Familiar ground

I lived like a child, only enjoying what gave instant pleasure. What’s wrong with that some may ask? Well when you’re a childlike adult who thrives on pleasure and instant gratification, many things can and did go wrong. I made such poor decisions that I found myself in similar situations I was running from. One of my deepest fears was repeating that day but my new beginning in Florida became a sun-shinier version of the one I left behind.

My life was becoming an endless cycle of nothingness wrapped in my own gross misconduct to cover up my ball of anguish. And as much as I went searching for pleasure I was ending up wallowing in despair, fear, and anxiety. Not enough words to explain the eye of the tornado I was living in within myself. Emotions I felt that day wrapped in the new ones I created through various horrible actions, decisions and my masochist behavior was destroying me. I was destroying me. I was helping the enemy in his quest and had no idea.

I recall a time, the feeling, the fear, the not knowing what was to come of this particular moment in time, it was all rushing back with every breath, and every step forward. If it weren’t for God’s grace I know I would’ve been raped…again. Why was I surprised though? I had been living blind, decidedly blind, not realizing I was putting myself back in those same sort of circumstances. You know, sometimes it was almost as if I was giving away pieces of myself, time, money, heart, whatever was left of it anyway, just giving pieces away so I wouldn’t feel as if it was being taken. Giving of oneself not wholeheartedly, to be able to endure and avoid the feeling of being seized, captured, or possessed. Give so you won’t feel like you’re being taken advantage of….but you are. That was my new beginning. That was my existence. Living to avoid reliving but walking a fine line on familiar ground.

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

…The former things were stalking me and had made their way into the present. I didn’t perceive what He had planned. I was too busy trying, on my own, to escape. My now, then, was that wasteland. It was so hard to forget. I later realized not dwelling in it didn’t mean I had to forget or that I should. I wanted to though. I think. The pain I felt was overwhelming but like the memories that haunted me, they were mine. Or so I thought.

Digging my pit

I watched my mother work and work. The only time she enjoyed time for herself and had a blast was when she took her yearly trips to her birth place in Haiti. The only place I ever heard her desire to visit besides her childhood home was Florida. This was mainly due to the fact that my unofficial godmother/ her b.f.f. visited there so often. She eventually moved there and my mom never got the chance to visit.

Although I watched both parents always work and had multiple jobs at times, I never had that kind of work ethic. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m not lazy. Far from it. I mean I’ve worked since I was about 15. Working is all gravy until you have to, at least in my case. I just am wired a little differently. I never wanted to be under someone else for as long as I could remember. I loved and required freedom over a chained existence. As I got older, the need to have things but not through typical hard work became part of who I was. We’ll get more into my work history at a  later post perhaps, but I say this to say, I left for Florida to pursue a new life, one my mother might have had, but lived my life more entwined in chains than she ever was working her crazy hours to provide for our family. She may had to work for someone else all her life but she most certainly was free. I know and understand that now.

The day I moved, I longed for the sense of freedom to come crashing through my every being. I ached for it. Can someone ever be free of themselves, their thoughts, and memories though? I half expected it to be like a switch one can just turn on then whammo, I’d have my sense of freedom. With every mile driven south, another heap of chains was added through sheer grief and turmoil. Spiritually, I weighed more getting out of the car to Florida then when I left Boston. Honestly I believe that spiritual weight and heaviness would have come on a lot quicker had I stayed. I think somewhere in the midst of it all, I was surrendering. No. I had surrendered. To put it mildly, I had surrendered to never feeling content and happy again. That was very mildly. It’s so difficult to explain. I guess what it was is I just sort of gave up. I gave up and gave in. The situation took away my mother and parts of me, but by this point I was just giving pieces away. My joy, my compassion, my morals, my sense of self, my freedom. I didn’t know it but I was going further into the dark rabbit hole, all chained up with my grief. So with that and whatever was left of Goretty, pass the chains, if anything well, Florida would have to deal with.

