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Archive for the ‘Psychology’ Category

 

 

“Before you can live a part of you has to die. You have to let go of what could have been, how you should have acted and what you wish you would have said differently. You have to accept that you can’t change the past experiences, opinions of others at that moment in time or outcomes from their choices or yours. When you finally recognize that truth then you will understand the true meaning of forgiveness of yourself and others. From this point you will finally be free.”
Shannon L. Alder

 

It shouldn’t surprise me any longer, yet it still can. We live in a society where, by and large, everyone is slotted into a stereotype. If we don’t fit into a recognized stereotype, or worse still, refuse to fit into these groups, then we find ourselves outside society.

Once upon a time, in the dim and distant past, and now found only in books, the term used to be called, “Being sent to Coventry”. It was horrendous. Not being accepted by your fellow peers, being non-conformist, can be a lonely existence.

Until, that is, you realise that it isn’t a detrimental thing not belonging to the mass of “sheeple” as someone I know once referred to the mass of followers of the accepted trends. (Following along like sheep).

It seems that being different, an individual, even if you yourself are unaware that you are an individual, can be confronting to others. It can make you feel that there is something not right with who you are, even if you are not seeking to ask anyone to walk your truth. They can be confronted by what they see in you.

They can also be more than a little uncomfortable at seeing you as a mirror, shining back to them the insecurities they are hiding from, and unable to accept. If this happens they are more than likely to ‘attack’ you, indirectly of course. Direct confrontation, even to discuss, in an adult fashion, the differences they see between you and them, is foreign. In order to make themselves feel “righteous” they must try to convince others that you are the one at fault, doing something wrong.

Yes, you are simply being you, but that is enough. They will seek to undermine you and cut you down, and you will not even know why.

So, like the ladies of the First Wives Club, a great movie about loss, despair, growth and claiming your own power, you have to rise up, like the Phoenix and be all that you are.  It is a powerful feeling to recognise, even if you need a little help to get you over that line, that you are more than simply okay as you are. You are YOU.

You are a Spirit in a human body and learning all you can. You are learning to be all that you can be, and as long as your motivation is for the Highest Good of all and with the Best Intentions for everyone, including yourself, then it is a wonderful thing to be your unique self. This is living a Spiritual Life. Live your life and love it, all of it.

#YouDon'tOwnMe

“It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life, it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power!”
Robert T. Kiosaki

 

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

 

 

 

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#Life'sWoundings

Life can tear you apart

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
C. JoyBell C.

Life is not always peaches and cream, or so I’ve found. Things happen, for which you are totally unprepared, and in the process you can feel exposed, vulnerable and disenfranchised.

In my opinion, there is nothing more undermining than to be “called to account” for something which was alleged to happen, and for which you are not given the right to respond. It is especially onerous, in my opinion, if this tramples an area where you may be vulnerable, and even more so if the person who is mentoring that group drops the ball.

We go through life learning as we stumble along. We make friends, meet partners, have families, make and lose workmates, the death of family and friends, the list goes on. Along the way there is the possibility we may ‘suffer’ what has been termed “Wounding’s”.

To clarify, in this instance, a wounding is a life event which has traumatised you in some way. It’s not very difficult to find, a divorce, death of family or friend, abusive relationship etc.

#Life'sWounding

Growth is often painful

Some of us bounce back with ease. Some however, do not and hold this wounding inside, so tightly, it cannot find a way out. We cannot let it go, cannot grieve over the situation, because we have never felt safe enough to talk about the ‘incident’. If we finally feel we are in a place, safe enough for us to ‘share’ our story, we can be taken unawares by thoughtless judgement. This can be especially so, if both persons shared their ‘story’…

Long ago I recall being told that, it was of paramount importance to hear both sides of a story, before making a decision, as to what needed to be done in response. I have never forgotten the advice. I also believe that anyone who decides to ‘complain’ about another person, they should be willing to confront that person with their complaint. This seems to cause many complaints to be retracted.

I too, have had a “Great Wounding” which left me so traumatised I could not talk about it for many years. To this day I shy away from discussing it. However, I was recently in a place where a select group was gathered. Each person I interacted with in the first couple of days seemed to have their own story behind them, as we all do. After listening to someone discuss their situation I, unfortunately, shared some of my own “Wounding.”

