Not My America

It’s a sad day here in the USA.  It seems that the whole country has gone mad.  It is no longer “My America” any longer.

My America is beautiful.  We’re diverse, we’re proud, we’re free and we’re grateful to those who paved the way.  My America is color blind, kind and gives a helping hand.  My America salutes the flag, kneels before God and stands proud to claim to be American.

Growing up in America, I was raised in a small town in New York with only one traffic light, best friends who were black, Puerto Rican and Jewish, went to church on Sunday at our local Catholic church and even attended more than one Saturday evening in the Synagogue, worshiping with my best friend, Heather.

In the summer, we all swam in the lake and winters skating on that same lake.  We had numerous sleep overs, hikes up the mountain and overnight camping trips to various locations with the folks.  I’ve marched in many a Veteran’s and Memorial Day parades as a girl scout and attended more than one function at the local American Legion Post and our Elks Lodge.

I respected my elders and God forbid I gave them sass, because my Mom and Dad would find out and I’d be in deep waters.    I volunteered to help others.  I made regular visits to my grandparents and celebrated holidays like Christmas and Easter in school!  It did not matter that my best friends were white, black and of Indian descent, all that mattered to us was that we liked each other and had the same interests.

We were poor and I never even knew it.  We were on the Government Cheese program where the government brought the dairy surplus from farmers and gave it to those in need.  We got it monthly and even cut the mold off it to eat it when we had it for so long that it began to go bad.  I wore hand-me-downs from my cousins and most of them were male.  LOL!

I was bullied.  I was beaten up by both girls and boys.  I worked it out.  I liked everyone; but not everyone liked me.  My parents didn’t fight my battles, they made me do it myself.  They didn’t involve themselves in kid fight; because kids make up and parents are still angry and it’s over kid stuff.

We celebrated our differences; but we also joined together in our solidarity as Americans.  It is the old school, hometown values that made this country great.

Big Jim and Tiny were the local gay couple we all knew were gay and that you could call on them for help if you needed it.  They also had a cool steam engine in their front yard, which was so cool.  A good friend of the family, a man named Niles, was Jamaican and the darkest skinned man I ever knew and we called him “Uncle” because he was like an uncle to us kids.  We knew to be home by the time the street lights came on and we were hardly ever at home; but out playing and enjoying the fresh air.

If a person wore a uniform, they were an authority figure and we had better behave or we’d be in trouble.  We knew most of the town police and firemen.  They knew who we were, too.  We could walk or ride our bikes anywhere.  We were safe.  We were home.

It’s why I, myself, put on the uniform and served this great nation.  To protect and serve.  To honor what those who came before me had already established so that my children could enjoy the same rights as I did.  And yet, here I am, raising my son in a country I don’t even recognize.  I also have to state that in Sept & Oct 2016, I received a flag for two fallen Marines, both of which served Honorably and passed.

People are killing people for being different.  People are disrespectful to each other.  People are rude and self – centered, self – obsessed, and selfish.  People move to this country and think we need to change to fit into a mold of the country they left.  If it is so important to you to have your customs, why did you leave?  Why should I have to adopt your customs and values?

When I was stationed overseas, I had to adapt to their local customs and ways.  I didn’t go their expecting them to change their laws and customs to accommodate me.  I was expected to follow their ways.  As a matter of fact, everyone who does go to a foreign country in the military, has to go through a weeks worth of orientation before going to their commands so that no one can say they were unaware of local laws, customs and traditions.  Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

With all that has changed in the last 15 years or so, I’m not sure that we’re going to be able to bring this country back to it’s former glory.  It’s a shame.  Yes,  there are problems; but violence doesn’t help.  Protesting doesn’t help.  Treating people with disrespect doesn’t help.  We have to work together in order to work it out.

What I do know is all of this discord is tearing our nation apart.  I’m saddened and wanted so much more for my son.  I’m hurting for our children.  I’m hurting for the country I so love.  I’m hurting for those who are hurting.  I just want my country back.

I’m a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.  Today, not so much.  I was disappointed in the fact that they refrained from even entering the field for the National Anthem.  These men are paid to perform.  They are not a political organization.  They are overpriced showman.  It’s the same with actors/actresses.  They’re paid performers.  They make more than the average American does to entertain us.  Why are we giving them the power to do this?  We need to cut them off.

 

 

 

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Amazing Day!!

So, my breathing machine had a message on it “Attention, motor has exceeded limit.” So, I call the VA Sleep Clinic when they open at 8 am.   They get me in TODAY and I get a new machine and a tiny mask to fit my little nose.  OMG it is the smallest one they have for a child and is perfect for me and doesn’t really bother my Trigeminal Nerve like the other ones do.  YEAH!!!  God is good!

