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don’t tread on me….or….new year’s deja vu?

5 Jan

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I sat down to write my next post entitled “don’t tread on me”numerous times over the past few months.  Something always seemed to stop me.  After months of unemployment, I landed a telecommuting position and then another.  I was working 2 jobs and that meant work obligations, then there were family obligations and then, of course, the holidays came.  I just never seemed to get the time I needed to sit and write it. I really think it was the Universe’s way of showing me that I can’t move forward while continuing to look back.  It’s common sense, really.  I firmly believe; however, that when dealing with matters of personal growth, it is necessary to look back, at least temporarily.  You need to take that time to reflect, face where you made mistakes, see the lessons you were meant to learn in the adversities you faced, and take that knowledge with you moving forward.  Whatever you have been through, the knowledge you have gained from it will guide you as you take that first step into an unknown, better future. In order for me to move forward into my own better future, I have to finish telling the story I began a year ago. The need for closure and finality keeps me motivated, even though the subject matter is far from pleasant and something I will be  both happy and relieved to finish once and for all.

The ironic thing is; as I type this, Auntie has taken up residence with my Mom next door as of New Years Eve.  I was out-of-town visiting my sister and as my husband and I got my kids situated in the cars to head home, I had a feeling of dread as I thought of returning home.  It wasn’t the usual disappointment at facing the end of a vacation, or leaving a loved one and not knowing when you might see them again; but the absolute feeling of dread and that anxious feeling I’ve come to know as my intuitive sense that the proverbial “shit” is about to hit the fan.  I shook it off,  did what I needed to do as always, and concentrated on the tasks at hand.  That’s how it is with intuitives.  A feeling is just that… a “feeling.”  You can’t always articulate or translate what the feeling is right away, so you put it on the back burner and take care of what you know needs get done.

I made the trek home; 12 plus hours with stops to take my youngest potty and stop for snacks–fighting that nagging feeling that for some reason, I just didn’t want to go home.  It was disconcerting as normally when I am returning home from a trip, the thought of pulling into my driveway is a relief.  I arrived home at about 1 am and dutifully texted my sister and mom to let them know we’d all made it home safe and sound.  I fell into bed exhausted, and fell asleep still trying to push the negative feelings out of my mind.

I woke the following day to the same feeling.  I reached over to the nightstand and picked up my cell phone.  My mom had texted me several times while I was sleeping.  I just couldn’t face the thought of getting out of bed; and that was before I read the texts from my mom.  I assumed the reason getting out of bed felt like such a chore was from the trip home, which had been considerably arduous.  It rained continuously and as day turned into night, it became harder and harder to see.  Add the rain to the wind that was whipping the car to and fro like it was nothing; it made for a very stressful, tiring trip.  Then I read the texts from my mom.  I saw nothing of major consequence at first.  Just the usual.  First she asked if I was awake.  When she didn’t get an answer after a while, she texted me again.  Finally, she texted an exacerbated, “Hello????” to which I responded, “Hi.  Got your text ttyl (talk to you later).”  After a while, she texted, “_____ is here.  Didn’t want you to be surprised.”

My mom had mentioned the possibility of her houseguest to me prior to the holidays.  I had told her that it wasn’t really any of my business and that I couldn’t tell her what to do.  I reminded her of how after my aunt had left the way she did last April, it would only be a matter of time before my Aunt would have nowhere to stay.  It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out with how she’d behaved having lived with me.  During that conversation with my mom, she had offered to tell my aunt she had to apologize to me if she was going to stay with her.  My response was that if my aunt apologized, I wanted her to mean it.  I knew if my mom gave her an ultimatum, she would only apologize out of desperation for a place to stay if she apologized at all, and she wouldn’t really mean it.  Then my mom said she was going to tell my aunt that she had to get treatment for her bipolar disorder if she was going to stay with her.  I told her that was a smart thing to do, but I’d believe it when I saw it.  I knew that someone desperate not to be out on the street would promise anything.  The proof is in the pudding; so to speak, and again–it wasn’t my business.  I’d done all I could in that respect when my aunt was here and she made it perfectly clear at that time that she had no plans to be treated for her bipolar disorder.

At any rate, I never really thought my aunt would show. My mom and I had practically the exact same conversation a couple of months ago.  I figured she’d get back to her home town and then realize she liked it there and decide to stay, and that was what happened…until…she managed to alienate who she was staying with there too.  I had told my mom every time she brought up that my aunt might be coming to stay with her that I wasn’t surprised and that I knew she was would end up alienating everyone she stayed with because of her behavior and end up with nowhere to go, while still refusing to see the issue was hers and not everyone else’s.  I can’t say that I enjoy being right about that.

