Today I have immense feelings of guilt, anger and sadness. I weep for the lost years that we will never get back. I carry the weight of guilt on my shoulders and suffering as Atlas, held down with the world on my shoulders. I worry for the impact on two beautiful, little girls. How will they overcome the absence of their father? My heart breaks. My son may be locked behind bars, but he is not the only one in prison. I live each day in my own prison, shackled behind bars of stigma and society’s views of those who have been incarcerated. Tied to the guilt, dragging me down. Seized within the clutches of the dark shadows. I cannot share my truth for fear of retribution, shame and judgement. I am caged. Unable to move forward for the past holds me down. I am unable to breathe. My shoulders are heavy with sadness for I somehow failed you. Where did I go wrong?
The effects of your actions are like the ripples in the water after throwing a rock into the murky depths. Each ripple represents all of the things and people who are affected by actions of one, slowly spreading out, wave by wave, creating damage as they move. Or the aftershocks of an earthquake – continuing to wreak havoc and destruction even after the initial shock.
Little girls come to visit, they love their daddy. They are searched and touched and prodded, forced to wear certain clothes and only allowed to hug you once. Treated like miniature prisoners in your world. This isn’t normal.
I struggle between the world of empathy, understanding and callousness. I suffer angst when trying to decide whether to visit or not, to be treated as though I were the criminal, guilty of violating crimes that I did not commit.
I find myself fighting against the darkness of worry, guilt and anger. Trapped in my own prison.
It has been a while since I have had the notion to write something on here. Life seems to get in the way sometimes of those things we enjoy – spending time with those we love, nurturing our own well-being, or working on hobbies we would like to pursue. But we need to learn to take “time to smell the roses.” Slow down. Tell those you love how you feel about them. Take a hike. Join a yoga class. Don’t let the busy, hard times keep you from taking care of yourself because you are the only one who can. Take a day off and see a movie alone. Breathe in deep the fresh air and meditate. Call a friend and reminisce. Laugh until you cry. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and say no. Enjoy and appreciate what is often ignored. Life is too short to not take the time for yourself and those you love. Put your phone down. Unplug from your tablet. Pick up a good book. Paint. Write a letter to someone and let them know you appreciate them. Actually make a phone call instead of text. There are so many different things that we can do to stop and smell the roses. Why wait?
I can no longer let the past rule me. It does not define who I am, yet shapes what I have become. Do not attach self-worth to past hurts, but learn how to overcome and be stronger because of them. I will be welcoming to new things and let true love enter into my soul, bringing light to all of the good that I am. I will learn to stop and take a minute to listen to my intuition, knowing when that “voice” speaks to me and paying attention. No longer will I allow others to frame how I am feeling — my reactions will come from love and understanding, rather than someplace of darkness and blame. Be kind. Be gentle. Be understanding. To others and to myself.
I remember the biting cold on the tips of my toes and fingers as I walked from house to house, ringing the doorbell and repeating the mantra – “Trick-or-Treat” more times than I could count. My nose was numb from the bone-chilling wind blowing in my face as I watched other kids participating in the Halloween festivities, wondering what kind of treats they were collecting, hoping I would go home with a bagful of my own treasure that would last me several weeks (if I didn’t make myself sick eating most of it that night). Always hoping that I would miss the houses that were giving out toothbrushes and apples. My go-to costumes were simpler than they are today: a gypsy (with lots of bracelets and hoop earrings) , a hobo (yes, with the bandana on a stick over my shoulder), a witch dressed in all black, perhaps a vampire with plastic fangs that wouldn’t stay in my mouth for longer than a few minutes and fake blood dripping from my mouth or the pirate with one eye patch and a hook for a hand. Regardless of what costume I chose for that year, Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve, was one of my favorite holidays. Pure excitement building up while putting on my costume and then running out of the house with a pillow case ready to collect as much loot as I could in the shortest amount of time before it got too cold and dark. Memories of many a Halloween bring back that feeling of anticipation as the month of October approaches.
