Christmas “Present”


IMG_0963

Hello Luvs,
It’s been a rough few months but now it’s time to get to the “present” and think about the holidays. Even though Christmas day is done it’s still a great time to think about the “true” meaning of the holidays.
We had a wonderful “pre-Christmas” family get-together this year.  It was at our house last weekend before Christmas! It was a wonderful and awesome family time together. I got to have both of my daughters, their husbands and our 3 granddaughters all together under one roof! It was awesome! I got to sit out in my rocking chair, in the living room; while rocking our youngest granddaughter to sleep. She was so quiet, serene and held onto my finger. While rocking her to sleep, it was wonderful listening to the chatter throughout the house. Everyone was happy, talking and laughing.  It’s times like these and occasions like this that are the foundation for building the memories we wish for ourselves and our families.
Now…I know the word “family” can hit a nerve with some people, especially during the Holiday season. But you know that you don’t have to force yourself to sit in a room filled with people who: put you down, denigrate you, degrade you, call you names, hurt you and don’t love you the way they should. YOU are worth more than this! Why people do this and complain about it, I will never understand?  A “family” doesn’t have to be biological. Your family might be a group of your chosen friends.
I’ve come to the conclusion that we put too many expectations on the Christmas season. This is why so many people get more depressed, stressed and the suicide rate is even higher at this time of year.
If you have read any of this blog from the beginning, then you KNOW that I have some reasons to NOT like Christmas time and/or the holiday season. My mother died on December 22, 2002~and my grandmother died on December 30, 1986! I’ve got health issues and most of all chronic intractable pain! I have a progressive, most painful Neurological and autoimmune disease called “RSD/CRPS”. It is also known as “Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome”. Mine is systemic/full body, disseminated and severe. I have Dysautonomia/POTS/NCS and you can just *Google any of those if you wish.(If you have any questions, please message me because I can send you in the right direction if you are suffering from any of these illnesses and I may be able to help with some others too!)
My message to you this holiday season, is to try and NOT go if you don’t HAVE TO GO!~ Don’t spend time with people who don’t deserve you. Concentrate on those that are there for you all of the times, good and bad. If you must be alone, you can turn on music that is calming. You can watch Holiday movies or even drama, adventure films or comedies. If you feel like you want to get out of the house, it is OK to go to the movies by yourself. They are open on Christmas and New Years day.
Spoil yourself and sit with a comfy blanket, read a good book or play with your IPAD, laptop or your smart phone. You may choose to color with markers, crayons or chunky crayons (if your hands hurt badly) in those great new adult type of coloring books.  You may choose to bake,  do crafts or make a scrapbook.
The other thing is this….if you really have someone that you love and you want to be with them but you can’t possibly be there. That’s what SKYPE and /or FACETIME are for! We have friends in Scotland, Australia and Singapore and on Christmas sometimes we turn on the Face time or Skype and we open our pressies from each other IN FRONT OF EACH OTHER! Isn’t that way cool? Technology has become a life saver for many people.
If you are full of bad memories and they are clogging up your mind. Try to think of at least one or two good memories that you have?? I remember our church program one year when they had videotaped children seeing their Military parents come home for Christmas! These kids were in awe with their mouths as open as I’ve never seen before. They were genuinely excited and totally surprised to see their father or mother. They hadn’t thought they’d be seeing them and suddenly that parent walked into their classroom or someplace where they could surprise them well! The looks on their faces were precious and priceless!
I have a GOOD memory,that I want to share with you today. Much of my blog is about some of the bad things that have happened and seems to continue to happen to me throughout my life. But today, I want to share a happy memory and I hope it will help you through your holidays that sometimes can feel “empty” and /or “hopeless” when you are not celebrating as the rest of the population “appears” to be celebrating. Just remember, you have to make your own atmosphere and do what you can to stay “afloat” and not get too sad. There are some suggestions above, that I’ve given you. There are others in books and blogs and websites, you just have to go and look for the help you need.
