I did something today that has me all twisted up inside like it just happened…And I thought I was SO far Over It, So Healed, So Strong, So SMART. All the years and years and years of therapy, and here I am again. Bruised, tattered, and lying on the cold floor of a dark green tent, somewhere in the woods near Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. I was a thirteen year old misfit of a girl, never had a real boyfriend, only been kissed once, a true virgin in the full sense, with a facefull of glasses and buck teeth…all I had wanted when I set out was a sleepover with my 2 best friends.
But here I was, in the wee hours of the next morning, dirty and snotty-faced from screaming and crying, bruised from the force of the 2 young men who had raped me, naked and bleeding with my underwear now flying from a tree near the bonfire. “the two young men”h Ha! Who am I kidding? The animals, the dirty rotten dogs who stole my honor, and ruined me forever. From the shame of my friends seeing me, when they woke up and sobered up, and their stony rejection that claimed I had “stolen their boyfriends”, a rejection that lasted for years…to my father’s face when I was shoved out of the guys’ car at 7 am, when he saw my smeared face and smelled the stink of sex and Southern Comfort on me, his thirteen year old child, and when his face screwed into an ugly mask and uttered the searing, scorching words: “You’re disgusting…”and turned his back on me and slammed the door…
It all just came back, hitting me like a sledgehammer, when I looked up the rapists on Facebook, and saw found one of them, bald now and married for 25 or so “happy ” years… How dare they have happy , normal lives? I didn’t know I was still so angry, so scarred…
I will turn 55 tomorrow. I spent twenty 23 of those years as an Alcoholic and Drug Addict,Dealer, Thief , a violent, broken girl who never had a loving relationship with a man her whole adult life. Every single one was abusive, punching me, kicking me, choking, even stabbing me and shooting at me…(and that was the one I married!)
But, you know, I am someone those rapists can never claim to be. I am honest now, and clean, sober, forgiven, loved, and working hard on being whole. I am sorry for all my mistakes, and sorry for all the hurt I have caused. My God has forgiven me, by his Son’s Ransom Sacrifice. And now I will get my bearings back, I will take a deep breath, and let all that anger and shame go… I will pray for the a calm heart and a healed mind, and I ask God to help me to help others get on the road to life… I may never be completely free of the flashbacks in this current world, but one day, when God makes this earth a paradise and does away with all wickedness, I will never think about these matters or feel that pain again.
It has been AGES since I have been here, it seems that when I am on fire with my visual art , my written art suffers. Time is a factor, when I have 5 projects going at once, the voices in my head are rather subdued, because all the poetry is oozing out of my fingertips onto canvas, paper, metal, wood and wall. As has been the way this past year, with some success…
I had hoped top be able to exist on my earnings from my visual art, and while I am not there yet, I am making a dent. I have had one of my paintings put in a permanent collection, I have been highlighted with my artwork in a video for the nearby Mental Health Facility! Woohoo! I find that very satisfying and amusing all at the same time! I should have demanded money, but they didn’t offer, so I used it as a photo op. I gifted them the painting you see here, although I still have it here at the house , because I wasn’t satisfied with it… (never am, you know). I will have to take it in soon, to keep my word… and I need to see my wonderful therapist because memories are pushing their nasty little heads into my reality…
It’s the “holidays”… The time of memories… poo poo, bluck, bluck…. memories have too much power over me, so I guess I just stuff them. Me, the one always saying that “you have to let it out!” I let it out too much, which gave too many people too much power over me, too many ways to rattle my chain. I have been solitary, and sequestered here, and while it may be a little too much solitude I am glad to have my space. True, my sleeping habits could use improvement, but then I am a work in progress…
Just for today I don’t have to mourn. I can just be ok.
I am here again, on lock down of my own making. Wanting the isolation while longing for company. I feel unsure, unsteady, and oh, so tired. The dialogue inside my head has slowed, and the gist of it is dire, down and miserable. I hate myself like this, and that adds to my misery because I know self loathing feeds the beast.
I was SO high, So amped up about the Chicago show, the heady whirlwind of celebrities and dazzling attention. I counselled myself about letting my ego run wild, but that didn’t stop my stream of self promotion, so now I feel the embarrassment of mediocrity . It is just so tiring, this circle of negative emotions, this seemingly endless stream of feeling worthless.
I had a feeling that I was riding too high, and that my joyful blasting energy stream was going to fizzle into a mega-void. And my therapist at SunCoast had cut me down to not seeing her every couple weeks, rather to just making appointments if I need to…So this has translated into feelings of rejection, and is keeping me immobolized from calling her for an appointment. I must hold on to the fact that this will pass… this darkness is only temporary… I have to believe this fact and own this fact, and believe that all my efforts to push thru this depression will, in the end, succeed!
This is the emotional space that can kill, when we Bipolar’s can give up and feel so powerless and alone that we embrace the darkness , in the futile hope that the fall into non existence will stop the pain. I must not go that far down the rabbit hole, because that reasoning is from the Father of the Lie, Satan. While suicide may stop the mental anguish that we ourselves are feeling, the unimaginable pain and suffering that our loved ones will feel must stay our hands. I must never believe the lie that I am worthless.
God does not think we are worthless. He loves me, and cherishes me. I have to hold that thought, and believe in God’s love with every fiber of my being. Hold on to Him with both hands and with all my strength. He won’t let us suffer endlessly. He knows our pain, and soon the relief will come.
I am happy to say, I was able to get back into my blogs here at WordPress, after a lengthy absence. I was unable to remember my sign in information for the longest time, but finally I was able to get back here!!! My sister blog, Out of the Gutter Art, has been languishing also, even tho’ I have been furiously creating beautiful “Outsider” Art this whole time.
I have had many upheavals ans bumps in the road as far as my emotional well being is concerned, but with the help of God, the Ultimate Therapist, and my human therapist (who is stellar!) I have come through victorious! The triggers were many, as this is the month my Parents died, and it also houses both mine and my Mom’s birthdays. I am a JW now, so I don’t celebrate my birthday, but it still holds significance in my heart, a marking of the passage of this fragile life.
Now my associations to birthdays is a very negative one, as my Mom died on her birthday, March 21, which also heralds the first day of Spring. Also my Dad was well into the dying process at home with only me there beside him on my birthday 2 years ago. That was a horrible, horrible time, as he suffered much. In the days that seemed to drag on forever, I remember at one point whispering to him “please don’t die on my birthday Daddy…” This sounds to me now like a rather heartless and self centered request, but he understood my trauma, I believe, even in the midst of his own, and did not. Rather, he fought his last fight during the wee hours of the next morning, finally succumbing at 6:15 the next morning. What a long, dark night that was.
I am finally not grieving the devastating sword thru my middle grief this year, but I anticipated the day with much apprehension and mental nail biting, as well as obsessive compulsive behavior, manic activity and lack of sleep. I am still feeling the effects, and most likely will have them build to a crescendo as March 21st approaches. Mom died in a less dramatic, but equally disturbing way, having to be taken to Hospice House rather than dying at home as she so desired, surrounded by her kitties. I have imprinted on my brain her sitting in her bed like a deflated teddy bear, whose sad eyes cut right thru me as she said, “Susie, I’m not ready…” However the cancer was by this point ravaging her brain, and I could not physically care for her at home.
I had a fourteen day vigil beside her bed, singing, praying , reading the Bible to her and holding her hand. Finally at the point of total exhaustion and grief, I fell asleep beside her, and as I dreamed of happier times, she breathed her last. Ours was a bond stronger than death, and I so eagerly anticipate the day when they are both called out of the memorial tombs in the grand resurrection , when I will run into their arms again.
This hope is made even more sure this month as millions of humans around the globe, and me fulfill our obligation to mark the Memorial of Jesus Christ’ death, just as he commanded us to do at the last supper. On this occasion, just hours before his death, be broke bread an drank wine with his apostles, saying, “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”
I praise Jehovah above for the undeserved kindness He has shown by providing the life of His perfect Son as a ransom for the sins of all mankind. By this loving act, every human on earth has the chance for living forever, without sickness, mourning, pain or death on a beautifully restored Earth. I raise my hands and my voice in praise to God, and thank him for his Son, My King and Savior, Jesus Christ!
You can join the Witnesses all around the earth at sundown on March 31st , 2018 as we join in remembering the Greatest Gift Ever given. You can ask any of Jehovah’s Witnesses for an invitation, or directions, or any other questions you may have and they will joyfully tell you. Also, the website jw.org will tell you what you need to know!
So, despite all my challenges, and mental health issues, I can take comfort that one day soon I will be reunited with all my loved ones. I also am so grateful to God for forgiving my multitude of sins by way of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I hope someone else out there
I have been spinning my wheels today, trying for hours to get my blogs here on WordPress all straightened out. It is very difficult to keep settings and numbers straight in my head since I sustained that TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) in a fall in 2013. Along with all the other physical and Mental challenges I have, I just did not want to accept the fact that I have more struggles now. 0
It is amazing, however, that the life I have now with Jehovah helping me, no matter what the challenges may be, I am more content inside than ever before in my life! I used to wish I was younger, but when I look back the only real times of loving family memories are ones that I have created in my imagination. I had buried myself under so many layers of fantasy, that I believed I was happy in the World. Happy doing drugs, happy smoking stinking cigarettes. Happy letting people use me. Beautiful in my filth.
But I cried every single day, I hated the way I looked, I never felt safe, I was always jealous and insecure…I wanted to die most of the time. But I was young and pretty, right? No, I was tired and sick and overly made up, and either starving cause I was doing speed or puking cause I thought I ate too much… So beautiful… Did you ever see a stung out 20 year old who has been awake for a week so wired that she can only drink beer to try to come down. Make up all smeared and clothes stinking from sweat and alcohol and cigarettes, in skiiiinnnn tight jeans that leave red imprints on her skin, and her hair all stringy? No, you never did?
Believe me, you don’t want to. Nothing very attractive to see there. The eyes were the worst , though. I had dead eyes. No light, no twinkle, no shine of good health and vitality. No glow of clean living on my skin. And fear was my constant companion, though he took many forms. Fear of Judgement, fear of running out of drugs or drink, running out of love, running out of gas, losing jobs, fear of having no money for bills, for food, for gas. fear of not being able to explain where I was , what I was doing, who I was with. I feel a knot forming in my gut now, as my fingers fly over the keyboard, like the dogs are behind me now, panting, jaws dripping teeth glistening, necks straining, moving in for the kill…
STOP! STOP THE MERRY GO ROUND!
I breath a deep sigh as I write this, and I feel cool rain on my skin, a cool breeze wraps around me and the wretched image disappears. Like a steaming apparition, fading away into the night. No more to chain me down, no more to lure me into dense darkness with promises of belonging, promises of fame, promises of beauty. No, I have seen the errors of my past and I have
REPENTED, TURNED AROUND, HAD MY SINS BLOTTED OUT SO THAT THE HEALING LIGHT of HIS LOVE has HEALED ME…
For the longest time after I became a baptized servant of Jah, I hated my old self. I had to create a whole new persona for myself, strict and unflinching, upright and uptight. I never wanted to look the way I had in the past, it was as if I physically cut that person out of my life and off of me like a surgeon divides Siamese Twins. Just as I cut out my ex husband who hurt me so bad, and just as I cut all my old “friends” out of my life, I also cut myself off from the music I listened to, the tv shows I watched, the clothes I wore, and the books I read.
Was this necessary? Did I have to be so stern, so strict? Yes, at that time I did. The break from my past had to be as sure and swift as beheading a chicken with a hatchet. Like Jesus said, “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out! for it is better for you to enter the Kingdom of God with one eye then to be pitched into fiery Gehenna…”
This had to be the way for me, I was so determined to show Jehovah that I want to make Him happy, that I never, never wanted to go back to the way I was. And that is as it should be. But in my zeal, I was actually running away from myself. And I know that Jehovah does not hate me, but I hated that me. I hated her, and I blamed her for my “fall from grace”. That person, that Me was evil, she was bad, rotten to the core. I never wanted to look at her or acknowledge her ever again. I spent the first ten years as a Witness trying to figure out who I was now, how should I look, act, speak, dress. And here was a big problem: How Should I Feel?
Blue Beach Day
a rainy day…missing you.
seeking some sanity
seems like an eternity ago, when my hair was long, and I still felt pretty. This is before all the accidents, surgeries and injuries and before Mom died.
Any time I had bad thoughts I shut them down and cast them, out like throwing out the trash. But the self loathing would not go away, and I could not forgive myself for them. Even though I asked my true friends how they felt, and how they thought, and I tried very, very hard to mimic them, I felt cursed to always be bad. I even told people I felt like Pig Pen on Charlie Brown, carrying all the bad around me like a cloud of dirt. I blamed it all on that Me. And I was suffering. Jehovah did not want me to feel this way, and I know now that I never have to feel that way again.
How did the situation resolve, you ask? Let me explain…
I have been seeing a mental health professional ever since I quit using drugs and alcohol. The reason I began to was that I was still VERY depressed after being clean for a year and when I sought help they diagnosed me as Bipolar. (more about that another day…) On a therapy day, not long ago (maybe six months) Dave , my therapist noticed my loathing for the Me of the past. He was very intuitive and suggested a type of play acting. I had no idea what was about to happen. He placed the other chair in the room across from me, and had me turn my chair to face it. As I sat looking at the empty chair he asked me to visualize my old self.
“What does she look like?”, he asked.
“Well, she’s kind of pretty,” I saidM, “she’s got long dark hair, and a bunch of earrings, and tattoos.”
“What is she feeling?”, he asked quietly.
” I think she is very sad,” I repli ed, continuing,”She has the saddest eyes and I think she wants to die.”
“Tell her what you told me, Susan. That you hate her..”
“No! I don’t want her to know I said that!” I had tears running down my face…
” Well, what do you want to tell her?” he gently nodded at the empty chair.
As I sat there seeing old Me as clearly as I see this tablet, I began to talk to myself…
” hey there, don’t cry… You will be ok… I know you are scared right now, but God loves
you… I…I love you… poor girl.” With the tears just pouring down my face, he helped me to realize that old Me wasn’t evil, or someone I had to hate or shun… I did not have to cut myself in half anymore. I was seeing myself in a new light, as I would look on any other sick and sad individual who was beaten up and trodden down by Satan’s system of things.
This therapy tool had a profound and lasting effect on me, and I still can use it when I lose my focus and start berating myself for my sinful nature. Jehovah knows we are dust, as our Creator, he knows we want to be happy and He knows exactly what we need to live meaningful and purpose filled lives.
I am so grateful to be just me today, a whole person joyful serving God, under the rule of His Son, Jesus Christ, alongside millions of other faithful ones all around the world!
It has been such a struggle during this cold and gloomy weather to drag myself out of bed, to put my feet on the floor, to be motivated at all. I have in my mind always that I should be helping other people to come to know Jehovah, to help them see His great love for them. That I pray daily for these things is some comfort, but this huge burden of immobility just crushes me down and makes me feel unworthy, and lazy.,
Over and over I have been reminded that Satan uses this as a tactic, that discouragement can distance us and keep us stuck in the mire of self hate, the sediment of low self esteem and depression. Recently at my meeting for worship
one day soon!
we went over the fact that those feelings can be overcome by considering the ransom of Jesus Christ, and by earnest prayer for soundness of mind, which is promised to God’s faithful ones.
It is very easy for me to not take the steps I need to take, but then the way to death is a wide and spacious road the Bible tells us, while the road to life is a narrow and cramped one. I must struggle thru the weeds and brambles on this hard and narrow road, not fall prey to the worldly wolves and lies that are strewn about like stumbling blocks. Keeping my eyes fastened on the light I see before me at the head of the path I will throw off these burdens and keep climbing.
Physically I may be weighed down, and my mind and body are full of sin and imperfection, and my breaths come more shallow and labored than ever before. But just like the Bible says at 2 Corinthians 4:16-18,” Therefore, we do not give up, but even if the man outside is wasting away, certainly the man we are inside is being renewed from day to day.(17) For though the tribulation is momentary and light, it works out for us a glory that is of more and more surpassing greatness and is everlasting,(18) while we keep our eyes, not on the things seen, but on the things unseen. For the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting.”
one day soon!
