Why do we repeat our past? Is it because we did not learn the lessons we were meant to learn from our trials and experiences? Or is it because we somehow forgot those lessons learned? What ever the reason, we tend to revisit our past to find answers, to gain perspective, to see where we were and to decipher how far we’ve come. If, however, we thought we were moving forward only to discover we’ve gone full circle and ended up right back where we started, then it may be time to take a closer look at the steps we took and perhaps try a different path.
Granted that during our analysis we sometimes find patterns and similarities that are downright astounding, often we have to go back and analyze before we can fully appreciate or understand how to move forward. In the past, we may have dismissed an event as simply a coincidence. But under careful scrutiny we may discover that several similar incidents have occurred. So was it actually just happenstance or a subconscious choice we made based on some truth we unknowingly seek?
A person with unresolved issues with his/her parent may unknowingly choose a mate with many of the characteristics as that parent and attempt to make that relationship work as a way of correcting the parent-child dysfunction of the past. But often enough the relationship doesn’t work because the person is faced with the same series of problems with no clue of how or why things are going wrong or how to fix things. One solution would be to simply dismiss it as bad luck and plow ahead to the next relationship in hopes that new one would work. Others may say, let the past remain in the past and happily leave their baggage locked away. But my obsessive, compulsive, detail-oriented need-to-know nature is forcing me to deal with this head on — to go back to the source, the parent, to try to find resolution there. Or if complete resolution cannot be found, then at least the healing process would have begun. The hardest part is taking the first step back to a painful period but as hard as it is sometimes it has to be done.
I am at that point now! I don’t know what to say, I don’t know how to start, I don’t know if this time my voice would be heard and I don’t know if going back will actually help or if it can somehow make things worse. Should I write a letter? Should I call? Should I meet in person? I don’t yet have the answers to any of these questions but I do know that I’ve procrastinated about this for years and now I don’t think I can put this off any longer. My only wish is that God put the right words in my mouth and speak on my behalf. I NEED to heal…I NEED to break free of this burden…I NEED to move forward for myself and for my sanity.
A good friend said to me recently, that our past comes back to haunt us when there is unfinished business to be resolved — kind of like ghosts in horror movies. He may have a point! Without closure the ghost of unresolved issues will continue to haunt my soul.
In Part 1 of this series of posts, I completed the first 2 tasks as per the rules (as seen below)
So in this installment I will delve into task #3 — answering my nominator’s questions. Here goes…
Answer the eleven (11) questions posed to you by your nominator:
Q #1: What was your turning point that brought you to Christ?
A: I was born into a Christian household but as I grew up in the ‘faith’ I started to resent the ‘religion’ aspect of Christianity. So many rules, being shunned by the people who convinced themselves they were better that others because they ‘belonged’ to a religious organization. Then there was the aspect of every religion claiming they are the ‘right’ one to follow. It all left a bad taste in my mouth and once I left home I chose not to follow a particular religion but to seek God out on my own. I must admit though, that it took years for me to get to the point of wanting to know God for myself, but 3 yrs ago, after a significant traumatic event, which forced me to flee for my safety, I discovered that HE was with me in a very dark moment and has never left my side. It is safe to say HE has always been there but it was I who strayed to questionable paths away from HIM. I began to read the BIBLE again from the beginning and the experience and knowledge I’ve gained by studying HIS word for myself (not guided by others and what they want me to see) has been a blessing beyond measure. I still have a very long way to go (side-tracked a bit since I discovered WordPress), but the journey has made me realize that I am not alone, HE is always with me.
Q #2: What is your favorite hymn or praise song?
A: I have many songs of praise that make me feel closer to God but the one I enjoy immensely is Greater by MercyMe. It makes me wanna sing and dance like David did as he sang praises to God. My little one and I sing and dance to this together. What fun!!!
Q #3: What do you love most about writing?
A: Writing has always been the easiest way for me to express myself in an organized way. I was very shy as a kid (introverted — still am) and always found it less stressful to be in smaller, intimate settings as opposed to larger crowds. When I tried to speak, (without having rehearsed it first, or without a written speech), my words seemed to not come out right. Writing gives me time to ‘word’ my thoughts accurately so they flow smoothly giving the illusion that I’m as coherent in real life. I still tend to ‘fumble’ my way around in new settings, but once I become more comfortable with those around me my words flow a lot more easily. Writing gives me the safety I need to be myself — my true self (or someone else, should I choose to delve into fiction which I’ve done on occasion).
Q #4: What are you most passionate about in life?