When my mom brought up the possibility to me again before I went to visit my sister, I told her that she could do what she wanted.  She’d known my aunt longer than I’d been alive, and I could understand the fact that she was her very best friend in the world and her desire to help her.  I’d felt that way once too.  I explained that unlike my aunt; I’d never put her in a position where she felt she had to choose between the two of us.  My mom mentioned being concerned that having my aunt staying with her would hurt our already strained relationship.  So, I gave her some ground rules.  I told her that if she didn’t want my aunt’s staying with her to affect our relationship, then anything she was told about the time my aunt spent staying with me, she needed to take with a grain of salt and keep it to herself.  I didn’t want to know about it or to be questioned about it.  I asked her to take her own advice and remember that my aunt had “issues” and to also remember the daughter she raised, and out of respect for me, not to bring it up.  I told her if she respected my wishes in relation to those things, she shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

As the sun goes down on the first day of my being within 100 feet of my aunt and mom in the same house next door, I can say with gratitude that I have not been affected the least bit.  I won’t lie though.  I’m not at all happy about the prospect of this person being in such close proximity to me or my family again.  I made sure that I let my mom know what boundaries I had and that I expected them to be respected.  If they will continue to be remains to be seen.  I can set all the boundaries I want, but if she doesn’t respect them, it doesn’t matter.  The fact that I live within 100 feet of my mom doesn’t make the situation any easier.  I plan to remedy that as soon as financially feasible for my family and me, and move.  To be honest, it irritates me that I have to resort to moving away; however, I know down to my bones that if I don’t, things with my mom have a very real chance of deteriorating to the point that we have no relationship at all–especially with the additional complication of my aunt living there.

I haven’t spoken to my aunt in the 9 months since she left my home.  Conflict between adults is one thing.  When you attempt to involve innocent children in adult matters to manipulate the situation to your favor, that is where I draw the line and where my story continues…

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My Induction Into Paranormal Life: Taking Stock

1 Aug

Most people get to a certain point in their lives and start to evaluate; especially after something significant happens that causes them to be faced with a major life change or their own mortality.  The death of a relative, getting married, having kids, losing a job, turning 40, or any other life changing event or milestone can prompt you to take stock of your situation.

After I lost my job, I had plenty of free time to take a good, long look at mine.  I did have a lot to be thankful for.  I had my health, a nice home, 3 beautiful kids, and a husband who was everything I could ever hope for. But..I still didn’t have joy in my life. Life seemed daunting, hard, a struggle to get through most days, and I couldn’t figure out why.  The two main causes of stress in my life; my oldest daughter and my job, had now been reduced by half.  As a parent, I knew I needed to figure something out.  I was tired of being miserable! In my opinion, you can’t be a good parent and take care of your kids if you don’t know how to take care of yourself.

I had read that a gratitude journal could help change one’s focus from the negative to the positive things in life, so I decided to give it a try. One of the things the article suggested was to think of the people in your life who support you.  These people are the ones who want to see you succeed, do well, be happy, and are there for you no matter what.  I wrote down the people who came to my mind first; my husband, my parents, my life coach, my therapist, my aunt, and my mother-in-law.  Then I started to think about my friends.  Friends support you, right?  robin williams

I have two really great friends that I met after my husband and I got married in 1994, and we’ve been friends through all the military moves to different states and countries.  No matter the amount of miles separating us, or how often we saw each other or spoke on the phone, we could always pick up right where we left off as if no time had gone by.  I wrote these two friends down.  The friends I had made more recently, I’d made at my job.  After I examined my friendships with them further, I decided that they weren’t really friends.

Had I gotten it wrong somehow? Maybe somewhere along the way, I’d gotten the wrong idea about what a friend is supposed to be.  After all, these days with Facebook and Twitter, a “friend” is just someone you know or that your friends know.  Was it possible that I’d misinterpreted the meaning of that word all this time? I had managed to take a task meant to change my outlook, and turn it into a reality check.

I’ve always had a hard time making friends. Later, after finding out about my gifts, I would learn that it’s always difficult for an empath to trust, due to our ability to read others.  I know when people are being honest and sincere and when they’re not. Maybe because most of my “friends” were at least 5 or 6 years younger than me, didn’t have kids, weren’t married, etc., I expected too much from them. The only basis for comparison I had was how I treated them.   I was there for my friends to confide in and rely on.  I was there for support, to have fun with and commiserate with.  I considered their feelings, was honest with them, and I didn’t judge them if their opinion was different from mine. I was there to give advice if they asked for it.  I valued each one of them as a person, treated them with respect, and they knew I genuinely cared. I realized that they were benefiting much more from being friends with me than I was from being friends with them.  As a matter of fact, when I reached out to them for support, they usually made me feel worse; not better!