I still feel that same excitement when October arrives marking summers end, the beginning of the fall season, apple-cider, Jack O’lanterns, changing leaves, baking and cooler weather. This time of year has a different meaning than when I was a child, however. It is the time of reflection of the year almost past and thinking about the new year slowly approaching, and what I want to accomplish in the remainder of the year. Even though I still enjoy a good Halloween party and dressing up, being scared just a little bit in a haunted house and indulging in too many sweets, I will take some time this year to have a little introspection on the end of this season and looking forward to starting a new one as the year comes to a close.
What does All Hallow’s Eve mean to you?
The definition of trust is “a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Trusting someone means that you think they are reliable, you have confidence in them and you feel safe with them physically and emotionally.”
When trust is broken between two people, whether it be in a realtionship, a friendship, a co-worker relationship, or with family members, it can be difficult to repair. I have experienced loss of trust and have felt betrayed. Resentment sets in and the ability to forgive becomes harder, the unreachable element that seems far off in the distance. You find yourself looking for other forms of deceit, delving into things too deep and wondering where the next untrustworthy event will rear it’s ugly head. Once this seed is planted, it will grow and take over like unwanted weeds, choking out the goodness, love and light and will be filled with darkness. Harmful and self-sabotaging ways lead to finding things that aren’t there, or perhaps, that are. Make sure you can handle what may appear in front of you. Distrust is contagious.
In a world full of disposable relationships, jobs, friendships — it is difficult to truly fully trust others. Be careful. Take it slow. Make sure that those you put your trust in are worthy of that gift. Do not have blind trust. Don’t be gullible. Trust changes everything in profound ways.
Never give in. Never quit. Never give up! Start with the propensity to trust, and if trust is broken – try to rebuild it. Look at actions and not just words. If you broke someone’s trust in you, right those wrongs. Be trustworthy. Be forgiving. Earn it.
Lackluster, finite, gnawing ~ heavy weight inside ~ erroneous fault of mine
Soft whispering wind
Leading me down the pathway
Linking to the past
A granddaughter’s “I Love You”
A blooming flower.
Sunshine on my face.
Understanding in your lover’s eyes.
Memories inspired by a song.
An unexpected handwritten note.
A simple “Thank you.”
A hike alone in the mountains.
A hug just when you need one!
It’s the little things that bring joy.
I recently saw this short paragraph on depression and suicide and it resonated with me. For those who struggle with depression, the pain is real and it is a constant struggle.
“Speaking from the perspective of someone who has struggled with depression for most of my life, I can tell you that a 1-800 # is not going to fix it. A therapist is not going to fix it. Medication is not going to fix it. Many people find it so easy to say that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but what many people don’t understand is that for some people (like me) depression is sometimes a lifetime battle that never truly goes away. When it hurts so much to live, you don’t think clearly. There are random moments of “happy”, but for some, our minds are just wired differently and our emotions are hyperssensitive. It doesn’t mean that all who have depression will ever act on it. It doesn’t even mean that life can’t still have some semblance of meaning. But, to think a simple phone call is the answer is being naive. To think suicide is a selfish act, is one opinion. But from someone who struggles with severe depression, I see it differently. I live only because of my extreme love for my daughter. I know how much she needs me. When I share my sadness, it’s not even a 100th of a percentage of the depth of how bad it can get, but I reach out now, because it does help to not have to face it alone. It’s a constant struggle. Show kindness always. Be considerate always. We all share this planet. None of us asked to be here. And there is so much beauty if we open our eyes to it, yet all around me, people are so self absorbed, and choose to complain about even the smallest things. They’re rude, and inconsiderate, when there’s no reason to be. There’s so much unnecessary pain and suffering in this world. It’s crazy. Just listen, and love, and don’t be frightened away by anything someone with depression has to say. They sometimes just need to be heard. Peace and love.”
Up’s and Down’s like a raggedy rollercoaster soaring through the wind
Clickety, Clack, Clickety, Clack
Feeling out of control.
What is this whirlwind?
Afraid to raise your arms, mastered by anxiety of the unknown
Unable to define your emotions
Fear, excitement, elation, scared, uneasy, joy?
Terrified of taking that next step, worried about the sadness.
With it, the whirlwind brings deep sorrow and gloom – from where did it arise?
Like hurricane winds the emotions swirl about leaving me shattered
Pull myself from the dregs of this sorrow only to see brightness again.
Hang on! Hang on tight, for no one knows how long the respite will last
Before the next whirlwind ensues.