Lost words

The words used to flow so freely from my mind and through my hands onto the page. After the chemo, the medication, the illicit drugs, and the health conditions that have all affected my memory, my concentration, and the speed of thought, it has become such a struggle to write anymore. It takes forever to find the that perfect word I have on the tip of my tongue and I remember a day when 10 page papers were a breeze to me. It’s painful when your passion becomes a difficult reminder of how much your brain has changed over the past 20 years or so. I have so many thoughts spinning around up there but focusing enough to get them down on paper is a serious chore. Writing used to be a release for me, a therapy session with myself. Now I find myself getting frustrated because I can’t find the ‘right’ words to express what I’m trying to say.

What do you do when your passion has become a painful process for you?

Gaslighting

Being one of the vast number of people who suffer from a mental illness, I’ve learned the importance of protecting yourself from gaslighting and recognizing it when it’s happening to you.

According to Wikipedia, gaslighting is a form of manipulation that tries to create doubt in an individual or group in hopes to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to break the victim down and delegitimize their beliefs. Instances may range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. The term originated from the 1938 Patrick Hamilton play Gas Light and its 1940 and 1944 film adaptations. The term is now being used in clinical and research literature as well as in political commentary.

It’s so crucial for those with mental illnesses to be aware of this form of abuse because we are perfect targets for it. I mean, think about it… we already feel crazy without anyone’s help so it’s that much easier for someone to magnify that thought. We must remain vigilant in order to prevent falling into this type of abuse. Sadly, it’s very easy to become prey to the manipulation used in this kind of abusive relationship. It’s all about tearing someone down to gain complete control of them.

Personally, I’d rather be decked in the face than experience the psychological abuse I’ve endured. Luckily, I made it out in one piece and survived the pain. I just want to warn my fellow “crazy’s” about something I’ve been through and hopefully, save someone from being put through the abuse of a toxic relationship. If you can relate to anything in this post, get out and run… run far, far far away! When I became a target for this horrible psychological game, I had never heard of gaslighting or knew anything about it. For me, I don’t think it would’ve mattered anyway. The truth of it is that you only fall victim to what you allow. So maybe, just maybe, I might be able to enlighten someone to beware of relationships that seem to fit the gaslighting description. Or maybe, just maybe, someone will have faith in themself and their mind enough to trust their truth and stand strong against anyone who tries to make them think differently.

Perception

Sometimes you just need to talk to a 3-year-old so you can understand life again…

Hope

Hope is what happens when you first see a light,
Just a distant, small star in the darkest of night.

Hope is what happens with the first buds of spring,
When dawn touches the sky or a bird spreads its wings.

Hope is what happens when a wound starts to heal,
Whether skin deep or soul deep, you begin to feel real.

Hope is what happens when you’re poor but not broken.
There’s a goldmine of dreams still yet to be awakened.

Hope is what happens when someone is kind,
A feeling not lost, just misplaced in your mind.

Hope is what happens when war turns to peace,
After everyone prayed that the fighting would cease.

Hope is what happens with the smell of fresh rain,
When your long drought of dreams is renewed yet again.

Hope is what happens when clouds finally clear.
Troubled thunder falls silent, courageous whispers you hear.

Hope is what happens when fresh bread is baking,
And what hungers your heart will someday stop aching.

Hope is what happens when kindling ignites.
You rediscover your passion that burns day and night.

Hope is what happens when the pain eases a bit,
And deep down inside, you find your true grit.

Hope is what happens as long as we breathe,
For although it takes time, the sorrow will leave.

Hope is what happens long after the pain…

Hope is what happens, again and again…

~ Catherine DeVrye

Notorious

“You wanted to disappear – but you made yourself notorious.”

The more I try to blend in and go unnoticed, the more I seem to stand out even in the biggest of crowds! Why does it feel like everyone is staring at me? Is it just my anxiety or am I being checked out or sized up by everyone in the room? Sometimes I believe my life would be so much simpler if I was stupid and ugly. Instead, I’m stuck having to duck and dodge the superficial and always be on guard for the possible stalker. It’s as if these men descend on me like prey and I must discern who has what kind of intentions with me. I have honestly had to deal with being stalked for most of my life adult life. I don’t understand it. But thank God, I was blessed with a super power that has always protected me. Wanna know what it is?

I listen to my intuition. It’s probably the only time I don’t hesitate for a second if I’m told to take action. I’ve been blessed with knowledge that I must keep to myself because I know it doesn’t make a single bit of sense. My friends already know I’m a little different so I don’t need to add any fuel to the “crazy” fire. My satisfaction comes when all the puzzle pieces start fitting together and my intuition wins once again. In 38 years, its never failed me. There are times when I wish I could turn it off so I wouldn’t be constantly reading a person while I’m interacting with them. I dissect the conversation as I connect their movements, small or large, to assign meaning through every aspect of the language used, whether spoken or body.

See, just that makes someone go, “what?” I don’t usually talk about this but I figured it fit with the addition of a new bonafide stalker to my life. I go to meetings for a 12-step program which shouldn’t be a secret to anyone. I met this guy at a meeting and he used the crazy card to get my attention. We started talking and I gave him a couple rides after the meetings. Now he’s involving other members to tell him when I’m at a meeting. So far I haven’t run into him but I know I will eventually. Handling these situations is a delicate process that I’ve had to use on a number of occasions.

  • Don’t try to avoid them. Let them come to you and they will.
  • Come up with a reason why you blocked their number. My go-to excuse is that “I started seeing someone and I didn’t feel right talking with guy friends that are as close as we have gotten.”
  • Apologize for cutting them out of your life so abruptly.
  • Assure them that you still have their number and if things don’t work out with the other guy, he’ll get a call.
  • Stand your ground and don’t communicate with them no matter what.

This is just one scenario that keeps them at a distance hopefully. I have tons more if that one doesn’t work. It’s somewhat of a positive art form that I’ve created out of something so clearly negative. So I’ll just keep failing at my efforts to blend in and I pray that everyone is happy and safe this evening…