Here is my happy memory:  When I was about 12 years old, I had made friends with a “grandma” type lady down the street from us. Her name was “Mrs. Usitis” and she invited me to tag along with her to Pennsylvania from Michigan where we lived. My parents allowed me to go because I was going with her and she was taking me to visit with her grand niece who was just one year older than me.
We arrived and I stayed with the young niece and her parents and Mrs. U. stayed with her sister and brother in law. I had a wonderful time and they treated me very well. But I just didn’t know them well, yet..at the time. I had never been away from home or even really never spent the night anywhere before that. I was homesick. I missed my bed and my mom and dad.*( I don’t have a ton of bad memories as a very very young child. I have some and some that I thought were “normal” and I’ve since found out that they are not “normal” and they were downright abusive even then, when I thought my family was “normal” and that I was the “bad one”.)
My mom got my phone calls and I couldn’t sleep or eat and I felt really far away from anything I knew.  She spoke to a cousin of hers in Pennsylvania and they said that the friends who I was staying with could bring me to their home. They thought if I was with “COUSINS”(even though I’d never even met them), that it might help me feel more comfortable. I still felt homesick and was crying and wanted to go home, because I didn’t know them either. They were as nice as they could be to me!
As I was walking around their house one day, eating a Popsicle, I heard the doorbell ring. She opened the door and there standing in the doorway, I saw my “DADDY”!!!(My brothers came too, but I didn’t care so much about them being there, as they drove with dad to keep him company…ha ha…). Back in those days, I felt that my dad and my oldest brother were my “protectors”. At the age of 12, in my head, I thought that I was “bad” and that everything that happened at our house was my fault. At that time, I felt that my mom was the more abusive person in the household. As you grow older and get the “help” or much needed therapy; you find that reality is not what you once thought.
I saw the door open and my dad was standing on the front porch. At the same time, I threw my Popsicle out into the abyss of “wherever?” and I ran as fast as possible and jumped up into my dads arms! OH….oh how I love that memory!  He came to rescue me from nothing whatsoever that was “bad”, but just my being homesick for familiar surroundings. I had led and have really led a very sheltered life especially back then. We didn’t go on vacations, I didn’t go out to dinner with my parents or family; rarely even on special occasions. We pretty much went to school and stayed home. So you can imagine what a “culture shock” it would have been for me at that age and after never being out of my state OF Michigan. I mean…I went on my first airplane ride, with a neighbor lady, not someone I knew REALLY well.(But they were the nicest people…they even fed me when they knew I was hungry because I wasn’t allowed to eat much at home, at all.), and was going to stay maybe 10 days to 2 weeks? I cannot remember all of those details, but the best part of that story was when I threw my Popsicle wherever it went, we’ll never know!! LOL ….I ran and jumped up into my “daddy’s arms”.
Now THAT’s a good memory, huh?
I just wanted to reiterate that you don’t have to “choose” to be down, lonely ,sad etc during the holidays. I try to remember that life goes both ways.  There are people who have it much better than me, and there are also those who have a much more difficult existence than I do.  Sometimes it doesn’t feel like a choice because we can get into a “rut”. When pain is all you know and you feel it day in and day out.  When you hurt no matter if you’re lying down, sitting in a chair or trying to walk a bit. It’s hard to not concentrate on the bad stuff. It’s sometimes difficult to see others who are not in pain doing the things that we want to do. But Life is only 10% what happens to you and 90% is the way you look at it, or your own attitude! Try to relax, breathe and enjoy whatever moments that you can and don’t expect anything and you won’t be let down!
Happy Holiday season to everyone. Please pray for our Soldiers who will not be able to be anywhere near home for the Holidays, with their own families. They are out fighting for our country and our lives, our children and grandchildren’s future and lives too!  Pray for them, for the young men and women who are fighting as I write this blog. My friend, “R”, has a son who is in Afghanistan right now. He left just a month ago or so? He is one that cannot make it home for Christmas. So let’s pray for “R” and her son, “S” and anyone else that you’d like to say a prayer for at this time and during this season of Jesus’ birth.

