The truth is surely difficult to swallow. 😣 I still don’t want to believe it. And I still want to think he was somehow a good person.
I’ve been wearing the same clothes since Friday. I’m doing a terrible job of taking care of my little pup. I’ve been a horrible “friend” to people lately. It cannot go on like this.
Holy God. That was the most difficult thing I’ve done in forever! It makes me REALLY APPRECIATE and I mean, really appreciate people who do this for a living.
I just visited with a woman who is dying of cancer. We cried. We talked. We cried and talked some more. She cried out to God multiple times, asking him, “Why?! Why me?” And she softly said, “He never answers.” This made my heart instantly overflow with deep sadness.
I felt powerless to help in any capacity whatsoever.
She echoed so many sentiments that I feel myself- and yet it made me feel like I didn’t have the right to feel the same way- because my situation isn’t as severe and it’s not as permanent.
She cried as she told me how scared she was. She said it over and over. She’s mad at God too. She doesn’t want to leave her loved ones here on earth.
She said she felt selfish for wanting Rob to not leave- like she needs his support, she needs him present there with her. She talked over and over again about the night they had drinks out on her back deck. They need to do that again.
Like seriously…I want to pay for a plane ticket for Rob to come back and spend time with her. His company made her so happy…I can relate to that. And I want to give her that again.
She is an absolutely amazing woman. I was in awe of her, truly. She possesses a bravery that I’ll never have.
I really do pray for healing for her. I pray that God takes away her pain (she cried as she talked about the pain). I pray that God breathes through her entire body and annihilates every speck of cancer that there is. I pray God sees fit to give her at least a few more years of life that she can enjoy. I pray the Holy Spirit gives her peace and even joy during this time. I pray that God will take away the fear and anxiety that she has about dying and her short future. And I pray that the Holy Spirit would move in her husband’s heart to bring him to know, truly know Jesus.
I silently prayed that God would give me her cancer and let her live carefree. I’ve prayed this already about three times now- even before I met her. I prayed it for another friend (long before I wanted to die) and I’m dead ass serious about it. I don’t play around with shit like that. Even as I drove to see her, I was thinking about it- how people can say that, but if it would come down to physically doing it, how many actually would. With my other friend, I prayed this for the future too. If his cancer ever came back, if I was alive…no matter how happy I might be, no matter how much I might be enjoying life- I told God that I would take his cancer in his place for the remainder of my time here on earth. I’m disheartened to feel like it’s a futile prayer. I don’t think God does that. I mean, think of how many times parents who have had children with terminal illnesses have prayed that they would give their life for their child. And does it ever happen? How many times have we heard of a child with a terminal illness magically and unexplainably getting better while their parent fell ill?
I don’t understand God. I’ve said that before. I know I’ll understand him when I get to heaven and hopefully, things will make more sense.
But for now, we’re here. Please pray for Annette.
This tree towers above the gravesites of my dad, grandmother, and grandfather. When my dad died, my mom had me climb that tree and put orchids and bromeliads up there in honor of my dad. The orchids didn’t last, but all those bromeliads are still there. For some reason, this makes me feel full of mixed negative emotions…not sure why.
I made this for my dad when he was being decimated by cancer. The letters are shaky and messed up. For the first time ever, seeing this hanging in my mom’s house irritated and angered me.
I passed by this and was struck by how much it reminds me of myself- deformed, dejected, despondent, frumpy.
I’ve spent the week with an old friend and several other families whom I don’t know. We were in an incredibly beautiful place and I feel so fortunate to have experienced that with them. I’m truly grateful. Here was my morning devotional spot for the last week:
Unfortunately, everyone was in hard core vacation mode, so most every single adult was perpetually inebriated and obnoxiously loud. I was annoyed within minutes with all these loud, drunk people I didn’t even know…and this lasted nearly a week. I never got to have any kind of a private discussion with my friend. I really needed that. It sucks- but what can you do?
What’s good is that I got to spend time with her kids, who are wonderful! We had lots of fun conversations with several of us- myself, my friend, and 1-2 of her kids. The one person I got into a deep conversation with was her 16 year old son. We talked about his future and his motivation for why he wants to sacrifice himself and commit to serving others. He’s such an inspiration! I encouraged him to pursue what he felt called to do- even though his parents want him to pursue an entirely different path. I was in awe of his selflessness and his positive attitude toward life, helping others, and his future.
My friend kept encouraging me to stop in and visit our old neighborhood.
But I refused to stop in my hometown. I didn’t want to relive or be reminded of any negative memories. I know maybe seeing my childhood home might bring back some happy memories, but with things going the way they are, I didn’t trust that my mind wouldn’t go down a dark path or focus on just the detrimental experiences or memories from there. I mean, so many horrendous events occurred there!! I just didn’t want to go back.
I did, however, want to go visit the cemetery where my dad is. I wanted to tell him out loud, “I’m mad at you, Daddy!” But when I got there, I just couldn’t do it. I don’t know why I couldn’t say that. I thought it- then my eyes went straight to my grandma’s name on the tombstone and in my head, I said, “And I’m really mad at YOU, Grandma!!” But again, I couldn’t voice it. That was so disappointing to me- like I was so weak that I couldn’t stand up for myself or something. I’m not sure why that disappointed me so much. It’s not like they’d hear me.I brushed off the tombstone and put a tiny bit of flowers. I didn’t know what to do with myself there. I left, started to drive off…then turned around and came back. I don’t know why. I wasn’t ready to leave, but didn’t know what to do when I stayed.
As I was driving to the cemetery, I began reminiscing. I remember my mom catching me rummaging through her closet numerous times. She’d always ask me what I was looking for. I’d tell her “my adoption papers.” She would get so mad! 😂 I feel so guilty saying this, but I had always wanted different parents. Geez, I feel really terrible saying that. But it’s true. I had always fantasized that I had different parents- even as a child, I wished there was more out there for me. Is that selfish? Immature? Worldly? I’m not sure. I also remember fantasizing about running away (I only did that once in real life)- but I’d think I could take care of myself and my little brother better than my parents. I would even picture us homeless, living in a shack in a wooded area that we built out of scrap wood (like an old school tree house) and thinking that would just be the greatest, most liberating experience. I know…I was a weird kid. Still am.
When saying good bye to my friend’s children, I accidentally told one of them that I’d never see them again. I was thinking it to myself as I was saying good bye, but I never meant to say it out loud. I immediately caught myself and acted like I was joking.
Smiles all around…everything’s just fine! 😣
Had to edit this post. I was in the wrong and it wasn’t fair for me to say some of the things I said. I am deeply sorry.
This was an extemely emotional session- I was crying before I even went in (about other stuff though). I feel so deeply tired, like I can’t move my body. Almost like I’m drunk, my body feels numb and tingly and heavy.
We had a discussion about what’s real or not in EMDR and how could Jesus be bringing forward my dad if I don’t even think my dad’s in heaven. If it’s not real, then how can this bring healing? This was important to discuss because it’s even distracting me during sessions. I wonder how much of what’s happening during EMDR is just wishful thinking on my part and how much of it is real healing that’s occurring. So we only did 20 minutes of actual EMDR.
I realize I have new anger with my dad- so much more than before. I’m incredibly angry about the life his actions have taken and the multiple lives it’s ruined.
We picked up where we left off- my dad was there with a sad face and big, questioning eyes, (waiting for me to either forgive or accept him or hug him or something) and Jesus was behind me. I pushed myself back into Jesus- not wanting to move toward my dad and wanting to rest/ rely on Jesus or to know that he’s still there for me.
Jesus and I were standing the same pool of water. The water changed from blue to red, as I was avoiding looking at Jesus because I really wasn’t ready to move toward my dad. I remembered that Jesus nudged me the last time to go toward my dad, but since I didn’t feel ready, I felt ashamed to look Jesus in the face.
The red crept up from the water and moved into the sky and everything became a deep red- I thought Jesus was leaving, but I remembered that’s what the color purple represents. I’m not sure what the red was all about.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see green grass sprouting up.
Out of the green, blooms a single yellow orchid (which reminds me of my dad because he grew orchids- there’s even a brown orchid with a fuchsia and yellow center named after my dad, called the Charlie Orchid.)
The grass morphs into the orchid plant and in fast forward motion, whole sprays of yellow orchids shoot out and bloom. I see a caretaker of the orchid plant- someone (only a shadow) bent over the plant. I think it might be my uncle (because he and his wife grew orchids after my dad died). It turns out it is my uncle. He looks up and talks, but I can’t hear him. I really want to hear what he’s saying so I tell him that I can’t hear him. He gets up close to me, smiles a great big smile and loudly says with a funny, sarcastic attitude, “What I said was…” and then he keeps talking but I can’t hear him again. His mouth moves, but he’s silent.
I turn to ask Jesus to help out here- to help me understand what my uncle is saying. I think I forgot some parts that happened in between…but I see my uncle smile like I have literally never seen him smile before and he gives a side hug to my dad, who’s also smiling. I immediately think it’s fake. This isn’t real- there’s no way everything is all hunky dory between them. (This is where I question the veracity of EMDR).
? I don’t remember, but I think I look back at Jesus to see if this (my dad and uncle hugging and smiling) is real- to get confirmation. Jesus looks different this time though. He looks like a real person- not like the glowing light he was before.