A: I’m ‘notoriously’ independent. Ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll testify to that. I come from a family of ‘control freaks’ and in many ways I am one too. But I aim to be in control of myself — be independent and I detest the idea of trying to control others. My family (large extended family) has a way of using the ‘gang mentality’ to get one person, who is not going along with everyone else, to do what the ‘gang’ wants. One has to fight tooth and nail to escape their clutches and once out you better stay far away to not get sucked back in. I left home at 19 and never went back! It was the only way to earn their respect for if one wanted to be treated like an adult one had to act like one QUICK! They try to pull me back in from time to time (“When are you coming home to visit? Everyone is dying to meet the baby! Are you planning to move back home? Who’s gonna take care of your mom if anything happens now that your dad is gone?”) Oh they’re good, but I know better! Yes I stay in touch often but keep my distance. And the minute I feel like I’m being controlled by ANYONE my first instinct is to escape. An unfortunate side effect of my upbringing, yes, but one that has helped me survive on my own all these years. It is perhaps the primary reason I became and have remained self-employed for most of my adult life. Surprisingly though, I do have a healthy respect for rules (as long as I agree with them ^_^) which is strange since rules ARE a ‘form’ of control. But I guess one needs order/discipline to be in control of one’s self and my OCD is testament to that. A place for everything and everything in its place is the mantra that plays nonstop in my head — it’s how I function — chaos gives me mental hives!!!
Q #5: Who is your favorite author?
A: Mark Twain is my favorite author. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are the only books I’ve read over and over and over again both in childhood and adulthood. I love the way Tom Sawyer makes things more complicated than they need to be simply for the thrill of an adventure. I’m always thoroughly amused by his antics ^_^. Of course I’ve read other books, too many to mention here, but not as often as the two above. Yes I’m weird, I know!
Q #6: What is your favorite guilty pleasure snack?
A: Cadbury Fruit and Nut Chocolate. I hide this from the kids. This is one treat I don’t share! I’m not kidding!
Q #7: Who would you most enjoy meeting and having a deep conversation with?
A: Since I no longer have any desire to meet celebrities as most are not pleasant in person, there’s a toss-up between Job (of the Bible) and God. Job is my hero! With everything he experienced he never turned away from God. That man had some serious patience! I wish I knew how to bottle that!!! There are times when I feel similar to Job especially with all the crap trials I endured the last 3 yrs, but I’m trying to hold on and keep my eyes on Jesus and Job is my inspiration. Ultimately though , I’d love to meet God. I have a ton of questions for HIM. Plus I think HE has a weird sense of humor! I often find myself whispering, “Good one God, that was hilarious, you got me!” I’m hard-headed, so HE has to leave me up to my own antics (much like Tom Sawyer) so I can learn the hard way. Often the answer is right in front of my face, but I can’t see it since I think the answer needs to be complicated and in need of much effort. Smh…
Q #8: What accomplishment in your life has been most impactful?
A: Hmm, another toss-up between being a mom and being in business. As a mom, I’m terrified I would eventually ruin my kids. There is no manual or fool-proof method of child-rearing since each kid is different and requires different parenting techniques. It’s quite challenging! So too I find I’m as attached to my business as though it were a kid. I’ve been in business (Self-employed) since 1997 — started from scratch — it’s my baby. I’ve grown in so many ways because of it that I’m often surprised that I’ve come so far. I’ve learned to stand up for myself — to be more outspoken, to be more eloquent as I’m forced to meet and communicate with a wide variety of clients. I’ve become a bit tougher and have learned to say ‘no’ so not to burn myself out. I’ve learned to let my work speak for itself instead of chasing clients — Word of mouth is my main form of advertisement and it has produced the best customers. I’ve had a good run and one day I may tell the story of how my business was started somewhat accidentally! (Although I believe there are really no accidents but it’s all part of God’s grand design).
Q #9: What scripture has helped you most in your life?
A: The Lord is my Shepherd (Psalms 23). Though I don’t say it often I believe those words wholeheartedly and they gave me solace in the dark, (very very dark) hours of March 15 2012 — the day I almost lost my life at the hands of my then husband (archived posts will tell more on this topic).
Q #10: What does mercy and grace look like to you?
