Friday, August 05, 2011
8:45 AM

Today is one of those days where I wish I had something profound to share. I would love to have a topic in my heart that is begging to be released. I long for something to be building and developing in my mind with the familiar sound of the wheels turning that would drive me to spend the day writing and revising until I have the final masterpiece to post. Those are the days that I feel productive, good about what I’ve done with my time and pleased with myself.

Today, there is nothing. I woke to a profound emptiness and stillness in my mind and heart, nothing much going on in there today. The notes for my book are sitting in a binder, just waiting to be typed, to be arranged and organized. I think at least half of the book is done, written on plain paper. I don’t know why I can’t pick it up and work on it every day. I think I have a block.

The whole ordeal of staying in the homeless shelter was traumatizing to me. I want to say it made me a better person, in some ways it did, but, it also scared the hell out of me and troubled me that I had spent my whole life helping people and now that I needed help I couldn’t seem to get any. I had my belongings stolen, some woman decided she didn’t like me and tried to pick fights with me and I was forced into a situation where I had no control what-so-ever, which was the hardest part for me. I even had to quietly take responsibility for things that I didn’t do, but since I was accused I had to take it or leave. I learned a great deal and in many ways I healed old wounds.

I have always been a person that was in control of everything. I had to work very hard to keep everything just the way it was supposed to be so I could keep myself together. I was a tightly wound up mess, like a top that was full of energy ready to be spun, but I could never release that energy. Part of my lesson was to learn to let it go. I learned to cry, to be angry and to speak out on my behalf. I am glad that I don’t have to control everything now, but a side effect of that is that I really don’t like it when someone is negatively affecting my life or trying to control me. Many of my relationships had to be severed, but I know that I can’t afford to have certain people in my life anymore. The price is too high to pay. A friendship is not a friendship when it is like jail time, being bound to a person that only wants to use you for what you can do for them and giving nothing of real value to the relationship. If there is one thing in this world that we can choose it is who we spend our time with. I still have many decisions to make and fear still holds me back.

I went through so many emotions, turmoil, and difficulty while dealing with the many different personalities of the people there. I lived in fear of what would happen if the lady in charge kicked us out, even though she never had a reason to. It just seemed like sometimes people were there and then one day she booted them out. I think it went deeper than that, but we were not privy to the circumstances of every individual and what Ms. Natalie was working with them on. I was dealing with my own insecurities, my own trauma and my own fears. I had a lot of anger as I was learning how to cope with a life that I didn’t want and one I never really knew if I could truly deal with. I held my husband solely responsible for letting us get into that situation and his own inability to rectify the situation enraged me. I survived and now that I am living in an apartment with my son, there is relief from many of those fears. Unfortunately, there is alcoholism and drug abuse here and I long for nothing more than ridding myself of that environment once again.

So, I live in conflict with the love I have for my son and grandson and the hatred I have towards the alcohol and drug use/abuse. This environment is threatening my own sobriety which I have fought for over the last year. As the environment around me worsens it dims me with an ever increasing hopelessness. The beacon and call to drink and smoke pot again call me ever more loudly each day. A bad situation is not worth giving in to the myriad of negative consequences that happen in a substance abuse environment. Living in a conflicting situation is damaging to the soul. We need balance. I have to leave my grandson here and move on to find a place of solace. I have to leave my son and husband to their own poor choices. If they believe they are so right for what they chose then let them live with the circumstances of those choices. I did not create them and I shouldn’t have to live with the circumstances.
Yet, all in all, the stay at the shelter wasn’t really a negative experience. I enjoyed working in the kitchen and forming relationships with the people there. I enjoyed getting to know these special and precious people. These are the people I want to write about because I feel that homelessness and homeless people are misunderstood. This is the secret that I want to uncover; that people are just people no matter where you go.

So, why can’t’ I write? About three weeks ago I did finish the first chapter, then my computer crashed and I lost it, but all I have to do is type it in again since I printed it out before the crash. I spend my days wondering what I am going to do with the next few months and I could have already written the damn book and been done with it. My goal is to have it done by the end of the year. I want to have something really great to start the New Year with.
I believe I am having doubts about myself and my abilities as a writer. I have been working on my mind set and trying to overcome the last year and all its difficulties coupled with my current living situation. Maybe I am just not done processing everything yet. But, I feel like I am spinning my wheels going nowhere.

