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OK - getting down to some really "nitty-gritty" issues.....(truthBtold here...)
June 27, 2007
2:32 pm
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truthBtold
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OK - this is hard to write.

My family of origin consisted of my 2 parents, my two older sisters and myself (the youngest.)

I was very close to my older sister (the one born in the middle) who passed away in April of this year.

My father sexually abused all 3 of us.

My remaining sister has nothing to do with my parents.

All of us (my parents, elder sister and myself all live within a 30 mile radius.)

My mom was sexually abused by her father (actual intercourse) while my father - while never ever going to full-fledged intercourse still made inappropriate sexual advances to which my mom still defends him to this day.

I now struggle between wanting to connect with my mother before she dies (both parents are in their late 70's) yet maintain my own sense of myself.

Is this possible?

I have in the past explained to my mother that I would prefer for us to meet one on one without my father - and that has happened. We met for lunch, went shopping etc and it was nice.

But deep down, I still get those old feelings that she defends him and is unable to support me to a certain extent because of her own limitations.

I keep getting these tugs at my heart to re-connect with her - but not sure if that would really be in my best interest to do so.

I have read so much wisdom and insight from the great array of folks here on this site that I thought that I would pose this scenerio for helpful feedback.

Can I maintain a relationship with my mother without losing myself?

(I guess that's a question only I can answer - but I sure would appreciate some feedback.)

Thanks!

tBt

June 27, 2007
3:20 pm
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balancesekr
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hey TruthBTold,

Its so ironic that you are thinking about the same kind of nitty gritty things I have been working on. I wrote a letter to my mother, didn't send it about how she abandoned me, etc...

And my therapist thinks someday I will be able to send it to her!

But, lets talk about you. It sounds like you have to deny your feelings to exist around your mother. Does she defend your father still? Have you discussed this recently with her? Maybe write a letter to her without sending it and see how you feel after a few days about it.

I was so mad and sad and angry after writing the letter to my mother. The idea is to get all of this out and someday be able to send the actual letter and put it to rest, walk away and move forward from the past that is still hurting us.

Its so hard, cause I know my mother won't wanna hear about it. I have to exist around her on her terms. I haven't been over to see my folks lately, cause I am changing and can't stay the way I am. I don't know how to connect with them when I am healthy, they need to change too it seems.

Hopefully you can see pieces of yourself in my story and extract a solution for YOU!

b

June 27, 2007
6:56 pm
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hi tbt
I really admire the sand you show by facing things head on. I don't know if my experiences would be of alot of support to you but here goes anyway.

I was abused by my father and my mother verbaly and physically. many beatings and even broken bones. i have the artharitis to prove it. my quest for their love and approval led me to alcaholism codep behavior and sometimes i think almost to the gates of insanity. when i tried to talk about these things people would get angry and say things like why must you dredge up the past.
or quit your whinning
or quit living in the past and feeling sorry for yourself.
i don't know if this is at all familiar to you.

I know that what I wanted most was to be able to vindicate myself and be able to reconcile in my mind and heart that this was not ok with me you see i had never once put my foot down and said YOU CAN'T TREAT ME THIS WAY. I am a human being that deserves common decency and respect.

I ended up sitting them each down one day and having a face to face adult type conversation about it it went something like this:

Perhaps your unaware that your behavior has scarred me and i regret my destructive and self destructive behavior as a response to this hurt. but i want you to know that the little boy you enjoyed beating up is all grown up now and i no longer believe the lies that you told me about myself.

I think you get the main jist of it. Of course they bolth denied such behavior and claimed to be model parents. I still got a great deal of reliefe from this. I walked away with self respect. I walked away from those meetings with the knowledge that when my parents charicter assasanate me in front of others i am quite comfortable saying thats just another lie an insecure person feels they have to tell. I no longer feel like i am a piece of meat to take out frustrations on.

These meetings for me were not confrontations they were just hey mom and dad FYI sessions.

to shed light on the truth is to take alot of the fear out of it. to claim and live in my own truth is what sets me free.
So now after that being said the biggie for me was being molested and raped by a family member whom was also under age at the time.
It's hard to talk about even in the confines of anonimity here. It is hard to feel like a man after a man has raped me. to this situation i ended up using a similar solution however as you are probably aware the emotion and abusers denile in matters of sexual abuse are much more volital even than the battering stuff. Once again shedding the light on the thing hidden in the darkness not only gave me new freedom, but some unexpected positive side affects happened as well.

