What I’d Tell My 7-Year-Old Self

You are beautiful and worthy and perfect just as you are. Follow your heart and don’t lose your passion.
ALWAYS choose feeling over numbing, no matter how terrifying.

Don’t let your tears frighten you, Little One. They are a gift from God Himself.

These efforts will require more bravery than you can imagine or even comprehend right now.

SO LET’S MAKE A PACT:

YOU promise ME you’ll never give up, and I can promise YOU we’re going to be okay.

I’ve seen and lived our future: we survive, but it doesn’t turn out the way we planned.
I’m sorry about that.
I tried very hard, but I just wasn’t strong enough.
It’s called Failure.
Failure” happens when, as a Big Girl, you realize all of those happy, hopeful movies you made in your mind are never going to happen.
In that moment of Despair, when you notice your Dreams are slipping away,
LET THEM GO!!
Unfulfilled Dreams don’t hurt as much once you’ve learned to forget them.

Lastly, and this is what the dictionary calls a “cliché,”:

Life is SO short, Little One.

Every moment feels forever when you’re young.
Somewhere along the line, the pace picks up and Life starts playing in fast-forward.
Time attempts to escape our grasp, and we never have enough of it.
People often behave strangely when they recognize this truth.
I know us well enough by now that I can assure you we don’t deliberately treat others badly.
Instead, we’re more haunted by the risks and chances we DIDN’T take than by the poor choices we DID.

So please, I beg you:
STOP worrying about all the things you should, shouldn’t, could, couldn’t, can, can’t, will, won’t, or might do and…
JUST DO
❣️


PS. You’ll be DOing us both a huge existential favor
(try to remember to “Google” ‘existential” one day; I know you’ll find the topic interesting)

REPOST

Why I Don’t Feel Guilty for Watching True Crime stories

I used to feel guilty about watching true crime stories on TV or listening to true crime podcasts. I think it came down to the idea I was receiving recreational entertainment from the suffering of others.

Then I had an epiphany that upended my views on the topic, and it’s this:

In society we honor the bravery of our survivors, but we do very little to honor the suffering of those who perished.

By the time we read the salacious headlines or hear the horrific details of a mass shooting, child abduction, or [violent, sadistic, evil; all redundant terms] murder, someone has already endured an agonizing death. Alone and Afraid.

I know it sounds weird but I honestly think it honors the victims’ memories when other people listen to how they suffered and feel an infinitesimal amount of their pain.

It’s the closest thing we can do now to holding their hands as they died then. It’s not a religious thing, it’s a “compassion for the victims and their families” thing.

So I never feel guilty for watching true crime shows: it helps me do my humanitarian duty to the souls who were forced to depart early.

#RIP, Heaven’s Favorites.

We Live With a Homicidal Maniac

We Live With a Homicidal Maniac who desperately wants to kill all of the Jennifers under My Care. I’m a total crap parent, but I know how to play dirty. You don’t think I could plumb the depths of survivor guilt and child murder with a free-loving Inner Critic, do you?

I have seen the faces of Evil, Violence, Hatred, and Unspeakable Acts. They look like Me, and Their Voice criticizes Me all day, every day. The Voice and I are well-acquainted; fellow Ancients, “Old Souls”.

But We are both tiring of these millennia of dragon-slaying. I know I speak for both of Us when I say We’d really like to go on Vacation. Isn’t there ONE responsible Adult out there who’s willing to watch the Jennifers for a week or so? Hell, we’d be happy with a long weekend off at the Holiday Inn down the road!

Please check your calendars and get back to Us. If Nobody steps up, We’re going to send Our Inner Critic to terrorize Him. If Anybody offers, I promise You full immunity from Future Prosecution (it’ll look better on you than Botox, I swear!)

P.S. We know the above post was Juvenile, but we had an adrenalized day by noon-thirty, so we had to bleed. Our Inner Critic is momentarily appeased.