#Life'sWoundings

The art of listening.

I was more than dumbfounded, when, as we made our way back into the meeting room I was taken to one side and informed I had “Inappropriately Shared” something. “People had complained”. I was temporarily unable to think, or speak as shock set in. To say I felt that I should leave and return home – more than crossed my mind. “Who, I wondered”. “What could I have said which was ‘Inappropriate’?” Then, No, why should I be forced away?

I remained, though it did mar my time there. To feel that every word, act or nuance, needed to be weighed and measured, made for an uncomfortable situation. I had only worked with a couple of people at that point, and the opportunity to speak with people only in a group situation apart from that, so the list of people who could have complained was small.

Is it worth remembering? Only the lessons. The lessons of forgiveness and compassion.

 

#Life'sWoundings

It is much sweeter to forgive than condemn

“Forgive but do not forget, or you will be hurt again. Forgiving changes the perspectives. Forgetting loses the lesson.”
Paulo Coelho

The incident, onerous enough by itself has embedded itself into the original “Wounding”. Being singled out later, in group, as an example of one who had come there with a “Great Wounding” in their past, did not help. I will continue, alone, to try to reconcile this “Wounding” from my past, finding compassion for those who behaved in this way. There will never be another discussion about it.

As for what happened in a group of my peers:

I forgive the pettiness of the person who felt the need to complain, even though they lacked the moral fibre to speak directly to me…. despite sharing their own story, and, If I was talking with them, and they preferred not to.

I forgive being spoken to in the manner and place I was. Leadership dictates such a discussion be private, or so I have been taught.

I forgive being used as an object lesson for the group…. Without giving permission to discuss my personal affairs before anyone else, and when there were other people there, who were also said to have shared their “Great Wounding’s”. I am still confused by exactly what constituted “Inappropriately sharing”, but the time to talk about that has passed.

#Life'sWoundings

The Secret of Life?

Lessons in Life arrive when we least expect them and often in ways we wish were different. I may not have liked this lesson, or lessons, but I can and will learn from them I already have learned from them.

I trust that if I am the person someone approaches with a “Great Wounding” and a need to share, that I have the grace and compassion to listen with as much understanding as possible.

I hope that I can recognise the privilege shown to me, that they feel safe enough to discuss something which may have devastated their life.

Finally, I pray, that if I ever have a situation in which I am uncomfortable or do not wish to be a part of, that I have the moral fibre to speak to that person myself. Showing them the dignity and respect they deserve and not behaving like a school child tattling on another.

 

#Life'sWoundings

Forgiveness, the lesson of life.

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up.”
― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum

It has been a time of much learning from many lessons.

 

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

 

 

 

Images courtesy of:-

http://www.avani-mehta.com : wordsofbalance.com:  http://www.pinterest.com http://www.searchquotes.com: encwor.blogspot.com

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#LifeandChronicIllness

Image courtesy of Facebook

 

“Dare to dream! If you did not have the capability to make your wildest wishes come true, your mind would not have the capacity to conjure such ideas in the first place. There is no limitation on what you can potentially achieve, except for the limitation you choose to impose on your own imagination. What you believe to be possible will always come to pass – to the extent that you deem it possible. It really is as simple as that.”
― Anthon St. Maarten

It seems like a tired old story, doesn’t it? I mean, really, how many people are blogging about their illness or how they are managing it? Is it some, a lot, or too many? Hmm. Perhaps that means there are a lot of sick people out there and they need to be heard in one way or another.

Each person has some kind of tether attached to them, whether it be an abusive relationship, family problems or stress. Whether that stress is overwork or the actual job causing the stress, or simply the pressure of being the penultimate person in life, can find themselves in a situation where their body shouts ENOUGH! If that happens, when that happens, they may find themselves with a Chronic Illness.