IMG_2081

Hope, Faith & A Change Of Pace


Hello Luvs,

Today I’m taking a turn…sort of another view because I do tend to speak of everything that has happened and how much is going on and what’s bothering me. It’s only because so much has happened in my life. Even the SSDI people and my own Psychologist says that I’m the “worst childhood trauma/abuse case that they’ve seen in the past 35 years”. My Psychologist says he’s surprised that I’m not “dead or crazy”and believe me…I’m not either of those things! LOL…I’m moving on with my life. I do still speak of things that hurt or bother me, but I don’t live my daily life dwelling about it all.
I will now tell you of the good things, the positive things that I’m doing in my life. I just want to share so everyone knows and I also see, because it’s in writing; that I’m trying hard to be happy and do good in this sometimes really crazy, hard world.
I’m a “mentor” for newly diagnosed RSD/CRPS patients! I love doing this because I still have my own Mentor too! It helps alot when you are told that you have this Painful, neurological, progressive, burning, hurting disease and you know nothing about it. It can be very scary and you need someone to talk to. Someone who’s available to talk to or ask questions. I have a support group for any kind of chronic pain patient. It is on Facebook pages and it’s called “Invisible Diseases, Especially Chronic Pain & RSD/CRPS”. I have 1,450 or so people in the “Cause” phase of this group. This means the phase for Research,Awareness,Support and Education regarding Chronic Pain Illnesses. That part is on CAUSES on Facebook and it’s titled “R.A.S.E. for Chronic Pain & RSD/CRPS”…I named it “RASE” and I thought that was pretty “catchy”…LOL..
The PAGE part of the support group as titled above is full of about 800 people from all over the globe, who are in pain and are suffering from one chronic pain illness or many! We all support and help each other. Sometimes now I can even “bow out” for awhile because I just cannot do it all with my own pain issues etc. They take care of me and each other now. I don’t have to take care of everyone because we all take care of each other. I do try to look each week and answer any questions and give support and any answers that I can, to new people or long time groupies! If you or someone you know has a chronic pain illness or RSD/CRPS, please contact me and I’ll point you in the right directions.
Now, I want to write about inspiration and Christianity and God. If you want to stop reading, now is your chance to go and come back next time, for another subject. If you have different beliefs and faith’s, I don’t judge you. This is what I believe, so please don’t judge me. I’m here for you whatever your beliefs.
My youngest daughter, Amy and I went to a “Beth Moore” Simulcast seminar recently (*September 15,2012). It was about how “God has not called us to “FINE” but he’s called us to “FAITH”. I didn’t get to stay for all of the 7 points she was going to make. I had surgery just the previous Monday and was in alot of pain. I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to spend time with my lovely daughter, who has recently moved out of the house and made me a full fledged “empty nester”..LOL. I had to try and go and I wanted to spend this quality time with her. We went to lunch and then went back until about 2:30 and it was finished around 4pm.
I just want to share some of the insights that I learned because this is a great forum to share and do some good.
I’m just speaking for women but it can be related by men also. This was just a “women’s conference” so I’m just going to be relating to that part today.
There are two spectrums that we can be on or someplace in the middle. There’s people that have nothing and some who seem to have everything. In other words one person might say “I’m fine” and the next might say “it’s all bad”. Usually it’s something or someplace in the middle. God doesn’t call us to “fine”…he calls us to “faith”.
When we are “needy” it makes us “weak”. If you think that you have everything you need….then you NEED to get a bigger, better life! In Phillipians God speaks of “contentment”. If you don’t ask then you don’t risk anything. We need to live a big life for Jesus, for ourselves too. I’m still trying, failing, getting back up and trying again. If you are at the full end of the spectrum, as in the person who “has everything” then you risk little. We have to risk drama or else we will “snore” away our spiritual life, our life in general.
Do you know or even realize how much “FEAR” is a crippler of life and of faith. It is never being able to realize or have a ‘miracle’ in our lives. In 2nd John:9 it says that “Fear lets the enemy take from me”. Sometimes we are afraid because of the life we’ve endured. I am one of those anxious and fearful persons. I used to be much worse than I am now; because now I have much more faith and love in my life.
