Monday, November 20, 2017

Music Monday - All about RECOVERING! and FORGIVENESS? Vol 2



Welcome to another edition of Music Monday!  I'll be quiet now because I have a lot to say regarding the following song "Praying" by Kesha.  

Side note:   I don't know why it turned my background white.  All words are my own except when directly quoted.

I'd also love to hear from you.

What songs are you relating to right now?

How do you feel about forgiveness for those whom have hurt you?
What are you struggling with right now?



Kesha - "Praying"

While watching the video and reading the accompanying lyrics, I was all torn up and mentally chaotic. Breaking down and analyzing this song caused me to face my own ideas about recovery and forgiveness.  

"Praying" relates to the bitter legal feud Kesha had with her producer “Dr. Luke” and Sony Records over her claim of manipulation, along with mental, physical, emotional, and sexual assualt at the hands of Dr. Luke.  For four years, she was unable to produce new music until circumstances changed recently, unconnected with the law suit, but which allowed her to put out music again.  


I found myself vacillating over whether I liked or hated this song because I don’t necessarily agree with the totality of the song's premise or message.  But I don’t want  to only share with you my choices and my beliefs.  I trust you, the reader and listener, can do your own thinking and decide on the  message and the impact this song has on you. I definitely would love to get your reaction. The video is below, and afterwards I break down the lyrics and offer my analysis.






Partial lyrics to her song are listed below.


Well, you almost had me fooled / Told me that I was nothing without you


I begin with embracing her thoughts about almost being fooled.  Don’t we grow up with our abuser(s) lying to us, telling us to keep quiet about what’s happening because no one would believe us anyway?  But Kesha doesn’t fall for it when she says, “You almost had me fooled.”  

Oh, but after everything you've done / I can thank you for how strong I have become

Here comes my reluctance to accept her lyrics regarding thanking her abuser for how strong she’s become.  It’ is MY PERSONAL BELIEF that I don’t owe a thank you to any of my abusers.  Fuck them.  Plain and simple.  I was born strong.  THAT is how I’m still alive, not because of anyone else.


'Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell / I had to learn how to fight for myself / And we both know all the truth I could tell / I'll just say this is "I wish you farewell"
Other than her politelness in “I wish you farewell” where I would have said “Get the fuck out of my life”, I can relate to these lyrics on the level where tells him that her hell is his fault, but she is stronger than he is because she learned to fight for herself.

On a personaI note, I believe we can fight for ourselves.  I don’t need an apology from an abuser to make me feel better, bring me peace, or provide closure for me.  I can fight my own battles, and a contrived apology doesn’t count.
Kesha also writes, “And we both know all the truth I could tell.”  Because she says this before she bids him goodbye, it almost seems to me that this is part of her letting it go, forgiving him and wishing him peace.  I believe she is saying, "I’m not going to rehash it anymore; I’m done with it.  I’m moving on."  
This sentiment of Kesha’s possible forgiveness works nicely into the next lines when she writes,”
Cause I can make it on my own / And I don't need you, I found a strength I've never known / I'll bring thunder, I'll bring rain, oh / When I'm finished, they won't even know your name
Again, I can make it on my with my strength.  And I suspect she’s saying regarding bringing thunder and rain that this is a metaphor for her power. Perhaps she is saying she has the power to bring him down.
And after all this empowerment, she fails and writes what is below,


I hope you're somewhere prayin', prayin' /  I hope your soul is changin', changin' / I hope you find your peace /  Falling on your knees, prayin'


Alot of survivors would debate me on the issue of forgiveness, and that is okay.  Each to his own.  Some feel forgiveness is necessary to move on, some say not so much.  I side with the “not so much.”  I don’t feel forgiveness is necessary to heal.  How can you forgive something or someone that stole your life, your potential.  

