Finding beauty everywhere.

I haven’t been able to read or write any blogs in this past week as my focus has been on my daughter’s and my health and I have been extremely exhausted. 

I have, every day, taken time out to find some good. I would like to share that good with you. Just a tiny bit of good can keep you going. A tiny bit of love. A tiny bit of sunshine. A tiny bit of positive. It is worth seeking.

I visited Chapman’s pond. It is a place we walked our dog Molly for her first 7 years of life. We walked this path many times a day. I can still remember her and my daughter Riley running down this path and racing to the top. 

I noticed the same orange flower that I have on my back road so delicately laying there, then in the grass, then in the trees. I was so excited to find something that was close to my heart at home, close to a place that used to bring me such joy also. 

This live oak is in my backyard. I sit under it every day. I am often overcome with emotion when I think about the 2 hundred years it has been standing and growing. 

I went in search of a hiding flower one afternoon and I found just what I was looking for. Barely seen from the road, this purple flower tucked behind the bushes .

My magnolia tree bloomed again. I am so grateful my husband bought this and planted it for our anniversary so many years ago. 

On an afternoon walk I found that my owl had left me a present. I was so excited! I saw her a few days ago. She is nolonger with her sibling. Her mother is still nearby. I consulted with an owl specialist and it seems that my barred owl has stayed with her mother longer than usual. Maybe because her leg was injured for awhile. Her mother still hoots in the distance but I have not seen her feed my owl in a number of weeks. I was truly blessed with the feather. 

On the way home I stopped by the church where I prayed the weeks before. I pulled in and there were many cars in the parking lot. I hoped no one would mind me going back to pray again. Last time I was here I did not notice a sign that said prayer garden at all! But here is the sign. Prayer garden. How fitting! 

The strawberry in the sun. My daughter and I briefly sat on the deck under the live oak eating strawberries. We saw a squirrel eating mushrooms and thought she may like strawberries instead. It was hilarious becasue my daughter threw the strawberry and it landed RIGHT next to the squirrel’s foot. She took one look at it and ate the mushroom instead!

While sitting on the deck i watched the “guardian of the back door” this banana spider. He is friendly but HUGE. We duck under him when we go inside. 

I tried to take a panoramic shot of the live oak. 

While sitting in the car, at the walmart parking lot, I noticed the sky was phenomenal. YES, you CAN find good in a walmart parking lot. You just have to look for it. I was thrilled to get these sky photos that I have labeled “heavenly” becasue the moment I saw them I felt this heavenly peace. 

At the prayer garden…




I got home from the garden and saw right as I drove past our house and into the driveway a yellow flower. I have never planted a yellow flower at our front door. I thought, here I have been out looking for beauty and right here at my front door lies something extraordinary.  A flower whose seed just landed in the perfect spot, with just the right amount of sun, to grow and finally bloom I’ve been waiting to see what this flower did. Apparently, the blooms only open for a few hours a day and I got home in just the perfect time to see it! 


Beauty is truly everywhere. Finding it at home first, key to life. 

Last but certainly not least, I like to find a sound that my friend over at therapy bits can hear. She is a friend of mine who cannot see these pictures but I known can picture them. I found a bird for you. A little black bird with a little red streak on his wing. He was furiously pecking the ground with some serious intent. Every few seconds though he lifted his head to return the call of his friend. Here is the sound of his voice. 

Arguments with myself 

Me: It’s 1am my stomach is rumbling. I think I need to eat.

Me: You don’t need to eat at 1am. Ignore it and go to bed.

Me: But I’m pit of my stomach starving.

Me: Be strong. Don’t go eat. You don’t need it. Be strong.

Me: But I’m nauseous I’m so hungry.

Me: You’re weak if you go in there. “Tighten up that ass. Stop eating so much.”

Me: Wait! That voice in my head is not me! It doesn’t make me weak to eat! It doesn’t make me strong to starve myself! That is that asshole at Seaworld who said I was fat at 105lbs. That asshole is in my head still!!! So many assholes in my life made me hyperfocus on my body by bullying. Oh my gosh!!!! I hate that they did that to me! I hate that their words are still in my mind!

Me: Yep, you are listening to the enemy who has set up camp in your brain with memories and chains and control. You are no longer 18. You are in control. You are strong. You can go get food and listen to your body’s needs. You are 45 years old. Go get some fucking food. You have a muscle disease. Your body needs constant nourishment. Love that body. Feed that body. 
I promptly go to the kitchen and eat an entire meal and feel satisfied. I will not let the past control me. I will not let the words from someone from my past control me. I AM 45 years old and I will overcome ALL of them!!!
*Photo taken while in kitchen of the black spider that tried to bite me last week that I could not manage to catch. Another spider finally caught him and killed him. Seemed appropriate for this current subject matter. 

