Picture of Janie

Picture of Janie

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I am who I am, but I'm getting there.

Let me start off by listing the 10 things I like about myself, in doing this I won't appear to be down on myself and negative to my other bloggers. And then I will state the areas that need improvement/a little tweaking you might say.

1. I am a compassionate, loving individual.
2. I am a good listener and listen with my whole heart.
3. I am a good and loyal friend.
4. I am a loving sister.
5. I was a wonderful mother to my wee ones and still am now that they are grown.
6. I take any job given to me with full responsibility and do it to the best of my ability and with excellence.
7. I am a good daughter.
8. I am a good Grammy to my grandchildren.
9. I am on the road to becoming a good writer.
10.I love God with all my heart, soul and mind.

Okay, now that is done I'll get on with the business of telling you a little about myself. I'm from a long line of strong Irish women who as one of my cousins said at a family reunion 30 years ago, "Those Williams women don't mince words." 99% of the time I speak with love, but when someone has crossed a line with me, watch out! This is an area I've been working on with God's help and reading the "Four Agreements," specifically the chapter on "Don't Take Anything Personally." I've had to pull that book out once again, because I do realize that when I get into that self-protective mode it is based on fear. I want to rid that need to be accepted. To be right. To defend myself. It is usually based on my past wounds that I react the way I do. I'm not making excuses (or at least I hope not). I think I'm moving in the right direction of taking a look at when I react this way, even if it's after the fact.

My Nannie, my mother's mother, was one of those Williams women that didn't mince words and so was my mother. My mother used to tell us the story of how my Dad wasn't afraid of many things, but he was afraid of Nannie. Back in the day when you had to have your parents sign for you if you were under a certain age to be married (1951), my Nannie refused to go with my Mom and Dad to sign for them. So that left my Grandfather, which surprised the heck out of me. You had to know him to know where I am coming from. One of the reasons she wouldn't sign was because my father was a Seventh Day Adventist and my Nannie was of the Church of Christ Fellowship.

Luckily I was one of those grandchildren that would wrap me up in a blanket and take me home with her when I was sick. I have a twin sister so Mama's hands were full. She didn't talk a lot; she didn't need to. I felt the love from her all of the time.

I have a pattern for being attracted to the "wrong" men. Toxic for me. On the positive side I'm taking a real good look at that also.

Whew! This has worn me out. I'll stop here. Hope you accept me for who I am.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Death of J.D. Salinger

I heard on the radio while tending my kittens at the animal shelter the news of J.D. Salinger's death at the ripe old age of 91.

Of course I did not know this author personally, but I did have some memorable experiences when I first read "Catcher In The Rye" at the age of 15.

My best friend that I have referred to in some of my past blogs, that I have known over 45 years turned me on to him and this book. It was rather a risque book back in 1967 for a 15 year old to be reading. Well, my parents sure as heck didn't know I was reading it.

Annette, my b.f. and I would talk every night on the phone for hours, and while we were both reading "Catcher In The Rye", relating totally to Holden Caulfied, we would take turns reading aloud to each other and laughing our heads off!

Aren't memories wonderful? Thanks J.D.

Monday, January 25, 2010


For the last couple of weeks I've been thinking about the body, the Body of Christ that is. My thinking led me to my past horrific experiences with the church I was a member of in Atlanta for over 13 years. I do believe I have let go of those hurts and painful memories, but I'm viewing the Body of Christ somewhat differently than before.

After having this original thought, and that's all it was, a thought, I felt if I began to write about it, then other thoughts would come to me. At least that's how it has worked for me in the past. In the following days, not only did I hear this subject preached on a Christian station I listened to twice, but my own Pastor at the Lutheran Church I attend with my family preached on it.

I will never forget the first time in my walk with the Lord upon hearing the term, "The Body of Christ, He being the head and we it's members was such a revelation to me! Scripturally speaking from 1 Corinthians 12:21-17 it explains so well that the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body, it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? But, in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. And the best part (I've left out some of the scriptures) to me is when the bible states, "If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of us is a part of it.

