Grief Awareness: From One Broken Soul To Another

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Tomorrow is 3 years since my sister, Jessica Rae was suddenly taken from us by the cruel and indiscriminate clutches of cancer at the age of 33. Then 24 hours later, it  is a year since my grandfather passed. How delightfully poetic that his last gift to our exceedingly dysfunctional family, was that he waited to die as not to overwhelm us with double grief or overshadow that already painful day.  It was a definite gesture of love if ever there were one.

The beginning of the year is especially draining on me. I let those emotions flow where they will and then continue in my daily life. Not to say I don’t have other draining days of the year…because I do, several in fact. Nearly every month of the year is scattered with painful losses for me.  But, this time of year is absolutely the hardest.

Losing a loved one {I’m an expert in this…I’ve encountered more than my fair share of death} is a difficult and excruciating part of life. One that nobody wants to speak about lest they become the next victim of loss. Many have no idea how to handle a friend in mourning, let alone  are they aware that grief has no time constraints.  The mere idea that someone could suffer so much from their loved ones end of suffering is not only unfathomable to them it is difficult for them to give loving support to the person grieving.
   
 
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The pain that is commonly accompanied by thoughts of guilt is torturous. There is always questions…ones that can never be answered, not in a person’s lifetime anyway. Questions like… why did this have to happen to them, did I do everything I could to save them, could I have done more, why didn’t I spend more time with them, why…why… WHY???

As unfortunate as it is, there is/was nothing more or different that could alter what transpired. They had to go and we had to stay. This realization doesn’t remove the pain. Nothing completely removes the pain and nothing ever will.

You can choose how the pain affects you though. You can choose to be mindful or you can choose to let the pain consume you.  It’s painful, don’t deny yourself to feel that pain. But don’t let that pain take away from the joyful and beautiful moments happening all around you.

When you need to grieve, do it. Feel the pain from losing them, feel the joy that they gave you while alive… let the emotions come but most importantly let those emotions go. Don’t allow yourself to be swept away into the dark abyss of depression…because the painful truth is, their earthly ties have been undone because their physical job is over. But yours, my dears, is not.

Your work here is still needed. There is a job for you and only you can deliver  it. I know that offers you no comfort…as I sit here teary-eyed over my own losses…I know exactly how little my words soothe that throbbing ache in the pit of your stomach or mends even a fraction of your now irreparably damaged heart. I really truly get it.

Just know that there is no time constraint for grieving. And forgive those who don’t know any better than to say offensive words under the guise of compassion. They know not what they do because they have never been in your shoes.     
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Don’t suffer alone in silence. Feel free to add me on Facebook . Also  “like” the page,  National Grief Awareness Day where you will find others who know how to listen and how to be a friend.  Life is too short to spend it alone in pain. Love, understanding, and compassion can heal us all.     

All photos courtesy of National Grief Awareness Day’s Facebook page. Link provided above. Please support their page. Thank you.     

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Is Pain Robbing You of Happiness?

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It has been a long excruciating year; between the death’s in my family, to the robbery, to the new house…an agonizingly long year.

I made friends and lost friends, found out what is important and what is nothing more than time-consuming f*ckery.

My husband and children have been troopers through this whole ordeal. And let me tell you I have been anything but a wonderful human being. I’ve had meltdowns, tantrums, scream fests, depressive episodes, and moments of divine clarity… I’ve been in indisputable pain.

Just when you think you have a grasp on life, you find out that life isn’t yours to control…you’re just an irrelevant passenger.

Don’t get me wrong, your life belongs to you and you make of it what you will. But, when it comes down to controlling what happens in it, well… you can only control how you react. And my reactions were far beyond spectacular…I should have been a dramatic actress, I had some very award-winning soap-operatic moments, to say the very least {and I am}.  

It’s funny how complicated we make our lives. Every single detail has to be perfect and completely under our control. Why? Because we honestly believe that we have some god-like influence that enables us to change things that we don’t like and turn them into something we desire. But it isn’t about what we want, it’s solely about what we need.

Nobody needs supremacy; we need to learn how to be kind and gentle, loving and supportive. We need to be a far better person than what we expect our family and friends to be.  

We expect all of these ridiculously unreasonable things of others, yet we don’t budge an inch to be better people ourselves. And on top of that, we have the audacity to give hundreds of pathetic excuses as to why we can’t be more than what we already are. Oh yes, we are quite incredible, aren’t we?

So why can’t we be better people? Why are we so demanding of others to be more, but so incredibly fearful of our own impending greatness?

It’s like I once told a friend of mine… “I’m afraid that if the pain is gone I won’t be able to write with such passion anymore.” My pain is why I am passionate… or maybe my passion is why I am in pain. Either way I was in pain.

I enjoyed pain; it was the only thing I knew to be real. It was the only thing that could allow me to stay hidden from happiness and love. It was effortless to blame those that hurt me instead of being responsible for allowing them to continue hurting me.

Pain is addicting, it is a beautiful justification for everything. But pain is self-inflicted…let me clarify that. Emotional pain is self-inflicted. Yes, it initially hurts when someone uses you, or ignores you, or takes advantage of you, or talks bad about you, or tosses you aside like a rag doll. That hurts like hell.

But, it is brief. We hold on to something far longer than we need to. Why do we hold tight to something so insignificant and unworthy? Why do we torture ourselves? Don’t we deserve to be pain-free? Don’t we deserve happiness and love?

We do! We deserve happiness and love…from ourselves. Who cares if some imprudent former friend/family member/stranger hurt us… hurt people hurt people. What they need is forgiveness and time to learn from what they have done. It may not be today or tomorrow or even this lifetime, but they will learn.  

When you grow up in a society of revenge, you can’t possibly expect that the world will wake up one day and just be forgiving. It takes education, experience, and a strong will to grow and learn. It will take better people to teach others how to be better people… learning via example.

That is what I am focusing on, being the person that I want others to be. I’m ready to be pain-free and happy. Will you join me?    

Thank You: A Friendship Day Poem

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To the friends who’ve been here and never leave….thank you.
To the friends who just arrived….thank you.
To the friends that I now grieve….thank you.
To the frenemies I’ve survived…thank you.
To the friends who still believe….thank you.
For the friendships that have been revived….thank you.
Here’s to ALL of you. Happy Friendship Day! ~ InJensMind

Changing Expectations

expectationIt has been a long while since I have posted on my blog, 8 months to be precise. When I chose to take a hiatus from writing, I had a few good reasons. Ok, I had a few horrible excuses.

One of those horrible excuses being… I was distraught. I was disappointed by all the work I had put in to my writing and not scoring a job. What did I expect? A job…with money coming in…paid bills…recognition. It is what every writer expects.

As the months went by and my life took every single U-turn, side road, and dark dirty alley that it could find. I found out several things about myself and other people. I never imagined that I had high expectations. Hell, compared to most people I’ve ever known in my life; my expectations were damn near invisible. But, there they were, in their obnoxiously repugnant glory.

I expected friends to be friends. Friends like I am with people. It never occurred to me that some people have a different view and belief about the meaning of friendship. Facebook taught me that many people don’t even consider strangers to be their friends. That was an alien concept to me. Because a friend can be anyone, and some of the bestest friends you may ever have will turn out to be that unlikely one. The person that you didn’t even think you needed, the shy one in the corner with an occasional glimmer of fun times and tomfoolery. The one who picks you up so you both can stalk their ex in low-cut tops at a bar while he is on a date with some insignificant hussie… YES>>>that one!People

Friends are friends are friends. Until they aren’t…and trust me, lately, I’ve found that many that I thought were…weren’t! The reasons given for breaking a long-standing friendship were asinine, to say the least. Well they were to me anyway. Because, as I said, friends are friends are friends. They are similar to a marriage, without all the fighting. Nothing can get between two friends…or so I believed. But, as with many things in my life…I got educated quickly and painfully on the subject of true friendship.

It seems to me, that when I was a lowly nobody…let me clarify that. When I believed that I was a lowly nobody, I had friends that stuck beside me no matter what. However, when I started believing that I was somebody and even worse, when I began telling them that they are somebody and could do better…well, that was the end of that friendship. This happened repeatedly. Something was clearly wrong here.

The thing about changing, growing, and becoming a better human being, is that it is a lonely road… it is a path that one can only travel alone. You cannot take anyone with you, even though you desperately want to. People cannot be forced into changing. No matter how much you shove your opinion down their throat…I am guilty of that. No matter how many inspirational/motivational photos you share on Facebook…I have done that. No matter how much you try to make them see that the only people who can make them happy are themselves. No matter the extent in which you try to convince them that they are hurting themselves and everyone around them as well. No…you cannot force anyone into changing!

But…I could change me, and I did. I changed how I viewed friends and how to distinguish between real and fake friends. I changed how I allowed others in my life…positive in, negative out. However, the most important change was about expectations. I didn’t lower them and I surely didn’t raise them. I got rid of them entirely. Expecting others to be someone they weren’t or in most cases, couldn’t be was what I had bitched about them doing to me. They were expecting me to shut the hell up and I was expecting them to speak up. They were expecting me to stay the same and I was expecting them to grow up. It was becoming a vicious cycle of why can’t you be more like me and less like you. What the hell? Who had I let myself become?!

I was always angry, sad, depressed, and worried because of the expectations that I had of other people. All of which had nothing to do with me really and everything to do with them. I wanted them to change and become people of their word. They weren’t that. They couldn’t be that. It was an alien concept to them. If only I had let them be who they are.

But, in that lies the problem. Not everyone is supposed to stay in your life. It is just not possible to keep people in your life who no longer mesh with you. I am not saying they ALL have to mesh, that would be boring and nobody could grow that way. However, some people are just too low on the rung of the ladder of life to notice anymore. Not that I am calling them lowly nobodies…because I’m not. I am just saying as you make your climb up the ladder you do not keep looking down and expect to keep going up. You would fall off the ladder and then where would you be? At the bottom, on your back, looking at where you use to be and having to work even harder to get a portion of the way back up there. Nobody wants to fall off the ladder of life…NOBODY!

So release your expectations of other people. Let them be who they are and you be who you are… And if it’s bad for your well-being, then stop looking down the ladder and let them “fall” out of view. You will be happier and they will be happier, the universe will once again be in balance.Happiness

2012 In Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 23,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 5 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

A Friday Moment

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A Friday ritual. A single photo — no words — capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

“This Moment” is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to others by Sarah-Jane, of Almost There.

I was asked to participate in this by Anna Sides, of The Other Side of Anna and the other great blogging members of the Facebook group Blogplicity.

If you find yourself touched by a moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.

Copyrighted: InjensMind

#BlogTagYouAreIt ‘Sometimes I Wish…’

One of the blogging groups I am in is having a blog hop, we are calling it “Blog Tag…You’re It.” For those of you who don’t know what a blog hop is, let me explain. It is several different bloggers blogging on their own blog all about the same topic but done in their own unique ways. Phew! Say that 3 times fast. LOL This specific hop will feature 28 bloggers from around the globe. The essence of what World Wide Web stands for if you ask me. We each will have our own day to post about the topic ‘Sometimes I Wish…’ During this time, one blogger thanks the previous blogger for the introduction to their post and then writes a mini introduction for the blogger who follows them.

So here goes…

A very big thank you to Brenda, who writes at Passionate Pusuits. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and sharing the  blogosphere world with you. Here’s to many more blog hops, posts, and getting to know a variety of bloggers inside and outside the group. You can click here to see her blog hop post on this subject.

Now for the introduction I am to give for our next blogger in line:

Say hello to Sili, who writes at My Mamihood. She writes about her life and the non-stop misadventures of her “Frog Princess”, which is the adorable nickname she uses for her young daughter.

Please take some time (after finishing my post of course) to visit both of these ladies.

Sometimes I Wish…

For somebody, aka me, to publicly acknowledge my wishes, I would first have to believe in them. But, I don’t believe in wishes or wishing for that matter. However, I did…once; a very long time ago when I was an impressionable youngster, back before I knew any better, back before the reality of what my life was hit me like a ton of bricks. It was during a time when wishes and dreams were what young children would thrive on, that is, until they realized either as teenagers or adults that wishes just don’t come true, no matter how much you wish on them or pray for them, beg, scream, plead, cry, or fuss about them, no matter how many times the people at Disney tell you they do… They just don’t come true!

I was approximately 5-years-old when I would lay in bed and stare at the night sky, wishing on the bright stars that illuminated my room. I was just as much a raging insomniac back then as I am now. (No doubt due to the volatile lifestyle I lived from a super-young age.) I even tossed several wishes to the man in the moon for good measure, then patiently awaited the entire night for somebody/anybody to magically swoop in and rescue me. I have yet to stop staring at the night sky (or learned how to fall asleep when the rest of the world does) but, I have stopped sending wishes out there, and I have most certainly stopped waiting for someone to ride in on their white horse and rescue me.

  • I wish my daddy and mommy didn’t fight so much.
  • I wish my daddy loved me.
  • I wish that “they” hadn’t touched me like that.
  • I wish those touching’s would stop happening.
  • I wish I could stay out of the principal’s office for fighting.
  • I wish people would just leave me alone.
  • I wish people would stop touching me. Why do they keep touching me?
  • I wish my mommy would come and pick me up more often.
  • I wish I could play outside with the other kids and not have to be in bed while the sun is still out.
  • I wish I didn’t have to sit in the corner so long every day.
  • I wish my step-mom loved me.
  • I wish I wasn’t hated so much by my daddy and step-mom.
  • I wish my mommy hadn’t moved so far away. Does she hate me now too?
  • I wish I didn’t have to sit behind furniture when we visited with family and friends.
  • I wish I could play with my cousins.
  • I wish my grandma didn’t get drunk and push my grandfather into the bookcase.
  • I wish my daddy didn’t get drunk and pass out in the truck.
  • I wish I didn’t know about alcoholism and its effects.
  • I wish my step-mom didn’t take out her insecurities about my mommy on me.
  • I wish my daddy would stop talking bad about my mommy.
  • I wish my step-mom didn’t talk badly about my mommy.
  • I wish I wasn’t talked about badly to my face.
  • I wish I could be loved like my little sister.
  • I wish my daddy didn’t move us so far away when my mommy moved back to town.
  • I wish I could see my baby brother every day.
  • I wish I didn’t have to see a school counselor for “my problems.”
  • I wish my step-mom didn’t take away things my mommy and grandma bought for me.
  • I wish I didn’t cry so hard every time I came back home to my daddy’s house.
  • I wish I didn’t get punished for vomiting after I cried so hard.
  • I wish I didn’t know what soap tastes like.
  • I wish my daddy and step-mom didn’t use a thick wooden paddle with holes drilled in it on me.
  • I wish I could sit down.
  • I wish I didn’t have to show the friend of the court my butt and all the still purple welts that hadn’t yet gone away after several weeks.
  • I wish somebody would help me.
  • I wish somebody would listen.
  • I wish the counselor would stop asking other types of social workers, guidance people, therapists, and groups to talk to me. Every time they give me a card or tell me how my life should be I am punished more severely.
  • I wish my school counselor didn’t call my step-mom and tell her everything I had confided in her.
  • I wish I didn’t get punished so much.
  • I wish I could go to friends’ houses and not always be grounded.
  • I wish I had friends who I could talk to.
  • I wish my “big sisters” in the sister program would do more with me.
  • I wish my “big sister” didn’t move away.
  • I wish I didn’t cry myself to sleep every night.
  • I wish I could fall asleep.
  • I wish I could stay asleep.
  • I wish I didn’t hear and see things in the dark.
  • I wish I wasn’t called crazy for seeing dead people.
  • I wish my step-mom didn’t force me to stand in a red ant hill while she yelled at me.
  • I wish the pain would go away.
  • I wish my grandfather who protected me as best as he could didn’t die.
  • I wish I died.
  • I wish I didn’t know what pain is.
  • I wish I didn’t bleed all over my clothes.
  • I wish my belongings didn’t get take away.
  • I wish someone would stand up for me.
  • I wish someone would save me.
  • I wish my sister would stop doing things that I get punished for.
  • I wish I didn’t have to come home.
  • I wish I didn’t go to school.
  • I wish I didn’t live in a small town.
  • I wish people would understand me.
  • I wish they’d all stop making fun of me.
  • I wish I could have long hair.
  • I wish I could wear new girl’s clothes.
  • I wish I wasn’t such a disappointment.
  • I wish I knew what I did wrong.
  • I wish I knew why I was born.
  • I wish I were never born.
  • I wish my mommy would come and pick us up on her weeks.
  • I wish my daddy didn’t tell me he doesn’t think I am his.
  • I wish he’d stop throwing things at my head.
  • I wish he’d stop hitting me.
  • I wish they’d stop touching me.
  • I wish I could get out of here.
  • I wish I had somewhere to go.
  • I wish someone would see the truth.
  • I wish they’d stop lying and calling me the liar.
  • I wish I wasn’t “a good for nothing whore, like your mother.”
  • I wish I knew what a whore was.
  • I wish they’d stop humiliating me.
  • I wish they’d stop degrading me.
  • I wish they’d stop strip searching me.
  • I WISH THEY’D STOP TOUCHING ME!
  • I wish I had money.
  • I wish my money from my job would be mine.
  • I wish I didn’t have to drive such an ugly car.
  • I wish I could drive when I wanted to.
  • I wish I didn’t have to go to the vocational school they chose.
  • I wish I didn’t have to be what they wanted.
  • I wish I knew how to make it all stop.
  • I wish my mind could rest.
  • I wish I could concentrate.
  • I wish I wasn’t scared.
  • I wish there was an end in sight.
  • I wish I had a better life.
  • I wish I could run away and never come back.
  • I wish they’d just finish me off and kill me once and for all already.
  • I wish someone else would stand up for me besides just me alone.
  • I wish they’d stop pretending that they are good and decent people.
  • I wish I didn’t have to send mean letters to my mom on behalf of my daddy and step-mom’s feelings.
  • I wish I didn’t have to have someone read my letters before I could read them.
  • I wish I didn’t have to start another diary again and again and again because my step-mom reads it and can’t face the truth so she takes it away and rips them up.
  • I wish I didn’t have gifts other people gave me taken away and given to my sister or thrown away.
  • I wish I didn’t have to be responsible.
  • I wish I didn’t have to be the oldest.
  • I wish my daddy didn’t spank me so hard that I flew from the living room into the kitchen.
  • I wish I could be a child.
  • I wish I didn’t have to stand in the corner for hours on end with my arms straight in the air.
  • I wish I knew how to get to my mommy’s house when daddy yelled and told me “if you want your mother walk to her house.”
  • I wish I didn’t get left on the front porch in the trailer park at 5 years old all by myself while my daddy and step-mom and sister went to visit with friends, because I didn’t know the way to mommy’s house.
  • I wish I could remember what my real name is. I haven’t heard it in so long.
  • I wish my life wasn’t so dysfunctional.
  • I wish there were no more secrets.
  • I wish I knew what love is.
  • I wish I knew what it feels like to be unconditionally loved.
  • I wish I were someone else, anyone but me.
  • I wish I could forget.
  • I wish I wasn’t permanently scarred and disfigured.
  • I wish I didn’t torture myself as much as they torture me.
  • I wish they’d stop forcing me to kiss and hug them good night and stop forcing me to tell them I love them after everything they did that day.
  • I wish I could stop hurting.
  • I wish there was a God.
  • I wish I didn’t live in Hell.
  • I wish someone could see what is happening.
  • I wish I could have chosen to give away my virginity.
  • I wish an apology was enough.
  • I wish I wasn’t “troubled.”
  • I wish I could stop crying.
  • I wish I could forgive.
  • I wish I understood why they say they forgive but keep bringing old things up.
  • I wish they’d get a different punching bag.
  • I wish it would end.
  • I wish I were intelligent.
  • I wish those who weren’t there would stop acting like they know.
  • I wish I could forget as easily as they all do.
  • I wish they didn’t control me.
  • I wish I could be me.
  • I wish being myself was enough.
  • I wish I were free.
  • I wish… I wish… I wish… I wish… I wish… I wish…
  • I wish I didn’t need to wish anymore…

14 years’ worth of child wishes and countless more things that had been wished and were never fulfilled, never answered, never my salvation. Star wishes, birthday wishes, prayers to God, pleas to anyone who had the power to do something… all fell on deaf ears and ignored by blind eyes.  A child who wished for death because it was the only way that she knew of, that would make it all end. A child who cut her wrists at 12-years-old because she didn’t know how she was going to go on after the death of her grandfather, her rock, her only love. The only one who could see the truth, her truth. A child who clearly grew up long before a child should ever have to.

It would be another 16 years after her 14 year sentence in Hell, before that child/adult would figure out that making wishes, dreaming, praying, and asking for help were all an enormous waste of her  time. One thing she had learned all to well, was that nobody could undo what had been done and even if they could nobody would be willing to switch places with her and take on what she had.

Those 16 additional years they had stolen from her, enslaving her within her own mind. When she wasn’t trying to shield herself and her children from their newest ongoing attacks via telephone, she was visualizing moment after moment in her head, replaying them in her dreams, like a never-ending horror movie, secretly hoping for a different ending, a happy ending. Trying to fill in the cracks whilst new ones were continuously added. Attempting to raise her two children differently than she had been raised, giving them everything she never had. Protecting her children from the vicious spiteful words that the so-called family were trying to pass down to them as if it were the family Bible. Hoping that the man she married who held a strong character resemblance to her father, would not pick up where her father and step-mom left off and continue to violate her tortured and nearly broken spirit. Several times in her life, wishes could have been the way to go, but her mind was so infected by the past she didn’t even consider wishing for her children not to suffer along with their mother. (Or a million other things that the Universe relentlessly pummeled her and her children with.) It never even entered her mind, not because she didn’t believe in wishes anymore (which she didn’t) but, because she was fighting a life vs. death battle inside. Deep inside herself, where there was only going to be one survivor and one alone. Would she come out alive and capable of being a competent mother, wife, human being? Or would she remain trapped inside herself, waiting for that final blow that would finish her off for good?

Then surprisingly without any warning whatsoever, the inconceivable happened and she lost her younger sister to cancer. She was no stranger to death or to cancer for that matter but, losing her sister suddenly did something that no other death could do. It was at that precise moment when the prison door she had been locked behind for most of her life, swung wide open and she walked out of the solitary confinement where she had awaited her death sentence. A light as bright and warm as the sun encased her and she was finally free…free of them, their actions, their words, their evilness, their lies, their prejudices. But wait… she was the one who had allowed them to torture her for over 30 years, even though they had not been a part of her physical life in more than half that time. They only had power over her because she allowed them to have it and use it as they wished. She had allowed the past to be her focus, which held her stagnant in a place where she couldn’t move towards the future let alone appreciate the now. So, she took back the control and freed herself; she freed her past, she freed her mind, she freed her spirit, she freed her future, and she flew away freely with the knowledge and tools that would never allow her to be imprisoned by anyone ever again!

✓ “I wish it would end.”

✓ “I wish I was intelligent.”

✓ “I wish they didn’t control me.”

✓ “I wish I could be me.”

✓ “I wish being myself was enough.”

✓ “I wish I were free.”

✓ “I wish I didn’t need to wish anymore…”

So ok… maybe some times wishes do come true. However, simply wishing for something to happen isn’t going to make it happen. Time, actions, and choices make things happen not the “magical powers” of the wish itself. I don’t need to wish anymore because I’m living in the present. I don’t want to change my past, for if my wishes had come true at that precise moment that I had wished them I wouldn’t be who I am today. I don’t know about you but, I like the person I am today, and I know I will continue to like me even more as time goes by. Something that the young me couldn’t, wouldn’t, and didn’t do.  So thank you for rejecting my wishes so I could be a strong fighter and survivor, outspoken and an activist, a better person than I or anyone else could have dreamed of. Thank you for allowing me to find my path in my own time that ultimately broke the cycle of abuse, violence, alcoholism, blame, inability to grow or move forward, and neglect that plagued my entire family for generations upon generations. Thank you for teaching me lessons that can never be unlearned. All of which allowed me to be here right now telling  showing you… becoming the living proof that anyone can overcome their past and transform into something more than they could have imagined. Wishing is short-sighted, if your wishes came true you wouldn’t learn anything. You wouldn’t be able to keep the knowledge you were taught. You wouldn’t have lived fully. You wouldn’t be able to grow and you most certainly wouldn’t be free. So give your life the time, chance, and education that it needs to grow into something miraculous.

Countdown To The Breaking Point

As I laid in a zombified, neither asleep nor awake state, in my bed this morning, thoughts racing, I had a realization that I may have never come to had it not been for the events that have taken place  in the last year and a half. The universe’s sole responsibility is to continuously batter human beings with loads of things they can barely handle emotionally, mentally, and physically until they reach their breaking point. It’s kind of like that place called Hell that so many speak of.

Several times I have just nearly escaped being irreversibly imprisoned by my own looming breaking point. I have stood on the edge of it, teetering back n’ forth, just waiting for the universe to give me that final kick in my ass that throws me over. I have come to the conclusion that there are only a handful of people left in my life that matter to me to the point where I very well could end up losing my mind completely and forever. Not to say that I don’t love each and every person in my life with all my being, it just means that the last bit of strength that I possess is only enough for that final  handful of people. There are 7 people left before I reach my permanent breaking point and depending on the order in which I lose them, it could be a full 7 or it could be just 1.

After getting the phone call from my grandfather last night I knew how flimsily my sanity hung in the balance. Hell, I knew before we even concluded our conversation, and I’m pretty sure both of my grandparents had a damn good idea of it as well. Thanks to the sudden death of my sister, I will forever be tainted and paranoid by the words, “____ is in the hospital.” Name any of those 7 people and my heart is beating out of my chest, my thoughts begin racing more than usual, and paranoia becomes the desert of the day. Well, it just so happens one of those people were named in that very phone call late last night, my mom. You could pinpoint the precise moment when I lost it, it was the moment when my voice cracked and I began cursing like a sailor on the phone to my grandfather who has been known  to tell all of us women, “Don’t use those 4 letter words. Ladies don’t speak like that.” Well F@&* THAT, I am well aware that a lady I am not. I am also aware that I am probably the last person in my family who can curse in my soprano cracking emotionally charged voice and also be the voice of reason and motivation at the same time.  It’s a gift.

The good news is after speaking to my mom last night, I was more at ease and relatively optimistic. However,  I fell asleep and while I was tossing and turning per my usual nightly ritual, my subconscious revealed things to me that my conscious mind was unable to speak openly about. My dreams were pummeled time and time again with my sister and my twin nephews. All of the bullshit that has been going on since my sister’s death has built up inside of me to the point where I can no longer function on the same level I was functioning at just a few months after her death. When she died I had my writing and I buried myself in that. Then there were mountains of things piled on top of that, from the boyfriend who up and gave his parents custody of my nephews secretly, to the middle men who are keeping my mother and grandparents from fully bonding with the boys, who by the way just turned 2 years old in August.  All these things that I have been forbidden to speak about openly, so that the saintly (hmmph) boyfriend’s family don’t get pissed off and just up and deny visitation completely to my family. This, is the moment when I say… if I had money and a gun!!!

OK…Clearly, I am joking about the gun part. Killing someone for being a thorn in my side is NOT how I do things. And we all know how easily my words get twisted around by the exact same people who I’ve spent years protecting. That alone is some kind of nightmarish form of Hell in its own right. I digress…But, yea…I don’t have money and I am helpless at the moment to do anything about these things. I ache deep down inside of my soul for my nephews and let’s not even go into details about my nieces. Let’s not even bring up how pathetic I feel to have such a loud, strong, and proud voice and to have it be hushed for the sake of family. I am reaching critical mass. It is not long before I reach that breaking point. I just want to do what is right and like all people who fight for rights I am faced with what CAN be done and what SHOULD be done. Those two things are clearly not the same thing.

As for my mom, hopefully she will be released in the next day or two. Then I can start breathing again and go back to waiting. Waiting for the universe’s final blow to my backside while I am not looking… that unavoidable breaking point. And so begins… The Countdown!

The Busy Blogger’s Biggest Issue Resolved By The Broad With The Big Brain

Google Image e-card

The biggest issue in the blogging community is not necessarily what you would think it is. Although many bloggers do have difficulty at times with writer’s block, this is not usually their biggest problem.

The biggest issue among bloggers, is finding the spare time to read their fellow bloggers posts. If you are anything like me, you find yourself reading posts from the moment you log online until the moment you finally shut down to go to sleep. It’s a daily occurrence in your life and god forbid you miss a day or even a week. Then you find yourself so far behind that you become too overwhelmed to even care anymore, especially when many bloggers post every single day. How on Earth do you keep up with all that?

If only there was a way to visit all of those posts and more in a shorter period without being stuck on one blog until you were done reading every single word on the page. If only you could listen to the posts while doing other things? “Why didn’t the blogger make this a podcast?” you shout through the darkness of your quiet home. “I’m too tired to keep going, I will catch up tomorrow.” You say innocently enough, but alas tomorrow’s catching up never comes.

Well, hmm, what if I told you that there is a very simple way for you to visit those posts and not have to read one single word of it…. *GASP* You mean? Yes, dear reader, I have stumbled upon something that is going to help you break free from the repetitive, just going through the motions, someone save my eyesight from this constant reading way of life.

Can I get a drum roll please?
Meet SoundGecko:

“A text-to-audio transcribing service that lets you enjoy written content from around the web on the go without distraction. Be free from screens as you listen to articles by simply sending an email or pressing a button in your browser.”

SoundGecko homepage

And my dear readers, it is FREE. Yes, you read that correctly…free. You don’t have to sign up for anything if you don’t want to. You just go to the site and paste in the URL of the site you wish to listen to, type in your email and if a few minutes you will receive an email. In the email will be a link that you click to listen to the post. (See photo below) If you do decide to sign up for an account, there are more things you can do with the site.

Of course the voice that reads to you could very well put you to sleep; it’s not an operatic melody of flowing vernacular, mind you. It’s more of a mundane monotone version of a bad 1950’s robot movie. However, it is understandable and it’s fairly error free.

In my test of the product, (of course I tested it. I would never suggest anything to anyone without trying it first for myself.) I read along on my blog post as I was listening to it. The post I tested it on had the word url and of course, the voice reading didn’t recognize it so he said “youearl”. That made me chuckle! He also included the “Copyright InJensMind” that I put under my photos. And he read the ending where my share buttons are, “It’s not absurd to spread the word.” That was nice because it sort of reminded me I should share the post that I enjoyed so much. (Clearly I enjoyed it, I wrote it. LOL) Also he said “Like” and how many likes I received on said post. Not a big deal really, in my opinion.  Click here to hear the post I tested it out on.

