Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Scripture

Proverbs 18:22

Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday Links

For the Donna Hatch fans, she shared a post about "London Townhouses, the Servants' Entrance":
http://donnahatch.blogspot.com/2017/07/london-townhouses-servants-entrance.html

Sheree Crawford, over at The Writer's Path, offers some good tips on "Historical Research for Writers." In writing A Promise of Possibilities, the year was 1816. The previous year, there had been a volcanic eruption that changed the weather in England, and 1816 was known as "the year without summer."
https://ryanlanz.com/2017/07/29/historical-research-for-writers/

God bless.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Favorite Book Friday

"Submerged," book 1 of the Alaskan Courage series, by Dani Pettrey is a contemporary Christian suspense romance. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series as well as other books by Dani Pettrey.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Musical Thursday

Matthew West is one of my favorite artists. "Broken Things" speaks to my wounded soul:
https://youtu.be/WdUu6ZsdVfM

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

14 of 25 Things

As I started my journey working through these, it was to clarify to myself what I went through. However, as I've worked, I've discovered a deeper reason for exploring each "Thing." Each of the 25 Things applied to me. I also realize that I've worked through some. They are no longer a problem. I've made progress on all of them. This is an opportunity to look back and see how far I've come. It's important to do that, once in a while.

Original post from The Mighty:
https://themighty.com/2017/06/childhood-emotional-abuse-adult-habits/

14. “I avoid asking help from anyone because I don’t trust anyone. I believe if someone offers me a hand, there will always be something they [want to] ask in return. I have friends but I don’t have a best friend. I keep my distance from people. Automatically, my wall blocks anyone.”

My sister combined 14, 15, and 16 in her response:
https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2017/07/17/different-facets/

My response:

Asking for help meant admitting weakness, failure, being wrong. I didn't say it was true; I said that's what it meant to me. How did I learn this? What happened when I asked for help growing up?

I was spoken to like I was stupid. "It's easy..." "It's simple..." "Anyone can do this. All you have to do is..." "What do we need to do to make sure you never make the mistake again?" Yes, not knowing was treated like a mistake.

For me, one of the worst was "Watch me." I was frequently scolded for not paying attention, except I was. I simply couldn't translate what they did into what I needed to do.

What I need: Let me do it and talk me through, step by step, and don't skip a step and expect me to be intuitive about it. Sometimes, I am, but I'm often not. Once I've learned it, I enjoy exploring and trying variations, if it's applicable.

It's important to recognize that I needed to figure out what I needed before I could ask for it. I only figured this out a few years ago.

Like the person above stated, sometimes, asking for help required payment... I won't go into that ugliness here, except to point out that the trade was never fair or balanced. They would give a little, and I was required to give almost everything. Then I would be required to be thankful for what they'd done for me. And if I didn't properly verbalize my gratitude (above and beyond the price I'd been emotionally blackmailed into paying), then I was ungrateful.

To say the least, trust is a nightmare issue all it's own. Keeping up walls, with me safely inside and unsafe people outside, was an obvious solution. It was also a healthy solution, around the abusers. I experienced a lot of disasters letting people in I thought were safe but weren't. I didn't know how to recognize who was safe and who wasn't, re-enforcing the need for walls. Being alone all the time isn't healthy. I was healthy enough to recognize that and the need for change.

I had a church leader tell me that all I needed was Jesus Christ. Yes and no. A simplistic answer for a complex problem. I replied, "How can Jesus Christ help me if I don't trust Him?" My counselors helped me restore the trust that had been brutally stripped from me. It required practice, lots and lots of practice, pretty much like anything worthwhile.

I'm much better at asking for help when I need it. I've still a lot to learn, but I'm improving. Sometimes, the problem lies in not realizing I need help. Other times, I know I need help, but I don't know what kind. I don't like asking for blanket help because it too easily leaves the door open for offers I don't want or need.

My last counselor didn't ask me to drop the walls. He asked me to build gates and not one big one but a series of gates. People were allowed to enter if they met certain criteria. Of those allowed past the first gate, some were allowed to enter the next gate, working their way inward. It isn't perfect, but it's much better than keeping everyone out or allowing everyone in.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Scripture

Proverbs 18:15

The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.

Friday, August 11, 2017

13 of 25 Things

As I started my journey working through these, it was to clarify to myself what I went through. However, as I've worked, I've discovered a deeper reason for exploring each "Thing." Each of the 25 Things applied to me. I also realize that I've worked through some. They are no longer a problem. I've made progress on all of them. This is an opportunity to look back and see how far I've come. It's important to do that, once in a while.

Original post from The Mighty:
https://themighty.com/2017/06/childhood-emotional-abuse-adult-habits/

13. "I find myself always explaining my every move. I explain why I bought something, why I did what I did, etc. I feel like people think I'm lying to them, so I owe them a detailed explanation. Also feeling as though if I say ‘no’ to someone, they’ll hate me. So even if I’m inconveniencing myself, I’ll say ‘yes.’”