I can already hear others telling me forgiveness is about you, not about the other person.  I can understand this line of thinking and even agree to some extent.  However, my convictions on forgiveness are not in line with that.  So when Kesha is singing,” I hope your soul is changin’, changin’, / I hope you find your peace”, I just want to scream, “Oh, hell no!”  While I wouldn’t want my abusers to hurt others, I want them to stay the same evil people they are; I don't wanting them finding peace because they don't deserve it. I haven't even found peace, why should they. In addition, my feelings are partly due to reactions I have that if they did change and repent, I might feel obligated to forgive them, and that’s not something I want to deal with.

Kesha has said in an open letter on LennyLetter.com that “this song is about coming to feel empathy for someone else even if they hurt you or scare you.” Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.  No way will I try to understand the evil of an abuser.



On a positive not, Kesha has found inside her the ability to fight her way out of her depression and mental anguish.  She has been through something anguishing and come out the other side, and, as she has said, has found her strength.

While I do have issues with some of her message, I also find it inspirational because there are still issues in my life to overcome and when I see others rising above their personal demons, it makes me think that maybe I can too.

I'd also love to hear from you.

What songs are you relating to right now?

How do you feel about forgiveness for those whom have hurt you?
What are you struggling with right now?


Sunday, November 19, 2017

THE NOT-SO BIG REVEAL OUT OF HIDING!





Always have to start with Maybelline.  She's the beginning and the end of my world.

Today sucks.  I hate today.  I feel depressed because I'm fat.  I am having some distressing gastrointestinal issues going on, and they are wreaking havoc on my body and making me feel fat . . . . which in turn makes me depressed.  So I've been hiding in my apartment all day.

So I thought of one thing that might make me feel better today which is to stop hiding behind an anonymous screen and reveal my picture and identity. 


I’ve been thinking about revealing my identity for a while, but up until 2015 I was studying to be a teacher or working as a teacher, and I didn’t think it would be prudent to expose myself in such a vulnerable way in such an important role.  However, I’m not working now, so I can take more risks, and I’m ready to take some now.  I would say my life is boring and safe right now in many ways.  I’m not taking chances in recovery.  I hold up the same walls to Therapist that I usually do.  I just play it safe and if you always do the things you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always gotten.



And for some reason, I want more now.  I’m hungry for some type of change.  Something to shake up things.  (I don't know who is saying this because it's not coming from me.) I don’t know what change looks like, what it is, or how to get it.  Normally I hate change.  Still do.  And when it comes time to enacting change, I’ll probably avoid it.  But for now I’ll take my first step and reveal my identity.  


So my name is Becca, and these are some of pictures below.


Hi!  I'm Becca and this is my frizzy, curly hair.



Maybelline and I fell asleep together, and Husband was mean enough to take a picture.

Maybelline loves to rest on my chest.  I think it's my heartbeat she likes to hear.

Always snuggling.  She is my world.

1 of 2 pictures without Maybelline.  What can I say?



Well, now you know.  My name is Becca and I have curly hair.  Not quite an NBC reveal, but it will have to do.  I'll change my avatar soon on IG and Twitter.  I invite you to look at my Instagram page @Run_Becca_Run if you would like to see more pictures of me, Maybelline, and all things inspiration.

I'd love to hear from you!

How do you feel about revealing or not revealing your identity?
Does anything scare you about it?



Friday, November 17, 2017

FRIDAY FEELINGS - THE BASICS OF SELF CARE - VOL 1


Never really engaging in self-care, I had no idea what to expect, write, or suggest about it. I've been to enough treatment facilities that encouraged self-care, but I always believed I didn't deserve it, so I wouldn't even try.

But learning that self-care lowers stress levels, helps maintain focus on recovery, and helps boost personal happiness, I knew that whether I believed I deserved self-care or not, I was going to "fake it till I make it"; I was going to act like I deserved it. But where to begin?

First, the website Psych Central defines self care as "any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health."

I appreciate the word used here: deliberately.  It implies an action that is not easy and for which planning will be needed.  It has to be a calculated, deliberate act of treating ourselves to a special activity in order for self-care to be effective.

For many of us, there is a learning curve because self-care doesn't come naturally.  It doesn't feel normal.  We are more prone to hurting ourselves than to taking care of ourselves.