Our bodies are incredible organisms which can do remarkable things. We have sent our bodies to the moon and back. We have climbed the highest mountain on Earth, Mount Everest (8,848m) in the Himalayas. We have sent them down into the deepest parts of the ocean. The Challenger Deep in the Marianna Trench was first explored by Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh in the Trieste bathyscaphe in 1960. They reached a depth of 10,916 meters. We can train to become incredible athletes and we can bring life into the world. We can, unfortunately take life out of the world also in too many wars.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from http://www.petera.se The inimitable Mount Everest

We ask our bodies each and every day to do things they may not yet have evolved enough to do, but the pace of technological advancement means we need to force our bodies to do more to keep up. We have even “beaten” to a smaller or lesser degree most of the illnesses which have killed us in the past. The problem is, we have also created a host of new ones to take their place, some by accident and some by design.

Each and every action we ask our bodies and our minds to do can lead to the organism’s failure. It may lead to our body yelling ENOUGH! If this happens, or when this happens, it may be a minor or major catastrophe.

It may be as simple as an overwhelming fatigue which can be put to rights by a good long vacation.

It may be a ‘breakdown’ which requires much longer away from work to address the issues.

It may also be an insidious invader which slowly sucks the life out of you until it is impossible to ignore. At that point you have your “Chronic Illness”.

Unfortunately there are far too many people who, when faced with a spouse, family member, friend or co-worker with a chronic illness cannot cope with even acknowledging human frailty. The only way I can describe it is that they cannot face their own possible frailty, or their own possible mortality.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from halsamt.wordpress.com

I have seen and worked with people who have turned and walked away from loved ones because they cannot deal with illness. Ultimately, their inability to deal with the situation is reduced to one thing – fear. Fear of becoming ill themselves, of dealing with the illness, fear of being tied down because of someone else’s illness. Whatever the final key element is, it is based on fear.

I saw it many times. Saw the illnesses, saw the injured, infirm, the helpless and counseled both sides of the equation. So one would think that when faced with the same situation I would have been prepared for whatever life had to throw at me. I know I did and I was wrong. I was so wrong that it took a decade of things slowly falling apart, one illness after another, one trauma after another and down some deep well inside I kept pushing all the pain and hurt, the fear and anger deep inside and capped that well.

My mother and my children kept me anchored to my life. They provided me with the lifeline I needed to convince myself that I had everything under control. That was when my husband learned we had been told that my mother was terminally ill. Then my personal volcano started to rumble. When I stepped up to the plate to look after Mum, he decided he’d had enough and left. My volcano really started to rumble and smoke.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from nevsepic.com.ua

Her passing was a body blow and things escalated. No-one seemed to know. They didn’t appear to see the signs of strain, or stress, or perhaps they didn’t care. They may have been too caught up in their own dramas at that point. So I tried to cap my well once more but the cracks were already there. As the saying goes, “I soldiered on” but I could feel my hold on everything slowly slipping.

I even made an escape run by going to the Middle East. I’m still not sure if I intended being able to return from that trip. Nothing fazed me at that point. No careless act was beyond the devil may care attitude I portrayed. Yet my turn had not yet arrived and I did return and for a short time it appeared as if I had managed to shore up the weakened foundations of my well and life progressed.

That was until the dramas began again, different ones but with the same stress load. I struggled to hide it. I tried to deny it. It was no use. The volcano was not going to be denied this time. Slowly and then more quickly the volcano erupted as I morphed from fit and healthy to something akin to a helpless worm. My self-esteem plummeted and my desire to fight all but eliminated. I had a small flicker of light burning far in the distance, my children and my new husband.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from tinyhappyfarm.blogspot.com

My guilt knew no bounds. I was caught on the horns of a giant dilemma, succumb or keep struggling with this “Chronic Illness” rubbish I was bombarded with each time I saw my doctor. (Primary Care Physician for my US friends). Me, a medical research sponge, needing to know all the ins and outs of everything, prognosis, treatment, end results, could not find the damned answer.

When I was finally told I had Lyme disease I was unsure if I was relieved or not. It did not feel right and after 12 months of the most putrid antibiotics I have ever had, it was decided I didn’t have it after all. I dread to think what it has done to my body. One simple test, always done at the beginning of Lyme testing had not been done. If it had I could have saved those 12 months and perhaps started to feel better.

