Tuesday, January 10, 2017

I hope I have nine lives...

I'm trying my best to figure out my life. Some days I feel like I'm getting it together and other days I feel like an utter failure. When I look back through my blogs I can see my ups and downs. Right now I feel so restless...I feel like running away from everything. I go between being hopeful and despair on a daily basis it seems. Some of the fluctuations may be due to the Bipolar disorder I have, but some of it I know is because of my need to always do better and be better. Where is the girl who wanted to change the world? She left many years ago when those closest to her turned their backs. I used to be so glued to my faith and I lost that too. This past year has been incredibly painful. I got married and that was the highlight...I am so thankful for my wife. However, I am still not happy within myself...I'm not happy with going to work and going home...I'm not happy with the mundane. How can anyone be? I thought I had my future figured out...I was going to be a psychologist/therapist and help people on a daily basis and change lives...then I graduated from my undergrad as the economy went under (and in the real world...so did I). I have been grasping at the air for years with no real foundation. Turns out, I was lacking skills to live in the real world due to my rocky foundation growing up. There is so much I wasn't taught that I had to learn on my own through many mistakes. But, as I would tell others - it's okay right? We all have our own journey. We all have our own way of figuring things out. Well, my way has sucked - how about yours?

I sit here right now in my living room surrounded by my wife, niece, mother in law...I see things that should fulfill me. But, they don't. I feel I'm missing something. So now what? I don't know the simplest things -- who am I? What do I believe about God? What do I want to be when I grow up? So, I'm trying to write again...to put my confusing feelings back out into the world because I know I'm not alone - and if you're reading this, you're not alone either. I'm 31 years old...I thought I'd have my life figured out by now, but I don't, I've only become more lost. But maybe, just maybe that's okay. Maybe this is exactly where I'm supposed to be and everything I've been through led me to this very moment of transparency...this very moment of disillusionment with the world. Maybe this is what will force me to live out my calling (whatever that may be).

I'm rehashing every foundational belief I thought I had. My writing tonight isn't flowery or even eloquent, but it is my truth. If you don't know who you are or where you stand...if you don't know where you're going but somehow have grand plans...if you don't know what you think or feel about faith, sexuality, life, and how they all coincide...I'm your friend. Let's meddle through this mess together,

To place blame...

Everyone deserves love. Everyone deserves forgiveness from someone. And everyone at one time or another places blame on a person or situation. One thing I recently realized is that it is okay to place that blame. I've been told so many times not to blame this or that and that when I blame them then I'm not taking control of my negative thoughts. You know what I realized though? It's okay to place blame. It doesn't make you a bad person. If a person or situation harmed you then blame the shit out of it. If it was not your fault then place that blame, release yourself, be angry or sad or numb and then get back up. What was done to you deserves the blame, not you. What they did is theirs to hold, and maybe they'll never own up to it, but you holding yourself down in anger toward yourself at what was done only gives you more pain. Don't take ownership of what isn't yours. We're told to be the bigger person and forgive and forget, but you know what? Placing blame on something that you did not do frees you from that guilt and shame and allows you to truly forgive and heal.
What was done to me is NOT mine to own. I was beaten and abandoned. I hold pain and anger and doubt that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to them. I am in the process of giving them back what is theirs so I can have what is mine. I am learning to let go and stop blaming myself...or in my case, I thought by forgiving and humbling myself I was doing the right thing, the noble thing. Then I realized, I was allowing them to keep control and keep my head low. Now, I'm untangling that mess so I can be free.
You are allowed to place rightful blame. You are allowed to feel your anger. If you want to be the bigger person then tell your story, allow yourself to feel, work on forgiving day by day, but free yourself from their control. Feel the anger and then move on. Place the blame and then let it go. Don't let lies to slowly break you to pieces...and remember, if you are broken, you are still beautiful.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

So it turns out...

It turns out I am capable of love and being loved. There are moments where I really miss those I've been with and loved. They'll always hold a place in my heart, I mean, how couldn't they? I'm incredibly lucky right now as I've got the opportunity...the chance to have love again and have it more deeply than ever before. I have found someone who gets my darkness and is okay with sitting in it with me. I have found someone whose soul connected to mine before she and I ever locked eyes. I think I've loved her before - maybe in a past life - maybe she's just been a part of me all of my life. I know the timing is awful, it always is, but I'm okay with that. As much as I'd like to explain to people what's going on, it's nice that I don't have to and I can allow myself to be happy and live and love.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Truth.