1 i realized that even though i sustained so much abuse i didn't grow up to be an abuser of others.

2 I realized that in early teen years 14, or 15 I grew tall and stout (6'2" and 325lbs) freakishly strong and athletic and even though i could have retaliated againsed these people i never did.

I am certainly not blowing my horn or being egotistical i am saying that once i owned my truth and found the courage to live in it, I found out that i have many good qualities that i had not even noticed. just the same as so many of the beautiful qualities i have noticed in you.
I don't know if this helps you at all but it really helps me to be able to share with you.
I pray that you will be able to live in your truth and see what i see in you.

jv

June 28, 2007
8:20 am
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truthBtold
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balance & jv,

I can barely write this now through the tears.

jv, your post touched me deeply...more so I think than any other response I have ever received.

You speak of so much truth and are an inspiration to me.

I know that that must have taken alot of courage for you to write and I thank you - from the bottom of my heart - for taking the time to share such deep emotions.

I think that you have really nailed it right on the head with your incredible insights and actions that you took and I thank you so much for sharing. You have NO IDEA how much this is helping me!!!!!!!!!!!

(I will be printing out your response so that I can refer back to it.)

Prior to coming back to this site this morning - I started to really explore some of that "darkness" and started to re-examine my childhood from a different, emotionally-healthy judgemental perspective. I wrote it down:

"I think I may have figured out something pretty important regarding the origin of codependency.

Arrested Development.....emotionally stopped for me, I think around 5-6-7 years old.

I needed my parents. I needed them to be content, confident, self-assured, loving and "not-needy."
and when they projected their fears and shame unto me - I felt somehow responsible to "fix" them so that they in turn could provide me as a child with what I needed. So that they in turn would be better eqipped to set a better example for me and what I needed as a child in order to prosper and flourish. But it didn't happen that way.

Then and now. Then and now.. THEN and NOW.

(Feel like I want to throw up.)

These are left-over patterns. Made justifiable sense then. I understand now.

A real tug-of-war.

While I needed them to set a healthy, loving and safe "non-dysfunctional" example......they "needed me" in return to NOT rock the boat and expose their own fears and shame and denial.

I was nutuarally and quite justifiably projecting unto them - my needs and wants as a child - and they "projected" back unto me (to put it very mildly)their limitations in response."

I know that all of that didn't really flow and perhaps I repeated myself - but that's just what I wrote down this morning.

Like you - I didn't grow up to be an abuser of others either.

Actually, the one time that I thought I might have been pregnant many years ago - it actually frightened me so badly because I did not want to pass on what I grew up with - but I knew that I just did not know any better....and I had to really dig down deep to realize that I would have probably re-enacted those same dynamics (denial, dear, shame) I was taught as a child - because that was simply all I knew.

Of course, I never became pregnant and had a hysterectomy in my 20's becuase of cervical cancer.

I didn't pass on the ignorance.

What you said about owning our own truth and living in it is sheer genius. My gosh - you have come a long way jv.

I have been reading the recent book: "Living The Truth - Transform Your Life Through The Power of Insight and Honesty" by Keith Ablow, MD (he has a talk show) - but your post has helped me even more than the book has.

Again, thanks so much for your post and for the kind words. You will never know how much it is helping.

((((((WARM HUGS))))))))

tBt

June 28, 2007
8:30 am
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helpplease
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This is a hard one. I often think of my aging parents and forgiveness. At this point in my life, I try to be there for them when I'm in a good place in my head about them. If I'm not, I try not to show my face. it only makes the situation worse to have interactions when i know i can't be loving and decent to them. And while this has to do with my not wanting to hurt them, it has more to do with how awful I feel about myself when I don't treat them with love or when my anger and impatience seeps through. And this is despite my issues with them. I once had a shrink tell me to approach the relatives that I have trouble with as if they were interview subjects. You know, to separate myself from them emotionally and act as if I'd just met them and was trying to learn about them. This technique has worked really well with me.

June 28, 2007
10:50 am
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Old Ma here wishes she could give a HUGE hug to everyone here on this deeply-moving thread. So, please accept a cyber-hug from an old mom.

I have an elderly mother (84) still living. She was always highly abusive: physically, verbally and psychologically. She also allowed me to be exposed to sexual abuse as a tiny child. She has NEVER discussed this with me. Only my big sister (now deceased) would discuss it. After alot of therapy, I now understand that my mother's failure to protect me (AND her own, personal abuse of me) was due to mental illness. She is a BPD/narcissist. End of story.

