Raising Hell

raise hell

This picture is my attitude that I have towards the world. When I see it, it both fires me up and also makes me a bit leery because I wonder if my life of suffering has been such that it has prevented me from raising the kind of hell that I would like to in order to change this world for the better.

Ah, no matter. I am STILL going to raise holy hell and change this world. You just watch and see if I don’t!

Get outta my way, world! Cassie is here with a vengeance! (God help us all.LOL)


Taking the Sting Out of Suffering

I hesitated at first to write this blog about suffering because of the many and varied forms of suffering that I have had to endure throughout my life. I had not wanted to recount them at all. For as far as I was concerned, it was bad enough that I had gone through hell. I had no desire to relive the experience. Many people, however, encouraged me to write about my life, reiterating to me that my suffering and the lessons learned would help others. So for the sake of those “others,” I began this blog. And, oh, how thrilled I am that I was obedient to the voices of friends, family, and strangers alike. For had I not been, I may have stayed stuck in a place of pain instead of dancing in the light of freedom that suffering is now raining down on me.

After recounting the affects of loneliness and the resultant trauma of missing my beloved, I came to the conclusion that suffering’s sting no longer had the power to hurt me in quite the same way that it had in the past. Where before, I felt great anguish of spirit and a death to dreams, the suffering that is now portrayed in my life is now a help to me and no longer a hindrance. The things that I suffer are catalysts and no more catastrophe. The sufferings I now endure serve to defeat the remaining giants that reside in my land of promise and I now use my hardships as training grounds to root out the enemies of my peace and tranquility.

We all suffer. That is one fact of life that will not change. Change CAN occur to our perception and reception of suffering and that makes all the difference in the world.

I see life through new eyes, thanks largely to suffering. I can see its beauty, even in its thorns. I can appreciate struggle, turmoil, and strife, knowing that those things are making me resilient and able to endure what would make many a person balk.

The sting of the thorn has been taken out of suffering for me. Now I only feel and smell the rose. And, oh, how sweet it is!


Confession: I have been avoiding this blog like the plague. Why?

The reasons are many and valid, to a point, but in the end completely pointless. So I will forgo the opportunity to fill up this post with a bunch of philosophical reasonings and debates about the wherefores and the howtos and the meaningfulnesses of suffering and confess that I have simply been weary of suffering, period, and buried my head in the sands of discontent and dis-ease…because, frankly, those things are “easier” to bear. As odd as it may seem, it is so much easier and COMFORTABLE to be uncomfortable than it is to actually DO SOMETHING about the things that contribute to suffering in the first place.

When suffering, it is not only easy, but socially acceptable, to say to oneself, “I am suffering. I did not ask for this suffering. I do not deserve this suffering. Therefore, it is unfair.” And so, since the suffering that I am enduring is unfair, that gives me the mental freedom, if you will, of wallowing in that suffering. Many people (myself included) will find their feathers ruffling at the very notion that they actively wallow in suffering. It is far more tolerable to imagine oneself enduring intolerable pain stoically, with an almost regal dignity.

In truth (and I speak for myself only here), at times of great suffering, dignity and grace are usually the farthest things from my mind and heart. Instead, resentment hidden within self-pity peeks over the shoulder of despair, which whispers to hopelessness, who then pokes anger that had been sleeping quietly inside my heart. Throughout the history of my life, my typical reaction had been to avoid and not confront and challenge those feelings. Instead, I would wrap my suffering around me like an icy cold blanket and nurse myself from my bottle of hurts and disappointments and loneliness and grief. Like a babe latched onto its mothers tit, I latched onto feelings of abandonment and isolation and fear, because those were things that had been with me and followed me since birth. And in the familiar, there is comfort.

I could without effort use my words to spin tales of angst and woe in an attempt to illicit emotions of pity and compassion from those who are reading my words…but that would only be a deception of the highest order on my part and I refuse to shield myself from the truth of what I have been doing as of late. And that truth is this: I have been hiding. Hiding from this life of suffering that I must lead. And I have been resenting it like hell.

I have been resenting the restrictions that my illness and isolation and mind-numbing boredom have imposed upon my life.

I have been hating the memories of the good things that I had in my life before this illness took me over and changed me into something and someone who I no longer recognize or relate to. Memories of a husband who I adored (and still love with every fiber of my being) who has been gone from me for almost three years now. The loss of him, above all others, is enough for me to want to curl myself  tightly into the memory of him and exist only in a nightmare. I say nightmare because I know that when I open my eyes, he will not be here. But he is NOT HERE, so I must force myself to stay awake and live and not to dream.