I found this post in my drafts. I have no idea when I wrote it but wanted to publish.

 

 "The truth may set you free, but first it will shatter the safe, sweet way you live." - Sue Monk Kidd

 I read this quote off of a friend's Facebook status the other day. This quote has been more than true for my life. I used to pray and pray to find the Truth and to be free from the bondage inside of me. But, eventually my prayers were answered, and when the Truth was revealed to me, I broke into pieces. I broke into pieces trying to put back together the happy bubble I had created for myself, the bubble that had become my safety. For years I lived in this bubbled, but I was also on the outside trying to break in.

The church told me I had to forgive. I took that for what it was. But, the failed to tell me I was allowed to hurt, allowed to be angry at what was done to me, allowed to take my time. So, I forgave. I quickly did so because I believed I was supposed to. I forgave all the pain and abuse in my life, until one day, the Truth broke in and said "there's so much more to this than you understand."

My world shattered because, in that moment, I caught a glimpse of Truth. I glimpsed real Truth, forgiveness, love. I suddenly understood that to truly heal, I had to acknowledge and work through all of the terrible abuse that had been done to me. The Truth hit me so hard that my life shattered. Everything I had known became unknown. All I knew shattered and I had to changed what I thought I knew about myself and about who God is. Church didn't warn me this would happen.

I got to where I could hardly function at times because I no longer felt I knew anything about anything. I could hardly function because I had ignored my pain for so long believing I was doing the right thing to just drop it and forgive. After all, I was trying to be the Christian I was told to be right? I was "happy" and enjoying life and everyone of course wanted to be my friend right?...wrong. This may have been truth to them, but it wasn't Truth to me. God showed me something new. He stripped me naked and showed me the broken pieces of my life. He then began to wash of the broken pieces of my life and create something new. He created something new, still flawed because I'm human, but new. I began to realize that I no longer had to act perfect on the outside, and honestly, because of the Truth I found, I couldn't have acted perfect any longer if I would have wanted to. Something happens to you when the mask is taken off your eyes. Now, I'm free. I may still struggle with things here and there, but now, it's okay. I'm free from expectations. I'm free from lies. I'm free from pretending and hiding.

Since praying for Truth to invade my life I've had lots of moments like this...moments I've said "no God, this can't be it" and again, I've been wrong. He said to me, "you want Truth, but you have me in a box." He was right. I did. I had Him in a box like so many others...only the thing is, my box looked different so I didn't even notice that I had done the same thing I had tried so hard not to do.

Not only did I open the lid on that box, but I opened my life to transformation that I didn't know existed. Yes, it's true, I'm gay. It's amazing how finally living this out has set me free. The Truth does set free. Dealing with all of this has set me free. It has allowed me to see God and love Him in a way I never knew. It stripped mw down to where I had to rely only on Him. When I "came out," I did so with the expectation that I would lose anyone and everyone I had ever cared about in life. But, the Truth was worth it to me. Breaking that bondage in my life was worth it. Being able to worship God in my own flesh and be comfortable in doing so was worth it.

This Truth has shown me true love and forgiveness of myself. It has shown me how big He really is and how my mind can never wrap around what He has created and His plan for my life. What I'm trying to say is that over the past six years, my life has shattered into a million pieces over and over again. But, I'm so grateful for the collage my broken pieces have become. It's a beauty I never knew existed. I wouldn't trade this painful process to ever go back to my happy bubble. The Truth set me free--not people--not myself--but the Truth. It broke the sweet way I lived, but it put me back together in a new way. I don't wish to return to the truth I thought I had. How do I know this is Truth that I have now? Because, it shattered my sweet, unknowing life and it set me free.


I've been down this road before...