In the past I have confronted her about her abuse, my pain, my anger...

Her response has always been angry denial, distortion of the facts, smearing me with all relatives/friends, etc.

I no longer have any contact with her. In fact, she took off from a nursing home two years ago and refused to leave a forwarding address. Thus, I have no way of reaching her. What a relief!! I have accepted the fact that (as with ALL abusers in our lives) there will never be any CLOSURE from her. The only closure my heart will reach will come from within myself with God's help. I can forgive her, release her and move on because I know I am loved, valuable and grateful to be alive.

You are seeking closure. You are seeking affirmation of your suffering and all that was done to you. Your mother is unable to come out of denial and acknowledge the wrongs done to you. She has had to chose between Truth (you) and Denial (to keep a man in her life). I am sad that she has chosen Denial. However, I am not surprised. Remember...your mother is "damaged goods" and probably incapable of surviving without that man. If she were to acknowledge what he has done to you (and her failure to protect you from him), her "world" would crumble. For a woman in her seventies, this is simply not possible.

You will have to seek closure within yourself through the path of forgiveness and self-love and self-acceptance. By all means, write a therapeutic letter to her. (I have done this.) Get it all "out there." Then, be grateful that you have come full circle and survived with the ability to move ahead into your future in peace. We CAN do this.

- Ma Strong

June 28, 2007
12:03 pm
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Good morning TBT
you are an easy person to love, i love you. the anonimity of this board makes it posable for me to say that without romantic overtones. What a freeing thing that is.
I thought about this post last night and felt as if i had removed my clothing in public (a little naked) but i know this is my only way to a better today.

thank you for your kind reply and i am so glad you feel better and have some hope in you outlook today and that is such an important thing for all of us to have. I feel compelled to tell you that through a relationship with God or a power greater than myself if you will the strength and courage and wisdom you find in my writing was given to me. I don't go around evangalizing though. I simply like to share that 12 step recovery gave me a chance to put aside the Toxic levels of guilt and shame and develop a personal and loving relationship with my creator. I allways like to give credit where credit is due. I can tell by your tone that you are opening the door to freedom from the bondage of your past and i tuely believe you will continue to seek and you will surely find your way. Keep up the great work.
Your friend
jv

June 28, 2007
4:32 pm
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truthBtold
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jv,

Awwwww thank you dear friend. I have a very special place in my heart for you as well.....truly.

I so appreciate your honesty, love and sincerity and I feel it come directly through these posts.

Thank you for that.

I know what you are saying about removing the clothing in public. Actually, funny that you should mention that because about a week ago, I had 2 or 3 different dreams about being naked in public! Most of them revolved around public bathrooms......(maybe a pre-cursor to the incredible growth I have undergone lately - you think?)

Also, I NOW KNOW what you and others have talked about here in regards to connecting to a higher power. While I have neverbeen able to subscribe to any type of "organized religion" - I must say that in all honesty - here lately I have been calling on my spirit guide and my angels.

I kind of feel like some kind of football coach in a way (maybe watching too many old re-runs of the sitcom "Coach" every morning....)in that I actually like - blow a whistle and say - OK folks - (talking to my angels) gather 'round....gonna need everyone's participation on this one - and you know what? I actually get it. I get the support.

Incredible!!!!!!!

I think in years past - I was afraid to ask for help and support for a couple of reasons. First of all, I didn't think that I would actually receive it - secondly - if I did - it was met with incredible suspect...but know - through something that I have come to know as "healthy humility" it really does work and is available to me just for the asking with no strings attached.

WOW!!!!!!!!

I can not express to you the incredible peace that I am finally feeling in my life. I have been able to "let love in" as a result and being grateful to those around me just comes naturally...as a by-product of this. In the past - I would put on my "things to do list" things like, clean the litter boxes (always a priority) feed the cats, do the laundry, be grateful for the things I have, go grocery shopping etc....but the grateful part....while it's great to make a concerted effort to do so - I have found - just naturally falls upon me without my having to focus it on it.

(I'm getting a little teary-eyed now...) I guess that's the grace of God speaking to me and through me.

That's all for now. Thank you all for your support - from the bottom of my heart!

June 28, 2007
6:14 pm
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Tears Are good they wash away the pain.

June 29, 2007
12:26 pm
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truthBtold
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jv,

Yes. You are right. I am feeling a little raw and exposed so I am taking a little down time right now to re-group and heal the open wounds.