But wishes are only granted in fairy tales and life moves on. The results when they arrived back have turned my life upside down. Yes, it’s still a Chronic Illness, but one with far reaching ramifications, and not just for me. At the moment the volcano is still running hot, the lava is destroying thoughts and ideas and new ones have yet to be made to replace them. I need to get a handle on this monster and beard the dragon in his lair.
I need time and yet time is not a resource I have in abundance. Decisions to be made and plans to make and I’m swimming against the tide, no small feat when I can’t swim.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from cybershamans.blogspot.com

So I ask you, the ill and infirm, those with Chronic Illnesses, the fit and healthy, I ask everyone, to be aware of the little acts you do, be aware of how much difference a small gesture can make to someone who is ill. If you are ill, learn to take pride in the fact that you CAN ask for help. If it is turned down, it is their failing; not yours. If we want our world free from illness, we need to start by understanding its ways. We need to want to beat the monster at its own game. We can, but not alone. We all need to care and work together.

Those who don’t care, do they deserve our sympathy when they crash and burn? I have no answer yet. I try each day to send love and healing, gratitude and thankfulness out into the world, even now. Perhaps it is more important now. I know there is a question within this tale and in time I will be able to answer it, but only after I have accepted it fully.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from chronicillnessmemes.tumblr.com

Chronic Illness is not catching, but it is lonely and isolating. Please, if you remember nothing else, I ask that you remember this.

 

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What is your most favourite smell/scent?
This is truly difficult: I love the smell of rain on the ground, just after it has started and you can smell the wet earth and new mown grass, I adore the smell of my orchids when they flower, so rich and sensual; I love the smell or gardenias and Jasmin – so tropical and reminds me travel, of laying amongst the bluebells and their gentle fragrance reminds me of the English spring; and of course my two favourite perfumes, Flowers by Kenzo (of course 🙂 ) and Aura by Swarovski.

#Shareyourworld

image from invitaminerva45.blogspot.com The beauty of a gardenia, a scent used in many perfumes.

How do you write: computer, longhand or other?
When I hear write I automatically think of my beautiful pens which I collect. I’ve learned Calligraphy which has become rusty with the push to do so many other things and the computer can send ‘letters’ across the miles so quickly versus ‘snail mail’. I haven’t learned Morse Code but I’m trying the Telepathy but it’s slower than my ‘snail mail’. Oh, the answer, I “write” longhand but I type on the computer. 😉

#Shareyourworld

image from ethanol2323.hubpages.com Beautiful writing does have its share of risks.

Your favourite blog post that you have written?

That’s another hard one to answer. If I didn’t like them I wouldn’t write them, so they all have a lot of me invested in them in one way or another. However, I love the theme I’ve used in this poem series. I adore wolves too so it was great to be able to mingle both ideas. I have a feeling there may be more to come here  🙂 So, here is the link to the poem “Dusk til Dawn”.

https://owlsandorchids.com/2014/02/16/dusk-til-dawn/

#Shareyourworld

image from clipartzs.blogspot.com –

What’s one of your favourite books from childhood?
When I was very young I loved Biggles, all the books, and still do, but my mother gave me a Leon Uris book called Exodus when I was twelve and it has been my all-time favourite since then. Of course being a bookaholic I have many favourites now, all depending on the mood.

#Shareyourworld

image from en.wikipedia.org

#Shareyourworld

image from http://www.mikanet.com Paul Newman – no words needed

 

 

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Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I’m grateful for my husband because he helped me hold everything together as I learned what was going on and what I would have to do after my new diagnosis.
This coming week I’m looking forward to getting my new, new computer and starting to use it. (That’s  a story for another blog because you wouldn’t believe me if I didn’t tell the whole story).

 

#Shareyourworld

image from o.canada.com – It’s Red…Red, no wonder the Vampires love it!

 

 

Well, that’s a little more of an insight – it’s a scary place to be inside my head- I hope I see you back next week.  (Too many scary movies I wonder?)

 

Blessings,  Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

 

 

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“Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all.”
Arthur C. Clarke

~

Controversy rages around the subject of Genetic Modification or Genetic Engineering and in many ways it is right that it should. I briefly touched on it yesterday in “Down the Rabbit Hole” and hinted at the vastness of the topic. It is a contentious issue but I’d like to put forward a few ideas to consider. I will continue with the rabbit hole imagery.

