Triggers, Triggers Everywhere

“Trigger” is a word I have had to come to grips with and just get used to. Just a short time ago, the word grated on my nerves. The word itself would illicit an eye roll that started way back in my head somewhere.

So many are “triggered” so often. I thank God for the truth taught in a book I read years ago called, The Four Agreements. It isn’t a Christian book (((gasp))) but God’s wisdom is littered throughout it. I mean, the Bible does say He is all in all so… Anyway, that book helped me in enormous ways because I am a highly sensitive person. It helped me to not take everything someone else says or does to heart and as a personal affront to the entirety of my person hood.

I read an article on a friend’s page entitled Don’t Tell Me God is Good and commiserated with the author. I commented to my friend that the post reminded me of the time I cried and screamed in anger towards God because I’d lost another baby. I have lost 7 total, but 5 happened within 9 months and I was really a mess. After yelling at Him and crying, I clearly felt His presence. It was as if He got down to my level and I heard Him say, “I’m Sorry”. That floored me and helped heal me in many ways. It also brought our relationship to a greater level of intimacy.

What that post brought to mind though was triggers. As I read it, I felt the author has more healing to experience in the area mentioned in the post. Don’t we all have areas we still have yet to experience healing in? When things trigger us, it points out a sore spot in us that is in need of healing, but instead of looking to God for freedom in that area, we often want others to change. Look at how many words we are being told we shouldn’t use today because it may trigger someone. People are confronted with attempted censorship every day on social media and in real life.

There’s a massive call to remove all words that could be possible triggers and nothing is being done to aid a person in healing from those triggers that are to me, very obviously their problem. It’s a call for you to stop triggering me so I can be comfortable and ignore my responsibility to obtain healing for my issues and traumas. This reminds me of another good post I read entitled, Trauma Is Not Your Fault, But Healing Is Your Responsibility.

I suppose what I am asking is that we take a moment when triggered and consider what lies we may be believing in that moment. What are we telling ourselves? Asking others to stop saying what triggers us is handing our responsibility over. It’s akin to asking someone else to fix you. Only God can and has done that. We need help to walk in the freedom that was so preciously paid for. We need healing.

By the way, a huge trigger for me that seems to bother me to no end is whispering. If someone speaks to me in a way that is barely audible, with just the right intention (perceived by me) behind it, oh my word, it does something to my insides and infuriates me to no end. I need healing, Lord.

Sacrificial Praise (& Worship)

God bless those who deal with pain day in and day out, with no definitive end in sight. I must say first, that I don’t believe this is God’s will for anyone. Jesus said we would have trouble in this world but he also said he has overcome the world. He didn’t say he, Holy Spirit and the Father were conspiring together, figuring who they would dole out what ailment to for this amazing “opportunity for growth” or something else that we like to make up when we don’t understand another’s suffering. If sickness and death were God’s pleasure, he’d be downright crazy to have sent Jesus to take care of it all. No, God is not crazy, and I don’t pretend to understand much beyond His being a good God and giving us the ability to heal.

That said, today marks 16 days of dealing with pain from back spasms. I’m not sure how I managed this, but I did and boy does it hurt.

At first it was a pain that I ignored. Then I took notice of it but still kept going as normal until the pain jolted me to respect its presence and had me crying because I couldn’t do much without feeling it.

Once I was in bed, I began to feel sorry for myself and even got angry. I am not good at sitting still, and frankly, I didn’t. I still managed to make a sourdough cake, sourdough pumpkin bread, apple cinnamon bread, lasagna, hummus, tuna dip, sourdough crackers and more. Again, I am not a good patient.

Thankfully, a friend introduced me to a Christian talk show called Better Together. One of the women on the show reminded me of how, when we get to Heaven, there will be no more pain and suffering. The type of praise and worship we are able to give here on earth, the sacrificial, sweet smelling aroma, born of pain, trials and tribulation, will no longer be something we can offer our Heavenly Father once we are gone from this earth. That gave me another jolt, albeit a nicer jolt than the back spasms provided.