Psalms 40:1-2 I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

…In those days there was nothing patient about me. Had I been who knows. God was faithful though, even when I wasn’t. He was working even when I wasn’t. He plucked me out of Boston where my grief began. After turning into someone I didn’t even recognize, He still remembered me and freed me from my own personal pit. Today, well today I thank Him that I even have the opportunity to surrender to His will. And no one else’s. Now that’s freedom.

Question to Reader:

What chains do you put on yourself?

The sounds that plagued me

I thought I’d be terrorized for the rest of my days. Memory is something else I tell ya. For a while I thought perhaps I was one of those people compared to an elephant because my memory was so in tack. I realized my mind had another mind, one of its own. That mind was selective. Drawn only to those memories that rendered me a coward, jumping out of my skin at every turn at what seemed to birth a déjà vu moment. Numbing those senses was my only refuge during those in the valley moments of my life.

The crashing of pots and pans that resulted in her facial disfigurement. The sounds of feet, in haste, rushing down flights of stairs to her rescue. Rescue from what, at that  moment, we did not know. Those are the sounds that plagued me. The meeting of metal to the skull then the resounding clanging as that piece of metal hit the tile floors. The slamming of a bathroom door. The rummaging of a not so much a stranger aimlessly looking to destroy whatever crossed his path. Those are the sounds that plagued me. The shouts to go away and what are you doings spilling out from a crackled voice that was my own.

Many more sounds followed but the two that haunted me to the point of…I couldn’t speak of them were the laughter and gargling. The laughter, the sick almost clownish, empty giggling laughter of a once welcomed individual, that sound, that horribly frightening sound, followed me even as I slept. There were many horrific sounds. None however, can top the gargling. The gargling at times brought me to my knees. Not to pray but to force the noise out by squeezing my ears against my head tight enough between the palm of my hands, fighting back tears and hoping to pass out into a deep dream-free slumber. A vain attempt because I longed for dream-free rest that never came. Remove my innermost memories was my wish, my only wish, in those times. Gargling, trying to breathe through a mouthful of ones own blood. I misspoke, or mis-wrote…whatever, what tops that sound was much worse. The sound that tormented me more than the agony of hearing her struggle to breath as she choked on her own fluid of life was the sound that followed. The sound when she was unable to struggle for life any longer. So now the sounds of silence had its own torment to dish out.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers (Goretty, readers, you) whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.

Being able to put aside memories that stalked my every waking and sleeping moments was a far more difficult task for mere puffs of smoke and or gulps from a bottle could handle. But what grace. What mercy. What honest to goodness breath of fresh air it is to be able to sort through the silence and noise and hear my Jesus. He calls on to me through it all. And now, now a shower behind closed doors with my children on the other side making various noises and slamming this bedroom door and crashing that toy truck against the other, those noises are exactly what they are. Just that.

Philippians 4:9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Back up to Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Very deep sigh. Jesus is so awesome ya. So very awesome.

Wearing black…

I’m pretty sure this tradition has died down in this country if it’s not dead. I’m referring to the custom of wearing black for a period of mourning. Now a days it’s more common to see t-shirts with a portrait of a deceased loved one in honor of their memory. This however, from what I’ve witnessed, only lasts during the wakes, funerals, and any ceremonial gatherings, then end up being worn to bed or around the house etc.. To be honest I never quite understood any of it. For me it’s just one of those things we do because well because we do. I didn’t and still don’t understand what clothing has to do with honoring a loved one but I tried it and to each his/her own.

My black wardrobe journey was to last 6 months to a year from what I was told. Now if any of you, my readers, are as oldish 😉 as I  am you may remember the t.v. show  ‘Punky Brewster’. It was about the girl who never matched her clothes and loved colors. She was a regular bag of skittles to say the least. From her clothing, hair accessories, and even her room, a variety of colors were her signature look. If I remember correctly, it was an era before the rainbow was taken as a symbol of being homosexual. Punky was all about all colors of the rainbow. I was never as bad as she but I did and still do enjoy colors.

I didn’t have much black until the death of my mother. One of my aunts took me shopping and got me a few things during that time. From then on, Goretty was in black. It didn’t faze me during the funeral, the wake, and even after all the ceremonial things were accomplished. When the dust started to settle however, and it was less about gathering people for various dinners and memory get-together this and that and became more about my day-to-day life and emotions, I honestly believe that the wearing of black became less about honoring my mother and my mourning period and more about drowning in the pit of my own sorrow. It made everything worse. It forced me to remember, and you know how much I love that (sarcastically). Each time I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, which I was consciously not doing as much as I could help it, I was reminded of why I was in the dark garments to begin with. I respected tradition to a point and I was doing what I felt I had to in order to please others, by no fault of their own, and to honor my mother. Was I being selfish to hate this tradition?

At the time, wearing those dark clothes formed a blanket around me, a dark harsh, burden-filled blanket, that separated me from the rest of the world or so I thought. At first I thought I’d might enjoy it to be honest because when people knew you were in mourning they tend to let you just be, in fear of saying the wrong things, again or so I thought. Not only was I feeling already on display from having been on the news and everything else but now, wearing these dark clothes was like having a billboard sign right over my head that guided people’s attentions back to that horrible day. I could barely stay in my own skin little-lone the dark materials I wore.

It wasn’t until after I moved did I decide to shed some light to my wardrobe. At first I was torn then came a bit of guilt for not lasting more than a few months. The brighter more vibrant clothing did little for my mood but I can’t say it added any more negatives as the dark ones did. That alone was a small source of relief. Very small.

I now know without a doubt that I had nothing to feel guilty about. I now know my mother didn’t require me to suffer in such a way. I now know Jesus only wants me to feel joy in my heart. I came into this world not in dark materials or colorful attires but as me. Just me. They both, my mother and my God love me for me. Goretty.

3 Worse Things…Bonus Blog

Okay, so of course whilst in the midst of these various interactions with these people and having labeled them to be the worst things said to me post tragedy, I now can share with you what the three major points I’ve come to learn from those experiences, though there were many.

Is that true?/school associate: 

People can be used to pull you back into the pit if you allow it. Now, I realize that sometimes God tries to grab our attention in various ways but there are other times where its the enemy using our situation to pull us deeper in the misery enough not to see God. Separating us from The Most High is his #1 reason for anything he does. Being able to decipher God’s call to us and the enemy’s plot against us, that key, that oh so important key,  is something we can only master or get better at enough to live in peace, through His Word.

Question to reader

Was my school mate being used to snap me out of my delusions, even for a brief moment, and perhaps turning to God in my broken state or was the enemy playing on my emotions, exposing me to people who once knew me before my life was shattered?

Not Nice/mom’s acquaintance:

My worth IS NOT  based on what others (any man, woman, not even myself) perceive me to be or what they say I am! I AM WHO GOD SAYS I AM! I am not not nice! Shoot, I am more than just nice 😉

Challenge to reader

Message me with your favorite scripture about you from God. Write or print it out and place it somewhere you’ll always come across it. The reminder of who we really and truly are is such a game changer in life. If you don’t have a favorite scripture, there’s no better time than the present 🙂

One so-called friend/a so-called friend:

There’s a simple lesson here but one that I tend to struggle with still, but that’s okay. I am a working progress and He’s not done with me yet. Amen to that. With this situation I learned and am still learning not to rely on others for what God is so capable of dishing out for me. It can be anyone, a friend, a husband, a wife, your child, my mother, and it doesn’t have to be a person. It can be a job, money etc. God wants and craves for us to rely on Him for all our needs and wants. For me that whole “in my life for a season” thing is a hard pill to swallow. I think because my nature is so awkward on the inside I tend to cling (not being clingy but just really holding on) to people I have in my life, good for me or not, because possibly exposing that awkwardness to new people is a dreadfully scary thing. But shoot, Jesus loves this dork so, so be it! It may hurt when people leave or are shoved out of your life for one reason or the next, but as long as you have breath you have the opportunity to have the best relationship with Him, who is so true and so loyal and oh so faithful. He is The Bomb Dot Com ya. Trust.

Question to reader

What’s one thing you tend to cling onto for whatever reason in place of The True Provider? (Keep in mind clinging to hurt and painful emotions count)