Apr 192020
 

I have been a stay at home mom who is also on disability for anxiety, depression and PTSD for years. When social isolating began I truly was shocked by how many people seemed to not know how to be content with themselves, their thoughts, their homes. It made me sad that people are being paid to work from home and are in panic mode unsure how to manage their home, children and work.

My mother says this is like things were when I was a baby 35 years ago. Most moms didn’t work, and socializing was largely done by phone. While this sudden force to change is dramatic and even traumatic, it goes to our roots, if not our own than our grandparents or great grandparents. I find myself thinking outside of our typical box full of conveniences more often now and ask what would Grandma have done? This brings peace to me and reminds me that serving my home, my children, and myself is what I should be doing. In these moments of slowed down chaos, we have an opportunity to bond, with ourselves.


Many people live in areas like myself, where the weather isn’t great for getting outside yet. Or, worse, they live in a large metropolitan area that wants everyone to stay inside, or perhaps they chose a small highrise when looking for a place to call home and don’t even have an outdoor space or balcony. These people likely feel confined, trapped or even imprisoned during this uncertain time in our world.

We must, however, look at the bright side. 35 years ago there were a dozen channels on tv if you were lucky to even get cable. There were no internet or streaming services to give us shows to watch, news to watch and read, movies at the click of a button, or freshly released music to fill our spaces. While the world being at a standstill right now causes worry about bills piling up and a mountain of debt we didn’t expect, remember, you are not alone, we are in this together, not just as a community, but as a world.

Now is the time to start to draw or paint again. Read books and use that Kindle Unlimited membership to the max. It is time to write and reflect. We can practice recipes we haven’t had time to try while living the rat race. We can enjoy our pets, tidy and purge our homes of the things that just take up visual whitespace and distract us.

We finally have time to sit, meditate and access our souls. Maybe this means picking up your Bible and truly studying the Word, or maybe it means picking up a pen and placing your joys and worries on paper, out of your head in a tangible place. Maybe, it means playing video or board games with your family or catching up on shows you have missed over the seasons that you used to get excited for.

Use the technology we are blessed to have that wasn’t in existence even 20 years ago. Hit the video call button on your phone or laptop and have a family dinner each Sunday, the way we did when we were young. Perhaps you would like to pray with your family who is also in isolation each morning, or evening before bed. There are apps for Netflix Parties that allow anyone with the link (and Netflix) to join in and simultaneously watch the same show or movie together with a chatbox on the side.

We are blessed to have these technologies at our fingertips the way our mothers and grandmothers did not. Please, don’t forget that self-care can be a glass of wine and a book, or a hot bath with some Epsom salts. When is the last time you took a bubble bath or used all of the hot water in a mid-day shower?

Set a tone that helps you feel encouraged to clean, declutter, tidy up and get your work done if you are lucky enough to work from home right now, and then, set the tone for time with yourself. Candles or essential oils, a favourite show or picking up a paintbrush or pencil and being creative. Even if you want to live in your pyjamas all day (I do!) be sure to change from your day loungewear into your evening loungewear and encourage your mind to remember a routine that gives you time for being productive and a time for relaxation.

It is far too easy to allow the unknowns to take over our minds right now. Setting out to-do lists and around the house schedules is a great way to help keep our minds, bodies and souls occupied. I see many people forgetting what day of the week it is. Pencilling in our chores, our own needs and things we have done or are enjoying helps to block out each day and set goals for the next.

Whether you live in a studio apartment or a sprawling estate there are likely things you have to do or would like to do better. Give your space love and thank it for keeping you and your loved ones safe during this time. Remember, if you run out of ideas, you can always search for things to do online and get those creative juices flowing once again.