I have many enemies, people who are cruel to me in my life. I’ve had one abuser after another in my life. Even today these abusers get pleasure from my pain. It stopped with my husband of 16 yrs, Craig. He’s my soul-mate and the love of my life. He and I speak passionately about things. I like that and it’s not abusive or mean or anything bad. I finally have someone who loves me for who I am and accepts me and who treats me with love and affection. In Psalm 44:5, the Bible states “through you we push back our enemies”…”through your name we trample our foes”. In Acts 18:9 it states “deal with fear today! Push back our enemy!” Beth Moore talked to us and she says as one of the points of our seminar; “Faith trusts that every call to forsake is a call to also take”. We need to forsake our fear and take our courage! When we don’t forsake our fear, we “take abundance of life”, she told us. We must want to decide today to forsake our fear and take courage instead!
Don’t accept bondage, fear, addiction, anxiety and all of those “bad” things that make us feel fearful and “bad”. NOW is the time for getting our faith back! Faith has no formula. There’s no way to “get” faith, you have to find it and have it. I’m still learning how to be faithful. It’s hard to push back the enemies, to have people in your life who want to “hurt” you and be “mean” to you, to put it simply. I’ve had honestly, more than my fair share, if you’ve read any of this blog from the beginning! I also have a private blog and if you want to read that, you need to contact me directly and I can add your name to the “allowed” list. It’s very private and deep and only about 10 people are allowed to read it right now, so far.
It takes so much faith to relieve yourself of “bitterness”. I need to forsake my bitterness in order to be faithful. It’s easy to hold onto bitterness when you’ve been abused and even when you’re still being abused when you’ve taken yourself out of the “situation”. Sometimes no matter what you do or where you go, you cannot run or hide from people who want to hurt you, especially when they are your own ‘blood’, your own biological family. Can you even imagine your own father and/or brothers turning your own daughter against you? Can you even imagine that this daughter has forsaken you? YOU..the one who was the ONLY person there for her, a contstant in her life always. Until she turned 18 and then took herself away and turns against you and spreads horrible lies and rumors. That is what has happened to me but I love her. I forgive her and I forgive them, though I cannot forget. I have to forgive in order to move on and in Psalm 119:39 it says “be kind to someone who mocks you”.
Lastly, I want to tell you something else that I got from the Beth Moore simulcast. If what we ask for doesn’t happen, it comes down to that “somethings up”. You might not understand it right now. I might not like it or understand it but God has his own reasons for NOT giving you exactly what you want sometimes. HE knows what’s best for us. If you talk to him and if you really “listen” with all of your heart and soul, you will learn to understand more fully what is his plan for your life.
I’ve been trying so hard not to be depressed, cry and have a horrible life because I miss my oldest daughter so very much. I think of her every day and I love her with all of my heart. I don’t understand why things happened or what exactly happened to make her turn against me after feeling so close to her all of the growing up years. I was a constant in her life. I was always there to support her and stick up for her and love her.
I don’t know why I got an abusive biological family who wants to continue to “hurt” me. I don’t really know anyone else who’s got so many health issues, so much physical pain and emotional pain; who’s “family” absolutely despises them/her and continues to push hurt and pain upon her/them. I just know that if God hasn’t answered my requests, then he has his own plan for my life. He knows and only he knows “why” I cannot have her in my life right now. I can only hope and pray that my trust in him continues to grow and I learn to accept what “IS”.
Faith rests its case on the resurrection of God. He rose from the dead and he died for me, for all of us. We can get rid of a “bad life” for a good life with God..or what Beth Moore called a “God life”! In Ephesians1 18-20 it speaks more about this. I will end here and leave you to your thoughts. I hope I have provoked some good thoughts in your hearts today.
Forever yours, Suzanne

20130923-153905.jpg<br /

20130923-162237.jpg