prose/rant/ramble

I can’t sleep.
I haven’t been hungry all day (24 hours).
When I do sleep, it’s in fits & starts.
I’m cold.
I jump when the neighbors open/slam their door.
I can’t stop hearing my memories.
I forget whether I fed my pets.

I wonder when it’ll become easier to cope with my triggers. I wonder why I have been triggered more this month than other years at the same time frame. I wonder if being a social worker will ever get easier. I wonder if one day I’ll be able to cope with filing an abuse report without being triggered.

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Flashback with Trigger Warning

As some of you know, I suffer from PTSD. I grew up in a home environment that was religiously, emotionally, physically and verbally abusive. I’m going to repost below a post from Xanga. It’s not clean, or pretty; unedited for grammatical errors. Consider this your trigger warning.

For several weeks in a row now, in my quiet time (hence I don’t spend much time in silence or reflection) all I hear/think is the repetitive statements my mother made on Saturday, September 12, 2009:

There is never a spiritually dull moment in my parent’s house.

Saturday I went out with my friends to Source and Summit, a young adult event in Alhambra CA.  They offer praise and worship, food and social mingling, a speaker, Adoration, Rosary, and Divine Mercy.  I love going, and always learn something with Christ Jesus.  I opened up to Him, admitted what He already knows about me: that I can’t fathom unconditional love; that He and Mary will never scrunch up their noses at me in spiritual disgust.  There is nothing I can ever do that would remove their love for me.  And then I renewed my personal promise-vow to God and Christ.
My parents went out to a Lobester Festival in a nearby port city and apparently had a blast.
Sunday, as I had gotten home late as did my parents, they debated whether they were going to attend Mass with me.  Dad and I went to Mass, mom went to garage sales.  She came home after we did from Mass, around 1pm.  She wasn’t in the best mood, but it wasn’t also the worst.  She cried a lot and ranted a bit.  Then somehow it escalated.  I don’t remember why or what she was going on about, but it just erupted all of a sudden.  She raved  about me being Catholic, about liking Mass, about the books I have, about dressing conservatively; about my sister and her boyfriend, insulting him saying that he’s retarded (he’s not) and that my sister’s a whore (at least they’re monogamous); that my parents need to divorce, and dad’s dad doesn’t care about him because grampa has a ‘girlfriend’.   How she wants us both dead, how we don’t do anything right.  I don’t do religion right, and my sister isn’t doing the right major in college.  That I need to be told not to attend church as much and that my sister needs to be told that she will be a certain profession and marry a certain someone (i.e., an arranged marriage).
Oh, it didn’t stop there.
She came into my room and demanded to know why I wear a chapel veil all the time; I don’t do it when she’s present.  Why I feel compelled to “carry on a relationship with a nun” and she said it in such a tone to insinuate a lesbinate quality to it.  I denied that as well.  She asked if I was still having an affair with a priest over the internet, which I just flat out denied because its ridiculous.  She got in my face and I thought she was going to pick up my thankfully-empty coffee mug and lug it at me, so I yelled at her to get out.  Then she screamed at me that I had no right to tell her to “get out of my own house.”  Just get the frig out of my room was my intention.  Eventually it moved into their bedroom where dad had to restrain her, and dad and I debated above her yelling (all the windows are open as its 75+ degrees) whether to call paramedics or just Gramma.  Meanwhile, she’s spitting on me and dad and calling me a bitch with absolute hatred and fanaticism on her face.  I’m looking down on her, and it’s feeling odd because I’m scared, hesitating, and suddenly thinking of whether this is how Christ would handle the situation.  Anyway, she’s screaming how she wants me gone, out of the house.  That she doesn’t want to look at me.  That she won’t take anything I give her, even if its her meds.  Eventually, she bargains that she’ll calm down and take her meds if I get out of the room (dad called me in there) and don’t call 911.
She took 2 valium, and that calmed her down, but she was still irate.  Then Gramma came over and we attempted to have a family discussion, but it’s hard when one person in the room is nearly psychotic and demands trust from you, but denies the worth of your word.  Many things were discussed, but she wanted me to denouce “relations” with nuns and priests; its a falsehood, so all I did was deny her lies about me.  She wanted me to denouce the chapel veil; I sorta did, but I’m still wearing it to daily Mass, and I make sure no one there knows me.  I might have to start switching churches again.  And she wanted me to denouce thinking about religious life.  I said that I was no longer thinking about it; an outright lie on my behalf.  But I’m not considering it, I’m accepted and working towards it.  She said that it was okay for me to be a religious person, but listed all these constraints.  And as the conversation moved on she insinuated that she was the one who was wrongfully on Ativan, Xanax, Clonapem, and Wellbutrin, and pointedly looked at me and asked “Who do you think is psychologically disturbed?  who should be on medications?”  Then she tried to attack my sister who wasn’t even there to defend herself!
It goes on a bit, but Monday morning she was embarassed at the memory of her actions and supposedly wanted to apologise; but only if I apologised for asking her to get out of my room.  I declined.  She is concerned about how she appeared, not the things she said, not the insults, not the distrust, etc.  I’m not apologizing, I did no wrong.
I cannot get the “You bitch. You bitch. You bitch.” out of my head.
originally posted on Xanga.com Friday Sept 18, 2009 at 12:38am

Lent

Lent is upon us. Enter the days of the Catholic “diet”: give up chocolate, soda, etc. As long as it’s not a REAL sacrifice to you. It definitely should not be REAL since Christ’s suffering and Passion wasn’t that. Right?