Okay. I'll stop with the Bible thumping and just say that my view on the body has broaden quite a bit. It encompasses all of those that write from their hearts and share their faith with all of us.

I've pulled out one of my books I purchased in 2005, "Henri's Mantle", and quoting quite a bit from this book. I ran upon this paragraph; "Churches, mosques and temples which cover so much hypocrisy and humbug and shut out the poorest out of them seem but a mockery to God and [God's] worship when one sees the eternally renewed temple of worship under the vast canopy inviting everyone of us to real worship instead of abusing God's name by quarreling in the name of religion. I know that churches are as unfinished as our individual lives, and I should seek to forgive them for their incompleteness as I seek to forgive myself and be forgiven for mine.

I have to be honest here with you, I had begun to feel this "blogging" thing was turning into a competitive thing, with ME. How could I write with feeling that way? I couldn't. So, I decided to write, as inexperienced a writer compared to my fellow bloggers, so much more unsophisticated and not as eloquent with my words, but to do it anyway. Just like Janie would write. Simply and Real.

So here in blogger town, we are all made up of many parts, and all though all its parts are many, they form one body.

I am grateful that you accept me as one of the uncomely parts of this body that I belong to; still important and hopefully useful and have the greatest gift which is love.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My New Red Coat or A Sign of Change

As I sit down to write this blog, it might seem a though I'm not taking some of the things that have transpired in my life since November that I brought on myself, or even making light of them. This is not the case. After reading "After I left the Church system, not the true Church," I originally was going to write in the next few days about the Body of Christ and it's members, which I will still do. This blog definitely hit me between the eyes, being that I came from being a member and on staff at a very toxic church for 13 years in GA, which my family ended up leaving. I left a very lengthy comment on this topic. In fact, I probably got a little carried away with my comments. Perhaps in need of some healing in this area still??

In the mean time, I've been thinking and voiced to my daughter Elizabeth how I believe I've transferred one addiction to another, which happens quite often with recovering alcoholics/addicts. Not only have I observed this, but my daughter has also and we laugh about it!

For example, all my life I've never bought anything for myself. I'm certainly not playing the martyr here, but having four children and living on a rather low income, they always came first when it came to making purchases. In fact, even if I received gift money for myself, we would go shopping and I would always end up spending the gift money I had received on them. I do not think this is something unusual, but a "mom" thing some of us do. I even enjoyed it!

Since marrying in 1970 at the age of 18, I have bought myself two coats. The first one was over 12 years ago and was a rather expensive coat, and of course was bought on sale at the end of the winter season. In the last two weeks I've done the same. I got a wild hair and went on Amazon and saw a beautiful red coat, Anne Klein, double breasted with a hood and HAD to have it. So what do I do???? order it right there and then. It also had an original price of $180 odd bucks and I only paid around $89.00 for it which only made the purchase sweeter for me. Before this purchase I've bought on line (I hate shopping at malls, but who knows I'll finally start doing that too) I've order CD's, books on addiction and a shirt. I'm waiting on my next pay period to buy 2 new pillow cases to match the new sheets I purchased last week, that were on sale of course.

This is NOT the Janie I know.

There is this line that's read in our group readings that is read at every meeting that "One is Too Many and A Thousand Never Enough." Well, my daughter and I apply this to my newest addiction transference when I come up the stairs at night to get my 2nd helping of ice cream I am binging on. She even says this too me and we both begin to bust a gut with laughter!

The conclusion I've come to is that perhaps I am doing the transferring one addiction to another, but I would rather be doing these types of things (for the moment) than drinking,hoping this too shall pass.

The lesson of this story for myself is that I'm able to laugh at myself and others laughing with me about myself during this difficult time of being a Recovering Alcoholic. I am cracking myself up! LOL LOL.....

Oh yes, one more thing, as I put on my new red coat that I would probably sleep in if I could, I go to retrieve the mail outside and I see a RED truck with a plow attached to it. I begin to think to myself, "boy Janie, you could have one of those attached to your car when you get your license back and make extra monies to help pay off the fines you were charged with for your D.W.I. charges. I begin to chuckle out loud to myself and think, boy, what a ridiculous thought, but this feels good.