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Okay

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Feb 112020
 

I open my eyes and feel you’re warmly wrapped around me
I don’t see you though. I look and you’re not there.
I wait
For an alert
Or a ding
That makes my heart speed up and I fear bad news because for so many months those morning messages were filled with the unknown, absolute dread.
And yet,
I crave you like an infant demands the breast.
I need to be cradled in your strong arms, hear your heartbeat and feel that you’re alive.
Because
You are alive. You fought, you fight.
Every day you’ve been in a battle to keep your body and soul together
And mine has fought to be next to you.
Holding you the way a mother should hold her son, only more.
Kissing your tears away as my fingers tease through your hair.
My mouth finds it’s way to yours
You kiss me back.
Your fingers intertwined into my long hair
The others trailing their way down my body like electricity.
I gasp as your thumb presses on my special spots.
Our lips unlock and I look at your soul and it exhales the power of life into me.
You are CPR for my soul.
My body twitches at the thought of you.
My belly dances for hours after you’ve touched me.
The space between my legs was made for you
As though the pieces together are completing a puzzle that was started a lifetime ago.
I know you worry.
I worry too.
When something completes you in such a profound way it’s our instinct to guard it, fiercely.
You
Fear leaving me.
You won’t be gone forever.
Our souls will still have each other
That is a connection that transcends time and space.
You
Fear me getting hurt.
Not by you
But, by my own self-destructive thoughts being manifest.
I will do my best to contain them.
It is hard.
Not because of you.
But
Because my past was hell.
It’s like a knife trying to cut into me and rip my soul out, at this time of year anyway.
You apply pressure to the wounds when you hold me
Keeping me from completely falling apart.
I will slide into your bed and wonder if you feel me.
Hope
That your arm wraps around me
Your hand finding it’s way to my belly
Kisses on the back of my neck and shoulders as I drift safely to sleep.
And
When tomorrow comes
The next day too
The connection will not be severed because our combined soul does not make two.

Oct 152019
 

Three more lines garnish this heavy cloak, the nudity exposing the real me and how badly I have broken. I am numb. I have to be. If I wasn’t, the quadrillion pieces of my heart would be slicing through me like razor wire gutting me from the inside out.

My eyes can’t focus. My brain can’t either. I hate myself. Hate myself for so many things, namely, allowing myself to dream, to imagine a life, to be naive enough to believe in another person when it went against my instinct to hide and pull away. I hurt because I allowed myself to go to the one place I swore I never would. 

I deserved the pain. The punishment. I let myself believe I didn’t. I failed myself. I failed everyone. And, now what do I do? Where do I go from here? There is no up. The compass points North, South, East, and West and no matter where I stand I seem to be in the middle, the needle doesn’t teach me how to climb out of this pit, it tells me to stay parallel. To traverse the world down on my knees is no different than up in the sky. The views both inherently evil and beautiful all in one. 

I am the brokenhearted, the evil, the beautiful. I am my own worse nightmare, my biggest fear. There is no amazing grace for me because I am perpetually lost, never to be found. Maybe if one looks really low they would see fragments of my battered soul at their feet. Or, perhaps they wouldn’t see me through all the soul-holes and would continue on their way. 

I am the hate, disdain, the pain behind every smile. The brokenhearted that’s been discarded. I am the nothing that fills space and causes hurt. Why did I crawl from the depths of hell just to fall right back in? I am sin. 

Jul 112019
 

Sitting on the outside while feeling like I am on the inside of all the secrets the world has to offer. I stumble. I fall. I second guess myself. I look around and have absolutely no clue if my life is real or a story of fiction, words on the pages of some book that is being written as I stumble to understand this nexus.

How does one know when the world is using them? When all of the hurt that they feel doesn’t need to be felt at all? And, how does one swallow down that hurt and see the bright side, looking for the silver lining in every situation when the situation remains stagnant and oh so incredibly different every single day? Will I know when it is real or when I should walk away?

You see, once you’ve been gutted, cut from sternum to spleen and had everything torn from you, figuratively, it is hard to ever trust a touch, a feeling, an emotion for what it is. This voice in the back of your mind always sits in anxious-wonder waiting for the ball to drop, the lies to be exposed. How many people can be in on one lie? How many people can hold onto a dozen or more lies? How many records can be hidden in a world where we have freedom of information? Am I looking too deep to find answers when I have what should be the truth sprawled out in front of me?