Finding the little things

On todays walk I decided to look for the little things that maybe no one else would notice. I wanted to see what I could find if I didn’t pass up a blade of grass without inspecting it. As soon as I set my intention I almost stepped on the tiniest yellow flower tucked away under the grass all by itself.  But before I even left for my walk I peeked through the blinds to see a female cardinal in the birdbath. Two good starts. 



My next discovery was not of sight but of smell. I smelled my magnolias tree blossoms before I even looked up from the tiny yellow flower. 


My daily walk in the grass was complete. It was all my legs could do. I got in my wheelchair and right away saw this purple flower which looked like it was just laying on the ground. But it was a wisteria vine which does not bloom this time of year. It blooms in the fall. I have no idea why it would be blooming now but I as soon as I got next to it I smelled the magnificent smell that only a wisteria has and was so glad I could see it and smell it. 


Then I spotted a feather. Had I not stopped to see the purple flower I would not have seen the feather. I love finding feathers on the ground. This one is black. Maybe a crow or a vulture feather.


After going through the gate that leads to the road behind ours I saw a flower on the ground. An orange tubular flower that looks like one I have seen in the past that was yellow. It was just laying there in the road. 


Then there was another one on the side of the road. And I followed the flowers until I could see they were wrapped high into the live oak trees on this empty lot full of woods. They were so beautiful. I tried to take a picture of the ones up in the tree. You’ll have to strain to see but maybe you can. They were just dangling from long vines everywhere. Right in the middle of the two trees you’ll see a spot of orange


Then I found the tiniest of tiny flowers that the camera barely focused on it was so small. It was like white lace with a purple center only as big as a pen tip. So little I wondered how many people had noticed it. 


The great surprise was a random chicken. Just out of the blue, boom orange chicken. He wasn’t very close so he isn’t very clear but he was a chicken. 


The sky got dark quickly. 


I discovered this very cool spider in his web. I shall name him zebra because he was black and whit striped and very awesome. 

Through the gate to get home there were precious white wildflowers with yellow centers. Little but beautiful. 


In my own yard was this thing growing on the tree. I thought it was bark that had broken off but when I got closer it was a mushroom sticking out the side just like the tree had it’s own shelf. And on the ground under it was another white mushroom. It was a mushroom area apparetnly. 


Last but not least, a butterfly landed on the flower that I had waited an hour the day before to see but never arrived. She was just waiting to get her picture taken. A sweet yellow butterfly on the pink flower next to my door. 


Just incase you missed these from a few days ago I will attach a few more flowers. There can never be too many flowers.


It is the little things that make me truly happy. 

It’s time to start a truth revolution. It’s time to release the binds of the secret.


I was 15 years old in this picture. I’m sitting her looking into my own eyes. This picture was taken 30 years ago. I remember the night well. I was with my girl friends. I was momentarily happy. I let myself be happy that night. But do you see sadness? I can see sadness. Do you see innocence? I see innocence. At 15, I  felt I was not innocent anymore. I felt, at 15 years old that I was tainted, ruined, dirty, worthless, and a failure. I feel sad for that 15 year old part of myself. I’m trying not to let tears well up while I tell her, ” You are special, you are worthy, you matter, I love you, God loves you, don’t give up! Please don’t give up.” No one told me that. That is the price I paid for secrets. 

Is the secret really worth it? I have gone over in my mind the sheer magnitude of people that were in my life at that time ALL protecting their secret. Taking on other’s secrets. Creating their own secrets. These adult’s secrets cost their children dearly. Just on my lake alone everyone was willing to keep the abuse I went through a secret. They shut the door on me to keep the door open to the abuser. That ski club HAD TO KEEP RUNNING. Lives COULD NOT CHANGE JUST BECAUSE I WAS ABUSED.  Their lives did not. They managed to keep their secret at the detriment of not only me. They put hundreds of other lives in danger. Any one of them who think I was the only one sexually abused by that man  are gravely mistaken. Secrets. There was a man in our family who sexually assaulted multiple women. That was kept a secret. Who did that secret help? The abuser. Who did it hurt, the women that are still alone in their suffering AND the countless women he was left to abuse along the way. He got protected by the secret. That pains me to think about. Just on my little lake in my small town. The secrets of who was gay, were huge. Secret gay groups of people cheating on their spouses was huge. It was astounding actually. Secrets I found out took precedence over caring for me and protecting me. Secrets can only be kept for so long. They ooze out and drip into the mouths of those willing to finally speak of them. By those who were hurt by the secret as well. I do understand coming out as a gay individual is and always has been deeply complex. I do not judge that. I don’t care that they were gay! I cared for those men. Knew them.  I hated the secret. I hate the secret still. Their secrets were more important than the welfare of a child. That is a painful pill to swallow. Secrets. Teachers in our town having sex with their students. I am sure it happens in many towns but in a small town whoever knows will zip their lips tightly. Secrets. Forty year old mothers having sex with teenage boys. That happened and still happens in that small town. Nobody says a word. Nobody ever did. It seems nobody but me ever will. I hear about the secrets and have heard about them throughout the years. Liars and cheats don’t always do a good job of covering up and hiding. I was and am a very observant person who listens. I have seen and I have heard the secrets. I know also who those secrets hurt. 