I've often wondered if I'm worthy of love...if I can truly love another. Maybe I'm the epitome of INFJ. I worry, I'm idealistic, high expectations, down on myself, perfectionist, passionate to an extreme. But, I like me like this. I know I'm sensitive and a mess...I've been damaged by life but I'm a pretty neat person. The reason I begin like this is because Denise and I have parted ways. Yes, we just got engaged and maybe that made things more real? Maybe not. But, this was a hell of a decision. There were many factors involved, but I think more than anything I just realized that we weren't edifying each other any longer. We tried to work on things over and over and it kept coming back to the same thing....we love each other so very much but I'm unhappy and life and circumstances broke us. But maybe, maybe it was supposed to be this way. It bothers me to think that, but I think I'm right. I think we had a purpose -- she helped me heal and I taught her how to be loved, but then when we should have let go we pushed forward causing damage to ourselves and relationship. I realize now that if she and I believed this could happen then we wouldn't have had the impact on each other that we did, so of course we saw it lasting...for healing to happen we had to see it that way. This experience was beauty in my life. I know many people don't understand, but haha, normally they don't understand me and that's fine. I'm uniquely broken and glued back together. I am who I am.




Isn't life interesting? Do you ever wonder what the hell is going on? I've got to learn to trust myself more. I want to be absolutely sure of my thoughts and actions but have no idea how to do so. We are our own worst enemies. For a person who has been beaten and abused it's even more of a fact...they were never taught to trust themselves or anyone else. I find that to be true for me and it's hard to break out of even at 30 years old. Speaking of, man I feel old these days. However, I recently began a new job -- it pays half of what I was making in Colorado (I'm in Washington now), but it's less stress. I get to sleep in and be on my normal schedule which means I'm more artistic now and can focus better. I get to wear jeans so I'm in less pain and more confident. I have met some amazing people so I now have more friends finally! I'm becoming more outgoing again and with this job I have room to grow and move up.

Anyway, tell me what you think about God. Random transition right? I'm on my verge again of trying to believe because something deep down tells me Jesus is real and that all religions lead to him somehow. I recently learned that the Koran mentions Jesus more than anyone else which I find incredibly interesting. I'd like to read it to see what that's all about. I want to feel him again and believe I have a purpose. When I stopped believing in him my life went to hell...I no longer felt protected...I lost my identity. I'm just now beginning to find it again and I'd like to have Christ be a part of my life. It sure is hard when I've been hurt the most by Christians, but I suppose it's not about them right?

Wish me luck friends. Wish me luck in my journey to contentment, love, enlightenment, peace. Wish me luck in life. I need that. Oh and p.s. send art supplies.

Love!

Friday, July 10, 2015

A reminder to the broken heart...


Last night I was asked to post the story behind my arm tattoo on the Walk a Mile website. 

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I was quickly reminded of who I am and why I am. I seem to often forget this. My tattoo has served as a reminder so many times. You see, my tattoo has a quote from Maya Angelou that says “I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.” It was done by the amazing Sal Tino when he was still at Sol Tribe in Denver. The lotus flower reminds me that something beautiful can arise from dirt and mud with a little bit of push and determination (or maybe a lot). Lotus flowers come out of the swamp incredibly strong and beautiful and without the mud they could never survive. For as long as I remember, I’ve felt broken, like I was missing a piece of me (which is part of the story behind my puzzle piece tattoo). I went through years of physical abuse starting at age 2 when I visited my stepmom and Dad on the weekends and then full time from age 6-11 when I lived with them. I was sexually abused the first time at age 5 and again by my stepbrother around age 7 or 8. The latter was fairly frequent for more than a year, though I can’t really piece together the timeline. Of course, there was obvious emotional abuse as well. I’m deaf in one ear from the physical abuse and have many aches and pains because of the trauma to my body and head. But, I’m different.

FB_IMG_1436555303316I’ve known since a young age that I was different. I would sit on my bed at night telling myself I’d make it, that I wasn’t alone…but I knew that if I stayed in that house I’d die. At age 11 I ran away to my Aunt’s house. There were enough bruises on me that we could finally get me out of Hell for good. I was free…or so I thought. My Aunt became my foster parent for a year or so and I love her for that. But, I was so angry and confused that I just wanted to be back with my Mom…I thought she would be my comfort. Little did I know how lacking she was in parenting skills. I mean, when I lived with her I was so young and she was my hero and my everything. So, I was neglected and often left alone…and she was with many guys. Two of these guys sexually abused me; one when I was 5 and the other when I was 11. Honestly though, I’d take all of that again if it meant the emotional scars would leave. I wanted love and those who were supposed to love me the most are the ones who ignored me or hurt me the most. Still to this day, I have more issues with women than men…and why? Because the emotional pain and neglect hurt way more than anything anyone could do to me physically.