He Love Us!
looking west at sunset
I hope no one else suffers from the disquieting thoughts that I do, recurring images of the life I once lived, that come unbidden to frighten and distract me. But these I know, and I want others’ to know, will one day vanish forever, and will NEVER AGAIN poison our lives. We will be free from all the flashbacks, all the debris, all the residual effects our current circumstances inflict on us. I believe this, I know and have faith in this fact this because God has promised it to me, and to all who serve Him .
I want to read it now, so I will write it down here:
Revelation 21:3-5 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. (4) And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away”.(5)And the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making all things new”. Also he says, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
What incredibly beautiful words. What a certain promise.
Yes, I believe a storm IS coming. And I believe it is on the verge of changing everything around, on this whole earth. I am not the only one who believes this, but many people think the coming storm will hurt our beautiful planet home.
I find so much comfort in the pages of God’s Word, the Bible, where it talks about how humans who obey God have the chance to live forever in a paradise here on Earth! And how nice it is to know that God made the Earth to be inhabited forever!
So, no matter how bad things might get in the days ahead, I can rest assured that God keeps ALL his promises, and God IS Love, and God Can Not Lie!!!! I stopped writing about these things here on my blog quite a while ago, and I have gone through some VERY trying times. I still do not think I am done grieving over the death of my Dad in March 2016, but I am MUCH better. I do not cry everyday from sadness, or loneliness.
I have put myself in a very challenging place here in the new town I moved to. On one hand I am SO glad to be out of the house I lived in with my parents, and I feel sure it was a good idea to move. Even some of my sisters felt that there was something holding me back in that house, and I was sad and sick all the time. I knew I needed OUT , but I sure didn’t have much time to consider where I was moving To. After all is said and done I am glad I made the decision to move here to St. Petersburg, because I love my new congregation! I have even auxiliary pioneered once since I moved here, and that made me feel so good, to go out in service and help people day after day.
However, it IS more expensive to live here, and I only get my disability income, my plan to support myself as an artist has not panned out…yet. I find that my confidence has waned over here unfortunately, after so much success on the East Coast. I pinned so many hopes on getting into one particular show, and it was a huge letdown not to get in. But I had to remember, and I HAVE to REMEMBER every single day, that it is JEHOVAH I must rely on. Not myself, not a career, not anything I can get from this world. I must TRUST IN Jehovah with my Whole Heart, and not lean on my own understanding, for He will make my paths straight!
I am learning to budget better as far as buying food goes, even if I can’t have all the things I used to eat, at least mBRIy belly is fed, and I have a warm bed to sleep in. And I am SO grateful to have my Bible, when I think about my fellow JW’s in the country where they banned the NWT bible My heart aches for them.
But I know, and they know that Nothing and NO ONE can stop Jehovah’s Will from happening, no mortal man can stay the hand of God, or stop His Promises from Transpiring Exactly On Time!! His Time!
And there is no human that can silence his Witnesses from praising His Great and Holy Name: JEHOVAH!!!!
I will stay strong and focused, no matter what trials befall me, and I know all my brothers and sisters all over the world are enduring despite persecution, just as Jesus Christ, The Son of God, and King of God’s Kingdom said his followers’ would.
I must keep pushing on, even when I feel so sick and tired, even on the dark and melancholy days: because I know there is Light in the darkness.
And it keeps getting brighter…and Brighter…And BRIGHTER… AND BRIGHTER… AND BRIGHTER!!!
I am so grateful to have all of our beautiful songs to learn and sing, they keep my mind focused on spiritual things, just like the brothers in the Concentration Camps used to sing that beautiful song that the one faithful brother wrote.
I want to have faith like his, like all of theirs, who endured faithfully even some unto death,
knowing as I do, “..that the last enemy, Death, will be brought to nothing.”
I love the passage in Isaiah where it says, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not gaze about…for I am your God”, and then a few verses down, ” I will really help you. I will really keep fast hold of you. For I, Jehovah your God, am grasping your right hand.” Please forgive me for just saying that from memory, I am sure I did not quote it perfectly… I am so tired right now. But , if anyone wants to read it I believe it is Isaiah 40: 11 and 13. I will make sure tomorrow.