Maybe I will start a revolution of sorts. Maybe the 14 year old who had sex with the 40 year old will realize how wrong that was. How against the law that was. Maybe the 15 year old who was sleeping with the 30 year old teacher will realize that she may have thought it was consentual but in all actuality it was statutory rape. Maybe one member of the ski club that is still going on will leave because they don’t want to be part of a club that protects sex offenders. Maybe one girl in my family will speak out about what was done to her so the others don’t feel so alone. Maybe we can stand together in the power of the truth. 

Secrets place a burden. That burden ALWAYS falls on the abused, the innocent, the victim. That person grows up feeling shamed. Feeling they did something wrong. Feeling they are to blame. The secret has so much power that it consumes the secret keeper while condemning the victim. 

When will this change? When will all of the SURVIVORS stand up and say NO MORE! The secret ends with me. I will speak my truth! I will start a truth revolution so that the secrets have no power ever again! This can happen. It just takes a voice. A word. a choice. We may not have had that choice as children, tangled up in the adult secrets, but we no longer have to carry their secrets with us. I have released my secrets. They were NOT MY SECRET. They were NOT MY SHAME. I just wonder, when will everyone else release theirs. When will the other bystanders, those who watched in silence, who didn’t contribute, but didn’t protect either, finally do the right thing. 

When will the truth be stronger than the secret. For me that is happening right now. I look into my own eyes at 15 years old and I know I have made myself proud. I have stood up for that 15 year old at 45 years old like no one ever did. Shame on every person who did not stand up for me. Shame on every person who has burdened a child with a secret, wrapped them in a shame of a secret, and bound them by the power of the secret. It is time that all of those children and teenagers who have grown up, release the secret. The time is right now. You deserve to be free. 

SoCS In the Heart of the World.

#SoCS https://lindaghill.com/2017/07/14/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-1517/

For stream of consciousness Saturday the prompt is to look at the book title of the book next to you and write on that. Ok so I am hoping I get a pass by turning the S of SoCS into Sunday instead because yesterday I was having seizures and my brain was mush. I’m pretending today is Saturday because I just plain feel like it!I need a doover!  The book next to me is: In the Heart of the World by Mother Teresa. I will be writing on that topic: In the Heart of the World.

To love a child. The importance of your child feeling that they matter and are loved is crucial. All children need to feel they are loved whole heartedly and unconditionally, for THEY are the heart of the world. My daughter was not raised on conditional love. I wasn’t JUST proud of her if she got a good grade, won a game, had an outward success. Infact, those things were not ever important to me. We did not focus on her grades, we focused on what she was learning. We did not focus on her winning, we focused on how she felt when she played the game. I’m not going to say I was NOT proud of her when she got a blue ribbbon in horse back riding. But my pride came from looking at her eyes and seeing that she was proud of herself. She knew she worked hard and did an amazing job. I was most proud of her when she picked the child in her class that no one would talk to and invited her to eat lunch. I was most proud of her when she hugged a dying woman in a nursing home that she didn’t even know because the woman wanted to hug a child one last time. I was most proud of her when she had me pull over because a little bird was on the ground. She held that little bird in her hands for what seemed like forever, opened her hands, and the bird flew away. I am most proud of her heart.  I AM most proud of her heart. 

I know there are many children who have never been shown or modeled love, yet I have seen those children have the capacity love another anyway.  A child that was in my daughter’s class used to run to me every day when I dropped my daughter off at school. I knew that child’s story. I knew she did not get love. She gave it though. She ran up to me and wrapped her arms around me and was overflowing with love. I gave her overflowing love right back. She didn’t have to be loved to still be able to give it. I still think of her. I still wish she had grown up with her own mother’s love. Just imagine how she would have felt every day being loved like I loved her for 2 minutes at school. She deserved better. She deserved to be loved every single day. 

It doesn’t matter where the child gets it. They just need to have it. It can be an aunt, a grandma, a sibling, a friend. Every child needs to know what love feels like. Those children grow up. They become our Mayors, our Senators, or Doctors, our neighbors. I grew up. I am not a child anymore. But some days I still have the heart of a child. There is a heart of a child in all of us. It may take until 45 years old, 65, years old, 70 years old, to finally have that child’s heart feel love. It is never too late for your heart to be loved. 