I get up at 6:30 am and let the dogs out and wait for the clinic to open.  Well, I log onto FB to post on my church FB page the daily scripture and prayer and after 8 months of praying for my guy to get a better job or at least one where he isn’t traveling as much and LOW & BEHOLD, HE DID!  I freaked out!!

HALLELUJAH!!!!  First step in God’s master plan.  Oh how sweet it is.  I have been on cloud nine ever since.  I tell you, Our God is faithful to those who are faithful and true to him.

Each night, I include in my prayers that God put a protective hedge around my guy, keeping him safe from any harm while traveling to and from work.  I ask God to heal his body, mind, spirit, soul and heart.  I ask God to keep his family safe so that he has no worries for them while he is traveling.  I ask that he meet with Godly people who will keep his eyes focused on the Lord.  I ask God to protect his job or get him one that doesn’t require him to travel and work so many hours.  To let him get enough sleep and rest.  And lastly, I ask God to write our love story so that it is truly beautiful. 

I’m actually giddy to see what He has in store for us!!!!!  I can’t even imagine.  All I know is that God let me know that it will involve a phone call from him to me.  When?  No clue.  How?  No clue.  All I know is that I will at some time in the future.

Knowing, beyond a doubt, that he is going to be mine is a thrill in itself.  I will continue to pray for him, for us and as usual for anyone who is in need.  Pray Until Something Happens.

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Mr. Tin Man

Miranda Lambert has a song out called “Tin Man” which addresses the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz, going on about how if he’d ever felt his heart break, he’d never want a heart.  It is such a beautiful song and I just love it.

And here I am, feeling at the end of my rope.  I hate how terrible I am feeling of late.  Summers in Florida are really hard for me with all the storms that plague the area, making me feel so miserable.  Lupus, TN, Fibro, etc. plays hell in these summer storms.

I’d rather die with honor and dignity than the slow and agonizing death of lupus.  The fact that my own body is what is killing me off is poetic justice.  I couldn’t die as a Marine on the battlefield or saving someone’s life; but as a result of the internal battle within my own pathetic body.

My own body can’t fight infection.  I feel so weak where I used to be so strong.  I’m a mess.  After 24 years of struggling with pain, which has always been tough, I find that I’ve reached the end of the road.

I’m so tired.  I just want to give up.  I don’t feel that I can fight this any longer.  It would be so easy to slip away, sleep the eternal rest.   I would take my own life if it wouldn’t leave my son behind and the heartache it would give him.  I can’t do that.

Bravery?  What does it mean?  Is it taking that leap of faith and taking chances?  Is it fighting the unknown for the greater good?  I’m not sure anymore.  I know I’m not brave enough to face the unknown right now.

I listened to Martina McBride’s song, “Anyway” and it makes me want to go forth and do battle; but the emotional turmoil and the heartache to come have me scared.

“You can love someone with all your heart, For all the right reasons, And in a moment they can choose to walk away, Love ’em anyway…… I sing I dream I love anyway”

I used to be a big risk taker; but found I gave my heart to someone who could not take the same risks.  I am so hurt by this.  I’ve decided to close myself off from the world and let it end.  I can’t risk the pain anymore.  I’d love to be able to; but my emotional well being is at stake, as well as my physical well being.

Of course, I have loved my son, whom is the miracle I never knew I would get.  My love for him is eternal.

I know a boy that has faced so much more than I have and he’s but a 10 years old.  Can I give up in the face of what I know “Robo-boy” will be going through?  Can I give up and show him that I’m not as strong as he is?  Is that fair to him?  Can I take away his faith?

Or do I stand strong against impossible odds and fight like the devil to survive the uncertainty that my life has so become?  Decisions are so hard to make right now.

I’m wrapped in barbed wire and roses, if you come too close, you will be hurt.

And I sometimes wish I were like the Tin Man, without a heart.  Just so I won’t feel my heart breaking each day.

God, please get me through this.  I don’t know how much more I can go forward and take in this miserable heart.  Abba, I want to come home.  I want to be with you and walk with you in the cool of the day in Paradise, basking in Your great love.  I’m so tired of stumbling through this horrible world.  What is the point?

Prednisone is Satan’s answer to Lupus.  Take these nasty things and look like a fat, chipmunk cheeked Ompa-Lumpa.  It’s no wonder I’m alone.  I hate that not only is my body beating itself up; but that bastard is invading my mind with his bull sh*t rhetoric.  It’s echoing in my mind.  Has to kick a gal when she’s down.  Jerk!  If I could get my hands on him, I’d kick the crap out of him.

Here it is, the pity train is leaving the station and is on the express line to full blown tantrum.  Crying and upset over a body that is bent on killing itself slowly and a mind full of lies.

All aboard………

unbreakable

 

And the day came….

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The above quote has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  It is a quote that captured my soul from the first time I heard it.  I do not know why; but it has always given me strength when debating a risk in life.