Yesterday I spent all day writing an article trying to get a writing job that would pay me $3.30 per 250 word article. I think that I am very distracted by my money situation and I have been allowing myself to be drawn off into many directions trying to find a way to earn at least a little bit of money during this time while I am supposed to be writing my book. The most difficult part and where the battle rages on is with the “doing” mentality that holds my mind in its vice-grip. I feel like I have to be “doing” something constructive. I can’t be free until I can understand that the beauty of the journey is not in what I do, but in who God created me to be and the discovery of my meaning and significance in Him. I have just been that way for a long time and if I am not working and earning money something seems amiss. Honestly, I don’t really need more money. We live comfortably off of what we have, but it is just foreign because I have always had more so the need to do more and to get more is still there. Of course I need to change my living environment and not having any money does affect my options in changing that. But, I am sure that I will come up with something suitable. I always have. I am like silly putty, always bouncing back from what seems like inexorable odds. Ah, life, it has its ways. I just realized that there are other things I can do to earn a few bucks a week which would be nice to have so I can buy my jewelry supplies and art supplies. I can’t wait until the weather cools so I can start going to the swap meet to sell my items. I am getting my children in on this because I want them to have joy in creating items for others to love and enjoy. I believe that is a beautiful way to share our gifts with others.

I watched this movie last week called “Inception”, I highly recommend it. There were scenes in the movie where people were being shot at and narrowly escaped death. That night as I lay down to sleep, I prayed that God would give me a dream to help me know I was on the right track with my life. My dream was filled with images of being shot at and running for my life. I was not alone, there was a group of people there fighting for me as well, we all survived. I said to the people that helped me, “I’m so glad to have known you all because I don’t think I would have survived without you.” Then I woke up. I immediately asked God to give me the meaning behind that and recognized His still small voice in my heart. He said, “You are capable of far more than you give yourself credit for. I am with you and I have my angels protecting you. You are doing what you are supposed to be doing at this time in your life”. I was feeling relieved that God had answered my prayer and I know I am on the right track.

My gifts have been waiting for me to realize that I am capable and I can do whatever I set my mind to accomplishing. God is my guide. He sends people into my life to strengthen and encourage me. His love for me shows no bounds.

My main concern now is what I should do about my husband and his drinking. Despite a number of promises that he won’t drink anymore I woke this morning to “Drunk Man” which is what I call him when he drinks. He turns into this different person that I don’t care for. I swore to myself last month that if he drank again I would have to be out. This has been going on now for three months, which each month bringing the resolution that if he drinks again I have to leave. Now, I have to follow through on that this week. I’m not talking about it anymore with him. I am packing and leaving.

It is really amazing to me how people can do things when it really negatively affects the people around them. I watched this episode of “Intervention” once where the dad made everyone in the whole family dysfunctional and mentally ill. He had diabetes but continued to drink and do drugs. They were constantly watching over him to make sure he didn’t die. His blood sugar would dive so low that he would be threatened with falling into a coma and dying. He explained later in the program that he had been raped by his Uncle when he was like 11 while visiting his uncle on the family farm. Yet, rather than get help or try to stop he put his family through HELL. I will never understand why people do these things to each other. Does anyone realize that a selfish act can cause so much pain in a person’s life and why would they take that so lightly? Sometimes the best answer is to just leave it behind. You can’t call it love when a person hurts you with their behavior, people try to call it love, but it is nothing but selfishness. Any relationship involves vulnerability and people do feel hurt from time to time. However, when I say, “It hurts me and bothers me when you drink, it just brings back such bad memories for me” and the person does it anyway, what is that? I am 100% sure that this is not a loving relationship exchange. I think we as a society need to really evaluate the way we act when we are in relationships. Many of us don’t deserve the good people we have in our lives and one day they will leave us if we don’t start treating them right.

That is what happens when you live with other people. You can’t control what others do. It just makes me want to move so I don’t have to be around it anymore. If I were to follow my own advice I would leave. That means I would have to move into another home of some type. There is one that I am looking at, but I haven’t gone to talk with anyone there yet. The words of Dr. Phil echo in my mind when he said long ago, “You teach people how to treat you”. I have not done a very good job in conveying my message.