A: Mercy and Grace? See previous answer. Were it not for God’s mercy and grace I would not be alive today (See archived posts for more details). Even though I’ve been given a second chance, I still mess up more often than I’d like to admit. My burden seems more than I can bear sometimes and I’ve gotten angry at God, lost faith, and have dismissed the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to me. There are times, because I can’t understand the lesson I’m supposed to learn, I in my infinite wisdom aka stupidity, act like God is just leaving me to the will of the Devil as a Job-like experiment just for laughs! Of course only the devil delights in our misery and we are all tested in our faith, as the Christian walk is not without it’s trials, but I get angry at God asking HIM boldly “How much more am I supposed to bear before I can finally be happy?? ” HIS mercy, to me, is the fact that I’m not struck down for questioning HIS omniscience. I know better but sometimes I feel like one of the ‘children of Israel’ stuck in the wilderness for 40 yrs — the irony here is that I too am 40 — interesting! The reason they were stuck is because there were lessons they needed to learn but they were too hard-headed. There is where God extends HIS mercy and grace, by giving us time to get our act together — to learn the lesson(s) we need to so we can move on to the next phase. It’s up to us to grasp the knowledge, but alas I’m a slow learner and God is patiently waiting. What’s the cure for hardheadedness? Anyone? I hear someone whispering, “Giving up control”. Oh boy, more irony, sigh… Yup, another good one God! Yeah you got me good ^_^
Q #11: How does it feel to receive this honor to you?
A: Well, you read the opening lines in installment 1 of this assignment as I tried to put a funny spin to the whole thing. But honestly I was secretly hoping to not be selected because it seemed like so much work. Then as I glanced through the list I didn’t notice our name (Inner Ramblings) so I was relieved. Then 5 seconds later I was like, “What? How come Marisa didn’t choose our blog too? I thought we were friends?” So I read the list again, and there was our name all along! Then my thoughts went right back to, OMG this is so much work! The human condition, I wonder if there’s a pill for that? (lol). But honestly, I am honored. It turns out I rather enjoyed the exercise and managed to squeeze 3 posts out of too — how’s that for multitasking???? ^_^
So those are my answers. Hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about me. I would love to be less hidden and perhaps share a picture of myself, but alas my safety is at stake, sorry… Perhaps one day soon (fingers crossed) but in the mean time you can call me “A”.
Stay tuned for the next installment in which I’ll reveal my 11 nominees. Until then be well…
A @ Moylom Enterprises
Contents written: July 26 2015 | Edited: July 28 & 29 & August 1 2015 | Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises
Yesterday, in one of our marathon phone conversations which meandered from one topic to the next, we eventually landed on the topic of family and friends. At that point I informed mom that should any relatives begin inquiring of my whereabouts and/or well being in the upcoming months it would be because I’ve stopped making it a top priority to check on them on a regular basis. Why? Because I’ve drawn a line in the sand and it’s been long overdue. You know what she said? “I don’t blame you?”
Someone told me once that I care too much and I was shocked that those words were said about me. I don’t know how to NOT care — it’s the way I was made. I always go above and beyond and it’s just the way I am. My clients have said how much they appreciate that quality, but for some reason family and friends take advantage of my kindness or simply don’t appreciate it. But with age comes wisdom and I’m now understanding what that individual meant, which leads me to the new-found explanation of those words heard so long ago:
It’s not that I care too much but that I need to be more wise about the things and people I care about.
Hmm… why didn’t I understand this years ago? Perhaps because I spent so many of those years trying to make everyone happy not realizing the impossible task with which I burdened myself.
Caring takes a lot of energy and emotion. It forces one to put oneself in another’s shoes to truly understand, if only slightly, what that person is going through and what they need to feel better if down or to share in celebration of the good times. For some reason I’m good at that, and many folks have often asked if I am/was a nurse. (I actually thought of becoming a nurse once, but later discovered I was trying to fulfill my mom’s dream not my own. But that a whole other post!!!). No I’m not a nurse, it’s just a God-given gift I guess, just something that comes naturally.
So, now I’ve begun the task of eliminating those folks who fail to understand that emails, phone calls, what’s app, viber, text messages, Facebook messenger and all other modes of communication WORK BOTH WAYS!!! I am no longer going to be the only one to reach out, I’ve done it that way for too long and now it must stop. If the thought never crosses their minds to say hello and actually do so then I too will not do so. A friend recently reminded me how awful it is to “give to the point of resentment “. Yes I know, I know, God loves a cheerful giver, and all these years I HAVE been cheerful about the care and consideration I gave to others. I didn’t care if those folks reciprocated, I was just happy to remember their birthdays, anniversaries and delighted to check in to see how they were doing. But how come they never remember to inquire about me? And that right there is the problem and why “the line” needed to be drawn.
I’m not the needy type; I don’t ask for anything; I’m independent and never in trouble (not much anyways) so I’m wondering if folks automatically think I’m OK and there’s no need to check on me. Well I’m not gonna sit here and speculate, I don’t have time for that. As I get older I’m less tolerant of the lack of consideration shown by others and as such have drawn a line to signify my decision.