My sister combined 12 and 13 in this response:
https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2017/07/12/woes-of-people-pleasing/

My response:

Explaining myself was a habit developed young. I had to explain so thoroughly that I couldn't be questioned or have what I said twisted. I could state an absolute fact, like the sky is blue, and I would be questioned. "Are you sure?" It's difficult growing up in a situation where the worst is thought of you. Explaining wasn't about being open; it was about defending myself.

It was years before I heard the term "Gaslighting." Funnily enough, I'd seen the movie. I did not see the correlation to my own life.

As to saying 'no' and feeling like they hate me, not so much. Instead, my 'no' was questioned to the point where I was taught I didn't have the right to say 'no.' If I did, I was disrespectful and disobedient. 'No' was negative, and no negativity was allowed, at least not from me.

I was to be perfectly cheerful and pleasant, but not too cheerful, at all times. I was to give whatever was asked and then some or I was lazy and unhelpful.

Thankfully, God taught me how to say 'no.' I can't remember if it was a class, a book, a lecture, or my first or second counselor. The changed started with practicing saying 'no' to little things, things that didn't matter. I was told to say 'no' to little things I wanted but didn't matter as practice. When I discovered that the world would not explode or implode because I said 'no' I progressed to little things that did matter. I learned to say 'no' first with the option of changing my mind.

Do I still say 'yes' when I wanted to say 'no'? Sometimes. Service usually isn't convenient.

I learned that saying 'no' to one thing always meant saying 'yes' to something else, and vice versa. I needed to choose my priorities or someone else would choose them for me. 'No' and 'yes' are all about setting and maintaining boundaries. If I want to be healthy, I have to set and maintain healthy boundaries.

It helps me to think in terms of God has work for me to do, and the adversary has plenty of distractions.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Romance Appreciation Month

The "Old Fashioned" social page asked what song needed to be on a Love Song Playlist. A lot of good choices were shared. Mine was Ella Fitzgerald singing Irving Berlin's "Always."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4yHfQyR21Q
An Arizona sunrise.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

12 of 25 Things

As I started my journey working through these, it was to clarify to myself what I went through. However, as I've worked, I've discovered a deeper reason for exploring each "Thing." Each of the 25 Things applied to me. I also realize that I've worked through some. They are no longer a problem. I've made progress on all of them. This is an opportunity to look back and see how far I've come. It's important to do that, once in a while.

Original post from The Mighty:
https://themighty.com/2017/06/childhood-emotional-abuse-adult-habits/

12. "I feel the need to please everybody I deem ‘of authority’ and thus have a hard time getting my needs met. I strive too hard for [a] perfection that doesn’t exist, and then eventually, melt down when too many things are not up to the standards held in my past."

My sister combined 12 and 13 in this response:
https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2017/07/12/woes-of-people-pleasing/

My response:

People Pleaser: Been there. Done that.

I grew up hearing "You're doing the doing; do it your way." There was one little problem: If I didn't do it the way expected, I was corrected, regardless of whether I'd done it wrong or right. I'd try harder to do it right. It took far too long for me to figure out that the point of the insanity wasn't to teach me to do it perfectly but to ensure I failed.

The purpose of causing someone else to repeatedly fail is to keep them under the thumb of the tormentor. Of course, there are occasional successes, the proverbial carrot on a string, only enough to keep the victim under the influence of the abuser.

It's wearing trying to measure up to an impossible standard set by someone else. Adding to the nightmare is when I made the impossible standard my own. I remember one of my sessions with my last counselor. He wanted to know how I viewed my ideal. Sitting in his office, I could see her perfectly, the woman I always visualized I wanted to be. What shocked me was realizing I didn't like her. Yes, she was beautiful, healthy, and successful. She was also arrogant, demanding, and unreasonable.

My awesome counselor helped me strip the lies from my foundation, strengthen the truths, and rebuild. Changing my perspective paved the way for me to release the need for perfection, for the most part. It served me well as a medical transcriptionist.

Line upon line, I released the need for perfection in many aspects of my life. I also discovered that failure isn't a scary or a tragedy. Failure can be an opportunity to learn my limits and make achievable goals to stretch a little further.

The game changer was learning and accepting I didn't have to stay stuck in the past and then doing the hard work to make the changes I wanted in my life. I spent a lot of time in prayer asking for God's guidance and inspiration. Books, music, movies, people, anything and everything was an opportunity to learn.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Romance Appreciation Month

The beginning:

Endless Possibilities series...

Every story starts with "What if..."

The Regency period represents a turning point in history, balanced between the past and the future. In England, 1816, the year without summer due to a volcanic eruption, the war is over and the world is changing. A new season begins for the Thorn family. Being one of the Thorn children promises difficulties, unless they bend to the will of their father whose interests lie in wheedling his way into the peerage, seeking power and money. Loving a Thorn child isn't easy either. They've learned the painful lesson of guarding their hearts.