…next…letting go…

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My Induction Into Paranormal Life-Part XV

26 Jul

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It was 4 months prior to me getting fired, but I already felt like a failure both in my career and as a mother. I really knew and felt that it was only a matter of time before my entire house of cards came tumbling down around me.  I was depressed, bitter, angry, restless, and felt helpless…not me at all.  The day I typed, “I hate my life” in the Google search was one of my most desperate days ever. I knew I was headed for disaster. I felt like I was on my way toward some kind of a breakdown. I didn’t like how I felt and I was desperately searching for a life line.  I sent out a soul call that day.

A soul call is a cry for help that one sends out into the universe; sometimes knowingly, most of the time unknowingly.  I didn’t know it that day, but when I Googled, “I hate my life,” I sent out a call asking for help.  I couldn’t see the computer screen because of tears that had welled up in my eyes; which only served to make me angry.  I was sick and tired of crying, hurting, and being misunderstood.  I was sick and tired of being sick and tired!  I managed to calm myself enough to read the search results and clicked the link that would later change my life.  I remember thinking, “Like this is going to help.”  It just goes to show how powerful soul calls actually are.  Soul calls are like prayers in that they are very powerful and they are always answered, but often not the way we think they will be.  For instance,  I thought I was asking for help to keep my job. Little did I know that 4 months later it would be a moot point.  I was asking for my life to change, and my desperation caused it to happen the fastest way possible!

Things did change– so quickly and drastically since then — sometimes it feels like a different lifetime.  All of the things that have happened in that one short year still boggle my mind.  Having worked my way through and overcome each obstacle as it came, I know all were for my good.  In retrospect, getting fired from my job was just how things had to happen so the change I wanted so desperately could manifest.  I closed the door on that portion of my life, causing another one to open; then another, and another, until once again I find myself facing yet another door. Do I leave it closed?  Do I open it and walk through? Getting fired wasn’t the hardest thing I would face in that year.

….to be continued…

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My Induction Into Paranormal Life- Part XIV

19 Jul

Believe

My soul voice had guided me toward the inner strength and peace I had always longed for, but had never been able to obtain, and to the path I am on today. I read the blog, and was very pleased to discover that this woman was down to earth and not all hearts and rainbows. She was a real person! Her life sucked at times too! Awesome! She offered a free 30 day course on self-love and after some deliberating, I signed up for it. It was free, so what the hell, right? I felt I had nothing to lose at that point, and if I didn’t get anything out of it, I was no worse off.

I did learn some valuable things in that month. The knowledge I gained was a stone, when cast into the waters of my higher self, caused a ripple effect that has created tremendous change to my very core. An a-ha moment of this magnitude can and often does create a shift in the way one perceives herself. I began to feel I had value. I felt I deserved to be treated decently, with respect, and courtesy. I began to say no to people because I finally felt I had a right to. For the first time in my life I did things because I wanted to, not because I was worried that someone would be offended if I didn’t.

That first step toward improving my self-confidence has been invaluable to me. I credit it, finding a terrific therapist, and getting my own life coach for most of the changes my life has undergone since. Is my life perfect? Hell no it’s not perfect, but nothing is! It’s the change in my perspective that’s made the difference. I don’t feel like a victim to life. It’s that confidence shift that gave me the courage to take a good, hard, honest look inward, to seek out answers, and to trust my soul voice to lead me to them.

I feel that self-reflection is a very important tool that can be used for self-improvement, self-help, and self-love.  Taking responsibility for the things that go wrong in life that you may ultimately be responsible for is important also.  There is no self-improvement for someone who always blames others for her problems and never takes responsibility for the part she may play in those problems.  For example, if someone finds herself in bad relationship after bad relationship, but never looks inward to do some analyzing, she will always blame the other person in the relationship for it going wrong; however, there could very possibly be a pattern of choices she is making that are part of the issue.  Sadly, she will forever be stuck in unsuccessful relationships, because she will be oblivious to her own destructive patterns.

The same could be said for someone who walks around with a victim mentality toward life.  I know this from experience and it’s an existence devoid of joy and immersed in pain.  Add to that the anxiety, pain, sadness, negativity, grief and every other emotion an empath experiences that is not hers, and life becomes a struggle.  One minute up, the next down, anxious and scared, then happy and laughing, then angry…all seemingly out of the blue with no provocation whatsoever. Enough of this type of living, and you’d have to be nuts not to look for something–anything–that might help.