Well, that’s that. Life is what it is. Things happen every day that may not be what we want or how we want them. The courage to carry on in spite of all life’s difficulties is the most important habit to hone. Not every day is special or Earth shattering. I don’t think we would be able to handle that anyway. The courage to change the things we can is also important because without that we continue to live with standards and conditions that are damaging.
So, the message today is carry on. Keep working at it. Keep reaching for your goals and an off day once in a while isn’t the worst thing that can happen.

Later that same day:

I was finally able to start writing. I started at the very beginning explaining when things really started going bad. It left me feeling a bit cleansed. So, I get now why I need to write, I need to process what happened to me just as much as I need to tell the world that homeless people aren’t lazy or worthless. I need to talk about how the medical community was prejudice against me because of my physical address at the rescue mission. I need to spill out the raw emotions that have been trapped in my heart and mind for such a long time. The anger and the sadness for myself and people in situations like mine. I would like people to see this population for who they really are; real people with real needs. Most of all we need to help others and stop ignoring their problems.

I had been afraid of these intense emotions. In the past I only wrote about those in journals that I could lock away so no one would ever know I had those ugly feelings. It makes me feel overwhelmingly vulnerable to speak of the raw emotions that I have about certain things. When I do people can see the turmoil in my heart and I am afraid. I am afraid that I will be judged or mistaken for who I am and what I stand for. Part of writing this is blog and my book is to overcome that fear. I had said in the beginning that I would not self-publish, but I don’t really care now. The idea of jumping through a million proverbial hoops to make a publishing company happy doesn’t seem appealing to me. I believe that anyone who doesn’t publish my book is misguided, so I am better off to self-publish that way I get to keep all the money for my cause. Who needs a group of greedy whore hounds to peddle my book and make money off of the suffering and hardships of people who are already vulnerable and broken?

This is just the first of many books that I have been carrying in my heart for a long time. I have always been too busy working to write. I had kids to raise, bills to pay and shopping to do. Now, I have to write because it is the only thing that feels real or whole anymore. I have a deep desire to change the misconceptions about homelessness and mental illness. I want people to understand that you don’t have to be an alcoholic or drug addict to not be able to work. Sometimes, the difficulties in life are just too much to handle and many people don’t even know where to begin. Psychology is a horrible place to start because what was meant to help hurts and enslaves.

We have a whole generation of people that were raised by addicts and unfit parents with a great number of children that were abused. I didn’t even manage to teach my children everything I wanted them to know so that they could be productive and happy. But, at least I try to understand it all and I hope that I can convey that emotion and those thought processes that go into understanding a group of people that are hurting and dying every day, they are alone and have no one to care for them. That in itself is a death sentence because we are social, we need each other. What everyone of us needs to do most is STOP HURTING OTHERS WITH OUR OWN SELFISH BEHAVIOR. We also need to stop telling people that there is something wrong with them if they feel hurt by what we do. We as a people need to develop sensitivity for our fellow man. This goes for me too. I need to stop judging others and myself.

This is not just about people in a bad situation, but it is also about me and my own journey. It is my journey to understanding who I really am and trying to understand the world around me. Part of that journey is to find wholeness and to find meaning and significance in my life. It is to know the beauty of being and not just always doing. The biggest part of this journey is to find peace and healing. I know I can’t be alone in my search for these things. I think it is just a part of the human condition. But, I am glad that many have joined me in this pursuit by reading my blog and I hope that each one of us can find our beauty and uniqueness in our being and that everyone also finds peace and healing in life. Life is too short to live it bound up, abused or misunderstood. Let’s all start with ourselves and change what we can to become a better person first to ourselves and secondly to others. It doesn’t cost one cent to be kind, supportive and courteous to those around us. So, we can all start there.


3 responses »

  1. Dear Elizabeth,Wow! Reading today’s blog gave me a huge insight into who you are…Amazing! You are definitely a strong woman with a big heart; a woman who wants to make her mark in life by sharing her life lessons with others and reach for all that life has to offer. It sounds as though you have many obstacles in your way but you also have a solid faith in God and the tools to push forward and do what your heart is telling you to do. You have inspired me this morning. Thank you for that.I also want to commend you for not being willing to jump through the zillions of hoops that agents put before us writers, assigning themselves as the omnipotent gate keepers of the publishing world. I made the same decision to self-publish recently and I feel so empowered by that decision. Keep writing Elizabeth, your words are pure gold.My Best,Leah

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