When the Heart-Soul Breaks

When the soul breaks, it tells us we’ve lost our missing puzzle piece – it’s human manifestation represents a unique shape – the ONLY shape which can return us to wholeness. We will reject people who don’t conform to the missing negative-electron-pull of that void into our Adult lives. This wound-activated expulsion of others doesn’t result in the relief we seek because it does so by what our brains are able to understand at the times when our heart was broken; at the young age we made those decisions. Puzzle Pattern Recognition at young ages doesn’t allow us to consider alternate shapes, other options all together. Since we’re closed off to these other mental paths and self-protective limitations, we stay trapped and enprisoned, jerked around by the terrifying cries from our inner Little Child – and trust me: she lives in you whether you believe it or not!

After a lifetime of consciously or subconsciously forcing other individuals to conform or leave, we die, lonely and alone.

If you want to avoid this fate, MY fate, you have to go back to the original wound, even if it isn’t a single traumatic experience. Expecting children to remember the specific events behind the heartbreaking emotions is unnecessary in my opinion. You know what first broke your heart. First and foremost, let me tell you I’m so very, very sorry that you suffered that way as a child. It wasn’t your fault, and it was wrong. I wish I could’ve comforted you then, and I know there are many decent adults out there who wish they could’ve as well. I’m sure if they heard your story, they would want to rush in and scoop you up, dry your tears, and listen as you told why you were sad or afraid. Afterwards, we’d try our very best to keep you safe from harm. If you were failed before, let’s try to heal it here and now.

You are loved, you are treasured, you are infinitely beautiful and huge-hearted. You are whole and perfect just as you are. You have individual worth and value. You are precious. You are a pearl beyond all price.

Surely you can understand we are not feeding an entitlement mentality if any human adult has never heard these words from another living soul. So you will have to be your own Another Living Soul.

In this role, you will be the Adult who then must unapologetically love, nurture, and re-parent Your Little Child to achieve the emotional stability you desire, require, and truly need to grow into the kind of Adult you want to be.

It may sound circular or ‘fluffy’, but it’s what is working for me. As long as you are seeking external solutions to this now-very concerning internal source of distress, you’ll never be free from the haunting of Your Little Child. You can INVITE the Guide, the Helper, the Guru, or even the Consultant to help, but you will always be the General Contractor for the job. No: make that the Owner Footing the Bill.

So spend your money well, do your research, document it, celebrate it, and don’t let Anyone or Anything deter your commitment, other than basic self-care. Remember: place the oxygen mask on Your Adult Self before you place it on Your Little Child.

It’s hard being an ENFP in an ISTJ world.

Journal, 9/29/21

It’s hard being an ENFP in an ISTJ world.

In fact, I want to start my own planet and fill it with ENFPs (certain other types can always visit). On this planet, we measure time in cycles, stages, and “phases,” rather than in boring old linear order.

We also get to run this planet according to “ENFP Rules:”

No need for dusty legal books filled with obscure laws. Our Rules can be summed up as follows:

Be nice, follow your heart, love deeply, assume the best but prepare for the worst, sing Karaoke, and don’t EVER consider yourself better than anyone else.

Also, you MUST call if you EVER need my help. Of course I can’t promise to be available that far in advance, but I can and do promise I’ll get back to you just as soon as possible.

A Child Cries, Unheard

If Grown-Up You met Little me,
Would you seize Opportunity
To Spend some Time Alone with me?
So you could have your way with me?
When Grown-Up You met Little me.

If Cunning You met First-Grade me,
And no adults were there to see,
You’d whisper that You dream of me,
Embarrassed, I would blush and freeze.
When Cunning You met First-Grade me.

If Evil You met Trusting me,
You’d kill the innocence in me.
You’d carve Your wounds of Pain on me,
And strip me of my dignity.
When Evil You met Trusting me.

Tell it, Sir, Please tell it true.
I pray there’s still some Good in You.

Please Mister, What’s Your Rationale;
What Made You Steal a Little Child?


You Swear that there’s a Voice to Blame,
A Voice Who Wears Your Face and Name.
This Voice Who Bound me to the Floor,
Is this the Voice You Can’t Ignore?

You think You’ve Gotten Rid of me,
But I’ll Haunt You Relentlessly
Expose the Hell Behind Your Eyes.
They’re all I saw before I died.