…To be Continued…

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My Induction into Paranormal Life-Part XIII

14 Jul

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A few days ago, on July 10th, 2013, it was exactly a year since I left my job. It’s really crazy how life can change so drastically in the blink of an eye; yet seem to come full circle again and leave you right back where you started. I’ve done a lot of self-reflection and soul-searching, and I’ve learned so much in such a short time; about myself and others as well.

It’s important to note that I didn’t know I was an empath until recently and throughout my life, I’ve always been very sensitive to the feelings of others. I have always been extra sensitive to negative energies, especially the ones that were focused toward me. I’d spend countless hours analyzing. I would feel responsible for them and turn them inward; thinking it was my fault. If only I was(n’t) ______, if only I wouldn’t have ______, or it’s because I _______, was common inner dialogue for me. There have been times in my life that this type of self-criticism has damaged my psyche to the point of despair. Once it got to the point of me being suicidal. Thankfully, I recognized the thoughts I was having at that time as being unhealthy and I sought help. I felt those familiar feelings last January, and I started looking for ways to climb out of the pit of despair I found myself in.

One very difficult morning, I couldn’t face going to work that day. It was a chore just to get out of bed most days, which made me habitually late during that time. Not wanting to face the judgement of being late yet again, I called in sick. After my husband left for work and the kids left for school, I found myself crying and unable to stop. I got out my lap top and Googled, “I hate my life.” I found a website that was about self-love and how to get it. It was a life coach’s web site. I didn’t know anything about life coaches, so I don’t know why I had the opinion I did, but I had always thought that life coaching was a bunch of, “Life is wonderful…lah dee dah…” and I really wasn’t in any mood to read about how great life is and all you have to do is think positive, etc. I started reading the information on the web site thinking it was going to be another one of those kinds of deals. I almost closed out the page without reading it, but something inside told me to give it a chance. My soul voice was guiding me to something.

…to be continued…

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My Induction into Paranormal Life- Part IX

23 Jun

When I started in Saint Augustine working for the ghost tour company, I had a skeptic’s interest in the paranormal.  In the few short months I was there, I had experienced so many things and captured so much photographic evidence on a nightly basis, I could no longer deny there was something that existed in a reality separate from the one I knew. Some would call it another dimension, others an alternate reality, and still others would say it was a parallel universe.  I wasn’t sure what it was, only that I now knew something outside of the norm I was used to was showing up in my pictures, and somehow I just knew where to aim the camera in order to capture whatever it was in a photo.

Where it all started!

Orb, Anastasia Island, FL Lighthouse

Orb outside the keeper’s house, Anastasia Island, FL.

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Orb outside upper story dormer window. B&B located in St Augustine, FL

The time came when I could no longer do the ghost tours.  I had a family who depended on me and the hours just weren’t the kind of hours I could keep and hope to spend any quality time with my husband or my kids.  There was also the fact that although I really did love the work and enjoyed giving the tours, I just wasn’t making the kind of money that could justify the lack of quality family time to me.  The job also wasn’t helping to support my family either.  I drove 45 minutes there and back. I really was only making whatever tips I received in an evening because the rest of my pay was going into my gas tank.  Ultimately the time came that I had to resign.  I didn’t want to, but I had to find something that would allow me to contribute to the household and help pay the bills.  I gained a lot of knowledge during the short time I was employed in Saint Augustine giving the ghost tours about the paranormal, and for that I will always be grateful.  I also think that in a lot of ways that job was the catalyst to the evolution of me as the person I am today and the life I am living today.

When I woke up the next morning, I took a walk around the house while my kids were gone and my husband was at work.  The depression I had fallen into after being terminated from my university job was evident everywhere I looked!  I wasn’t always a neat, organized person…my parents could tell you that, but after 4 years in the military and living on my own, I had become somewhat of a neat freak.  Of course, with 3 children, I had to learn to let some things go and ease up my expectations somewhat regarding the cleanliness of my home.  What I saw this day; however, was a bit beyond easing the expectations.  Everywhere I looked there was disorder.  There was no semblance of order or organization to be seen, from the kids’ bedrooms, to my bedroom, to my kitchen cabinets, to every closet.  Things were just thrown and left where they landed.  I began to see the mess as an external, visual representation of how I felt about my life.  I sat down on the couch and began to contemplate the events that had occurred over the previous months from the time I’d been fired, to working the job in Saint Augustine, to the present.  I realized that something had to change.  I just didn’t know what.

…to be continued…