After thinking about self-care and doing some research, I came across the above image exploring different types of self-care.  Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Practical, Social, and Financial.  The list is brilliant in breaking down the types of  self care and provides examples and suggestions on implementing it.  For instance, under Social Self-Care, the idea to work on friendships is given.  Perhaps you may call up an old friend or acquaintance and prepare some questions you'd like to ask him or her over coffee or tea.  If hanging out with someone is too overwhelming, maybe you could send them a text, let them know you are thinking of him or her.  You could even investigate some clubs or groups you could join where people have similar interests.  

The idea is to just do something.  Let's get out of our comfort zones and deliberately plan an activity that might make us feel better.

I am deliberately choosing to use Practical Self-Care by vacuuming my apartment this weekend.   I love the feeling I get when my home is clean, so this activity will help me accomplish something that makes me feel good and calms.   What about you?

I'd love to hear from you.

Does self-care come easy or hard for you?

What is one deliberate act of self-care you can take to make yourself feel better?

What are some of your ideas on how you take care of yourself?


Thursday, November 16, 2017

BROKEN, BEATEN, AND BULLIED




I can count on it.  I depend on it.  And it never lets me down.  The nighttime, from 6-10, is the graveyard where my pretenses  go to die.   


It’s kind of good in a way . . . to feel this despair, I mean.  Before I would try to steel myself against the pain, but now innocent tears plunge down well worn pathways, and my resolve is lost.  I become that bullied child again.  


I often think I should just get over it.  They were just kids, weren’t they?  Did they know better?  Does it matter?


Ask my insecurities.  They’ll tell you.  They’ll scream the truth if it were safe.  


Ask why we constantly need other’s approval or help in making decisions.  Ask why we can never trust ourselves.  Ask why our adult-self cannot make friends, trust others, and fears being social.  Ask, ask, ask away.  The answers agree and never disappoint.


Now, decades later, so many years have ticked off the calendar, but I still see that emotionally beaten and bullied child, 6th grade, head down on desk, tears bursting through failed attempts of constraint, embarrassed they caught her in their grasp again.


Sadly, I remember that girl.  She was me, and I was her.  And neither of us are okay tonight.   She still cries, and I still watch, helplessly.  We take turns when it gets to be too much . . . and tonight it’s too much . . . for both of us . . . and I want so badly for someone to listen.  


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

WEDNESDAY WISDOM - VOL 1





Norman Cousins (1912 - 1990)













This is a quote from Norman Cousins (1912 - 1990) who was an American journalist and editor in chief of the Saturday Review for over 35 years.  He was known for his quotes on life, death, laughter, and health.   


When we think about loss, most times our minds go to people we have lost in death.  But Cousins said losing someone wasn’t the greatest loss of all; he posited that the death of what lies inside us while we yet live is the greatest loss.


For me, I thought about things that I have lost.  For instance, I feel a piece of me was killed when I went through years of abuse.  I lost myself and my potential.  I lost my youth,  my innocence, my ability to be touched without recoil.  I lost my ability to love and be loved, my ability to feel happiness, to feel relaxed and at peace in the moment.  I could continue on about my losses, but I’m sure you get the point  and could list losses of your own.


Here’s the trick though.  I believe it is up to each of us to “resurrect” or reinvent the pieces we have lost, that have died inside us.  See, Cousins said to lose those things was the greatest loss, but I believe they don’t have to remain absent.  Though I struggle in wanting to get better, I am working on reclaiming what was lost, what was taken from me.  Unlike death, happiness, or a form of it, is something I can recover, and even experience now in bits and pieces.  Losing what lies inside us is worse than death, but it doesn’t mean we have to lose it forever.  


I can make the changes now, no matter how small, how much I don’t want to, or how difficult it is. I can work on restoring my life, and I can get back what was taken from me, what died inside me.  It’s simply a question of how much do I want to reclaim what was taken and how willing I am to fight for what belongs to me.  Just like essayist Anais Nin said, “The day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”  It’s time for us to blossom, to reclaim what others took and what we lost to our abuse.  


I would like to know your thoughts.


What does this quote mean to you?


What things have you lost?


How do you think we can reclaim them?