loved ones on corkboard near our workspace.



Picture of corkboard with family and friends pinned to it.
Corkboard!


We put flowers in a vase to spruce up the room. (They came separately.)

Lastly, we got these cool tapestries as wall art from amazon.

woodland tapestry with hanging lights

Step 3:
Trust your progress.
Progress, recovery, growth, rebirth, the road back to yourself, and other homecoming processes, or life after abuse, is not linear. It is not a straight line.

You will relapse. You will miss the abuser. You will wish to revert back to what is familiar rather than running out into the wild unknown; because that’s friggin scary right?! Right?

This is normal. This is natural. It is human nature to be drawn back to what is familiar, but familiar is not always what’s best for us and can hinder our recovery.
During these times, it is important to be gentle with yourself- to comfort yourself – and gently bring your awareness back to how far you’ve come.

You are in control now, of your life, and your choices. You can cope. You can trust again in time with boundaries and a healthy amount of self-love.

So, although you may stumble, you can still walk forward. Walk slowly or baby step if you must, but you will come to realize you’ve worked too hard to stop or to turn back.

I believe in you.
I love you.

Christmas with the puppies.

Welcome Home
You’re Safe here.





The Purpose of Welcome Home Healing (Part 1)

No Comments

Trigger Warning: Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence, Suicidal Ideation

Here I sit, watching in amazement as our community at Welcome Home Healing is evolving on its own, even after my advertising funds ran dry; Even though Pinterest only has a picture of our Logo, and a picture of a flower that I used when I wrote ‘Toothless Grace‘.

It has been pinned and saved by moms, veterans, (Thank you for your sacrifice. We salute you!) students, poets, and way more people than I ever expected it to reach.

For you, friend, (you reading this) I am so grateful. For seeing potential in me, for sticking around through the highs and the lows, for being peace in my life, when for the last sixteen or so years, peace has been the last thing I have felt.

This post is the most honest and important one you’ll read, so, please, stick around for it.

You’ll notice I talk about safety a lot around here, and it is with good reason.
Not so long ago, I sat in foster homes praying for death.

You see,

My mom passed away when I was ten years old, and it was not easy to reach me. It was not easy to get through to me. So, to keep a long story short, foster care was the road I headed down.

I was scared, hopeless, and forced to remain silent about what was happening around me.

If I told someone I was screamed at for getting the wrong mustard out of the refrigerator, I’d just be hurt worse.

When I tried to speak up about how I had to sleep with all of my clothes on, even my shoes because it was snowing outside and I was only permitted to sleep on a bare mattress, the mattress was taken away.

When the girl who slept next to me molested me and I didn’t fight back, I felt dirty and used because I didn’t say anything. I knew she had nowhere else to go either.

Then, when I did speak up about what happened, it was dismissed. I was the liar everyone said I was.

When I had a staph infection on my elbow that oozed yellow gunk and my foster parent covered it in cotton balls and wrapped my arm in duct tape, instead of taking me to the doctor, I wailed in the school’s office when a dean saw me scratching at it, and urged me to go home for treatment. There was nothing I could do but cry.

When I fell face-down on concrete strapped to my wheelchair and was then made to crawl on concrete to the car, while the foster parent revved the engine while half of me was still hanging out of the door, I remained silent.

When I was forced to stay in one corner of a house as punishment between an air-vent and a twin-sized mattress, not allowed to enter another part of the house, still I remained silent.

I would go to school, and it would go by so fast because I was scared to go ‘home’.

Abusers are marvelous oppressors.

Your silence – not theirs – is their greatest weapon.

Abusers isolate you,
they cut off all avenues of healthy communication between you and the people who actually do care about you.

This is easy to do to a foster child, they have no one to advocate for them to begin with.

I spent many nights hoping morning would elude me, but it never did.

Believe it or not, I am so grateful that death had not come for me. I would not be able to sit here in my apartment, that is filled with love, and my wonderful dogs, and hamsters, and my wife who is asleep in our bedroom.

If I had remained silent, if I had not trusted God, I do believe I would have died.

Since then I have been in contact with more bullies, abusers, and the like. Though I may not have wanted to, I have seen them for what they are and opened my mouth (when it was safe to do so). I have helped more people escape abuse, in hopes that they would remember to take their own power back.

I try earnestly to help them find their inner voice.

Abusers chip away at the core of the very person’s willpower – their self-esteem – and their job is done.

They know that communication, big mouths, effective communicators, light-seekers, and lovers, are a threat to their plan.

How do abusers keep a person trapped?

  • Take away their courage to speak the truth.
  • Break their spine, without even touching them.
  • Make them forget who they are, slowly.
  • Poison the water in which they, and everyone else swims.
  • Normalize the behavior.
  • Provide a necessity – money, food, shelter, and make the victim feel as though they’d be powerless without the abuser.

If you are being abused, if any of this sounds even the slightest bit familiar to you, I want you to know that you are beautiful and powerful, and if you are not safe in your home, in your body, mind or soul, you are welcome here at welcomehomehealing.com

When you are ready and in a safe place to do so, you can reach out to:

Domestic Abuse Hotline
https://www.thehotline.org/ (Do this in a place away from home. Be mindful of your internet usage!)

RAINN
https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline

If you are suicidal or feel unable to cope –
text home to 741741, someone will be there to support you through your moment of crisis.

You are not alone. You are not a victim. There is a life waiting for you.

I love you.



Welcome Home.


%d bloggers like this: