“Nobody can be exactly like me, even I have trouble doing it“
Hey, all you cyberpeeps, e-quaintances, e-sisters and e-bros, Sandee’s on hiatus and has sworn off the bad news for a while, so this is her alter ego Felicia. She doesn’t know I’m doing this and won’t find out until after Easter, then it will be too late for her to do anything about it. Ok, I know you want to know all about Sandee, excuse me Shekinah (sheesh, where does she come up with the names?). Oh, in case you haven’t noticed, I am Sandee’s wise-cracking alter-ego. (There’s a few of us “personalities” in here, in case you hadn’t already picked up on that). But I know you are going to want to know what she’s up to during this little break. So, ok, I’ll divulge what’s in her journal, cuz that’s just the type of gal I am. NO boundaries, don’tcha know. No gatekeeper either, what I think comes straight out of my mouth, no filter, no censor. Thus the wiseacre facet, or as my Mammaw Thompson used to call it, a “smarr-tarsse”. I don’t know what that means.
By the way, I mean no offense to anyone who actually does have multiple personalities. Then again, maybe I really do have them. I mean, if you did, how would you know?
Ok, back to the journal…
Day one: Great devotional time this morning about how rebuilding the Temple takes precedence over rebuilding the wall. (Ezra 3:8-13) (Psalm 18:31-40) The Temple is the presence of God in your life, and if something has broken that down, then the walls that protect you will be useless anyway. Wow! How pertinent that is to where I am right now as I take this needed sabbatical. I am emotionally exhausted, stripped and whipped by life’s turbulence. I have been blogging the news like a madwoman as if doing so could hasten the rapture. (‘Cuz I am SO ready to blow this popsicle stand). But I was feeling like a cranky toddler fighting sleep. Cutting corners on the temple, and concentrating on the walls; the walls being things that kept my mind easily preoccupied from my physical and emotional pain by their artificial urgency. It was just easier. The idea of mining for treasure in the Word seemed too much like work some days, and isn’t that just what Satan likes us to think? Not to denigrate the enormous value of being deep in the Word, however being that the Word is powerful (potent), if you truly aren’t able to be in-depth occasionally, even “a little dab will do ya” in those times. (You know, times when the thought of running your eyeballs back and forth over a page seems like too much exertion to ask of your exhausted body, much less your mind. A lot of people wouldn’t understand a tiredness that profound, and I’m happy for them). No part of the Word will return unto Him void. It will always do what He meant for it to accomplish. A single verse can be, to the starving exhausted spirit, like a “power bar” of nutrition to the harried career woman. It won’t hold you well all day, but since you’re not up to much more than that, it is certainly better than nothing, and will keep your appetite whetted for more.
(Voice 1, goes by the name of Oberly Serius, an aside) I have always had a penchant for under-mining myself. I joke that my being bipolar was caused by having the tapes of Dad compete with the tapes of Mom always playing in my head. My Dad was very much an “ah, that’s good enough” kind of guy. Not negligent, just easy to please, and cognizant of the fact that in life you choose your battles. Whereas my mother, well, she’s a bit of a stickler.
(What, Chuck? I’m being nice, and I’m not addressing this to you, Jackie, because you are just like Mom and were already asking “what’s wrong with being a stickler, somebody has to have standards you know?”.) Admit it!
(Aside to the aside; Felicia’s thought bubble:) Yes my family need not even be present for us to have a conversation, so well are the roles defined. Same with my hubby. We all know one another’s lines.
(Oberly Serius again): Anyhoo, where was I? Oh, yeah, Bipolar…..voices in my head….(Oh, krikey, now they’re gonna come take my guns..)
Felicia: “Um. Excuse me! Do you mind, I was telling them about the journal entry” (stomps her figurative foot in frustration).
(Oberly Serius continues…) Yeah, I undermine myself a lot. I get to making progress in some endeavor, and then my “Mamma” voice says, “now, Sandra Carol, you know you can do a better job, I taught you better than that”. So then I get a little nervous, feel a little pressure, try to hit it with more intention and effort. Then Dad would say “naah, that’s good enough!” When I get sidelined, I tend to get very bummed out over the fact that yesterday I was making progress and now look where I am and then I tend to throw in the towel.
Apparently there are those who when they don’t know, they aren’t aware that they don’t know, therefore their not-knowing doesn’t become a hindrance and before they have had time to think about it, they’ve already accomplished the thing.
Then there are those who really have to walk around and around a thing, view it from every angle, come up with a meticulous plan of attack, then get overwhelmed and give up because the molehill suddenly seems like an insurmountable mountain.
(Felicia: Go to extremes much?.)
(thought bubble): Yes, actually, I do. That’s what I have been trying to make everyone understand. It is NOT fun inside this head with all of you and all of the chaos
(second voice, goes by Dory) “Who was that?”
(third voice) “I have no idea!”
(Felicia) Where’s ‘Doctor Phil when you need him?”
(Back to Sandee’s journal entry): So! Don’t waste time building the wall until you restore the temple. Christ Himself, my relationship with God, that’s the ‘center’, the touchstone, the foundation. Without that, I may as well not expect anything else to line up smoothly and no walls are going to protect me because the damage will be internal at the very heart. Externals are, and should be secondary. It is so elementary, yet so easy to lose sight of. If I can get that through my head and keep it there, I could make real progress, possibly even feel some sense of relief and freedom from the heaviness that seems to always plague me.
(Felecia): “Yeah, yeah, you can keep wearin’ those rose-colored glasses Pollyanna.
Dory voice: “You know, we could do without your cynacism”.
(Third voice) “Yes, yes we could, and the interruptions!”
It was really good to see my friend Tam at her work for a little while today. It has been a year and a half I think, since we actually laid eyes on one another, though we have e-mailed a couple of times. I left the dentist’s office and stopped in to say hi. I think I was there 40 minutes. (I hope she doesn’t get fired. Hey Miz Boss-lady, please don’t fire Tam just because her mentally challenged friend waltzed right into a place of business because the doors are unlocked today, lol.)
Spending time with friends is something I miss. I have been a veritable recluse (first because of sickness, then out of mourning and self-preservation) What’s that saying about “I try to take one day at a time, but lately several have been attacking me at once”?? Only in this case, its been several trials at once, or at least, striking in quick succession with little pause between them. It is no wonder I am a bit “beside myself”. (Pun intended) Gosh, the year before that, I was grieving the loss of a dear life-long friend, not to death, but astoundingly enough, to a misunderstanding we just could never seem to straighten out, and at the same time, walking on eggshells in some new friendships under circumstances the scope of which was not known at the beginning. I undertook some extremely serious, and yes I’d say very strenuous, spiritual warfare! When that old preacher said “prayer is the real work of the church”, he wasn’t kidding. Yet I know in my “knower”that extended period of intense prayer is the only reason I survived all this. It all goes back to that one morning a few years back, when God woke me up from deep sleep, with an urgency to fall on my face and yield for His touch in preparation for “something” (I knew not what) that was coming. That launched a period of searching the scriptures to depths I’d never been to before, and intense prayer (as well as my hunger for prophecy and being a watch-woman). I saw God’s hand moving in ways that blew my mind in all the circumstances around me. I learned a lot, but I am not sure it is something I ever want to endure again. That is what I mean when I say “the Christian life is hard, if you’re doing it right”. Isn’t that pretty much what Jesus said? In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. Why must learning the really important-to-understand things always be so hard? Regardless of how hard I have worked on them, I still struggle with real trust issues, and all these inter-personal interactions and spiritual endeavors took a real toll. For someone who has been benched in the game of life because of my health, I don’t have nearly the stamina I used to have for interacting with others. I have always been very whole-hearted with people. It is a wonderful way to live, but costly. Now that my inner resources are so very meager, more often than not, I can’t “afford” being that way with people much anymore, and that is probably my biggest loss that I mourn in living with debilitating conditions. I have grieved this loss most profoundly of all, through these years. It is very isolating. But I continued to go out and reach out as much as possible whenever I felt up to it. I was never the kind of friend who waited to be called. If I hadn’t heard from someone, I made a point to pick up the phone, or drop in. Now, during these last 3 years, and the last 7 months particularly, I have intentionally withdrawn from people, needing to rest and regroup. Two days ago was the first time that I felt like my head had “broken the surface of the water” so to speak; that I had, indeed survived these trials and lived to tell about it and just might get a new lease on life after all at some point. Then I went on that routine follow-up appointment to the rheumatology clinic and BAM! The time-factor involved was draining enough, but to have the whole can of worms open back up when the N.P. got all worked up over some findings….I still don’t know what to make of it, but after so many years of seeking diagnosis and being brushed off and sometimes even ridiculed, I have developed a Pavlovian tendency to have a PTSD-like reaction whenever I walk into any doctor’s office, even if I only went there to lend moral support to a friend and am not even the patient!!! So when the routine appointment took a turn, it was a little demoralizing at the very least. Come to find out, though, it was just the difference between a doctor and a nurse practitioner, she (the nurse) being much more thorough. I have made up my mind to see the NP from here on out! The tests are all normal. Again. There, that’s better. That puts me back where I thought I was. Which just proves the futility of worrying, but like I said. Pavlovian. Your mind has a mind of it’s own.
