Panic in Unexpected Places

The delightful thing about PTSD, panic attacks, anxiety disorders, and the like, is how they can sneak up on you out of the blue and without warning.  It’s very unsporting of them.  One should be given a fair shake when trying to deal with one’s demons, I believe. Today was one of those days.  We awoke to a lovely blanket of snow.  It was light and fluffy, very pretty, and deceptively slippery.  Mr. OneWoman and I sighed and said, “Ugh, not more snow!”  But we brushed off the car and headed off to church like the troopers we are.  We’re used to this winter nonsense, even though this year has been particularly wintry. More

Broken Girl

© 2010 Matthew West, Sparrow Records

This song was shared with me by a fellow rape survivor.  Matthew West, another amazing Contemporary Christian artist, asked his fans to tell him their stories.  And boy did they.  Matthew was spending 2 months in a cabin in Tennessee writing songs for his new album and read thousands of letters of pain, redemption, strength, fear, faith and hope.  His album and book, “The Story of Your Life” came from that time he spent in the cabin, based on the real-life inspirational stories of his fans.

“Broken Girl” was born of the many, many stories he read of sexual abuse.  This song is very powerful for me.  There is a definite part of me that is still that broken 14 year old girl.  It’s getting smaller, but it’s still there.  While the song has much the same theme as MercyMe’s “You’re Beautiful” that I posted about earlier, I really like the tone of this one.  The driving drumbeat has almost a righteous anger to it.  Anger and power mixed in with God’s unconditional love.  He shares our anger.  There’s a definite strength to it which I find reassuring.  We’re fighters, survivors.  We have a right to be angry.  We have a right to be loved.

You’re Beautiful

Yesterday was a particularly rough day.

I’ve been very misty-eyed this whole week dreading the upcoming Father’s Day…my first without a father.  It seems everywhere I look there are ads for “great gifts to get Dad”, which bring me to tears every time.  Then I got some very disappointing news at work and the whole building was in a foul temper.  There were tears in every corner of the school.   (Teacher tears, not students).  The day went from bad to worse.  For whatever reason, my students’ behaviors were exploding all around me (I teach low-income students with behavior disorders, not an easy task on the best of days.  This was not the best of days).  I ended the day with an altercation with an angry parent. More

One Lovely Blog Award

My blog is very new and I’m still amazed that anyone actually has read it.  I have a mere 25 followers, and about 450 views the last time I checked.  I get VERY excited when someone comments.  So imagine my surprise when Unladylike Musings nominated me for the One Lovely Blog award!  Musings is really not unladylike at all.  She has a wonderful blog about gender and social issues and it is a favorite of mine.  Stop on over and see what she’s musing about.  It never fails to get one thinking.

One Lovely Blog

The rules of the One Lovely Blog Award are that you:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.  Thanks again Unladylike Musings!!
  2. Add the One Lovely Blog Award to your post.  I have done so 🙂
  3. Share 7 things about yourself.  That’s coming.  Read on.
  4. Pass the award on to 15 nominees.  Well, I don’t have 15 as of yet, but I will pass it on to several of my favorites.  I’ll add to the list as I read more and more blogs.
  5. Include this set of rules.
  6. Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs.

So, you’ve read on.  Now for the 7 things about myself.  You’ve already read the deepest darkest secrets of my soul, so I will try to keep this list less stressful for you.

  1. I am a classical pianist.  I started playing the piano when I was 5 (well, as soon as I could sit at the keyboard, but the lessons started at 5).  I took 12 years of lessons, stopped for a couple of decades, and then went back as an adult for 3 more years of lessons from a flighty, amazing jazz pianist who taught me things about piano and creativity in general.  I’m actually pretty good, but I suffer from very bad stage fright so few have actually heard me play.  This summer I put my heart into practicing and finally (FINALLY!) mastered one of my favorite pieces–Chopin’s Nocturne No. 19 in E minor, Op. 72 no. 1.  I have no idea how to get a good video of myself playing it…you’ll have to trust me on this one.  But here’s an amazing young man playing it beautifully.  Chopin…the haunting beauty, I just can’t express how it moves me.
  2. On the other hand, while I do enjoy a good symphony and am amazed at anyone who can pull off Rachmaninoff, at heart I’m a bluesy girl and could listen to Stevie Ray Vaughan play guitar all night!  I’ve got a CD with Stevie playing with BB King.  Unbelievable!  Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, give me 12 bars and I’m a happy camper.
  3. I absolutely cannot live without a cat in my home.  I’ve had several over the years.  When one passes away, I always swear I will never get another so that I do not have to go through the sorrow of putting them down, watching them be sick, etc.  It never takes more than a month or two before the next little kitty shows up.  Here’s my current old man kitty.  He’s getting a little cranky, but we love him:

    He looks like he’s making an obscene paw gesture here. “Get away from me, silly human, I’ve got napping to do!!”

