I'm working on a non-fiction project called Bohemian Forgiveness: 5 Unconventional Paths to Forgiving What You'll Never Forget.
I have a literary agent. And submissions to publishing houses are underway. Meanwhile, a graphic designer is creating a collateral design that will feature 25 excerpts. This is a sample!
I'll keep you posted as we progress!
copyright 2018. Ame B. Design
He was my mother's new love interest after my parents divorced. I didn't like it when he slept over. I peered into the livingroom one morning and saw him lying on the floor in the make-shift bed he'd made the night before.
I crept in the way children do when they've been warned not to get out of bed again at night. He pulled back the blankets and invited me to join him. I clenched my sweet gown with one tiny hand, shook my head "no," and took refuge in my room.
I wore a pink dress to the wedding. In pictures, I grasp the lightweight chiffon with the same clenched fist--powerless over the heaviness of unwanted touch. Leaving the room was no longer an option, and what followed over the years to come forged a humiliating template for adulthood relationships.
Fast forward: April 2013
Me: I've just spent eighteen years in a relationship that shouldn't have lasted eight days. I am not unintelligent. And I'm always in a ten-week Bible study. How did this happen?
Psychologist: When you were a child, leaving was not an option. You learned to survive. But now the very skill-set that preserved you as a child works against you in your adult relationships.
Have you heard of a book called The Betrayal Bond?
What I learned that year:
I absolutely hated how my husband treated me most of the time but not once did I look in a mirror and think I don't deserve this. My brain was as bound to him as it was to the man who sexually abused me when I was a child.
That's how it happened.
The success of #MeToo is not solely contingent on public cries for recognition and demands for social justice. (Though necessary components.) It must include tangible steps to reconciliation and restoration. A re-forging of skewed relationship templates, beginning with how we relate to ourselves and how we relate to God.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself" (NAS).
I had no idea my mind played tricks on me--that "Mr. Right" was all wrong. After all, I'd prayed about our relationship before we married. But truth is, I'd yet to learn to love myself. Love for self came AFTER I conceded that God's thoughts are higher than my own.
There are two words, in my opinion, that every survivor should become well-acquainted with in the care of God:
If your "love" for a man extends beyond the capacity of your love for God and self, you will lack discernment in your decision making. (Trust me. I learned this the hard way.)
We get better together,
Published on Thursday, June 7, 2018 @ 7:58 AM CDT
- introducing a conditional clause.
synonyms: on (the) condition that, provided (that), presuming (that), supposing (that), assuming (that), as long as, given that, in the event that
My sweet mother suffers a heart attack. :(
She calls it an "episode."
Sick with concern, I take my city roads to her country roads. East Texas, where farm roads laugh hysterically at Google Maps. The thought bubble over my head depicts my sister insisting: Remember, you're in the country. All the trees look alike. You can't count on internet service, so write the directions down."
I arrive on the scene with a dieng iphone and mounting resentment towards my teenage son, who lost my charger just ten days after my over-priced Apple purchase.
My mother is fragile and stubborn in equal measure. She's on the cardiac floor of the hospital where NO SALT is the name of the game. The first thing my sister says to me is, "Do you know about Mom's contraband? She has barbecue Lays potatoes chips stashed in that dresser drawer."
"Mom, you gotta stay off the salt."
The sun goes down. The sun comes up. Leeland, my sister's partner stops by to drop off my mom's favorite fuzzy jammies. This cheers her up as she is now on a liquid diet due to her pending heart catherterization and now claims to be starving to death. For a brief moment it appears as if she is willing to take better care of herself. That is until Leeland announces that he's heading out to get some lunch.
Mom: What are you going to eat?
Leeland: I don't want to tell you that. You can't eat right now.
Mom: It's okay. It doesn't bother me.
Leeland: Well, probably some chicken fried steak.
Mom: Leeland, put a roll in your pocket.
This, from a woman who graduated from nursing school with honors when I was in high school. Did her I.Q. drop when her blood pressure went up? Not just no, but heck no! So what's the deal? She wants to heal. The challenge is that her every day choices now work against her better tomorrow. Literally--her, better . . . tomorrow. She can no longer count on the time-worn paths of her every day life.
I think of my own life. My desires to get better and stay better, all up against the only roads I've ever taken with the only version of myself I've ever known. It's frightening.
I pray for my mother. I don't shame her for struggling to break up with potato chips even though they've never treated her right. I don't say, "Don't you want to get better?" (Of course she does.) I pray she is filled with the courage to add something that is good for her every day life as Love tempers the desire for all things that work against it. I pray this one step, whatever it is, will open her eyes to see that the hard choices she faces are for her--not merely her cholesterol level, but for her. An older woman so very worth new, and therefore, scary new actions that lead to restoration.
This is a lesson of self-love I try hard to embrace:
Love does not insist on what we convince ourselves we must have. Love refines trajectory. It transforms us in spite of how we see ourselves and the people around us. And somewhere along the way we find ourselves empowered to take baby steps in the opposite direction of what is not in our best interest.
Heart attacks. Heart breaks. The causes vary.
Identify ONE step in the direction of your personal worth and future well-being.
What if you take it?
Published on Friday, April 13, 2018 @ 12:10 PM CDT