Dark schemes lurk, riddled with twisted intentions bent on the destruction of those who refuse to bend to its will. Hopeless dreams awaken, and doors open to new paths, for those who dare to brave them. The worlds of class differences and propriety clash, and complications abound. Torn between the possibilities hidden in the future and the secrets of the past, choices must be made, before time runs out and the past catches up, deciding the future for them.

Shattered trust and faith may tear souls apart, unless they unearth the courage to embrace the truth. Honor demands choosing the right way, the hard way, God's way. No matter the age, God is there and He never abandons His own.

The historical adventure begins here...

A Promise of Possibilities ~ August 21, 2012 Jonathan Silverton and Elizabeth (Ellie) Thorn

https://www.amazon.com/Promise-Possibilities-Endless-Book-ebook/dp/B00909PNB8/ref=sr_1_1 

In 1816, Spinster Elizabeth Thorn serves more as a slave than a servant as her father's housekeeper. The courageous war stories penned by Paul Silver inspire her to correspond with him, but after years of heartfelt letters, he ceases replying. Her father accepts a lucrative marriage bargain on her behalf, and her dream of sharing her life with a kindred spirit withers.

Jonathan Silverton blames himself for failing his best friend. To escape his shame, he moves to the countryside and meets none other than the woman he wrote for a decade. He dares not reveal his secrets, but he will not deny his desire to marry her.

Secrets breed distrust and misunderstandings. The past refuses to stay buried.

Shattered trust and faith may tear them apart...unless they each discover the courage to embrace the truth.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday Scripture

Proverbs 18:10

The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Saturday Links

Grace for My Heart deals with narcissism on Fridays. In this post, he shares an interesting perspective on "Selfishness."
https://graceformyheart.wordpress.com/2017/07/14/selfishness/

Jean Fischer's blog about "9 Out of 10 Writers Have Hypergraphia. Do You?" It's an amusing read, especially if you enjoy word play.
https://jeanfischer.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/9-out-of-10-writers-have-hypergraphia-do-you-2/

God bless.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Romance Appreciation Month

Welcome to August. Five years ago, my first book was released by Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.

The first time I saw the cover, I cried because it so perfectly matched what was in my head. Thank you, Carol Fiorillo.



Thursday, August 3, 2017

11 of 25 Things

As I started my journey working through these, it was to clarify to myself what I went through. However, as I've worked, I've discovered a deeper reason for exploring each "Thing." Each of the 25 Things applied to me. I also realize that I've worked through some. They are no longer a problem. I've made progress on all of them. This is an opportunity to look back and see how far I've come. It's important to do that, once in a while.

Original post from The Mighty:
https://themighty.com/2017/06/childhood-emotional-abuse-adult-habits/

10. "I have trouble accepting any kind of love because growing up, it was always given with strings attached or used as a tool for manipulation. I don’t trust that others have the capacity to love me unconditionally, so I hide away parts of myself, never allowing myself to experience the vulnerability that comes with being loved, chosen and accepted by others."

My sister's response:
https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2017/07/11/capital-letters/

My response:

"Love" was about manipulation. Gifts and compliments were ways to butter me up. It was all about luring me into revealing more about myself, and then they'd take advantage of my vulnerability, either wanting something from me or attacking my soft spot. I learned to never reveal anything, even if it meant lying. If Abraham could lie about Sarah being his sister, in order to save them both, then I figured I could lie to protect myself from the predators in my life.

I chose to change, over and over again.

I adopted a dog. She taught me about love and acceptance and strength and courage. Then I adopted a horse, and he taught me about tenacity and patience and consistency and the power of a thousand-pound animal giving you their trust. They were the gifts God gave me to teach me about love from the ground up.

My last counselor told me that he wanted me to learn to stand up for myself without losing my tenderheartedness. I opened my heart to more people.

I'm not sure I've reached the point where I could be as vulnerable as I need to be in a marriage relationship, but I've come a long way. The characters in my stories are a safe way to visualize what I'd like and work through the potential problems.

I'm grateful for the wonderful friends who have patiently helped me. God is good.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tuesday Tidbit

I thought I'd give an update on "Christmas Lost" novella #12 of the Holiday, USA series. Alex, like most of my heroes, decided to throw in an unexpected element. I thought I was writing the last chapter. Thanks to our hero, it was the next to last chapter, and NOW I'm writing the last chapter. I think.

The last sentenced type before posting this:


Alex turned the lock, and put up the "Closed for Christmas Day" sign.

One of my bouquets from Bobbie's Flowers. A dear friend kindly signed me up for the Bouquet-a-Month club. The flowers last 2-3 weeks, and I think of my friend every time I look at them.