It is almost as though I am performing an autopsy on life itself rather than the dead. Making my Y incision and peeling back the layers, looking for blemishes, flaws, things that I was told weren’t there. Seeking answers to questions that no one ever asked. Presuming the innocent are guilty before I begin my investigation in the first place. Allowing myself to be pulled down and tortured by the hurt that I unveil, hurt that wouldn’t have existed at all had I left the flesh alone and not sought problems that didn’t exist outside of my mind.

The mind is a powerful thing. Probably the most powerful thing. We can make nearly anything manifest if we will it to, subconsciously or with intent. Some are great at using this gift to live a life of intent, to create and not harm. Others, like myself, are great at feeling the pain of the world and allowing it to pull down, hard until I am the bloody mess.

Do I want to be a mess or the one that speaks the wise words and influences others to be wise with their time, to live an intentional life? I personally don’t feel any amount of infinite wisdom can be worth the air used to speak if we haven’t walked through our own broken dreams, felt our own brokenness, held our insides in our hands and begged to be saved and to die, all at the same time.

Inner conflict may be the only thing that keeps us looking forward, seeking answers, questioning the unquestionable and living a life that seeks knowledge and power rather than pretending we have it all figured out.

I promise I have nothing figured out. Not a single thing. But I live in love, I hurt in love. I am the most authentic version of myself that I could possibly be. I bare my scars to the world and I do not fear the world’s judgment as each and every scar is a reflection of the shattered mirror that shows my life. The broken raw version of me, not the airbrushed version I wish the world could or would see.

Who am I? That’s a question I have been seeking an answer to for nearly 20 years and if anything, I am further now from knowing than I ever had been in the past. For the first time though, that feels strangely “okay”. I am far from content and yet I am good exactly where I am – performing autopsy’s on my own life searching for the answers to… I don’t know.

Fueled Flame

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Jan 312019
 

The Realm of the Dead

I beg the world to just let me be numb, to make the pain from yesterday and tomorrow roll off of me. Like a tsunami that pulls the water away the pain always rolls back in, deeper and harder than it had ever been before.

I try and see the good in life. Maybe I’ve gone blind.

What is the point in all of this hurt? What kind of god or deity says that this is okay. That free will is acceptable when it comes to damaging others. The scars in my brain are lesions that can’t be fixed. Not in this world. Probably not in the next.

I am angry. Angry at God, angry at myself for having faith in the greater good when the reality is that there is no good. It is a falsity, a bald-faced lie that we all look to as some sort of guide to having the best life, when none of us really do.

I hate.

I hate the happy people. The rich people. The people who got to die when I can’t. The people who laid there looking like they were sleeping peacefully ready for their grave with their mouths stitched shut to avoid the look of a screaming slack jaw staring up at the mourners. I envy that person. The person in the pine box, preparing for the flame.

All of this life, all of this hurt, this broken-ugly is hell. The good die young because they are too good for this inferno.

And today, like in years before, I watched the sunrise as if it were my first, and then I said goodbye to the light, knowing it was my last.

I cut myself just to feel the pain.

I bleed just to know I am alive.

I am sorry, every single day.

If God was my tourniquet, what will save my soul now that he has abandoned me?

“No” comes from my mouth so loudly in the darkness of the winters night that I wonder how it’s not heard around the world, I wake myself. The rapist’s in my head alive and well. I am the zombie that can’t get them to go away.

Crazy… I was crazy once…

Then, the brutal hit of life stole the wind from my lungs and snuffed out the flame that I had glowing inside.

Perhaps, I am numb, the pain is so bad I can barely recognize it. Is this a part of the show? This evil game where I am the mouse and I can’t tell who the cat is, so I have to trust no one? Don’t inhale the toxic fumes called air, Marisa. Hold your breath until the darkness creeps in and you close your eyes.

