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Karen's Quest

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I'm 48 years old. I have 3 married children, & 10 grandkids ages 2-13 years old. I love redecorating~ my home, my car, my computer. Changes are fun for me - they seem like adventures. Some of the best things in my life came from changes. Changes I kicked and screamed about making....lol...Once the changes were made, they turned out to be fun. I'm glad I made 'em.

I've been married 30 years to the same mechanic and most of the time we still like each other =0) After many years caring for everyone else in my world I finally found the time to pay attention to my own needs! Originally I was at a loss as to what to do with all the extra time when the kids grew up. Now I wonder if I'll have enough time to do all I want to in a day. mmm..nice...

8 years ago I conciously began a quest. I didn't know where it would lead me & am still wondering where it will end. I do know that I like where I am today compared to where I started.

Currently I am learning to play guitar, writing in my journal, reading 2 or 3 books a week. Still taking care of home & helping the kids & grandkids when I need to.

Unicorns represent the magical mystical part of my soul, & angels represent my deep connection to the Universe. You may find mythical magical beings on my pages one day. All of them will represent some part of my soul. Like the Phoenix from the ashes my spirit is raising, but that was not always so.

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In my childhood I found myself molested by a babysitter at 5, then later by my own grandfather,from ages 7-12.

My siblings percieved me as one in league with my parents, since I was the oldest and expected to watch them (in place of the parents at times.) I was rarely included in play.

Alcoholism runs in my family generations back. My father was no exception and the cruelty that is often present in drinkers was aimed frequently at me. As a result, I became very soul-sick & suicidal.I attempted suicide many times and even failed to do that succcessfully. For many years I felt useless, disgusting and very stupid. I told my parents what my grandfather was doing, & got called a liar. Not unusual, but it still ripped my heart out. At age 12, I got drunk for the first time and found my escape...Escape that would later turn into my prison. I didn't know it yet, but my spirit - my soul began to wither and die.

The years went by & at 17 I had my 1st child.. no husband..no job..no diploma..no way to care for her. But I fought to keep her, made money and took care of her....And felt unconditional love & trust for the first time. I did whatever I had to to take care of her.

When she was 1 1/2 yrs old I married my husband( the afore mention 30 year mechanic). He took both of us on, and we had 2 more kids. And bonus! I had acquired a drinking buddy! One of us had to stay sober enough to take care of the kids so we fought over whose turn it was to get drunk. Years passed and one day I found myself sitting next to the stereo headphones on full blast, trying to disappear into the music. Suicides failed, I was too miserable to fail at that again. I just wanted it all to stop. The misery and pain I no longer knew where it came from. Alcohol helps you forget. But I had to stop drinking stop the pain. I could find no way out. Insanity seemed like the way to go but I couldn't even go crazy right. So what could I do?

Changes had to be made - I was 28 years old, had drunk so much I couldn't remember most of my life, I couldn't kill myself, couldn't drink my pain away I didn't know why it was even there. My husband found me in front of the stereo crying. He told me he heard a phone # I could call for help. I called Alcoholics Anonymous.

I didn't know it then but that began my Quest. And my recovery from childhood sexual abuse.

_A_B_U_S_E_D_

Pain ridden

Scars hidden

Trust shattered

Heart battered

Love broken

Hate unspoken

Fear ruling

Emotions dueling

Betrayal ascending

Hope ending

_R_E_C_O_V_E_R_I_N_G

Pain told

Scars old

Trust pending

Heart mending

Love linking

Hate shrinking

Fear defined

Emotions aligned

Betrayal healing

Hope revealing

Damage gone

I have won.

When you are on the bottom, there's nowhere else to go but up. For the next 10 years there were recovery programs, counseling, self-help books, Bible studies, churches,TV programs like Phil, Oprah, Sally, and Maury...anything to learn from... and slowly I learned. I began progressing I used everything I could find.

And one day I wrote a poem

( me? I didn't know I could do that!)

Here it is.

***********

Progress

Learning to let others feel their own pain is progress.

Minding my own business is progress.

Letting my feelings show is progress.

Learning to be me and liking it is progress.

Learning not to be a doormat is progress.

Learning about God is progress.

Learning to pray instead of worry is progress.

Learning it's ok to make mistakes is progress.

Learning to accept myself , today , is progress.

Learning what sane actions are and using them is progress.

Learning that my feelings don't have to control my actions

is progress.

Learning to relax is progress.

Learning that I have Basic Human Rights is progress.

Learning that I have abilities, opinions, and opportunities

is progress.

Learning that God will take care of me is progress.

Learning that God will take care of everyone else is progress,

Learning to listen to God and trust what He is telling me

is progress.

Learning to be Honest, Open minded, and Willing is progress.

Learning that I have choices is progress.

Learning what acceptable and unacceptable behavior is

is progress.