Down the major burrow would be what I feel is a despicable manipulation of our foodstuffs in the “Genetic Modification” scene by the major player, Monsanto. I am vehemently against everything Monsanto stand for in this area. The fact that they are supported by governments, and it is irrelevant which side of the fence in politics you are on, it is all sides of Government, including the self-righteous Greens. Monsanto have been cosseted by all parties both in and outside Government. The only ‘players’ against Monsanto have been the farmers and now, those who know the truth, the consumers.

What are the down side to the GM (Genetically Modified) food? Primarily it is sterile. Sure it can grow like crazy and is bug resistant but it tastes woeful. If the bugs won’t eat it then one has to ask what is wrong with it because they’ll eat anything else. How much good can the body get from sterile food? Why have they modified it to be sterile?

#InsidetheWarren

image from http://www.abc.net.au Kangaroo Island Biscuit Wheat

Simple answer is the farmers cannot keep some of the seed they harvest for use as planting seed in the next season. If it is sterile they have to buy new seed each season and it is more expensive and less good for us than the ‘old’ but tasty seed. If they want to spend squillions on increasing yield then let them work on improving the bug resistance whilst keeping the goodness in it. Until then I’m very much against GM food and Monsanto for monopolising the market. Very bad for the market.

#InsidetheWarren

image from laurad093.hubpages.com The Lebensborn, children from picked mothers to produce the ‘master’ or perfect race.

Down the second largest burrow we find the doctors with no conscience and people with deep pockets. Here the Genetic Engineering is geared to pick the best DNA possible to create a super race of perfect children. It’s unnatural and immoral, in my opinion. The very idea of walking into a ‘shop’ and choosing the DNA make up of your child from a menu so that you can, in due course lay claim to another Mozart, Michelangelo or John Lennon is wrong on so many counts I’m rendered speechless. If they, the doctors want to research DNA in children then it should be to prevent the medical problems we currently see. It is a Hippocratic and not Hippocritic Oath after all.  Obviously I’m very much against Genetic Engineering for immoral reasons.

Which brings me to the third burrow. Whilst there are probably many more these are the three I feel are the major influencers. Down this burrow we find the people who, unbeknownst to them, they have a DNA problem. They don’t find out until something goes wrong or someone gets ill. Perhaps not until they have children. This is the area I find has some merit.

If the scientific community are hell bent on tinkering with the DNA structure then why are they not trying to fix the DNA problems that crop up with increasing regularity these days? Strangely enough they seem to increase in number with the increase in the tampering of the natural foodstuffs and environment we are living in.

#InsidetheWarren

image from yourchildhealthy.blogspot.com – A baby with Cystic Fibrosis

Just imagine, instead of children growing up with the disadvantages of Downs Syndrome, ADD, ADHD, Spina Bifida, Cystic Fibrosis and so on, they can have their DNA corrected. The gene mutation removed and a good copy replaced. Healthy and happy children. The same things applies to adults since some of these mutations are not picked up until much later. What about a gene correction to ‘fix’ depression, migraines, obesity or the predisposition to suicide, assault, abuse or murder?

These are the kinds of Genetic Engineering I feel could be acceptable and of benefit to mankind as a whole, not just the financially blessed or unscrupulous racketeers. It may be idealistic but I feel it has merit. Its aim is to help and improve life for the good of all and not detract and injure life to the detriment of all.

#InsidetheWarren

image from juleecwk0409.wordpress.com Where did that bug come from?

The fourth burrow must be mentioned. That’s the burrow where no changes are made to anything. It’s the kind of thinking which saw us using harmful pesticides because we didn’t know they were harmful. It’s seeing that knowledge used by unscrupulous agencies to harm and destroy people. It’s knowing that those deep pockets and unscrupulous people are manufacturing diseases which are supposed to be a safeguard against the ‘bad guys’ doing anything. Yet we all know that these Genetically Engineered viruses and germs have found their way into the general populace at great cost. The cost is in lives, human, animal and plant life.

You see, in the end it isn’t just about Genetically Engineering food or people, not simply DNA, it’s about ensuring that “We the People” stop “The Powers That Be” from wreaking havoc on mankind. It’s about stopping those who would control mankind by subversive methods and allowing good management to be the order of the day.

To me, it’s about letting the farmers and primary producers produce good healthy food for us to nourish ourselves. It’s about the medical profession helping us to have a good quality of life not subjected to preventable disease and ailments.

#InsidetheWarren

image from rabbitbook.webs.com

Yes, the warren has a lot of burrows in it, but it can be a good place to live and not a diseased and unhealthy place. Rabbits used to be loved in most places. The diseases created to kill them have done more harm than good. Perhaps there is a moral to that story after all.

Just a thought or two.

Please Note: The use of rabbits and a rabbit warren as imagery in no way diminishes the problems rabbits have caused in Australia, nor do I condone their introduction or eradication procedures. SJ

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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#What's the Safety Word?

Image from footage.shutterstock.com –

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.”
John Joseph Powell, The Secret of Staying in Love

Everyone has heard about the ‘safety word’. The safety word is the serious-I-mean-it-now time-to-stop word. The word the ‘client’ arranges when he visits his S&M bondage person so he doesn’t accidentally get himself killed during the ‘play’.

What I wonder, is the safety word when you’ve had enough of the ‘merry go round’? I’m referring to that time when you feel you literally cannot face another minute of the hurt, the pain, the torment, the abuse, the depression, the………. (just fill in the blank).

It almost sounds like the beginning to a play or a movie script. The notes followed by the story board before shooting begins. Except it isn’t part of a fictitious film, instead it’s a serious and real part of life. Not the calculated gambles people want to take with their fetishes or fantasies. If something goes wrong there then you almost have to say – ‘they knew what they were getting themselves into.’ But what happens when life pushes you too far?

Talking to people is easy. For some reason I’ve been fortunate that people find it easy to talk to me. I’ve been told many things. I’ve been blessed by sharing the good news of a daughter’s engagement, a son’s engagement, marriages, the unhappier news of divorces, accidents, windfalls and tragedies. It may sound strange to include windfalls as part of the unhappier news, but for many people it hasn’t brought them the happiness they hoped for. Sometimes yes, but many times they have found themselves in a much worse place than they were before their good fortune.

Sometimes there simply are no words to express how you feel. Sometimes you need to rely on a hug or holding someone’s hand and send them strength because there is nothing you can say or do to change things. Having to tell someone their child, husband or wife is dead is one of those times. Words just aren’t made to let people understand you feel their pain.

I had many talks with ‘Sharon’, a lovely lady who was always putting herself down. She simply couldn’t believe she was good at anything she did or that she was wanted or needed by anyone. Despite having a good job she was convinced she was stupid, since her husband continually told her she was. Even though she had two children she couldn’t persuade herself that there was any purpose to her being there. She convinced herself that they would be better off if she was no longer around.

Sharon took a bottle of pills and curled up waiting for the end to steal quietly over her. Her husband came home early and she was rushed to hospital. Unfortunately she didn’t get the help she needed and her unhappiness and feelings of low self-worth grew. Her husband helped her with that part. When she finally left him he embarked on a calculated plan to undermine her self-confidence and she found herself spiraling further down that dark hole.

She moved and I lost track of the family for a while. In trying to out run the influence of her ex-husband she isolated herself from everyone who knew her. She avoided anyone he knew and anywhere he was likely to go. There was nowhere for her to turn to. Her children moved out, as they do when they finally grow their wings and she fell into a deep depression. Depressed or not she still managed to work.

I met her again a short time ago. She often spoke to me of her struggle with ‘The Black Dog’, but being alone it was too difficult for her. She began trying to out run her problems. She would drive day and night when she was not working until she finally fell into a stupor to get some rest. But you can’t roll those dice for long before the stakes get too high. It’s almost like putting your hand in a basket of snakes and expecting not to get bitten.

Sharon told me she didn’t want to leave her children without some kind of support. She didn’t want them to be dependent on their father to “look after them”. Years later he still influenced how she thought and she didn’t trust him to do the right thing by his children. So her game of Russian roulette on the roads didn’t seem to make much sense on one hand, but knowing how her ex-husband had eroded her self-worth, it did.

It felt as though she was holding on by some tenuous thread and at times I wasn’t sure she really heard me. She did see a doctor and get medication, but it was going to be a long haul back.

Sharon died in a pile up on the motorway. She was on her way home from her mother’s funeral. A drunk driver had lost control and ploughed into the oncoming traffic. Her car was hit head on.