Copyright InJensMind This is what the email from SoundGecko looks like.

I look forward to more from this company. I was impressed at how easy and much faster it was than reading alone. Because I usually have 10 or more tabs open and any time one of them flashes with a message or makes a sound, my ADHD kicks in and my fingers have clicked on another tab before my brain can tell it to stop and finish reading the post. Now I can gallivant all over the net and still hear the post. Amazing, right? Imagine the things you could be doing while listening to a post instead of staring with weary eyes at the computer screen… the possibilities are endless.

I almost expected it to read my comments as well. It didn’t. I think that would be a nice addition though, that way you could join in the conversation if you like and already know what others have asked or said. Which would keep you from looking redundant or too busy to read comments on top of the 2000+ word article. And since most blog readers don’t comment anyway, not having the ability to comment directly without returning to the post isn’t a huge problem. At least it isn’t for me. I’d much rather get zero comments than to get a bunch of quick not thought out, “I don’t know what to say” or “This was a great post” or “ Click here for the latest Viagra tablets at 75% off” comments. Those type of comments almost make you wonder why you bother to spend so much time thinking, typing, and editing your post if they don’t have anything outstanding and meaningful to add to it. Then you remember you do this for you and not for them, which brings you right back to lack of comments not really being an issue.

SoundGecko gets my approval, will it get yours? Try it out now and let me know what you think.

Don’t forget to “like” them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Or me for that matter, add me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, you can find my links in the tabs or sidebar.

Smells Like A Friday Moment

Google Image

A Friday ritual. A single photo — no words — capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

“This Moment” is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to others by Sarah-Jane, of Almost There.

I was asked to participate in this by Anna Sides, of The Other Side of Anna and the other great blogging members of the Facebook group Blogplicity.

If you find yourself touched by a moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.

Copyright InJensMind 8/17/2012

Get To Know Me

 

Copyright: InJensMind 8/16/2012

There have been many people lately, who have expressed an interest in getting to know me better. So yesterday on Facebook, I announced that I will be doing a special blog post. In the post, I will be disclosing the things that you all really want to know about.  Anything that you’d like to know about me, now is the time to ask.

Here’s how you will be involved:

  1. You are allowed to ask me up to 3 questions. These questions can be personal or about my writing, you choose.
  2. I will be connecting your questions with your names, social networks, and blog url’s. Please include all the links you would like promoted in with your question.

This is an excellent and free opportunity for you to get to know me and to promote your blog, YouTube channel, fanpages, etc…

If by chance you are more of a shy type and really want to ask something but, you don’t want the world-wide web to know it was you who asked, simply tell me when you send me your question and your name will be withheld.

Now for the details:

  • You can contact me via Facebook, just send me a private message. (you can do this without being my friend if you’d like) Click here.
  • Or you can email me directly at injensmind@gmail.com
  • Or even still, you can use the contact button on my Facebook fanpage.

 

All that I ask for in exchange is, if you participate in this by asking a question, that you go and “like” my Facebook page, For Jen’s Sake. That way you will be notified when I answer your question. Simple enough, huh…

I look forward to all of your questions and hope you all have a wonderful and blessed weekend.

 

Becoming Free Thinkers In A Society Of Sheeple

 

Zazzle bumper sticker

In a society of Sheeple, we spend more than 90% of our lives doing what we are told. We follow because we are taught to follow, not to lead. No matter what we decide to do with our lives, we will always have someone who is telling us what to do, when to do it, why we need to do it, how to do it, and where we should be doing it.

We are taught from the moment we can talk until we start Kindergarten, that asking questions is the best way to learn about something that we do not know. At some point while we are in school, that awareness changes from it’s ok to ask into shut up, sit down, do as I tell you, and stop asking questions. It becomes the life-long version of; “Because I say so, that’s why.”

 
Every parent dreams of having a unique child, right up until that precise moment when the teacher sits you down and explains that your child just won’t behave like the other children. You are told that your child will never be able to function in a healthy society when they are adults because they cannot seem to follow along like the other children do. You are then advised to get your child checked out by a medical professional to be medicated for the mental defect your child has that keeps them from doing as everyone else does. With or without a medical diagnosis or pharmaceutical medication; your child is now officially labeled as “different”, “unable to follow simple directions”, a “trouble-maker”, “difficult”, “learning impaired”, and “unteachable.”

I know this scenario very well from my own childhood. I could never really follow along with what everyone else was doing. The teachers always said that I had potential but, that I was basically a dreamer. They insisted that I will never accomplish anything worthwhile, because I just couldn’t do what I was told to do. My father’s word for that was, “stupid”. He didn’t realize, much like the teachers who were trying to teach me, that I wasn’t a follower. I couldn’t learn like the others because some of what they were teaching me I knew was bullshit. Some of what was being taught wasn’t advanced enough and I got bored easily because of it. And some of what was going on had to do with the terrorism I was experiencing at home on a daily basis. In other words, for me to be able to succeed in learning I needed to be taught the things I didn’t know by someone who was willing to learn what they didn’t know from me.