I think the point I am trying to make is, that with some time spent with the Lord and in His Word this morning, and spending a little time with a dear old friend, I am feeling way better already. What do you know? I smiled a genuine smile! There are times I am sure I’ve lost it forever. I laughed! Now that’s something I miss. Before I got sick, I was pretty much known for my laughing and smiling. People would often say things like “you are always smiling, aren’t you?” or, “you sure do like to laugh”. I couldn’t help myself. Yes, I loved laughing and it didn’t take much to get me going, I wasn’t picky. I could laugh at most anything.
It is downright cruel what this fallen world and the fallen state in general are capable of stealing from us. And I certainly have not conceded anything without a valiant fight. For 18 years I have fought tooth and nail for every good moment. I cherished my babies when they were little. Couldn’t hold them and kiss ’em and squeeze on ’em enough. I continued for so long to call and reach out to people. Busy friends with full plates, going on in the race without me. I joke and say “I remember when I had a plate”. But there has been a whole lot of grieving of what I’ve lost. Not the least of which was my nursing career. And the ability to help contribute to the family budget anytime it was needed. And the feeling of giving and taking care of patients in their time of need. I took as much pride in my work as anyone does, more than most, probably. It was very fulfilling. Very demanding, but very fulfilling.
I think getting together with people who “knew me when”, who have known me practically my whole life, who know these things about me, gives me a taste of the things I have lost, being mine again if just while with them. In a lot of ways, I’m a little like the paralytic only not in that I can’t use my arms and legs anymore, but so many other “parts of me” I can’t use. I am a multi-faceted person with a lot to offer, who has extreme limitations on her means for giving it. I guess that is why my blog has meant so much to me. It is the first thing I’ve had in my life for a long time, that is “mine”. Something I can do well. My self is really the only thing I have to offer, flawed and broken down as I am. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom, but the mom-role starts to take a back seat when boys get to be teens. I loved being “mommy” when they were little but they are at that age now where Mamma, if she is wise, will back off a little and let them be the adventurers they are. Give them space to grow their sense of self (as differentiated from their bond with Mom, which will hopefully grow into more of a friendship, as they become adults, and change from that of one-up-one-down, to peers in the world of grown-ups. I have to let them fail, fly, sink, swim, whatever. Tam and I even got into some of that as we were catching up on each other’s families.
It’s so funny, though, contents under pressure tend to spew when finally released. When I have been bearing my burdens and just doing the best I can (which is often the case), when I finally do get to talking with someone who already knows and understands me, it can be kind of funny. Tired people are often punchy. In my case, with the cataplexy, that can add a hilarious twist, being that laughter is a trigger. So I do sound punchy and if I happen to be standing up, I may also stagger. I have been known to be asked “have you been drinking?” Which, of course, only brings on gales more of laughter. I don’t even have to be with other people to experience this. I can get a funny thought in my head and it’s off to the races. (Imagine how that plays to passing motorists when I’m in the car alone. Now there’s a picture!)