⬆️⬇️ don’t know which happened first
? At some point, I’m avoiding looking at Jesus and I look down and play around with the water, letting my hands glide over the top of the blue water. The water slowly turns white. After all the water turns white, where Jesus and I are standing together, the water begins to glow a warm yellow. I feel warmth on my back where Jesus is. I think I turn to see him. And then I turn back to see where my uncle and dad are- it’s like I’m checking to make sure they’re not the same- like there are no tricks or anything. (?)
I look directly at Jesus and ask him to talk to me, I ask, “What do you want me to know?” He says in the most convincing, sincere and compassionate way I’ve ever heard, “I LOVE you.” He continues, “I’m here with you… (and he says something else and something else- I can’t remember)…and “choose life. Choose MY life.” Jesus hugs me and holds me and says the same things all over again. I’m confused with what he means by choose “my life.” I ask him and he says, to choose the life that he has for me. I ask him to explain to me how to do that, to show me that. In response, I no longer see any visuals- I hear “scriptures” over and over again. I’m mildly annoyed by this because it’s a vague answer and It’s always been hard for me to discern the meaning or the direction that some scriptures point you in. But “scripture” was the very clear answer.
We started out with the image of my uncle, shot, face down in the bloody grass.
I almost immediately lifted straight up in the air and was floating over my uncle’s house.
I saw the events of the suicide play out from a bird’s eye view: my uncle barricading himself in the back bedroom, the police coming in through the front door, I see him leave out the back door of his room and run around to the front of the house. I see him come up behind the officers, the last of whom are still entering through the front door. I see him raise his empty handgun and point it at the officers. I see them shoot him. He falls and as they approach and pick up his weapon, they realize it’s empty. One of them says, “Ah, fuck.”
The police take hours to write up their reports. One of my memories is staring at the circular burn marks in the grass that were made by the police cars idling on top of the high lawn.
My aunt is crying and my uncle is getting taken away on a stretcher.
I go back into his bedroom, where he’d barricaded himself.
I feel like there’s something I need to see, something I need to find- a clue maybe.
I’m drawn to the bed…it’s dark underneath- twice I see a long shot gun laying under the bed amidst the darkness.
I find sheets of paper between the mattresses – maybe a suicide note? Or some kind of communication from my uncle?
I hold the papers and a green vine grows up out of them toward the sky, like Jack and the Beanstalk. The vine quickly swirls upward toward the sky and soon, red blood trickles down the vine.
The trickle turns into a gushing of blood pouring down, like the elevator scene in The Shining, where blood gushes out.
I jump out of the way as the blood pours down from the heavens. It pools on the floor. I keep up against the sides of the walls. I don’t know what to do. I slip out of the door to the bedroom, wanting to leave the mess behind. I feel guilty right away and realize I’m turning my back on my uncle. So I face the door and put my hand on white door and on the door handle, saying to myself that I’ll go back in. I just need a minute.
Then a yellow light forms directly behind me and garners my attention. I’m drawn to the light but I keep wanting to go back to the bloody room. I hear, “Come to the light.” I think they say, “that’s not yours,” taking about the bloody mess in the room.
I don’t want to leave the room- it’s my depression. I’m not sure I’m ready to leave the room/ the depression behind.
A hand reaches out from the light and takes mine and it makes me smoothly and swiftly move forward. I think I say something about how easy it is when you take my hand. ?
It pulls me sharply through a membrane or energy field kind of thing- into a bubble filled with white light.
Inside the bubble is bright but we can see through it. We float up again over the house. I see the dark room – blackness envelops the outside of the room and the red blood is still pooled in the inside. It seems they’re pointing me in the opposite direction of the room to find happiness. It’s not toward the bloody, black room- it’s elsewhere.
I look over to see what/ where happiness is and the place has green foliage with red roses and a blue ocean. I see the red roses vividly- they stand for life. It’s just the rose- no stem, no nothing- just the flower. Suddenly I’m out in the ocean and there are about 5 or 6 of the roses floating in the blue ocean with me. I question whether the ocean is truth like the other blue water was. It’s not. It’s darker, deeper. I see it as being how I describe depression and suicide- like an uncontrollable, wild sea overwhelming and devouring you.
Like La Mer:
So I decide the ocean is not where the roses belong. I look toward the shore and see the white sand of the shore and the green foliage with palm trees. I think that’s where I need to move to. I pick up the roses floating in the ocean and gather them together and paddle for the white beach. Paddling goes on forever. I make it to the white beach, sit down, gaze out over the ocean, and set the roses down in the sand. As I’m looking at them, I realize they won’t flourish here. They’re life. And to make them live, they need to reach the green foliage behind me. So I pick the roses up off the sand and take them to the greenery. I see a small gentle waterfall flowing into a small cool pool of water in the middle of the green foliage. I think the roses might belong there so I put some in the greenery and I lay some on the water to float. I stand in the water and analyze the roses in the greenery and the roses floating to see which is better. The water is better. So I take the few roses from the greenery and put them in the water with me.