I am going to try to post my thoughts on Hope, On my Faith, thoughts about my Creator Jehovah and how I want to show my gratitude and praise Him EVERY DAY. I know that By doing this I will be keeping my mind on spiritual matters in these critical times. I welcome your visits, and I hope you find seeds of truth to grow your own garden of faith.
A deep abiding sadness, wistfulness… like watching a deer in the meadow, at dusk
just before that shot rings out.
Beauty/ Pain/ heartbreak/ death
Their young faces haunt me, these young men I have not met.
How strange it all was to them: Surreal Landscape, Unreal Assignments-
You must die taking this hill, then let it go…You must kill,kill,kill..
I am with you there, that bap!! Bap!! of rifle fire throwing hunks of wet earth aloft, making pieces of palm frond dance right over your head.
Over my head.
Over Our Head.
I close my eyes and see their eyes glowing in the jungle dark.
I see your eyes Johnny Boy. Your blue, blue American eyes so wide, wide open.
That mix of righteous fear, and unrighteous courage- A big question mark in your smile, the cigarette dangling from your strong, veined hand, an M-16 cradled like a lover in your arms.
If I die, I die a Hero, not a poor man’s son, not a redneck, not a carpenter, not a iron worker, no, not one…
A baby, only three or four, staring up from my daddy’s floor, to a tiny black and white TV,
Nixon’s face is what I see, then the images will start again:
Bombs will fall, flames will leap, soldiers will yell
I will sleep- to the sound of choppers overhead-they evac you while I’m still in my crib.
Can I wipe the blood from your face, with my long brown hair-
Can I pour perfumed oil on your battle scars, my blue-eyed Johnny?
Can I love you tho’ I was not there, my brother, son, lover, friend?…
Won’t that damn war ever end?
(written after a marathon viewing of Vietnam, The Ken Burns documentary on PBS)by Susan T. Martin, October 8,2017, but felt since I saw the images of the Vietnam war on my parent’s TV as far back as I have memory…)(I was born in 1964)
He Love Us!
Blue Beach Day
the artist, poet, writer, and survivor: S. T. Martin
Strange days, these. People are acting wild, out of control. There is fear in their eyes, urgency in their speech. Anger in their hearts.
I have been running away again, from storms, from memories, from emotions. Thankfully running towards God, who has taken me in, again. I am so grateful.
I had a bad episode last night. The rabbit hole. I was in and falling fast, the need was to cut and run-out the door, into the street-no looking back. The memories flooding in, the doubt, the helplessness, loneliness, the inevitability of it all…
I had to find a way to STOP! , and I could not. I began to panic, and sobbed to God, to please , please intervene before I disappeared completely. I had nearly lost my grip when I could feel the glimmer of a change- like a tiny golden wisp of thread-blowing in my direction. Kind of like the tiniest branch coming towards me, or a vein full of golden “life blood”.
The thread reached me, thru the darkness, or perhaps I reached for it- maybe both? I felt my panic lessen, my breathing subside just an eensie bit. More prayer, more sobs, more beseeching, the thread grew side threads, auxiliary branches that began to wrap around my heart.
This force gave me the strength to pick up my Bible, all dove gray and soothing, and it opened to the 65th Psalm. The words like chamomile tea, like warm fuzzy socks on my troubled hands, my aching head.
He is there, He sent me help. Jehovah hears, He knows.
I begged for an angel, and He sent His Word to me.
I saw hope in the shape of golden light, threads of golden light to wrap around my broken heart. To bind me up until the final healing comes.
(The big bad wolf has had his day, and now the sheep can come out and play. In the freedom of untroubled love, We shall serve Our God above!!!)
Maybe I sound like a raving lunatic, but I honestly do not mind, because I know what happened last night.
Jehovah saved me from the trap of the birdcatcher, to live another glorious day. He put the Bible in my hand, a song in my mouth, and words of praise on my lips. The raging sea is calm now, the outlook serene.
Come storms, if you dare. Jehovah’s outstretched arm is not too short. jehovah always saves those loyal to Him.
Praise Him in the Heights! Praise Him in the Heavens, and On the Earth below!