Poem: Musings On a Beard

I like a beard –

A proper beard,

Not shiny and gleaming

From waxing and preening.

I like a beard –

On the right face

A little wild and rough

Like a Papa Bear Gruff.

To snuggle a beard –

A beard that is shy

Worn to hide jowly cheeks

From the tenderness they seek.

I like a beard –

a beard makes me sigh

They remind me I need you

They remind me I love you.

I like a beard –

Or at least

I like yours.

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Deep Fried Mars Bars Pt 4: The Strangers in My Head [CN/TW]

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10 (NIV)

This post discusses intrusive thoughts associated with PTSD. Intrusive thoughts are also associated with other mental health issues including (but not limited to) OCD,  Body Dysmorphic Disorder, depression and ADHD.  

It has been a really difficult couple of weeks dealing with a bombardment of Intrusive thoughts.  It started a couple of weekends ago at work – a comment made by a customer on the telephone: a nasty, unnecessary comment which maybe some people would be able to ignore, and which I don’t doubt some people would excuse or justify in some way.

It was enough though. More than enough, and it is only in the last day or so that the severity of them has started to lessen again.

It is hard to describe what it’s like. The best analogy I have found so far is that it is like waking up in the morning to find a stranger in your kitchen, offering you a cup of coffee and an image of some appalling awful thing happening to someone you love. Worse, this stranger is telling you that this awful thing is something you are going to do. (No, it does not help to know that you would never do it).

Then you find another stranger in your bathroom, and this one offers a different image of something really horrible, being done to you by someone you love.  (And no, it doesn’t help to know that the person you love would never ever do such a thing).

And as you walk around your home you find that your house is full of strangers, all offering up different grotesque, vile images until there is nowhere you can go; even closing your eyes and pulling the duvet up over your head does nothing except make you feel totally alone with all these strangers, who seem to really really want these awful things to happen, because they wont shut up about it.

Those strangers steal everything: energy, emotion, sense of self, feeling, words – until inevitably, you break down, melt down, screaming and crying in a desperate effort to purge yourself of these … well, for want of a better word, demons running around your head and your house wreaking havoc.

Which, of course, doesn’t work, and all the demons are still sat around your table, eating your food, making a mess and plastering those horrid images everywhere you look.

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Those images – all of them, every single last one of them – are lies. Black, twisted ugly lies whose power is rooted, not in their falsehood, but in the veneer of truth that they steal from the past trauma(s) which have given birth to them.  These lies are not just meant to rob me of life, and of love: they are meant to steal those things away from the ones I love too.

For if I were to believe those lies, (and sometimes it is very hard not to), then I would tell my children I could not be their mother. I would tell my family I could not be their daughter, sister, niece, aunt. I would tell my friends that I was no good for them, I would tell my lovers that I am bad and a waste of time. I would live my life in hiding – and in fear.

I would (and sometimes have) push my friends, my family and my lovers, as far from myself as I possibly could, because the single biggest lie those intrusive thoughts tell me is that pushing them away from me is the only way to protect them.

But of course, by pushing them away, I am doing the very opposite of protecting them.

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Some days, most days, faith is all there is: not even religious faith – just a basic, hanging-by-a-thread-faith, that somehow, one day, or one little step at a time, there will be one less screeching demon with its vile images running around my head tomorrow.

Music helps – if music be the food of love, the play on (and on, and on please). Books don’t help (I love to read but simply can’t focus), but writing can – not poetry though: I need a quiet head for that. Increasingly, looking at paintings and photography helps. Anything really, that takes me out of my own head and takes focus off the thoughts and images that so belittle and undermine me.

Anything that stops me being so afraid to love.

Poem: Love, For the Giving

 

For the ones you most love in all of the world,

You would do what needs to be done;

No matter the danger, no matter the cost,

No matter how deep the scars of the battle

the scars left by sacrifice, the scars left by loss

the scars that yet heal when the battle is done.

When the ones you most love in all of the world

Still fight in a battle your heart pleads to end;

No matter how deeply the ache of the burden,

No matter how fear stalks the space of the waiting,

       yet keeping the faith, though so deeply you’re missing

   the ones you most love and so long to be living.

When the ones you most love in all of the world,

Have not yet come home, are not yet at the door

When to wait seems like the most meagre of things

When its seems like a love too piteous to bring

   yet whilst your heart beats you’d you still give it for them

   for the ones you most love, that they might live again.

   .

 

Poem: Which Alters Not

Because of love

I long to see the day your heart

will claim again

the sacred beat of precious life

you did not chase away;

And live all you once dreamed to live

but chose instead to hide beneath

the wrong belief

that you were not fit for

such sacred duty.

Because God gave eyes to love

to see the treacherous lie

that wove in you the wrongly held belief,

and faith to see what lay beneath

and hope to see the day of your

longed for liberation.

No tempest rude or stormy tantrum,

no wound still healing from the battle,

can break the ground

or loose the mighty firm foundations

of a love, of such a love

born of generations.

And so my dearest darling,

whenever comes the day that the chains

that bind you up, break apart

fly away

It will be the day I saw in you

so very long ago

I’ll always love you

Never doubt you

truly then

truly still.

Poem: To Simply Love

To love you

To simply love you

To rest my hand upon your cheek

Tender with all the love you seek;

To love you

To simply love you

Not to argue if you are worth it

But to pour upon you all the love you’re worth;

Conflicted, my dearest darling

Feeling unworthy of the work you are called for

Knowing all the joy that it would bring too

Knowing all the love it would bring you;

Oh but to love you

To simply love you

And rest my kiss upon your cheek,

Tender, with all the love you seek..

“All My Favourite People Are Broken” – Over The Rhine

Sometimes you find, quite by accident, a poem or verse or song that says the very thing you had wanted to say, but somehow all the words were too much of a jumble in your head to be able to say them.

This one such song. You can listen to here.

All my favourite people are broken
Believe me, my heart should know
Some prayers are better left unspoken
I just want to hold you and let the rest go

All my friends are part saint and part sinner
We lean on each other, try to rise above
We are not afraid to admit we are all still beginners
We are all late bloomers when it comes to love

All my favourite people are broken
Believe me, my heart should know
Awful believers, sceptical dreamers, step forward
You can stay right here, you don’t have to go

– Over the Rhine “All My Favourite People”

Be blessed.

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Poem: Meditations on 1 Corinthians 13 – pt 3: Endurance

I would walk a mountain’s path

However deep, or cold, or long;

I would write the finest sonnet

– or the sweetest song,

If that was what love called me so to do.

I endure, and oft surprised

By all my love would give to you.

 

A young man’s lifetime I have given

An old man’s lifetime stored inside;

And all between, and in the meanwhile,

 – smiles, and whispers nuzzling pride;

Shared work, vibrant embraces – but, my love, till then

Endurance that would scale the highest mountain,

or would write the sweetest love song by it’s pen.

Poem: Meditations on 1 Corinthians 13, pt 2 – Hope

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Like a crocus, hidden deep

Buried beneath cold hard ground,

A bulb beneath crumbling earth

Feeling the chill regress,

The earth – thaws.

Reaching, seeking, yearning for light;

For hope is not insensible

It is rooted, fed, nurtured

 – sleeping, but instinctive to life

to it’s call: sunlight, bright

rain, cool breezes, heat and warmth

the yearning to embrace, and grow

Brightly, fully into

Life.

Hope, of freedom.

Hope, of joy.

Hope, of flowering

Hope,

of love.

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