 

When I had my own children I did what every other parent does, enrolled them in a public school. My daughter started in Kindergarten and my son started in Pre-school. I was the epitome of school-mom. I drove them to school and picked them up every day, from the exact moment my daughter got bullied on the bus by a much bigger and older girl who wouldn’t be reprimanded by the school or bus driver because well… there was no way the driver could possibly watch the road and see the bullying that was going on, so it never happened. I went up to the school every day at lunch to eat with my children and their friends. I participated in all field trips and events pertaining to the education of my children. I sent snacks for their classes, hand-made snacks… that was allowed in that school, not like in so many others these days. I helped my children with homework every single night before bed. I worked just as hard if not harder in school as my own children did.

It didn’t take long to find out that my daughter had a reading problem because she had a seeing problem. From birth she had an eye that is blind. (Now they know it to be astigmatism, lazy, a congenital cataract, smaller jagged pupil along with the blindness.) Everything she “sees” from that eye is too blurry to really make anything out. So after eye exams, she got glasses. The glasses did nothing to help her reading problem though, so she was enrolled in a special class to help her with reading. Yet, Kindergarten through 2nd grade she struggled to read. Come to find out, right before we moved out of that school district, that her reading teacher was a nasty ogre of a woman who enjoyed bullying children by yelling at them for not being able to read. When I brought this to the attention of the principal and the teacher herself, they decided to go down the road that I was a bad parent because my daughter had missed several days of school that year. Why did she miss several days? Because she had recurrent bouts of tonsillitis which eventually led to the doctor removing her tonsils. Every single absence my children had were excused, since I had the medical documents to prove it. But, when it came down to the wrong doing, the school preferred to blame someone else instead of addressing the real issue, a teacher who doesn’t belong teaching.

This did not deter me though, because I still had faith in the school system. After all, I went to school and I graduated from school. It is what everyone does, right? It wasn’t until we moved to another state and both of my children were diagnosed with disabilities did another issue come up. We were new to the area and new to these illnesses my kids were diagnosed with (just finding out my daughter had Hashimoto’s and my son was moderately/severely deaf) and therefore we needed to have them seen by specialists. Well, needless to say to any parent who has dealt with a disabled child, seeing specialists in a Children’s Hospital is a very time-consuming event. And since these hospital’s see an entire city’s worth if not state’s worth of children, the appointments are limited and you go when they tell you or you don’t get seen period.

Once again I found myself being harassed and blamed by a school official for my children’s absences. Although there I stood with doctor documentation in my hands, I was still threatened and bullied by someone who I am supposed to trust to teach my children. I had had quite enough of that after only 2 months of them being in school, and considered homeschooling. While in the local library researching the state laws on homeschooling, I ran into a woman who homeschools and wrote a book. It was a sign! After speaking with her, my mind was made up and my children were pulled out of public school the following Monday by certified letter.

It took less than a year for me to find out that my children and I were not the “schooling” kind. And the longer I chose to teach my children in my home, the more my family, who was not living anywhere nearby to us nor knew anything about what we were doing or going through, worried. Why? Not so much because I wasn’t a licensed teacher, although that did come up occasionally, but because it was not the way that the world expects you to do things. I was stepping far outside of the norm and that scared the Hell out of them. However, the more I researched, read, and practiced this “unusual” way of learning; the more I found out that we were not a homeschooling family but actually what is known as an unschooling family. My beliefs about how a person learns, fell into the unschooling category perfectly, unlike the more religious reasons most homeschoolers have. So instead of forcing my children to learn subjects by grade level or solely what I believed in, we starting turning everything in our daily lives into a learning experience.

The more I unschooled my children and myself, the more we thrived in learning and as a family. In aiming to teach my children, I have been taught. We learn everything that we’ve always wanted to learn and we do it together, each one of us interchanging between student and teacher. We don’t believe that you can only learn certain things at a certain age. If we want to know about something, we learn about it. There are no whines, complaints, or not doing of the work because it isn’t work and it isn’t school… it is life, our life, and not one second of it is wasted. Every single moment of every single day spent learning freely without restrictions and timetables. Learning all that the world and life has to offer us by becoming free thinkers in a society of Sheeple.

Chilling For A Friday Moment

Google Image

A Friday ritual. A single photo — no words — capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

“This Moment” is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to others by Sarah-Jane, of Almost There.

I was asked to participate in this by Anna Sides, of The Other Side of Anna and the other great blogging members of the Facebook group Blogplicity.

If you find yourself touched by a moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.

NaPoWriMo Day:16 You Will Be My Love

nothing can stop me
not in this life or the next
you will be my love

Don’t forget to visit, share, and comment on these following poets pages as well:

Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World
Lyric Fire
AscendingTheHills
142 Books
Sulekha Rawat: Memoirs

To create…
memoirs of a homemaker
One Time Pad
Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn…
EllieBloo
Chris Galvin
Poetry, Prose, Art and other Creative Things
Stephen Kellogg’s Blog
Turning Paige 
 

NaPoWriMo Day:12 6 Word Poem

I have
no desire
to write

Don’t forget to visit, share, and comment on these following poets pages as well:

Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World
Lyric Fire
AscendingTheHills
142 Books
Sulekha Rawat: Memoirs

To create…
memoirs of a homemaker
One Time Pad
Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn…
EllieBloo
Chris Galvin