Monday, January 18, 2010

It's The Little Things

It's the little things in life that make me happy. Is that the case for everyone?

These are those little, yet wonderful things that make me happy. For example, I love it when my two granddaughters run down stairs to where I sleep, and think they are sneaking up on me, so this is done very quietly. They are on a mission. There mission is to come and give Grammy their last hug and kiss for the night. Sometimes they will both crawl under the covers with me and watch just a few minutes of t.v. and then my daughter calls for them to come on up to bed. That's when I get my second hug and kiss!

I love my first cup of coffee in the morning. I always have. My grandmother used to give me just a wee bit of coffee with LOTS of cream and sugar, so I've been addicted ever since she started that tradition with me. I think it's an emotional thing for me also. Mothers are probably screaming right now, but I don't think it hurt me one little bit.

I love when my best friend of 48 years who lives in Nashville calls me and we always talk for at least an hour or more. Our greeting is "what cha doin? It feels like we are both sitting on her couch at opposite ends, feet touching, and just talking about anything and everything that is important to us. She has this wonderful southern drawl and her sense of humor is keen and keeps me in stitches. Don't get me wrong, we have had some deep, serious conversations also, and I enjoy those conversations too.

I love it when my youngest sister calls and we do the same. There are times when I have hit some tough spots in my life, or she has, and we both cry together and pray. We are intercessors for one another. She loves me unconditionally like none other.

I love it when dinner is finished, I've had my bath (I love baths) and I make my ice cream and go downstairs to watch my favorite programs on t.v. The day has come to a close and I am at peace.

I could go on and on but will stop here. What are the little things in life that bring joy to you? I hope you have many.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

This I Do Know

I woke up this Saturday morning to my usual 4:00 a.m. Upon waking up those first few moments each day, I begin to feel anxiety and feeling frightened. This morning was different, not that I didn't wake up to those feelings, but the thought that came to me was to remind myself of what was different in my life right now. By that I mean to say that I am not living in the same world of abuse, unexpected horrors for me, not knowing what would happen next. The world I live in now is a very safe environment, full of peace, and knowing that the day would NOT bring to me what I had experienced for 33 years of my marriage and the last three years of another abusive relationship I had been in. So, I decided to remind myself of these things I did know to be true for me in my life now, and as always to express my gratitude to God for placing me here in this safe, healing environment.

For myself this healing God is doing in my life with P.T.S.D and Anxiety Disorder, both a result of my past experiences starting with my father, has been a slow process, not fast enough for me. But I have to bring things to the table also along with God's healing in these areas. Such as reminding myself of: God is present to bind up and heal the brokenness and emotional wounds from my past. He is the TRUTH that sets me free. I am no longer an emotional prisoner-crippled and could not lift up myself. God has begun a good work in me, and He will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus. Forgetting those things that lie behind and strain forward to what lies ahead. The past will no longer control my thinking patterns or my behavior. I am a new creature in Christ and old things have passed away; and, behold, all things have become new. And finally, I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: regardless of my past I look forward to what lies ahead.

I realize there are some that have the belief that one is not supposed to talk about those experiences some of us have had in our life. I believe one must talk about them to release the power that those experiences have had hold on them. I believe it is almost a form of confession to another individual and to God. This is why my post is entitled "REAL TALK."

I am not saying I live my life just to vomit out to others my negative experiences that had taken it's toll on me emotionally, mentally and physically. What I am saying is, that in experiencing so many trials in my past, and experiencing God's healing power and hope for a future of restoration and healing, I can be of hope and most of all truly understand when someone else has traveled similar roads. In that I have been touched with the feelings of their infirmities and can share this hope and then the healing can begin that God intends.

For some reason people have always felt safe to tell me how they are REALLY feeling, and what is REALLY going on in their hearts and life. This is so opposite of what I experienced, not feeling safe to cry out for help or to be honest with someone as a result of the shame that bound me, frightened that I would be rejected if "they" really knew what happened behind closed doors. I have even had Pastors validate my ex-husband's behavior in times of counseling, in times of me crying out for help. I have forgiven these individuals, and thank God there was finally one Pastor who understood and LISTENED to me. I am someone that truly understands where they are coming from.