  4. I try very hard to be a vegetarian (No, I’m not perfect just yet).  Mainly for my health…I’ve got some type of autoimmune disorder and a vegetarian diet is supposed to cause less inflammation.  It’s helped and I don’t miss meat at all.  Can’t give up cheese though!
  5.  I would LOVE to be a writer.  It’s kind of my dream job.  I envision myself holing up in the woods in a cabin somewhere with an old typewriter, cranking out Pulitzer winning novels, of course.
  6. I am the absolute worst housekeeper ever.  I throw socks on the floor, rarely pull my weeds, and only mop for company.  It’s terrible, really.
  7. For some reason, this year I have become rather a raving lunatic about certain political issues (which I will NOT bother you with).  This is fairly new for me.  Suffice it to say, my governor is NOT my friend, I’m not looking forward to November, and everyone around me has had to hear about it.  My son leaves the room whenever politics comes up…and he agrees with me!

Now for my nominees for The Lovely Blog Award:

  1. BroadBlogs:  Feminism, social justice issues, gender, sex…it’s got it all.
  2. Damn Right I’m a Feminist:  I think the name says it all 🙂  Another blog that always gets you thinking.
  3. Opt4:  One of my favorites, and one of the first blogs I found.  Lots of posts about how we can promote healthy, nonviolent relationships.
  4. WrongReaction:  A blog from another rape survivor.  Very powerful stuff.
  5. Blue Milk:  A blog about feminism and parenting.  She writes about all types of things…from the serious to the heartwarming.  It’s very well-written and I enjoy every post.  Check out this one called “Don’t Get Raped“.  It’s the one that led me to her blog.
  6. Sweet Mother:  Not all the blogs I follow are so serious.  Sweet Mother will make you laugh on every single page.  She’s awesome!
  7. Canadica:  Alright, this one’s just a bonus–I don’t know if it qualifies as “lovely” so much as dripping with sarcasm, but I thought I’d throw it in there.  Canadica is a spinoff blog from Sweet Mother and the equally funny, though sometimes disturbing Le Clown.  I live on the Canadian/US border, so this new blog is just hilarious for me.  Will it be funny for others?  I have no idea, but it cracks me up.  Canadian and American bloggers take turns writing posts.  Try the Name That Canadian Thing quiz.  I actually did surprisingly well 🙂
  8. Sincerely, Slapdash:  Also very funny and entertaining.  I particularly enjoy her Obscure Rock Song of the Week (given my bent for classic rock) where her daughter Teen chooses songs for her to post.  I wish my own teens had an appreciation of the songs I love!

So, it’s not 15.  What are they going to do to me?  But these are the blogs I follow on a regular basis.  I hope you enjoy them.

Back on a serious note, I cannot express how it has made me feel to hear someone call my blog “extremely powerful and well-written”.  I hoped I would be able to connect to other survivors with this blog, and I’m finding that I have.  Thank you so much to all of my readers.  Your comments have touched my heart.

Broken Things

This is one of my favorite songs.  It makes me cry nearly every time.  It could be about a broken-hearted lover, but I believe she’s singing to God.  God makes all things new and He loves us even though we are bruised and battered.  It’s called “Broken Things”, and it’s by Juliet Turner.  She has such a clear and beautiful voice.  Close your eyes and listen.  And remember, even though our hearts have been down a long road, we are worthy of love.  Truly.

P.S.  I tried desperately to find an official video, but this is the best I could do.

Summer, art, and other miscellany

Summer is here!! I teach elementary school, and we had our last day of school last week. The kids have left, the report cards are done, the data has been appropriately entered in many places, I have officially been deemed to be “exceeding proficiency” by my beloved principal. Peace and calm are reigning over my world!!

I apologize for my lack of blogging lately, but the end of the school year is not the best time for any activity that doesn’t involve small children and test scores. But I am free for the next 2 months and have lots to say that I shall be posting soon.

For now, a little hiatus from my usual topics. I found a fun little website called Tagxedo . It’s much like Wordle and makes word clouds out of an existing text, such as a quotation or verse from the Bible, or just from random words you type in. It’s very cool and a fun way to waste creatively spend many hours of summer free time.  I thought I’d try my hand using one of my blog posts, “My Story”.  Here’s the result for your viewing pleasure:

A dove, for the peace I hope all of you find.

For the “miscellany” part of the post, just some thoughts about art.  Obviously, you can see from my above attempt at art, I am no artist in the drawing/painting sense of the word 🙂  I can only type words into a computer program, but the result is still somewhat artistic.  However, I do love to play the piano and enjoy writing.  Some advice to all of you out there who also enjoy creative endeavors such as these.  I learned several years ago not to diminish these aspects of myself.  I switched from calling myself “someone who plays the piano” to calling myself a “classical pianist”.  I stopped saying “I like to write in my spare time”, and began telling people I was a writer.  It has made all the difference in the world.  You wouldn’t think so, but it does.  I love being a pianist, it is a big part of who I am.  Abuse teaches us to diminish ourselves.  It makes us feel smaller.  A simple change of vocabulary can help undo that.

Try it out.  Do you doodle?  Tell yourself you’re an artist!  Do you jot poems in the margins of papers?  Tell yourself you’re a poet!  Do you play an instrument?  You’re a musician!  Own your talent, embrace it, and it will carry you through many things.

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