Learning that I do not have to be a victim is progress.

Learning that "This too shall pass" is true, is progress.

Learning that it's ok to be me is progress.

Learning is progress.

********************

I listened to anything anyone told me. As long as it wasn't harmful I tried it. Slowly I learned that I have brains, I am not stupid, disgusting or hopeless.

I began to feel freer and much better about everything.

In 1990 one of my good friend's daughter attempted suicide... and succeeded...I cannot say how deeply it hurt all of us. There are no words for it. The family asked me to go through her writing and assemble a memory book for them... It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.A few years after Traci's death her mother, my friend died I miss her too, but I know she's with Traci now

This next piece is for Traci, who just couldn't look pain in the face and survive any more. She shot herself. We all loved her. She left a huge empty hole in our lives. Maybe one of us can keep on with courage and love. I wrote this one a few days after her death.

Traci

The love you looked for & couldn't find wasn't his & it wasn't mine.

that elusive love wasn't gold, it wasn't young & it wasn't old.

It wasn't where you looked to see, I didn't have it,neither did he.

You searched and wondered, you prayed and pondered.

You begged and pleaded, you didn't find what you needed.

You partied and danced and lied, you wrote and drank and cried.

You tried to understand and cope, you covered up and looked for hope.

You laughed & loved & needed much, you laughed, played & touched.

You asked and tried to solve the mystery, the elusive answer just

can't be

You read, you hunted, you called on the phone, you searched the

world all alone.

You looked in the mirror and just couldn't see, the love you needed

was in you, not me.

***********

This one came from deep inside me. It takes one to know one. I was one of the lucky ones~ All I have of my suicide attempts are scars of the flesh, the ones in my heart are healing. That sweet child was unable to see what a blessing she was to all of us, cause she couldn't see herself in the light of love. I am so blessed to have the light shown to me..We didn't succeed in showing Traci, if you wind up feeling the way She did,reach out, do a search on the net, anything but suicide. If any of you feel the way those left behind do, pass on the love you have every day, maybe it will help someone. Let someone help you the way someone helped me. If your heart is full of love you will always have something to give. If it's not, fill it. Traci was sixteen.

The next Earth shaking loss of another lovely young person was my niece, Katy. She was in a car accident. She was so young. It was months after we buried her till I could write a thing. Finally I wrote this:

Pain intense.

Loss immense.

Sorrow jagged.

Heart ragged.

Mind numb.

Brain dumb.

Fear flowing.

Hole growing.

Stomach knotted.

Hope rotted.

*******

I was still too hurt. Too much pain...... then came this one.

Sorrow

My ears long to hear, her voice no longer near.

She's gone to God above, to a purer love.

We want her back, but she is gone.

We are left on earth to carry on.

********

Then came this one

Katy

Katy danced, Katy sang.

Katy pranced, Katy rang.

Katy played, Katy lied.

Katy prayed, Katy cried.

Katy nagged, Katy praised.

Katy bragged, Katy blazed.

Katy raced, Katy jazzed.

Katy paced, Katy razzed.

Katy lived, Katy died.

*********

This one is for the two loved girls I miss very much!

Sixteen

They were not yet twenty-one.

The two girls that are gone.

Young and beautiful, lives just begun.

On the outside full of love and fun.

Inside, one's heart was broken, sad and lonely.

Inside, the other in love with her one and only.

Both girls died, we all cried.

We're sad they had to go,

Because we loved them so.

This lifetime at an end, but not forever...

We'll meet again.

******************

Anyway back to the rest of my story. I had begun to question God in my life again when those two sweet beings left this world for the next one.... I had begun to rest my quest, and their loss ~forced~ me onward again. (Kicking and hollering as usual. lol..)

I dug further into Spirituality, Angels, communication, anything related to the soul. Reading, studying, praying, meditation... anything that crossed my path, I searched it...Soon my husband started calling me Johnny 5 ( the robot who wanted more input From the movie Short Circuit..lol) Indeed I was like that!

I learned to meditate and my withering Spirit began to grow again. And I felt safer again.

Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, an "Inner Knowing" began to surface.I began to trust the part of me that knows what is right for me and me alone... The things others told me I should be feeling and doing no longer controlled me. I now have a personal power of choice that I had no awareness of before. A sense of love for myself developed. I was surprised that this could happen...Then I remembered the "love your neighbor as yourself" from the Bible. It finally made sense. It didn't say be a doormat, put everyone else ahead of yourself (nor behind). Love equal! Wow! What a concept! So my view of the world and my place in it moved again.

Fear stopped being my constant companion. It still shows up sometimes, but mostly it's gone. The wee frightened child I was, has someone to comfort her now. Someone to love & guide her, help her feel safe and happy. I live in the world she wanted to live in and I help her feel love and acceptance and special. My wee one is protected and loved now. God & I take care of that.