Wow, I just reread the above and boy do I sound angry! Well I am. It’s time to worry about my needs after all these years of neglect by others and sadly by me.
I messaged a very dear lady whom I was fortunate to meet during a very dark period of my life a few years ago. I’ve been so grateful for her support that I always check in with her from time to time. She actually got angry with me for speaking mostly of my kids and not of myself. She said,
Everytime I hear from you, you go on and on about the kids, about how well they’re doing and how much they’re thriving but what about you? How are you? How is your personal life? Are you dating? Are you working on a life separate from your kids? I hope you’re not locking yourself away from love? Please know that you deserve love too!
At first I got upset that she had somehow set a timetable for my life without my permission. Here I was thinking my personal life was my own! (Aside from WordPress of course). I knew fully well that I’m not ready for all that, and unsure as to when or if I ever will be. I’m still learning to trust again, terrified of failing as a parent — a single parent — and only capable of worrying about one day at a time given everything else I have on my plate. Dating and new relationships take time, and I’m not ready to invest such a valuable asset (my time) without adequate returns. I know my dear friend means well so I’m not angry that she was stern but I need to spend a little more time weeding my garden so the beautiful flowers can bloom and be seen — I’m gonna spend some time pampering “me”.
So here’s to laying the dead to rest to make room for the living — new life — new beginnings! Here’s to moving on at my own pace, one step at a time.
Thank you Ms K for caring enough to be stern. I’m not mad. Happier updates ahead I promise! ((Hugs)) ^_^
Contents written July 15 2015 | Edited: July 18 & 21 2015 | Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises
There are days when I want to call and tell you I miss you, especially on the days when I long to have a mother’s hug telling me everything will be alright. But if I called and said, “I miss you” we both know that would be a lie. I know that I love you because you are my mother — before my birth you could have ended my life but instead, you brought me into the world, cared for me, taught me how to be independent and how to survive. For this I am grateful and will always love you.
But as I grew, it was painfully obvious that we saw the world very differently and this affected our relationship significantly which fueled my need to separate myself from you for the sake of my sanity. I do not cast blame because I understand you have a right to your views for they were/are based on your upbringing, but I too have a right to my views and choose to associate with those of like mind so I can feel that my voice is being heard.
The tension I feel in your presence fuels my need to escape the mental torment so even though I long for my mother, you are not the mother with whom I can be my true self.
We communicate well now because distance separates us. Conversations go unspoken — buried — for fear such utterings would cause an eruption of ill feelings, resentment, sadness, inadequacy, regret, longing, loss… You gave up a career to be a mother, but there were times you made us to feel guilty for your choices. That’s so unfair! What an awful burden to place on a child.
Your standards of perfection were set so high, only you could meet them. But still I toiled to earn your admiration and only got your criticisms instead. My best was never good enough but still I tried.
At 19 I left home to make my own way in the world, finally free to be me. But my need for approval was still there, instead however, I sought it from others. I never found it in my personal relationships, but instead from my work. And so it seems I am incapable of bonding with anyone for I too now have your ridiculously high standards hammered into my brain. Oh the irony!
So here I sit, in the middle of the rubble of my life longing for my mom to put her arms around me and comfort me but I can’t communicate that to you for it would be a lie. It seems that I miss the idea of what you are supposed to be, but in actuality I don’t know how to miss the real you.
Written January 8 2015 | Edited June 10 2015 | Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises
Insanity does not run in my family but the way I’m feeling lately I think it may very well be starting with me.
I’m broke – so broke that I’m behind on all, and I mean ALL my bills. I’m tired – tired to the point of feeling worn beyond my years. I try to sleep to separate myself from my worries, if only to seek solace in my unconsciousness, but sleep does not come because my mind keeps racing – it just won’t turn off the noise of my life. So I try to pray and for the most part all I can say is JESUS HELP ME! He knows all the details so why bore him. He knows I need help but sometimes He just wants us to ask. So because I am so ashamed and feel sorry for myself I cry. I cry uncontrollably to the point where I feel like I’m losing my mind. I cry because I know I’m supposed to put my troubles to God and have faith that He will deliver me in His own time, but my faith is weak, so I ask His forgiveness as I cry.
I cry a lot now, mostly in the shower when I think no one can hear me or wouldn’t discern the noises mixed and muffled among the other shower related ones. Or when I lay my head down to sleep praying to God for a miracle, the tears trickle down my cheeks, slow at first, then fast as though in a rush to soak my pillows as if to keep me awake even longer with the mundane chore involved in replacing the wet with a new one that’s dry. But why bother, it will soon be wet again.