I am so very tired of living inside a body that does not work. So very weary of the challenge of existing within a body where everything, including thought, is a monumental effort. Where sleep comes intermittently for only brief periods and I awaken with as much exhaustion (if not more) than I had before I closed my eyes. I sometimes want to weep from the frustration of it all, but ironically, do not have the strength to do so.

WHAT THE HELL? WHAT THE HELL? WHAT THE HELL, I say to myself at times. At times, I say it to God. At times, I say it to the universe. At times, I say it to hell itself. And then I say to myself, “Get up and try it again.”

The moral of this story is this: It takes absolutely no effort at all to use suffering as an excuse. An excuse to not make the hard and healthy choice to alter the ways that I think and behave in order to prevent self-destruction and self-sabotage.

It is far more comfortable and easy to believe that I am no longer useful or loveable or worthwhile because my body does not work and my appearnace has been changed than it is to accept and love myself for who I am right now and work within the limitations that I now have and carve out a new and better identity. However, I choose not to take the easy way out.

As much as I want comfort, I want freedom more. With freedom comes responsibilty. Responsibility will remain mine,  whether I avoid it or embrace it.

My past cannot prevent me from living. It influences the way that I choose to live, but it does not determine my life. I do that.

I am not helpless. I am not hopeless. As long as there is life in my body, there are choices that I can make and actions that I can take to make my life better.

I am Cassie. Here me roar.

The Hardest Part is Over

Someone wise once told me that if you can look behind you, the hardest part is over. That hiperson was wise beyond years, for those words are so very true and are resounding deeply within me at this hour as I am being assailed by memories and pain from the past.

This morning, I was hit by the pain of betrayal. Only the betrayal occurred almost three years ago. It has only been this morning that the pain of that betrayal hit me squarely in the face and for the first time, I felt the anger and the disillusionment, the abandonment, and the betrayal. Oh, God, the betrayal!

At first, I tried to push the feelings of pain away and ignore them. I went to sleep and my dreams began to play it back to me and added other betrayals that I have suffered to the catalyst that put me to sleep in the first place. When I awakened, I was a river of tears in a sea of pain. So I let myself ride the wave and the pictures began to play in my mind.

I saw my father yelling and screaming and raging at me. I saw my mother standing by, never doing anything about the abuse. I saw my oldest brother, who had been my hero, as he threw me away, never looking back when he walked out the door, saying, “You’re never going to see me again.” I saw my twin sister who stopped talking to me years ago and never told me why. I saw my best friend turning her back on me when I was at my lowest point. I saw my husband….oh, God, I saw my husband…

Outwardly, I was only shedding a tear or two. But on the inside, my soul was screaming as all of the images played out before my eyes. I didn’t know what to do with the pain. So, I put on the song “Tragedy” by The Bee Gees and let it play over and over. But after a while, I changed the song. I am now listening to “Don’t Want You Back.” I am playing this song and dedicating it to everyone and everything that has ever hurt me. I am dedicating it to the pain. To the betrayal. For I have realized that all of those things are behind me now. None of those people or those things can ever or will ever hurt me that way again. It’s already done. It’s already over. I can look behind me and see it all in my rearview mirror.

There are things I will never understand. Things that I have to live without that I would rather not have to. People I loved and lost who meant the world to me who no longer inhabit my world and most likely will never enter it again. But, you know what? It’s okay because I am still here. I am still alive. I am still able to love and to laugh and to forgive. I have me and I am going to love me and nurture and nourish myself back to health. I will always have me and I will always be me, no matter what life throws at or takes away from me.

In this next phase of my life, it’s just God and me. I didn’t ask for life to be this way, but that’s the way it is. And I am finding that that is okay. The more that I am forced to suffer, the more I discover about me and those discoveries are surprising, and rather pleasing. For, I am not feeling sorry for myself. I am not dwelling on the pain anymore. I am feeling it and going on with life. And that’s a good thing.

When you are hurting and wondering how in the world you are ever going to survive the pain, remember this: Whatever hurt you can never hurt you like that again. It’s behind you. Sure, the pain hurts, but it will not remain if you do not allow it. Don’t think so? I am proving it right now. Because five minutes ago, I was in a heap of tears. Right now, however, is a different story and another song. I am now dancing to “You Can’t Touch This” while I am typing these words to you. Look out, world!

The hardest part is over. Thank God. After all the hell I have suffered in my life, what more can life do to me? It’s taken my health, my husband, my home, my livelihood, my friends, most of my family, all of my earthly possessions, and everything that  I held dear.

I am in the perfect position. I no longer have anything left to lose. And when you have nothing left to lose, you are free. Free to risk. Free to grow. Free to learn. I am no longer entangled by life or people or circumstances. What a blessing. Thanks, life!