All the while this quest is on my kids grew up, my husband & I are growing up. There have been deaths, marriages, graduations, and our grandkids were born. My world moved on ~dishes, yardwork, everyday life still happened. Sometime the quest sits on the back burner while other thing take over,but it's always there waiting for me, patiently, faithfully. It is always there somewhere helping me grow, helping me change and accept the things that are an everyday part of life, like interuptions, irritations, hard times, love, joy & fun.

I still have hard times,& have to deal with things I'd rather not. I'm still as human as ever. Whatever I am having this life for is still a mystery to me, but if I can love,learn, and help raise hope on the world, it is enough.When this quest began, there were no good times, after a while there were a few. Life had it's goodtimes and it's bad. My life depend a whole lot on how I choose to think about my life.If I think it's all bad then it is, and if think even when it's bad I have things to be grateful for, then it's better than anything I used to have.

One more thing I wrote

God as I Understand Him

My Higher Power(God), lets me choose. He lets me feel my way around myself till I find my way. He takes my hand when I hold it out and walks with me. He is always genlte with me. He is patient with me. He cares about me. He soothes my soul. He calms me. He holds me when I cry. He watches over me. When I need something to help me get better He offers it to me. He lets me chose to use it. He builds me up.He helps me find myself under all that other "stuff". He supports me. He gives me wonderful people, who supply proof that He is love. He gave me a strong survival instinct and hope that doesn't leave. He lets me make mistakes. He lets me hang onto some of the defects I am not ready to let go of. And when I am ready, He helps me let go. He helps me see value in even the most horrible experiences and nasty tempered people. He helps me see past my own judgements, into the heart. He is a loving creator. He shows me Himself in the people in my life... a wise parent, a brilliant teacher, a dear friend, my husband, my kids, my grandkids, my computer friends and sometimes even in myself! He helped me survive the prison of my childhood abuses, the prison of alcohol, and the prison of protection I had built around myself, that protected me from further damage to my broken heart...that also walled out the good things. He was always waiting there to give. He gives me life.... And life is good!

*****************

I don't know who authored the following words,but they gave me some of my rules to live by. Big help.

*****************

Basic Human Rights

The right to have & express your own feelings & opinions

The right to be treated with respect and dignity

The right to consider your own needs

The right to set your own priorities & make your own decisions

The right to decide what to do with your property,body & time

The right to be left alone

The right to make mistakes & be responsible for them

The right to refuse requests without feeling guilty or selfish

The right to be independent

The right to be successful

The right to do anything that doesn't violate others rights

The right to change your mind

The right to ask for information(even from professionals)

The right to ask for what you want( the other person may say no)

The right to be good to yourself

The right to have rights & stand up for them

The right to choose not to assert yourself

The right to maintain your diginty by being properly

assertive -Even if the other person feels hurt- as long

as you don't violate the other persons basic human rights

The right to initiate a discussion of a problem with the other

person involved & so clarify it, in borderline intrapersonal

cases where the rights involved are not clear

(I have added one for my own use that was not in the original)

The right to be yourself regardless of what others want you to be.

******************************************************

REMEMBER THIS

Author unknown

Many of us lose confidence in prayer, because we do not realize the answer.

We ask for strength & God gives us difficulties, which make us strong.

We pray for wisdom & God sends us problems, the solution of which developes our wisom.

We plead for prosperity & God gives us brain & brawn with which to work.

We plead for courage & God gives us dangers to overcome.

We ask for favors & God gives us opportunities.

***

Another of my writings

Peace

I struggle to find it. I struggle with it. I find it. I lose it. I get uncomfortable or disturbed and find it unreachable, then struggle, surrender and find it again.

Peace is a feeling, a state of mind, a condition of the soul, a connection to God, a direct connection to myself.

Peace is an acceptance of all that is. I can't touch it or see it, nor can I smell it, hear it or taste it, but I can feel it. When I feel it, things I touch are more alive - even inanimate objects. The things I see are more vivid. It's like I see deeper than before. The things I smell and taste are more distinct and sharper. I feel peace in my body, the muscles relax. Energy flows gently, enhancing my whole life experience. My natural abilities seem more accute, sharper.

Peace induces rest - sometimes even sleep. Peace preceeds an enjoyment that isn't excited or noisy. It flutters gently, like the breeze created by the butterfly's wings. Sometimes it passes quickly, like a flash of lightening ...and if you blink... you'll miss it. Other times it holds you like the arms of angels. Such security!

Peace is a rare gift and when it is given to me, I learn more about lifes' good things and I know I'll be okay.

**************

There are other things that have helped me, but I've said enough for now. You will find yours too, should you choose to quest! Enjoy yours and thanks for looking at a part of mine. I am K on icq, message me, email me I'd love to spend time with you. Thanks!

Love to All,

Karen

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