I don’t like crying. Some say it is good medicine for the soul. Some call it therapy. I say yes to both, for the flood of tears releases pent up emotions which I cannot process and for which I have no solution. But crying makes my head hurt. It makes my eyes puffy. It makes me feel ugly and helpless. I don’t like feeling weak. I don’t like having to depend on others to help me. And I most certainly don’t like bothering God with my little problems. Why can’t I be tougher? Why wasn’t I born into a rich family? Why am I alive?
I remember when I was younger that my tears used to be of a broken heart — of young love – a boy. Or my tears would be for the simple sadness for the loss of a loved one. Very rarely were my tears of joy except when a lot of blood sweat and tears had gone into a major accomplishment. But now my tears are of deep sorrow: the loss of a marriage that was based on a lie; the loss of all the love that I gave but never got back in return, at least not truly; the loss of all my possessions as I start all over from scratch; the loss of my feeling of safety as I now feel like I must live my life in hiding to survive for the sake of those that remain to put the pieces back together – my children. Alas, I cry because this is not the life I expected, not the life I imagined, not the life for which I asked. I cry because the overwhelming sadness I feel only surfaces when my strength is low and my will to survive is being challenged by forces beyond control.
I survived a lot. But in retrospect the key word is SURVIVED. At the hands of the one I loved I was assaulted, raped, cursed and left to hide in shame – to retreat in fear. But I did not retreat. I hid only long enough to resurface to face him — to tell my story IN COURT. The first day I saw him I trembled inside for all the horrid memories surfaced so fast as if to burst out of me and into the sky. But I prayed and God gave me the strength to press on, to face my fear, to face the monster of a man who promised to be my everything but instead caused me to lose it all. I faced him that day then never saw him again. The trial ended with a hung jury and then I cried.
How could they after seeing all the images of my attack, after hearing me pour out my soul, after hearing him tell so many lies, have the nerve to say, even partially, that what he did to me was okay? How could I face him again for a new trial? My lawyer’s answer to my questions astounded me to no end. She said that because I am articulate and able to explain myself well and obviously have a hire level of education than he does it is quite possible that all those attributes, though desirable, may have worked against me. Some may think that I used my intellect to get him to do this to me. Huh?
The irony is that I don’t consider myself that intelligent, at least not to the level to which she eluded. I never even finished college, although that was for financial reasons, yet I never finished! And since when is it a crime to be intelligent? I was furious! I could not believe what I was hearing — And then I cried. I cried so much my chest hurt…as though my heart was about to burst. But reality soaked in. I had kids depending on me to care for them and keep them safe from all the chaos that was now spinning uncontrollably all round me, around us. So I picked my self up, prayed, put one foot in front of the other, prayed and kept on praying. They needed me to be strong and the only way I could do that was to hold on to God. I needed him to carry me for my legs were weak, my heart was frail, my spirit was broken, my soul was sore. I ached all over emotionally — the agony was unbearable — And so I cried. I cried out to Jesus to save me.
A few weeks later I got a call from my lawyer. My ‘so called husband’ was arrested for possession of a weapon. No one knows for sure what he planned to do with that gun but you and I both could justifiably imagine what he planned to do. He was coming for me — To shut me up; To end the nerve I had to speak ill against him – me a little black girl from the country, how dear I speak ill of him to an open court? Him, a white man of much more significance than I ever could be – at least I’m guessing that’s what he thought for that’s the way he treated me in the end. But little did he know that while he was planning to shut me up, God was planning for him. I cried out to God and HE saved me – HE saved me from my husband, HE saved me for a purpose, HE saved me because there was a job HE needed me to do. He needed me to stand my ground and fight for my right be treated as a human being and not be silenced by violence. I am not a rag to be used and tossed aside; I am a human being who did nothing to deserve the poison which he spewed from his mouth upon me – the verbal abuse (while pregnant), the mind games, the constant trying to get me to spend more time with him and less time with my family or friends. The good Lord knew all and answered my prayers.
So today I am thankful. Thankful for it is my belief that God allowed these circumstances to befall me to draw me closer to HIM. He saved me so I can sing of HIS mercy to others, so I can teach HIS love to my children, so I can remember each day that life is a gift – a precious gift we should never take for granted. I still cry on the tough days, when the burden seems too much to bear; when my mind feels frazzled by the frustration single parents know all too well; when my body is so tired I can barely get out of bed. But I am also learning to sing — to praise the wonderful name of the ALMIGHTY, for without him I would not be alive today. I am safe in the arms of JESUS , I need not fear for HE is with me always – even when I cry.