I suddenly had an opportunity! Instead of wallowing and being angry about the pain and having to be still, I could offer a sacrifice of praise to my dear Abba. No, I wasn’t thanking Him for the pain, that’s stupid and weird, plus He didn’t cause it. I could spend that time however, praising Him and loving on Him in spite of it all. It reminded me of the last miscarriage I had before giving birth to my youngest son, Jonathan.

I was literally contracting, and could feel when my baby left my body. In that moment, something changed as I stood before a crowd, leading worship with my daughter and my dad Russ, singing Great Are You Lord to my Abba. It felt amazing. By the time I got home, I had bled through everything and found the remains of my child. Thankfully, my pants were black so no one noticed.

That memory is bittersweet, obviously because I miscarried again, but it is a very sweet memory because I was making a statement and taking a stance that all of hell likely shuddered to witness. Yes, I was hurting, both physically and emotionally, but I was still worshiping my God right in the midst of it all and receiving a healing that I can’t begin to describe. And it was no coincidence that the son God named and promised me I would have, is called, Jonathan, “Yahweh has given”.

Again, I’m not saying this is a good thing to be able to be in pain to praise God. I know how to praise Him when I am not in any pain too. But now, when I feel the pain from these muscle spasms (which has greatly diminished, thank you Jesus), I will use it as an opportunity to worship. I won’t be able to worship this way when I get to Heaven, so for now, I am taking advantage of it.

The Singer Who Rarely Listens to Music

You know how music makes you feel things? I rarely listen to music because I don’t like to feel things. Most songs from my childhood end up having me in a state of grief. I know this isn’t a bad thing. I need to grieve what I once thought I had but never did and likely, never will. There are times that I feel led to play music that I know will lead me to grieve a bit. When I feel that nudge, I do it. Otherwise, I avoid music altogether.

The other day, someone in the house played El DeBarge’s “Love Me In A Special Way”. I sat in the kitchen and just cried uncontrollably. I remembered myself as a very little girl, singing that, not knowing what I was singing but doing so with all my heart because singing is one of my gifts and I used to love to sing.

I just felt led by the Lord to look at the lyrics because I woke up this morning with that song playing in my head. I didn’t really know the words, but part of the lyrics struck me as I read them this morning…

“Love me in a special way
What more can I say 
Love me now
Love me in a special way
What more can I say 
Love me now (love me now)

‘Cause I’m special
Not the average kind 
Who’d accept any line
That sounds good
So reach into your chain of thoughts
Try to find something new
Because what worked for you so well before
For me it just won’t do.

Love me in a special way
What more can I say 
Love me now
Love me in a special way
What more can I say 
Love me now (love me now)”

I am beginning to feel differently now, more authentic, more un-apologetically me. Manipulation tactics that worked on me before, just don’t any longer. Not because I didn’t catch them before, I caught them, I just ignored them and pushed through because I thought I was here to make others happy and comfortable. I thought I was here to take care of people and leave my own needs for some other loving soul to hopefully, prayerfully see, take pity on me, and take care of them for me. Now that I know I am responsible for taking care of my needs, not others’, I refuse to continue to let myself down.

There’s still a little girl inside of me. She is incredibly wounded and afraid. I have carried her with me all my life, yet, I have ignored her needs and wishes, in order to favor others. She couldn’t depend on anyone to meet her emotional needs. Sure, she was dressed nicely. She was fed, but she was also starving for real and unconditional love.

She needed care that just wasn’t offered. She was psychologically and emotionally beat down behind closed doors. She was lonely, and lived in survival mode, because back then, she had to. Not anymore. Now I get to care for this gem of a girl. I get to love her unconditionally. I get to accept her tears, her fears, her grief, her anger, and not just her love, her generosity and care because it feels better and suits me.

I accept her wholly. Little by little, I am gaining her trust, and whatever she does in my chest that makes it feel so uncomfortably tight, whatever she is doing that makes me feel like I am struggling to breathe at times, is lessening as I remember how to care for her.

That little girl will no longer need to sing those lyrics from a state of grief and desperation. If she sings it at all, she will sing it for the love of singing, because she has a beautiful voice. You should just hear her.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

At the time of my writing/typing this, I have no physical voice. After not having allergy issues for probably 10 years, I have been slammed, hard, this year. I am aware that because of the nature of the journey I am on, I am not functioning in an optimal manner.