And if you don’t love me now…

Well, you probably never did.

Jan 022019
 

Baby Sterling, born May 1st, 2017, was an incredibly sad and tragic case of abuse resulting in his death, around August 30th, 2017 in Alta Vista, Iowa. At autopsy, he only weighed approximately 7lbs, barely above his birth weight, despite being 4 months old.

He had been left in his baby swing, alone in a room, unchanged and unfed by his “parents” Cheyanne Harris and Zachary Paul Koehn. Z Koehn called 911 stating that Sterling had been unresponsive but when first responders arrived they found what can only be described as a gut-wrenching, stomach-turning scene.

Sterling was covered in maggots as he laid in his baby swing, in a diaper that hadn’t been changed in approximately a week. He had maggots burrowing into his skin and in various states of life. The autopsy said he hadn’t been moved in some time. Meanwhile, these “parents” were lovingly doting on their older child in the next room over.

Cheyanne Harris and Zachary Koehn arrest

Oddly, Harris and Koehn were not arrested until October 25th, 2017, after a seemingly lengthy investigation into little Sterling’s death. They were both arrested for first-degree murder and child endangerment. The medical examiner ruled the case “failure to provide critical care”.

Initially, both Harris and Koehn had asked for expedited trials. Both trials were initially set for early 2018, though being tried separately. Soon enough, and as anticipated by most people following the case, the defence began to ask for more time to prepare and finally even changes in venue, in hopes of a fair trial.

Zachary Paul Koehn went to trial in November 2018 and in less than an hour of jury deliberations was found guilty of first-degree murder and child neglect resulting in death. Iowa does not have the death penalty but the charge of first-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole, which was officially handed down to him On December 4th, 2018.

Cheyanne Harris’ trial is set to begin January 29th, 2019, also in a different venue. Harris’ attorneys have filed notice that they may be using a diminished capacity or intoxication defence as Harris was alleged to be using methamphetamines, with Sterling Koehn testing positive at birth, arguing that she wasn’t in a position to care for her newborn son. An expert already testified in Koehn’s trial that Harris may have been suffering from post-partum depression.

Early Warning Signs NOT Reported

Jan 022019
 

My thoughts, my faith, my inspiration, they all change from day to day, moment by moment and I no longer have a specific focus.

Somewhere along the way, I lost my spark. I lost my way. I miss expanding my mind and my content into the corners of the literary world like I once did.

You see, when you’ve been through so much hurt it has this way of boiling up and over into ways that aren’t healthy and this life that had glimmers of hope and joy and direction seem to just go on the backburner. In a struggle between good and evil. I would love to say good always wins, yet in my life, it seems that the enemy wins a lot more often than not.

The scars that are hidden under new ones, and the new ones bandaged away to heal the best they can. The wear on my body hurts more in my heart. Somedays, my eyes don’t seem to dry at all, other days I need to bleed just to know I am alive.

This may have been the hardest 4th quarter of the year, or maybe even the hardest challenges of my life. I don’t know yet if I have won the war because the battle that lives in my head, heart and is entwined in my soul never seems to stop. I can’t tell if it’s a replay or real-time.

“I just prayed to a God that I don’t believe in” (Bon Jovi), seems to be a quote that my mind is tangled around a ton lately. I believe in the Word of God, yet I don’t feel the Holy Spirit in my life any longer. I want to cultivate that relationship and yet I feel silly because I am at this impasse where I don’t even know that my faith is in something that is real. I am like a child that is beginning to doubt whether or not Santa is real. I hate this about myself.

So, how do I begin to reclaim my life? My faith? My joy?

Where do I even look when the sadness and melancholy have been the only friends that never leave? Is it really bad to be comfortably numb? Who said going through the motions of life isn’t actually living?

I crave more. I need more. More of what? I guess we will see!

My word this year is JOURNEY.
I am on a journey of self-reflection, looking forward and seeking me!

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