What was Sharon’s safety word?  I can’t help but wonder if she had a safety word.  Who could she have called out to, so that she could stop the merry go round? If she had a safety word when should she have used it?

Tell me, do you have a safety word?

#What's the Safety Word

image from s279.photobucket.com

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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#Pushed to the Limit

image from ogdenutahcriminaldefense.com

“Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

There are times when, irrespective of how much you try to do otherwise, you fly off the handle. These episodes are usually preceded by periods of intense pressure, things not going according to plan or life generally not playing out the way you hoped. Colloquially they are called “knee jerk’ reactions. They are usually regretted almost immediately as soon as the blood cools down sufficiently for coherent thought to return.

If, like me, that cooling off can be fairly quick, most of the time, it leads to a great deal of soul searching and castigation for behaving in a manner which isn’t liked. However, many times the damage has already been done. Trying to set things right is quite often impossible.

All my life I’ve been told I should behave in certain ways. I was “better than my protagonist” and so held to a higher standard.  “I knew better than that” and so should have controlled that impulse to retaliate.  When you are placed on a pedestal and expected to live up to everyone’s perception of who you are, it can be extremely difficult to find the real you.  You may not even recognise the‘real you’.

#Pushed to the Limit

image from cstl.semo.edu

There have been times, over the years, when that pedestal has rocked alarmingly as I tried to keep my footing living up to so many other people’s ideas of who and what I was. Can you imagine how difficult it might be to understand what you want in life when you are so busy living up to someone else’s ideal? The saddest part of the situation is that it all begins with the best of intentions.

Hard as it may be to understand I was a very shy and quiet child. Head down and mouth closed so I drew as little attention to myself as possible. Yet all the time I was trying to live up to firstly my parent’s expectations of me and later my first husband, my work colleagues, my brothers, and then it seemed everyone else. Everyone had this idea of who I was and how I would respond in certain circumstances.  My first husband had a whole list of ways in which I was allowed to behave and respond that I hardly knew who I was. Sad, pathetic but true. The fact that I did respond as they expected, because it was expected, simply cemented these thoughts in their mind. Sadly, very few of these personas held more than a grain of the real me.

Not wanting to disappoint anyone it was easier to continue to play the roles I was ‘given’. It was safer in one particular area to follow the ‘rules’ than to face the consequences. At the same time I was able to hold down responsible positions, firstly as a police officer, later as a bank official and mother, school chairpersons and so on. I wasn’t actually hidden away where it may have been easier.

Realisation, when it seeped in was the beginning of the real humiliation. Knowing I had been this milksop of a person when I could think, had opinions and could do so many things was quite devastating. The fact that my husband was a police officer meant that I had nowhere to go and no-one to go to. Who would believe me over a serving police officer? It simply didn’t happen, not when the domination is psychological and emotional.

It is still hard for me to write these words, to accept them as reality and realise what I allowed myself to become – a doormat. I was a slave programmed to perform to command. I can never look at a woman in a domestic violence situation and condemn her, man, woman or child in that situation because it can be started so insidiously that it is too late by the time you realise. I was a slave to my ex-husband’s drive to achieve financial stability. The fact that he failed to support his children after I left, usurped part of my settlement and told the children it was theirs, all added to the ongoing manipulation. He is still doing this to my children, though they are grown and through them he is doing it to me because he knows they are the only way he can reach me.

#Pushed to the Limit

image from paulissakippisms.com –

Why have I told you all this. Because if it happened to me it can happen to anyone and if someone reads this and recognises where they are in this cycle and can get out, it is worth my embarrassment. If it helps someone reach out, to me or to someone else it is worth the embarrassment. I am tired of allowing him this hold over me. I am taking my life back, all of it and I refuse to allow him the space in my mind, in my life ever again.

This is real. It can happen to anyone, at any time. Please, if you recognise someone who is drowning under this type of treatment, offer a helping hand. Tell someone in authority and help them before it’s too late.  Life is a precious gift and shouldn’t be destroyed by insecure bullies.

#Pushed to the Limit

I am a woman, flesh and bone, heart and soul.

“Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.”
Shannon L. Alder
Everyone has the right to respect, like breathing, take it away and the soul dies. – Susan Jamieson

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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