I watched a movie with my daughter and husband tonight about love. That was the theme. How much the parent’s loved their children. How proud they were of their children for being themselves. The depth of that pride was rooted in love. I was not loved unconditionally. I was loved with limits, rules, and everything else that goes against true love. I am a child that grew up and knows what it feels like to have an entire family,  not only have no pride for me, they have no real love for me. Real love, true love, sees the depth of your heart and loves you all the more for it. They don’t see me. They don’t see my heart. My husband is proud of everything I do. He is proud of my persistence and perseverance, my growth, my ability to move forward, and my efforts to heal. He loves enough to fill the void that the 10 year old, 16 year old, and 18 year old, and 40 year old didn’t get. When my family left they hurt every part of my child and adult heart. BUT,  my husband healed my heart in all ways, because he loves so unconditionally. He loves me like I love my daughter, so much my heart could burst. This family, the three of us, know love. In love there is healing. In love their is renewal. In love there is hope. 

In the heart of the world lies millions of children waiting to be loved. They may be stricken with poverty. Their circumstance may be abuse, divorced parents, homelessness. They will grow up and remember those things. If they are loved, they will overcome. They will remember that love and it will get them through the hardest of times. It is never to late to love your child, a child, any child. Even if that child has grown up. They still matter. 

Poetry

Am I dead?

No, my inner voice said.

My thumb is resting on my neck.

I feel my heart beat as I stare at the wall.

How long have I been here?

I know before this I tried to call.

Is anyone coming?

The dryer is thumping with the robe.

Thump thump,

Thump thump,

So loudly it is consuming my very being.

Out of one eye one tear streams. 

I can hear myself breathe

 In rhythm with the dryer.

Every other thump I exhale.

My bony knees hitting each other

So painful, so frail.

Why does nobody notice I am here?

The robe! When will the dryer stop!

Sweat drips down my shoulder.

And the air conditioner just makes me

Colder. I shiver again and shake. 

Someone turn off the dryer!

My eyes are burning.

When was the last time 

I blinked.

I hear a moan.

Did it come from my mouth?

I cannot think

I cannot complete a thought.

Where am I? 

Is this home?

Am I dead?

I just don’t know.

I feel my cracked lips 

Start to bleed. 

Another seizure 

has paralyzed me.

I’m alive.

But I don’t want to be.

Wheelchair walks

Last night my husband and I went for an hour walk. A kite (bird) flew above for most of the walk. When we couldn’t see her we could hear her. 

It was not a good day. My leg was very painful. I learned that our insurance refused to pay for lidocaine patches (only goes into the muscle and is not systemic) unless I try other medications first. I have no desire to try any more medications and deal with the side affects making things far worse than the actual disease. And for $400 I can have lidocaine patches! Not going to happen. When my leg hurts I feel vulnerable. Vulnerability leads to panic. Panic leads me right back to PTSD. Which is a big jumble of nonsensical manic mess in my brain swirling around. I often snowball.I starting to think about what would happen to my daughter if something happened to me. I am challenged physically yes, but I can push my body to the brink to take care of her. No one has been an integral part of our daily life since she got sick 3 years ago. I have many friends and supportive people in my life but no one knows the day to day happenings and what it takes to care for her. I had a panic. Who will take care of her if I don’t make it?! Really not a good place to go. Muscle disease and PTSD are just plain and simply a bad mix. I usually don’t let myself even GO there. Logically, I made a list of people that could help her if need be and I went on my walk to focus on the good. Find the good. Focus on the good. Get out of your PTSD panic brain. That was my intention.  The only way out of a snowball, for me, is to set an intention on something else.  We went for a walk. 

Then the kite joined us. The kite immediately pulled me back from manic to peace. Just watching her was so peaceful. You are probably thinking there is a cap on kite pictures. Nope. There isn’t. I’m posting many because she was just awesome. I never saw her flap her wings. She just soared one way and then the next way. Her tail barely turned and she would angle sharply left or sharply right. She flew in a perfect circle over our head with her beautiful bird call the entire way. She seemed to just take me away from everything and I just felt and thought about her. 


See, no cap on bird pictures here!

I discovered a few flowers, a mushroom growing out of a tree, and the sky. Always the sky. My top two favorite pictures on our walk were this purplish pink flower. It was right outside the door. I have not planted this flower in many many years. It just decided, hey, I will grow again. All by it self. Just a happy little flower. Then this bug. I have no idea what this bug is. He has brown wings and a blue back. Maybe he is a moth? Do moths eat nectar? He spent a lot of time sipping nectar out of one of my other flowers. I was thankful he sat long enough to pose for me before flying away. 


Wheelchair walks are always a successful way to bring calm and great gratitude for what I still have in my life. Come rain or shine I always go on my walks.