Ma Strong, you post made loads of sense. Yes, I think that you are right - my mom really is incapable of surviving without my father and I think that indeed her world would crumble. You were able to put into words that which I have felt and sensed but could never quite wrap by brain around until your post. Thank you for that....it really helps.

However, I do not think that my mom or you or I or anyone else here who has been sexually abused is "damaged goods." We are not "goods" (or objects or things)- we are all humans.

Again, thanks for your input.

June 29, 2007
12:39 pm
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jv63
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Good for you TBT its allways good to be good to you. you deserve it.
The fact that u picked up the damaged goods phrase tells me your self esteem is on the rise. Don't get me wrong Ma strong I realize what you were refering to is the brokeness and unhealed wounds of abuse. a reality of the human condition. take care:
jv63

June 29, 2007
12:51 pm
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red blonde
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TBT ~

I posted to you on my thread.

Red

June 29, 2007
12:53 pm
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red blonde
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(((((((((TBT)))))))))))

Thanks for welcoming me!

We must have posted on eachother's threads at the same time.

Red

June 29, 2007
1:04 pm
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red blonde
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Everything that all of you have been posting is so much like I am going through right now. When I first started having flashbacks and nightmares, at first I thought I was totally crazy, that none of this could have possibly have happened and that I was imaging it all. I tried to talk to my dad about it - God - almost 30 years ago about the physical abuse and was told to forgive and forget and I realize now that he was in such denial that my mother could have been abusing me. I guess, I stuffed that all down again, didn't want to look at it or deal with it.

TBT - you sound like you are near to my age...pehaps only 10 years younger than me.

July 2, 2007
1:23 pm
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truthBtold
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Red, Glad that you kept posting to your original thread. I am going to be 47 years old this month.

Also, a little update on my end. I am experiencing incredible fits of rage. After it's over - I just take it as a lesson that something is not right and my emotions are just messengers of something that needs to change.

I am better for it - but at the time - it's a real hum-dinger of a ride!!!!!!!

So today, I am settling back down again - a little bit wiser for the process...........

July 2, 2007
1:45 pm
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Hey TBT, how are you doing. did you get any relief. on the childhood issues from sharing? I feel much better have heard yours and others stories and sharing my own. jv63

July 2, 2007
1:47 pm
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Hey TBT, how are you doing. did you get any relief. on the childhood issues from sharing? I feel much better have heard yours and others stories and sharing my own. jv63

July 2, 2007
2:17 pm
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truthBtold
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jv63,

Yes, I am doing better, thanks for asking.

I like to "chew on things" for a bit and I can tell you that over these past few days, your story continues to inspire me (even though it took alot for you to share.)

I keep going back to that part of your post where you talked about your broken bones and how you finally just had a face to face adult conversation with your parents (mom& dad FYI sessions) and felt vindicated and reclaimed your self respect because of it. And how you saw the dymanics for what they were/are - and that the denial from them was just another lie that an insecure person feels they have to tell.

It is my hope to finally get to that place myself. You have helped me more than any other therapist I have seen over the years...and continue to do so.....(God - I'm getting all teary eyed again......you seem to do that to me - but in a good way!)

I love you too.

tBt

July 2, 2007
2:30 pm
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jv63
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I am sooooooo glad to hear that you are doing well. When you open a can of worms or pandora's box? as it were it can get kinda tough. I managed to finish a song lyric that i have been working on as a result of our sharring. and i feel like it's good. the song tells a piece of my story. only trouble is now i am afraid to go the last step and finsh composing and produce it. Gotta get past the fear. i am not sure what i am afraid of though.
love,
jv

July 2, 2007
2:36 pm
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truthBtold
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jv63,

I would love to hear what you have so far........

You know, I recently saw a little snippit yesterday on a kind of obscure channel on cable called "Current"

The piece was entitled "Drama King" and it talked about this incredible teacher who taught drama classes. He said something that really made sense to me - - he said that true talent is when your own art moves YOU!!!!! (Did you just get chills up and down? I know I just did.)

I would love to hear what you have so far..............please feel free to share when it feels right.

Your friend, tBt

July 2, 2007
2:40 pm
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well this is the lyric that I am more or less settled on though I have a melody written for it I can't decide mabee to start in a minor key and resolve after the bridge or not but anyway here it is.
Verse 1
On a nameless street in no wheresville in a little run down house.
Lived a boy who was tormented and torn.
His fear ran so very deep it robbed him of his soul
His only hope was found in this Psalm

Chorus
The Lord is my light and my salvation.
When the evildoers come after me to devour my flesh
My enemies them selves will stumble and fall
Though an army encamp against me my heart will not fear
Cause my trust need always be the Lord.