I was thinking of going partially Greek/Byzantine for Lent: no meat dairy, olive oil or wine. Yet, in thinking about it for the past few weeks, I realized that left me with lentils, beans, rice, fish, and nothing with which to cook all those items. Then I was thinking of doing a normal Latin Rite fast on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday; Greek/Byzantine from Wednesday through Friday midnight. I struggle to remain at 120lbs at 5’3″ currently, and on these dietary restrictions… Erm, that just wouldn’t do. I’ve settled upon simply no meat for all of Lent minus the Sundays. You may be wondering why I desired to do a more intense fast: I’ll be on retreat in late March for discernment for a week with the nuns. Lent is my favorite (liturgical) season, why not see what life is like during my utmost favorite time of all? Additionally, I’m be making my Consecration to Jesus through Mary, using St. Louis de Montfort’s book. An intense Lent calls for an intense fast, but it’s supposed to be a fast, not a starvation.

However, Lent, as I mentioned earlier is not meant to be easy going. You don’t give up chocolate if it’s only something you eat at the office when someone offers it to you, you give it up when it’s in your milk at breakfast, you enjoy a piece of cake or candy at lunch/dinner, you have syrup on your ice cream at dinner each day, everyday. That is when you give up chocolate. You give up something you’re ATTACHED to: a favorite color, clothing item, food, music, television program, television itself (yes, even via Roku, Hulu, Netflix, etc), websites (i.e. fanfiction.net), etc. I love meat. I love bacon. I try to cook fresh meals every evening when I get home, even if that’s 8:30pm. I love the smell of cooked animal flesh. During Lent, especially the first week, I hallucinate the taste of meat in all of my food; I’ve done so in vegan guacamole! If I enter the monastery, officially, the nuns fast from meat year-round. Oh boy, I’ll be dreaming of bacon, chicken, liver & onions.

Lent is to remind you of life on the OTHER SIDE, without actually dying.

Purpose of Blog / About Me

I had two Blogger sites (Wannabnun and No Miracles Social Worker), and one on Xanga (living_embers) prior to Xanga going for broke. I want to take this space to explain who I am, and what exactly is habit forming.

In September of 2006 I began discernment. What does that mean, you ask. “Discern” means to discover or to seek out, and “ment” adds on the meaning of entering into an active seeking out of something. More correctly in the way that “discernment” is used is the seeking out of the vocation God gives to each of us at conception & fills us with graces to fulfill at baptism, and we grow in holiness as we age. In short, I have a vocational calling to be a “woman religious” the progressive sisters in polyester pant-suits would call it; God is calling me to enter religious life as either a nun or a sister.

In November 2008 I flew out to the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother the Eucharist convent in Michigan to discern, apply and attempt to enter their religious order. I thought at the time I was called towards teaching (the charism of the Dominicans is preaching/teaching) because I was involved with teaching adolescent Confirmation courses. I was accepted in February of 2009 and I could not enter with my discernment group that August, and had to decline acceptance officially in June/July of 2010 due to my graduate school debt (at the time, $50,000).  Since then I’ve been able to find full-time employment and have paid off $21,000 in 1.5 years. =) But I still have a long way to go.

Update: In August 2014, I took 4 days (a weekend included) to visit a Norbertine monastery up in Tehachapi, just south-east of Bakersfield. I will be visiting again March of 2015 to fully discern for a week. As of January 2015, I have paid off an additional loan, and only have $25,000 to go!

That is why this site is called “Habit Forming”: I’m walking a narrow path that will eventually allow me to wear all the days of my life a religious habit and slowly be formed in the Potter’s hands to become the perfect spiritual Spouse of His Only Son.

Does it usually take 7 years to figure out what/where God is calling someone? No, but it takes a few years to pay off $50,000 of student debt from graduate school. I recently used my tax refund check to pay off an entire loan. In other words, I paid off $21,000 in 1.5 years. I would pay it off faster if I could, but I’m a social worker: I don’t make a lot of money. I will eventually need a platform to seek donations. This blog, hopefully, will be that platform.

God Bless & Mary Keep

P.S. If you’re looking for my previous existence on Xanga, I had three screen names: living_embers, kate_lh & lean_to_the_write. Blogger was through my gmail accounts one being No Miracles Social Worker, the other Wannabnun.