Revised 9/26/21

Poem for A Hero During the Pandemic

To keep us safe, we follow rules
Like wearing masks and closing schools.
Some even force good friends apart,
But they can’t keep you from my heart!
I plan to use some words that rhyme
To cheer you in this trying time.
I’ll start by writing down a list
Of the things about you I have missed:
The things that make you so unique,
Your “adjectives” (or so to speak).
Let’s start with Feature Number One:
It’s your kindness and your com-pash-un!
Not a single soul has got you beat,
No one on earth is half as sweet.
This special trait leads to the next:
You’re very patient; rarely vexed.
You keep your cool when temps arise,
Your calm can even neutralize
Drama, chaos, much amiss
Still you don’t discount,
dismiss
Others’ feelings in such states
You simply help folks regulate
Thoughts and passions out of whack,
You settle folks with still feedback.
Let’s venture now to Number Three:
Of course it’s gener-o-sit-tee.
When this specific trait’s assessed,
You’re head and shoulders from the rest.
I have the proof to claim this fact:
You’ve always been there, had my back.
Which takes us on to Feature Four:
Your LOYALTY is much adored
By all those folks who call you “friend”,
We’ll all stay true until the end.
I’m blessed to know that I am one
Of a lucky group who You have known
The super-special man that’s YOU,
Of this I’m sure, for its quite true.
So Mr. G, heed my request:
Stay real sage and get some rest.
For once this Covid mess is through,
I’ll finally lay my eyes on You!

Sadly, Mr. Gordon Wilkinson, WW2 and Vietnam veteran, passed away in Spring of 2021. I will be sharing more about this amazing man.

The Exquisite Flame

Beauty was awareness and clarity
Insecurity, Trepidation, and Innocence.
It was wide-open spaces, full of promise
Daydreams and night dreams of That To Come
It was humanity and anxiety and blissful unawareness of the deeply-buried consciousness of Now
It was sleep from the touch of head-to-pillow to the alarm clock’s pre-dawn shriek
It was yesterday; and it was golden, and it was pure

And I didn’t even know.
I didn’t even know.

How I long for the fears of youth
And simple problems easily solved
I ache with the final passing of Thoughts-Future
That once roused me when I fell and propelled me forward,
Despite my child’s timidity that sought to hold me back
Time alone wasn’t the enemy, Nor the immersion in grief

Instead it was the consequence of a poor choice, seemingly therapeutic at the time

to bury,
to extinguish
that exquisite flame
which took me to the Sun
and dropped me back again.

Autum, 2016

Do I Know You?

Unlike other people on Facebook, I cannot share photos of my children and their children.

Because I could not have children.

I can only share my heart.

I write these words for the ONE PERSON who has felt my pain.

I want that ONE PERSON to know he or she is not alone.

I don’t care who I offend: my passion is for that ONE PERSON only.

That in the recognition of their pain in my expression of mine, our burdens are momentarily reduced. ❤️‍🔥

The Shape of Pain

No
Ow!
Stop
Hurts
Stop!!!
Please❣️
Why? ???
Please stop!
You’re hurting me.
YOU’RE HURTING ME‼️
WHY are you doing this?
What did I ever do to you?
I’ll do anything; please stop.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, JUST STOP!
Okay, I guess I must deserve it
I was never very good at all
I probably deserve this 🥲
Could you just kill me?
I’m already dead.
Please bury me.
Tell my Mom.
Tell God?
Corpse
Stop
Bye
No
0

Why Do Women?

Why do WOMEN:

- [ ] Spend a small fortune on cosmetics, camouflaging our natural beauty?
- [ ] Spend a large fortune on gyms, diets, and whatever undergarments are necessary so that we can tolerate looking at ourselves in the mirror?
- [ ] Get big brown caterpillars tattooed onto our eyebrows?
- [ ] Wear false eyelashes (including the magnetic type which literally burns our eyeballs?)
- [ ] Inject Botulinum Toxin into our faces to “blur” the wrinkles?
- [ ] Inject Dermal fillers to “plump back up” the natural baby fat we’ve lost in our cheeks and our lips?
- [ ] Pay for professional facials, microdermabrasion treatments, laser skin refinement, eyebrow lifts, breast implants, tummy tucks, and other forms of cosmetic enhancement?
- [ ] Spend up to $100 per month getting hair removed from the places deemed “un-hair-worthy” in 2021?
- [ ] Think we need, purchase books about, and then relentlessly execute vagina-tightening and/or vagina-loosening exercises, depending on the way we personally feel insufficient (and by aged 54, we only have two options: the droopy post-childbirth vagina and the dried-up, post-menopausal vagina: if I’ve failed to consider a third option, by all means please do let me know below).
- [ ] Suffer the indignity of the stirrups in middle age to get prescriptions for hormones we no longer produce, some of which can be very dangerous to us, in order to be “as feminine as possible”?
- [ ] Get therapy to process our issues because the last thing we ever want to do is to HURT SOMEONE ELSE?
- [ ] Immediately blame ourselves if anything goes wrong in one of our friendships or romantic relationships?
- [ ] NOT tell the whole world how smart we actually ARE? As in: all day long?
- [ ] Not say what we’re really thinking (example: “It actually scares me how much I’m dumbing myself down to be with you”)?
- [ ] Stick around in abusive, unfulfilling, unsatisfying, and/or unsupportive long-term relationships, all the while buying books like “How to Be Present for Your Partner’s Inner Child” and “How To Be Smoking Hot in The Bedroom”?
- [ ] Feel compelled to share our failures, catalogue our flaws, and admit to our shortcomings?

When MEN:

- [ ] Will gladly repeat that list of failures to us, lest we forget it,
- [ ] Won’t get therapy, and
- [ ] Won’t even consider getting a prescription for Viagra?

No wonder these new generations of women are going “Rogue Lesbian”: if you don’t have something to bring to the party, well… it’s a really boring party, okay? And I’m REALLY tired of pretending like it’s not and then blaming MYSELF for the fact that YOUR PARTY IS BORING!!

For the Decision-Makers:Why I Believe Marijuana Should Be Legal in the State of Texas (from a first-person perspective)

1. Smoking pot makes me want to turn each song on my Spotify favorites list into a Karaoke song I can actually visualize myself singing.
2. Smoking pot means I have Spotify in the first place. I didn’t listen to music for 20 years.
3. Smoking pot helps me to at least know what I’m crying about.
4. Smoking pot helps me to live in the moment, not in the thought bubbles analyzing what’s going on down below.
5. Smoking pot means that I laugh 25% as often as I cry (that’s an increase from 0%).
6. Smoking pot means I can feel pain in a tolerable way rather than numb it - and God knows we vilify “addicts” who need pain relief in this country. We treat them more like slugs than people.
7. Smoking pot brings the suppressed version of myself out to play and connect with other human beings again; before, I withdrew to shield myself from Life’s blows.
8. Smoking pot helps me to stop second-guessing myself every second of every day; it stops the onslaught of voices telling me to WATCH OUT!! To STAY SAFE or I’ll get hurt!! Again. Other people - even “loved ones” are dangerous. So is Fate, the Universe and God Himself. Smoking pot turns off that damned robot looping through my traumatized brain screaming DANGER, JENNIFER!! I don’t think most people have a clue how EXHAUSTING it is to live with PTSD.
9. And no, I don’t get a lot done, but it’s not by choice. Accumulated trauma and chronic pain had already leeched my vitality from me. At least now I see some meaning and purpose in what’s LEFT of my life. That’s good enough for me because I HAVE SUFFERED ENOUGH.
10. I don’t need your pity or pseudo-compassion, served up cold with an order of Judgment on the side. What I NEED is to not be arrested for engaging in acts of self-preservation.
11. I am willing to testify before the Texas legislature to put my story on official record, just like I did for the Medicaid for Breast and Cervical Cancer program and The Fertility Preservation Bill (which I really hope has become a law by now).

P.S. A special note for my fellow Christians: I love you and I am not “lost” or “deceived.” I haven’t lost my faith, but I did lose my hope and my self-compassion. So I’m still a “Christian,” just not a ‘Good Christian.”