This I do know, God is in the healing business, wanting to make us whole and new again. Thanks be to my Father for loving me and listening to my cries and not looking the other way. He was just there...accepting me just as I was, a wounded soul, wanting to hear what I had to say and to restore and renew me and bring back the joy I had lost along the way.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Touchy Subjects

I am going to be writing about what might be a touchy subject for some. It's one of those "scary" topics, those "I really don't want to think about topics."

I think something a f.b. friend made a comment on today is what spurred my thinking on the topic of "depression." Yea, the BIG "D" WORD.

There are those of us, who if feeling a little on the blue side, can just force themselves to sing and smile, and pretty soon it is a good day. However, there are those of us who suffer from this mental disease or know of those who are close to them that do, and finally realize it's not just a mood we are in at the moment. I know this is personally true for myself. I've suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. I always felt sad, even in grade school. I didn't want to feel this way. I definitely felt like the odd ball in the crowd, but didn't dare share the dark thoughts I had going on in my head most of the time. A novelist by the name of William Styronhas likened his depression to a storm in his brain, punctuated by thunderclaps of thought, self-critical, fearful, despairing. Yep! That was me.

I took the time to look up on the web how many famous people out there who suffered with this horrible mental disease. Of course we all know about the great President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and the list goes on and on. Adam Duritz, lead singer for Counting Crows, Amy Tan, Chinese American writer who witnessed her grandmother committing suicide and believed that she, her grandmother and mother all had suffered from depression. Ashley Judd, Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Joel, Brian Wilson, Diana, Princess of Wales, Dick Cavett, Drew Carey, Emma Thompson, Harrison Ford, Heath Ledger, J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter, Jim Carey, John Denver, Kurt Cobain, Mike Wallace-Newscaster, Rodney Dangerfield, Sheryl Crowe, Tennessee Williams/American Playwright, Vincent Van Goh, Winston Churchill.

I'm sure you have gotten my point. You don't know how many times I have prayed that God would heal me of this disease. There are times when it feels to be crippling to me. After all, "By His Stripes We Are Healed." But then I remember, His Grace Is Sufficient for Me.

One last thing I would like to say. I for one do not want to have this depression thing. I want it gone yesterday. Some days are better than other days. But this I do know, My God is aware of me, and knew me from my Mother's womb and numbers the very hairs of my head. HE KNOWS!

I think I probably had to write this perhaps more for me this time. I needed just to get it out there, especially in light of that dark cloud has been following me around the last couple of weeks. I appreciate your love and patience with me.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Restore and Renew

Here it is January 2, 2010 and these first couple of days into the new year have been very emotional for me. I almost felt like I had taken ten steps back, regressed in my path of maturing emotionally and healing.

I was emailing one of my facebook friends I'm sure you all know, Dawn Sievers, whom I consider to be a kindred spirit and wonderful writer. So much to learn from her and so much to love about her. I'm not just throwing empty compliments out there friends, this is from the bottom of my heart. Back to what I was saying, I get off track so easily the older I get.

I was sharing with her a story concerning living the new life as a single woman after being married for 33 years, getting married at 18 years old! I was still such a baby and had not taken the time to grow and find out who Jane was.

God had promised to me two things during this new time of being alone for the first time; to restore and renew me. Wow! That sounded great! I was all smiles in my heart as I should have been. However, after a few more difficult months down the road, I began to question God, "hey, what about that restore/renew promise You made to me?" And then, automatically I got this visual of an old house under construction, needing so much work. I personally don't know what all goes into this process except by watching on P.B.S "This Old House", but then I began to understand the difficult process of restoration. I began to see all the old boards being torn down, sheet rock, dust everywhere, a total mess!Not a pretty sight to see in those beginning days of restoration of this old house.

Well, that's been a few years ago now, and God is still doing His work on and in me and it's a painful process at times, but will be well worth it in the end.

I will quote what my friend emailed to me: "The mental image of your own personal structure being rehabbed eventually presents the beauty that was always there." Awesome! Thanks Dawnie.