In my videos I talk about being tired, having flashbacks, nightmares and more. It’s all par for the course with regards to the journey of recovery I am on.

Things that have not bothered me for a long while (like allergies) or have never bothered me, have started to. I am now asking myself how much of this is ok… How much am I willing to allow? I know all too well what it is to have a voice but not use it for fear of angering others. Having overcome that fear, I have to look at what I can do.

I am doing what I know to do. I am praying and using various herbs to help me through this time of resting my voice and body. Also, in the meantime, just in case the enemy wants to gloat at my voice being lost, I write to remind him that I still have a voice, and I will use it.

I was hoarse beforehand, but I likely pushed too far when I sang at the prophetic retreat and lead a workshop. Not too long afterwards, my voice had enough of my pushing and vacated the premises. Today is day 5 of no voice and I am not digging it at all. Because I am classically trained, I understand very well what I did and why this has happened but it didn’t stop me from shedding tears a few times when I tried and failed to call my daughter’s name, tried to scream and tried to make a noise I make with my 2 year old son when I touch his little nose.

My voice is coming back little by little each day. Every day I am declaring over my voice, prophesying over myself. My voice will return different. It will be stronger than ever before- more resolute. I speak supernatural strength and health over my vocal cords. I will do with these vocal cords, what God wills, and there’s not a demon in Hell that can stop me because greater is He who is in me than our already defeated foe.

I will sing, speak, and I will write, all for the glory of my dear Abba. I will not go gentle into that good night as Thomas Dylan’s poem says. I will boldly fight for what’s mine.

No More Cryptic Messages

So, we don’t do church traditionally, but for clarity, I will refer to a certain group as my church family, even though it sounds stupid, lol. I just love them and I know more than ever, they love me right back, unconditionally so.

Throughout this entire journey of healing from past wounds, they have supported me, every step of the way, in just the manner I needed. There are far too many to name so I won’t go there, but it amazes me that they have so graciously allowed me whatever I needed, as I needed, even when it wasn’t comfortable for them. This kind of love isn’t what I was accustomed to.

I now see, with greater clarity that love isn’t a thing of diametrical opposition. Words and deeds line up. They match. There’s no conflict between the two. There’s no pressure to do what someone else thinks is best. Love is freeing. It’s letting go. It’s allowing people to be where they are, and accepting them fully, as they are, right now. It is not trying to mold them into what or who we think they should be or trying to control them through tactics that are simply mean spirited and divisive.

Love connects, redeems, forgives, apologizes sincerely. Love is when one changes awful, unacceptable behavior when confronted with it. Love is honest and other centered, not self centered.

I am convinced that freedom here on Earth grows as our minds are renewed to the Truth. The truth is, we are free. Jesus paid it all. I have pressed through fears that felt insurmountable but after moving forward, even in fear, those fears vanished.

One such fear came about in doing what God was asking of me several months ago. He has kept me up many nights, giving me ideas on exactly how to go about openly sharing my recovery journey through my YouTube channel. I was afraid to do it and doubted I was hearing from Him correctly. Of course, He was patient with me and sent confirmation after confirmation so, I uploaded my first video a week ago.

The fear was almost paralyzing, but I did it. I thought for sure, I would not be sleeping at night for quite a while. I thought my blood pressure would land me into the hospital, but as God would have it, I have slept better than before and when I went to the doctor last week, my blood pressure was 118/80. It was previously 153/94. I was stressed.

If you want to go along this journey with me, I invite you to visit my YouTube Channel, there, you can see the videos I have uploaded so far, and if you care to keep up, you can subscribe and hit the notification bell to be notified when I upload new videos. As always, I send you so much love, Dear Reader.

Patrice

I’ve Not Disappeared, Well Maybe I Have

It’s been a very long time since I’ve written anything.  I’m writing now to simply say that I don’t really know what to say besides saying that I am on a very hard journey to healing childhood wounds.