Verse 2
They picked at his spirit like the Vulchers of the sky.
They threatened and they beat him to control.
He held his sorrow in silence like a good little man
Until his pain it Raged outta control.
From vs 2 strait to bridge

Bridge
On the path of self-destruction whisky soaked and bound for hell
came the day that he could go no more.
From the depths of despair spirit broke and on his knees
he looked up and saw the face of Christ the lord.

He said
Chorus: The Lord is my light and my salvation.
When the evildoers come after me to devour my flesh
My enemies them selves will stumble and fall
Though an army encamp against me my heart will not fear
Cause my trust should always been the Lord.

Verse 4
The doorway to his freedom lay in the grace of the lord.
The shame the guilt and the blame he felt no more.
The light of the truth crushed the lies of the foe,
And his life could be finally filled with hope.

Fine.
The Lord is my light and my salvation.
(Repeat this line 3 times and fade)

July 2, 2007
2:46 pm
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tbt gotta go for now but would love to hear what you think. ill check back latter.

jv

July 2, 2007
3:06 pm
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truthBtold
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Oh God......that's absolutely beautiful jv!!!!!!!

(Why is it that our communication always brings me to tears????)

I'm hearing a minor key...maybe E minor - it's always been my favorite (I play a little piano.)

Verse 4 is the real kicker!!!!! Perhaps this is where any other instruments that played a minor backdrop will be able to come forth loud and clear....or else - if just extremely elegant and simple an acoustic one instrument can really just tell it all in its simple straight-forward and now - clearly creshendo (spelling?) at the end.

Great stuff jv!!!!!!!!

You know, your comment: "Only trouble now I am afraid to go the last step and finish composing and produce it. Gotta get past the fear. I am not sure what I am afraid of though."

To that I would add the poem: "Our Deepest Fear" by Marianne Williamson:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to so the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Shine On JV.......SHINE ON....(and so will I!!!!!!!!!)

July 2, 2007
4:50 pm
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jv63
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Thank you so much tBt your words of encouragement mean alot to me. I think that my writing is good. I don't want to be egotistical and i am not. you nailed it with the poem though. I have been acused of "shrinking so those around me won't feel small" before and I know it is true. I will get busy and forge ahead. this has helped immeasurably.
thank you
jv

July 2, 2007
5:28 pm
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truthBtold
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jv,

Your words make my heart sing!!!!

Forge on my friend, forge on...and I will do the same!

There is a local poetry group which meets the first Saturday of the month here in Atlanta.....I have managed to sagotage and come up with excuses for every meeting since - but perhaps NOT the July meeting on this Saturday, 7-7.

Perhaps I will "walk the talk" in regards to this poem by Marianne Williamson - and of my own poetry which lies piled for 20 something years in an old briefcase!!!!!!

I dunno - for some reason - I am propelled to share with you one of my own poems:

Forgiveness

Forgiveness for forgiveness sake?

But who or what will compensate?

For all the wrong-doings life dumped upon me....and left for me to carry - so secretely?

Forgiveness for Forgiveness sake?

Quite a collasal...undertake....

To NOT EXCUSE....but to let it be....

BACK in the past where it will stay!

Forgiveness for forgiveness sake?

.....Stamped through my heart, imprisioning my soul....unrelentless reminder......of days of old.

Forgiveness for MINE OWN SAKE - - -

cools and soothes that inner ache.....

....and sets me FREE to now partake - - - - -

In my OWN LIFE - - - -

I now,

re-take.

😉

Here's another one:

(Note - I wrote this one while utterly alone (by choice) and desperate one Christmas Eve much to my own chagrin...

The Greatest Gift

The Greatest Gift, I could give myself........,

Was at first ABSURD!!!!!!! (or - so I felt.)

Ther Greatest Gift I could give myself -

...arrived gently, sat lovingly, 'pon my heart and dwelt.

The Greatest Gift I could give myself.......

Came NOT FROM ME - - - - -

and ALL PRIDE THUS MELT!!!!!!!

The Greatest Gift I WOULD give myself.......

....was to simply let go - - -

L E T G O - - - - -

LET...........

..........GO.............

- - and for
give - - - -

....some - - - -

....body - - - - -

.......else!

sigh. tBt.

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