I have suffered debilitating shyness, anxiety and depression over things I have had no control over and at one time, I let it rule my entire life.  NO MORE!  I’ve needed and used this quote to get me through so many things that come naturally to some people.

Suffering through PTSD is hard.  Coming to terms with it was a challenge.  The first time I was in counseling, my therapist worked with me on being raped in the Marine Corp.   Shortly after I had surgery and was on large amounts of narcotics for the pain, my roommate got a phone call in the lounge and left me, asleep, in our room with some guy.  He proceeded to assault me and left before she got back.  Despite the fact that I was heavily medicated, I was able to get up, stumble to the duty officer and report the incident.  I was taken to the clinic and things moved forward.

What I didn’t expect was that the SgtMaj would blame me for the whole thing.  Standing in front of his desk, he proceeded to tell me that had I not been asleep, on drugs and let a man in my room, I would not have been assaulted at all.  He didn’t care that my roommate was the one responsible for creating the situation, he blamed me for not being in my right mind at the time of the incident.

The Court Martial was a joke.  The SgtMaj tainted those who were there and I was basically further humiliated by a man who thought women in the military were only there to slake the lust of the men.  So glad he retired shortly there after.  He was not a man, he was a coward.

For years, I carried this around in my heart, letting it make me sick.  It nearly destroyed me; but I was finally able to overcome it all when I completed 2 years of therapy.  I was able to forgive them all.  My roommate, the SgtMaj & the rapist, not for them; but for me.

I was to the point in my life that I was living in fear.  If I got separated from someone I was out with and could not find them, I’d have a panic attack.  I went from zero to 100 in rage in less than 10 seconds.  My life was out of control.  I needed help.  I am grateful that I found someone who knew how to help me and was able to do so.

My second time in counseling was after my husband tried to kill me.  I am grateful for the therapist who helped me get through the horrible domestic violence, which was close to bringing me back to the darkness.  I was also lucky that my son also received help at the same time, as he was a witness to the events.

June will mark 8 years since I broke free of a 14 year lie.  From October 2009, I spent 2 years in therapy for all that he did to me and I was able to breath again.  This may sound cold and callus; but when my ex died in October 2016, it was such a relief for me and my son.

I was not allowed in session with my son as he went through his own trial with domestic violence; but I was given a report of the abuses he suffered.  I am so glad he was also able to overcome what he experienced.  I never once influenced him.  He began by telling me about what was going on behind my back and I knew if I needed therapy, so did he.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this wonderful quote.  It keeps me going, it reminds me that life is a risk worth taking.  It brings a smile to my face and pushes me to be brave.

The Fallen

I just finished watching an episode of NCIS: LA about a man who was under investigation for “espionage”. He was accessing classified documents and in the end, we found out that what he was really doing was making a tribute to all the brave men & women who died in service to their country in Secret Operations. A tribute to those who gave their lives for me and you!

This brought up memories of another story I know. A true story about an Air Force woman during the Korean War. She was a very good friend of mine for the first 10 years after I left the USMC. Together, we stormed the VA for better treatment, respect for women and better services for all.

JP enlisted in the Air Force during the Korean War. She worked in communication and was on the line each day reading all the communication messages that came in listing those who were wounded, missing or killed. JP, being the sensitive and caring person she is, cried for each and every man and woman listed. She later was diagnosed with an ulcer over her worry and strife.

She later married her USAF sweetheart, had three children and became a crusader for veterans with the American Legion. What an honor and privilege to have known her. I carry her in my heart, like the other women veteran’s I have known and love. She’s a wonderful, wonderful person.

Together, we were lucky enough to have gone to the dedication of the Women In Military Service for America (WIMSA) in Washington, D.C. in 2007. We put together a charter bus with 3 buses to go of Women Vets and their loved ones. What a beautiful adventure that was.

JP & I traveled the state of NY, meeting other Women Vets and championing our cause. Twenty plus years ago, Women did not have the kind of care necessary within the system. I remember my first time at the VAMC where the doctor, after spending more than 5 hours to see him, decided that my pain was secondary to my mental health. My pain was (on a scale of 1 – 10) at a 20 and I was on verge of vomiting, when he decided I was depressed and needed to see a shrink. It was a hard start for me. I went to their mental facility only to be given a “pat down” by two male guards and put into a state of distress. To say the VA was women friendly was a joke. I did later report the incident to the head of the hospital; but the lasting effects were hard on me.

Anyway, we had a number of women who met together and made plans, implemented changes and helped to make the VA more women friendly than it ever was. At the time I entered, you couldn’t get much in the way of women’s services. Mammograms, Paps, etc. were not the standard. Oh and we also made sure that men and women were given gowns to wear during exams, which at our hospital was unheard of. Anyway, I am grateful to my dear friend, who has a heart of gold and a beauty that is rare. Still great love for her and her family. ❤