So, why did I decide to post this here on my blog? I mean, I’ve written about things before who knows how many times…but maybe, this one time, another person will stumble across this specific post because it has one word that they googled…and maybe, this is the time that my post will save a life or make an impact. We all have pains and struggles…and I struggle daily. But, I got this tattoo as a reminder of my strength and how I made it out alive and will continue living. There are many times I wished I could stop living, but I didn’t have it in me to stop…I have to keep going because somewhere out there, someone needs to hear my story. This is a reminder that those things affected me and will forever have an impact, but I will not be reduced by them. I will not be reduced to the things that happened to me. I will be changed, but the scars are scars now, not open wounds. The tattoo reminds me of my truth. We may be bruised and broken, but we are beautiful and in that brokenness we allow our light to shine through the cracks.

I needed to write this. I needed to read this even more. Sometimes I write in a way that I can barely believe it’s coming from me…this positive light on my pain. It seems almost eloquent at times, but believe me when I say I hurt…I hurt so deeply at times I feel I may never recover. Sometimes I feel I’d rather rip out my heart than ever feel this kind of pain and loneliness again, but then…then I’m reminded of my strength. When I get the courage to write again and empty my sordid thoughts I understand again who I am and who I can be. I’m reminded again that I’m not ONLY what happened to me – I am so much more. You are so much more than your past…you’re more than your present…you are simply more than you believe you are. You may not see it now, but one day when you are in the floor surrounded by your tears, you’ll realize that you have the strength to face these tears which makes you incredible.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Crossroad.


You know, I read over my past blogs and think over my past beliefs and wonder again; is God even real? I do believe there is a God, a Creator of some sort. I most definitely believe that because I can’t see how science could explain our development. Yes, they can say it’s evolution, but where did the past species come from? Where did the particles come from if it was the big bang? I mean, it all started somewhere. But, if there is a creator…where did this creator come from? These are the questions that roll around in my thick skull almost daily. I used to have so much faith. I loved Jesus, my savior, my creator. But then, I admitted I like the same sex. When I admitted this, I lost everyone and finally understood the lies. I learned about grace and again, understood the lies. Religion has been lying to us for so long I’m not sure what to believe.

I have very few conclusions, but I do know that I believe in some type of God and I believe this God to be good, though not all powerful. I do not believe in Hell, nor do I believe in sin. Even as I look over the Bible and my past faith, I realize that sin no longer exists. People get really worked up when I discuss this with them. After all, we’ve been taught all of our lives that sin exists and we must ask for forgiveness or repent in order to be clean again. This thought pattern is so wrong! If the Bible is true, then it says that Jesus came to fulfill the law. He died to save us from our sins. If sin still existed, then what did his death accomplish? If nothing, then why serve Him? He tells us we are made in his image (he is sinless). He tells us we are clean. He says we are to Love. The Bible also says to the believer that all is permissible but not all is edifying. Well, if all is permissible, then how is sin even possible? See the confusion here? It makes no sense. Christianity as we know it today does not make sense. Hell is the place in Biblical times where they would throw their trash – kind of like a middle of town huge burn pile. Oh, but Christianity says if we are sinners then we are trash that belongs in Hell…but now, instead of a burn pile, it’s a place in the after life. Jesus says his kingdom is on earth and in us, but we say his kingdom is in Heaven, again, part of the after life. What else have we changed to make it more understandable? You know the phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin” is nowhere in the Bible? Go figure. So, if Christ does exist and if Christianity is correct, then we’ve all got it pretty darn messed up.

So, I don’t think I can call myself a Christian any longer. I do believe in a God. I believe God could not exist without us because without someone to believe in something…can it really exist? That’s for another day and another philosophical debate. But who knows what’s true. I sure don’t and won’t pretend to. But, I know that I feel something when I feel the wind and see the mountains or hear the water. I feel more in tune with the world and myself. That, to me, is God. I am at a crossroad in my faith and I’m not sure which way to go. Stay tuned.
I am at a crossroad, but I am not lost.