I want to lay back in the cool water and float, but I don’t want to lose touch with the roses. So I take a rose in each hand and lay back and float. With the red color in my palms, it reminds me of Jesus on the cross.
When you float and water is in your ears, you can’t hear most of what’s happening around you. So I think it’s not safe to float because I can’t hear if anyone or anything approaches. So I sit up to see if anyone is there. I spin around and do a 360 and see no one. But I feel like someone is there so I say, “who’s there?” At this point, I think my dad begins to come forward- a faded figure with a belly. I’m not sure though. As he emerges, it becomes clear that it’s definitely him. I see his jeans and his red and white plaid shirt.
I think he’s there to finish our conversation. I go to get out of the pool to hug him/ greet him. But I stop. I picture wearing wet clothes and think because of him and his past, that might not be appropriate or safe. So I remain in the water. He sits on the edge of the pool with his feet in the water. I want to talk so I say, “Is there anything you want to say?” He says, “I love you” and then says something about if there was ever any doubt or there shouldn’t be a doubt. I think he says something else but I can’t remember.
<I think something significant happens here, but I just can’t remember what… >
I apologize, but I bluntly tell him that I just can’t trust him. I see a picture of the clown painting and a bird briefly enters the picture. I think the clown painting (representing grooming or deceitful, manipulative actions) might represent why I have doubts.
I just don’t believe him.
I ask, “Can God say that to me so I can believe you?” But I feel bad right away and drop my head, thinking of how you shouldn’t ask God to prove things to you.
Jesus comes almost immediately, full on in all His glory. No shadowy figure- but a bright white and yellow, very clear image of him appears. He gets in the water with me and stands right in front of me. It’s almost invasive how close He gets…but it makes me realize He’s there for me, how close He is to me.
He holds his hands out toward me with a red rose in it. The red rose turns into the red sacred heart.
I think I hear “Jesus is life/ I am life” and “choose life” over and over and over again. Jesus takes me by the hand and I say how easy it is when he holds my hand. I grab? His other hand and ask him to never let go. We embrace in a long, strong, very safe hug.
I don’t know if I ask him if my dad loves me or not. My dad is there off to the side waiting. I explain that I love my dad and I think I’ve forgiven him. Jesus answers by saying, “I love you” with the implication of isn’t that enough? Or isn’t that all you need? Inside I know it is. I don’t answer out loud. I cry a lot (in real life) while this is happening.
I think I still want to know about my dad- what to do. When I asked Jesus to never let go of my hands he didn’t…until this point. He turns me around to face my dad and puts his hands on my shoulders. His hands feel huge and they grip strong so I know he won’t let go of me. He’s got me, is supporting me- he’s got my back, so to speak. I feel a gentle nudge forward, towards my dad- Jesus asks if I’m ready to move forward. I hesitate. I don’t know. I feel I’m not ready and I don’t know if I should accept him or what. ?
The therapist says she sees the Holy Spirit all over this. She said something similar the last time too. I wonder if she just says that to everyone.
I didn’t want to go today. I was crying before I even went. I’m so angry and so overwhelmingly sad. I’m surrounded by love at the moment, but all I want to do is get away- run away. I just want to disappear. On multiple levels.
Today I thought about some things that used to be special to me between my dad and I. On multiple different occasions he would take both my brother and I or sometimes just myself out to get ice cream. For whatever reason, he’d stop at Dairy Queen right before dinner and then make us promise to not tell our mom. I also remember that after he was diagnosed with cancer, he took me out of school early one day. We went fishing. I remember that day very clearly. I thought it was special that he was taking extra time to spend with me, knowing that his time was limited. There was a time before he got cancer that he took me to a local art shop- we looked at paintings and he showed me one that he had already picked out. It was a painting of a clown. He made a big deal out of the painting and of us going there. Because of that, I thought the painting must have been really expensive. He also made a big deal out of keeping it all secret- a special secret. I still have that painting. But I hate it now. Even though I hate it, I can’t let go of it because it’s the only thing I have that my dad gave me.
Over a decade ago, I went to a counselor and received therapy. I told my therapist about the special, secret things my dad did for me. She shook her head and informed me that it’s part of “grooming.”
I was devastated.
I remember thinking that maybe she wasn’t entirely correct. That maybe just because my dad did something for me in secret, doesn’t necessarily mean it was grooming. But this revelation is what led me to despise that painting. I will never truly know my dad’s intentions.
So today I was thinking about all of this. And with the new fact that my uncle was also a victim of my dad’s, I wondered if there was ever any grooming done by my dad toward my uncle. I don’t think I’ll ever know.
The other thing I also thought about- was if I don’t make it through this…how many lives would be taken as a result of the actions of one person.
It’s mind blowing.