Saving One’s Own Life

Pulling oneself up and out of the downward trajectory of death requires Enjoyment, Endurance, and Effort, all of which demand copious amounts of fuel.  Sometimes this fuel is mined from deeply-buried Anger or Rebellion.  Sometimes it’s sourced from unshed tears, forsaken dreams, and hopes  long-abandoned. Sometimes it looks irrational or immature.  Sometimes it involves rash decisions later cried over.  

A person actively involved in saving her own life might engage in “risky” behaviors like falling too quickly and deeply for the most inappropriate person, only to have him reject her exactly as she always knew he would, then she goes out and dances into the wee hours, starting the whole cycle all over again the following week. Her family might begin to pray for her in earnest or worry she’s having a mental breakdown. But she knows how important the Enjoyment component of the equation is, so she must persevere (Endurance) and FORCE herself to have fun. Does she remember what it feels like to laugh? From the belly? I’m sorry to inform her, but she’s going to have to invoke her Muscle Memory Rights and practice laughing and dancing again. If she has to have someone along for the ride, she could ask family or friends, but if she can’t, she needs to make some fucking new ones! Those negative influences are partially responsible for the reason her soul is now dying! She can’t afford to be too picky - she just needs someone along for the next adventure. She doesn’t have to get into a relationship with the person and should try to keep thing as lite as possible. Oh, she didn’t? Well, so what!? It’s HER life and HER choice. I just hope she’s kind to herself when she makes these “mistakes”. For the first time in decades, little shoots of green are sprouting up on the ancient and bent branches of her very old tree, and it’s a spectacular anomaly to behold; like the once-in-300-years neon flight of a Comet set into motion during Light Years Past.


The only forces powerful enough to bring back the downward trajectory at this point are of the everyday but lethal variety. They’re the murder weapons from a nearby toolbox: overthinking, over analyzing, shame, self-loathing, embarrassment, self-second-guessing, and unhealthy regret. Notice the emphasis on “over” and “self”: she must literally get OVER herself!! As in CLIMBING over herself to get away from the words Herself is telling Her.


Here is the advice I would share with Her:

“Never forget the beautiful, trusting, innocent 7-year-old child who still lives inside you. Would you say the same corrosive, damaging, and soul-crushing things to HER that you say to yourself? Would you deliberately clip her little-girl wings, binding/blinding/ confining/ paring down/and condemning her to a Life Lived In Miniature?
Of course you wouldn’t! Instead, you’d whisper into her ear over and over and over again that she is worthy, deserving, and capable of Love, Loving, and All Things Beautiful.

	

Where Were You?

Where were you when Death was standing over me, holding my life in His hands?
Where were you when I pulled the car I was driving over to vomit up the chemotherapy I had just been infused with through a device inserted under the skin into a vein leading directly to my heart?
All thirteen times?
Where were you when cold hands directed my torso into precise locations underneath terrifyingly large machines that emitted radioactive beams into my body?
All thirty-three times?
Where were you when I was so crippled by pain, I actually lost consciousness?
Where were you when I had all of my reproductive organs removed the week I turned 40, plunging me into overnight menopause?
Where were you when I had to measure the hourly output of three drains sewn into my body after an 8-hour surgery to remove both of my breasts because of a second occurrence of breast cancer when I was a 45 year-old divorcee?
Where were you when I miscarried a perfectly beautiful baby, not a piece of tissue, onto the tile of my bathroom floor; with no alternative but to flush it down the toilet?
Where were you when I spent 4 days in the cardiac ICU because my organs were shutting down; Death showing up again just to toy with me?
Where were you when I was betrayed; abandoned and alone; heartbroken; lost; torn to shreds by the ruthlessness and relentlessness of grief?

Were you by my side?
Did you SEE how I suffered?
I didn’t think so.
Yet somehow you feel qualified to judge how I survived.
The “How” is none of your business.
You should be happy “That” I survived at all.
Many far better than I did not.
You may see me as Damaged Goods.

But let me tell you something:

I’m a SURVIVOR and I will never be ashamed of my scars or my wounds or my choices.
They are
mine and no one else’s, and if you do not like them, please see yourself out.
Effective immediately.

For those of you who were present AND supportive for ANY of the above, thank you from the absolute core of my heart. I love you dearly. ❤️‍🩹