Well, getting back to contents under pressure: I went to the dentist first thing. I remembered that Dr. Gold (or was it Liz?) told me that there was an interesting article in this month’s Time Magazine, about Trans-humanism, and the advent of real life “bionic man” technology. I found it and had just started reading it when the dental hygenist came to call me back for my cleaning. So I laid the magazine to the side, opened face-up to the article and when I came out afterward, another girl came from the back to water the plants in the lobby. As I picked up the magazine, I felt the need to say, as if in explanation and almost in one long run-on sentence: “I wantedtofinishthisarticle. Do otherpeopledothat, comeoutoftheirappointmentandfinish readingthearticletheywerereadingwhenyoucalled themback?” She got a bewildered little smile and just nodded her head, and at the same time the gal behind the desk was waiting to schedule my next appointment, but my run-away mind had already jumped the track to another (related in a way that made sense only to me) subject, and I said…”That’s like my sister, when my Dad used to wake us up for schoolin themorning shewouldsay, ‘but I wanted to finish my dream’ andwhat’scrazyis she wouldgobacktosleepandfinishherdream”. WHOCANCONTROLTHEIRDREAMS? If I couldcontrolmydreams Icouldhave a lot of fun everynight”
(Felicia: take your time, let that one sink in…..)
On a half-second delay I realized how that sounded and in my head I scolded my mouth (“I can’t take you ANYWHERE!”) and then tried to wave it off like I meant to be funny by saying, “oh, I’m so bad, I shouldn’t say things like that”.
It all got a hearty laugh for the dentist office ladies, and if there is anyone who knows how much a good laugh is worth, I do, so I just went on my way, apologizing to Jesus in my head. I figured I was on a roll so that is why I decided to go see Tam. The place she works is right next door, and would you believe that between the front door of the dentist to my car, I forgot I was going there, got halfway home, and had to turn around. Anyway, the place she works is a non-profit foundation and lots of people come and go, but for security reasons they buzz people in after they press the intercom and identify who they are. I think this system is kinda cool in a pretentious kinda way, and always did enjoy my chance to be “buzzed in”. It’s not everyday you get buzzed in, after all. So I was all ready…
“Is Tam in today?”
(Tinny intercom voice; wah wawah waaah?)
“Tell her it is Angie Felicia Susan B. Anthony Jones to see her, please”.
(Wah wawah wa waah wa waaaa???)
“I said, please tell her it is Angie Felecia Susan B. Anthony Jones to see Tam McDuggal”.
“Hel? Helo? Is this thing on?”
(silence……laughter….oh…wahwah just told me wawah wah. Too funny….cackle cackle…) Buuzzzzz
But NOOOO! This was the one day in the entire 6 years she has been working there that I stopped by on a day when the doors were unlocked because of a function in their meeting room.
We had a good ole time, catching up. It’s surprising how much catching up you can get done in 40 minutes. Especially when my mouth gets off the leash from my brain. Her boss walked in and I managed not to say anything too outrageous. Her other co-worker came in and I kept my mouth shut. Then her third co-worker came in (keep in mind I have over 50 percent hearing loss in both ears but I only wear my hearing aids in situations like church or when I watch TV at home and don’t want to blow out my family’s eardrums), so the co-worker comes in and Tam re-introduces us and the coworker says something like, “oh,yeah, I remember you (which is code for “Oh, I didn’t recognize you since you gained 40 pounds) and something else I didn’t quite catch, and my response to what I thought she said, was “What? did you just lie to me and tell me that I looked good?” Tam burst out laughing and explained my hearing loss (I think that’s what she was whispering, though at this point the co-worker was between the two of us, so I might have missed her give the lady the universal sign for don’t mind her, she’s insane) and then the co-worker said, “no, I just asked you how you were doing”.
I don’t think people know quite what to make of me sometimes.
It was a slow day, but they are also one employee short, so Tam, was answering the phone in between, (and I had forgotten, by the way, that she is also the buzzer- inner, therefore my scheme wouldn’t have been quite as hilarious as I’d hoped anyway since she would have known it was me in a half a second. That’s how it is when you have history with someone).
Too bad I have never been good at making a joke. But I gotta say, when I get into the right frame of mind I can be pretty entertaining on accident.
Well, that’s my journal for today, the day of getting back in touch with God and parts of myself that get buried under the rubble sometimes. Namely my Osseus Humerus. (No, wait, that’s that Roman guy that owns the place, with his wife Tibia.
Felicia: “What a corny sap”
(First voice): “She heard that!”
(Second voice): “The Bible says, a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. This explains a lot!” You know, there is a lot of good stuff in the Bible. I pray Matthew 17:15 over my boys every day. It goes like this: “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic”.