I implore you, if you have any of your own, seek help.  It is unreasonable to think you can just go on and not pass on some or a lot of your own pain to someone you care for. Something I saw on Facebook from Christine Caine said it best, “If you never heal from what hurt you, you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you.” This makes me angry, actually.  I find it difficult to fathom being so unaware of oneself, that one leaves a path of destruction in their wake, completely and utterly oblivious.  I especially have a hard time when it’s children who catch the brunt of that destruction.  It isn’t fair.  I am intent on ending abusive cycles.  The buck stops here.  What I find even more disturbing is the covert nature of it.  When it comes to people, I have an easier time taking those blatant, in your face types.  Covert behavior bugs me because there’s such an insidious nature to it. It’s so ugly and despicable. Also, when one displays covert tendencies, it makes me feel that they have more control than they’re willing to admit, being able to behave one way here and another way there.  I don’t handle that well.

So, I pray you are well while I’m going through all the emotions and what comes with healing.  It’s hard, but it’s great and so very necessary.  I am already a very different, healthier, more alert me than ever before. I am happier too, actually.  As I said, it’s difficult at times, but this is a good thing.  God is with me and I know it.  He started me on this journey, after all.  I will aim to write again soon.  With love, Patrice.

To Share, Or Not

I have written several blog posts, only to put them aside.  I am not sure what to share or how much to share these days.  I understand all the reasons why I should be quiet right now and just deal in secrecy, but, what if keeping quiet is harmful?  What about the opportunity to have my issues be a source of comfort, relief, validation or joy for others?  What if my opening up could help more than my being quiet? My friend Juli recently told me that my super power is my transparency.  I agree.  I enjoy being honest and open.  I love the idea that simply sharing my journey can help others in ways I haven’t considered.

I have been on yet another life altering journey of self discovery and healing.  The Lord seems to be moving through all areas of my life, cleaning, pruning and making changes.  It makes me think of a time when my oldest daughter unknowingly gave me a word from God.

We were in a prophecy 101 type of class, and had chosen one number from a cup, twice.  The first number was to be our number, the second was the number of the person we would be prophesying over.  When it was her turn, my daughter said something along the lines of, “I see a person being molded and shaped, like bread.  They are very uncomfortable and want to fight against the molding taking place but God is saying to stop fighting against the molding and shaping, because it’s Him.”  I could only smile in awe when she announced the number and it was mine.  I haven’t forgotten that word she gave me.  It is very true of the process I am in right now.

God has brought to light things that weren’t exactly done in the dark per se, but they were done in ways and at a time where the truth of it all escaped me because I was a child, conditioned to think and believe in very specific ways.  I have learned that because of this, I am what the world of psychology calls, co-dependent.  I have empathy for everyone except myself and tend to be overly concerned about caring for the needs and wishes of others, even to my own detriment.  I have believed so much about myself and my personality that simply aren’t true.  He is teaching me who I truly am and healing me of past wounds so that I don’t continue the cycle of abuse with my children or anyone else for that matter.

I am working through a lot of rage that I have carried since childhood.  I used to fight, and when I did, it was pretty awful.  Looking back, I am surprised that no adult picked up on the obvious rage in an otherwise mild mannered, kind hearted little girl.  I am especially surprised this didn’t happen when I was suspended in 5th grade, for fighting after school, off school grounds.  I will just say, that poor girl has evidence of that fight today and what I did to her wasn’t at all warranted.  Let me explain…

As I walked home from school with friends, two of them suddenly began fighting.  One friend, got in a good hit on the other and without thinking, something inside of me snapped, and I was suddenly fighting the first girl.  I later went to her home and apologized to her and her mother.  I didn’t know what happened or why I did what I did. I messed her face up badly enough that when we went to school the following day, teacher after teacher was outraged at the sight of her face and, learning I was at fault, I was sent to the principal, who, also outraged, suspended me for 10 days.

Every single fight I had, I remember one common theme.  I would seem to leave my body, fight viciously, and suddenly come to myself, wondering how I got there.  Sadly, there were several people who were left with permanent scars, all undeserved.

The Lord is helping me sort through all this and more, and it’s not fun or comfortable. It’s very hard, actually. I see and understand the reason for it all and am grateful, nonetheless.  I know that, on the other side of this, I will be a better, stronger, truer version of myself. I will set boundaries and have consequences in place if those boundaries aren’t adhered to.  I will no longer quietly assume any roles  God Himself hasn’t designated for me to play.  I am done with it all, and I feel more free having just stated that.

With love, Patrice