Merry Christmas

To all I wish you a merry Christmas. I hope you enjoy this poem by JMAaron.

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Your Ticket

By: JMAaron

He stood outside the window,

Nose pressed against the glass

And told his Mommy, “Look, look, look!

Watch the ‘lectric train go past!

 

Can there be a greater gift

Than that beneath the tree?

Oh Mommy can I have one?

Please please please please please please?

“I’ve heard it said there’s a greater train,

We’ve only to climb on board

Its destination a wonderful place

And the Engineer, our Lord.

Oh Mommy, so we’ll go to church,

Tomorrow’s Christmas Day,

But this train is here, this train is now!

What’s your answer, won’t you say?

The answer’s not mine to give,

His train waits at the station.

It’s been that way, I’m sure

Since the beginning of creation.

Mommy you talk in riddles,

Besides, can’t you see?

This train puffs smoke and blows its horn

Going round the giant tree!”

That was years ago

The boy’s a full grown man

Standing at the window

Now holding his son’s hand

“Daddy! Please please Daddy!

I want the train so very very bad!

It’s the last gift that I’ll ask for

And the greatest I’ve ever had!

“See the Engineer my son?

It’s driven by the Lord.

He bought our tickets on Calvary

We need only climb on board.

Daddy this train says Li-o-nel

It hauls cows and little pink hogs.

There’s a bell that rings

And a flatbed full of logs!

God’s train is called Salvation

And we really can’t resist.

We need to work and pray my son

To stay on his good-little-boys list

The lesson I learned so long ago

As a boy then, only seven

Redemption’s His line, His Load our souls

And the destination Heaven.”

Don’t stand outside the window

With your nose against the glass,

Accept Him as your Savior

Or you’ll see the train go past.

 

Christmas Day’s but once a year

Use your ticket on any day

It leaves on time, it waits for YOU

Climb on, sit down, be on your way.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas…

If only in my dreams…

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There are many like me – unable to be home for Christmas. All of us think about those special moments those we love will enjoy. We know they miss us and wish we could share in the festivities, just as we miss everyone and wish we could be there to enjoy the love shared.

The song, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” expresses how we will attend – in dreams. This song was penned during WWII to reflect the emotions and wishes of our troops who would not be home on Christmas. I find the lyrics to fit well with those like me who wait in exile for the day we can again experience Christmas with family and friends.

I hope those reading this will reach out to those who, for whatever reason, can’t be home for the holidays.

I also hope you enjoy this song and its lyrics and allow them to touch your heart.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me to you and yours.

~ jdoe

Blessed In Exile

Here we are at the final installment for this series of postings.  It has been, for me, an arduous task of writing about very difficult topics.  My plate of spaghetti has many other strands that I have to chew through in my healing process, but after today we can sop up the sauce of this topic, as I have forgiven and moved on. 

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Finally, I imploded and pursued illegal pornography.

It may be hard to believe but for me, my case is a blessing.  

There is joy in the tribulation.

How can I say that when I’ve left my wife to deal with life all alone?  It opened the door for me to get the help I needed, still need.  I do not recommend my path as the path to healing but if it hadn’t happened I’m sure I’d be dead today due to suicide.  Sounds dramatic but it’s true.  And sad.

Help for me came from a talented and competent psychologist well trained in sexual recovery as well as addiction.  I have to admit that admitting I was an addict and hearing the diagnoses of PTSD, Delusional Disorder, and Dissociative Disorder was scary because it also meant out of control psychologically.  Yet once I knew what was wrong I could face it head on and use my intellect in a healthy, productive way.  The thing I valued most had a different purpose: uncover and heal verses cover up and hurt.  Another blessing!

Where am I today? 

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I’m proud to say I’m a rehabilitated addict.  I’ll always be an addict – that’s the nature of the beast, the monkey, yet it’s under control for the first time in over 45 years.  You might say, “of course it is, you’re in prison,” but I assure you that pornography is readily available and cheap.  I see today the horror in addiction and use and in fact its very existence.  I read of younger and younger (children!) people viewing it on the internet and so developing ill-defined views/beliefs/perspectives on human sexuality and intimacy.  It is a scourge.

As for addressing the hurts of my childhood, I feel I’ve done pretty much what I can.  There are no answers for all the ‘why’ questions.  The relative that abused me is gone yet I still love and miss them – I hold no ill feelings.  I do however have a new understanding of their role in my life.  Now I know them to be someone as broken as me, suffering their own hurts, who acted inappropriately and in so doing aiding, driving, my ill developed views and beliefs around human sexuality and intimacy.

My childhood was far from normal and holistically healthy in many measures.  That is not to say there weren’t times of true childhood though.  I had loving parents, siblings, fights, resentments, laughs, and healthy love.  Separating the good from the bad has not been easy but I believe I finally have.

What’s left? 

The PTSD, its associated depression, the hallucinations and much of the work to overcome and/or manage their effects.

What help is available in prison? 

Honestly, very little at my location and other non-medical locations.  Unless you’re horribly non-functioning and/or a danger to yourself and/or others you won’t get the help you really need.

They work to keep you stable, not heal. 

I’m blessed that the psychologist, Julie, I worked with outside is still working with me by letter while I’m here.  She is as committed to my full recovery as I am.  The challenge is in the trying to do this kind of work through writings with weeks between responses.  But I write.

I want out of the mental illness prison.  I do understand though that much of it is about management and understanding.  Recovery may mean I think differently and manage the left over.

I began my first medication in July of 2014.  It is a mood stabilizer to help with the suicidal thoughts and has helped some.  I also began my first medication for the hallucinations in August of this year, 2016.  I had to go off due to the side effects.  I began a second medication but it’s too early to judge effectiveness or side effects.  More to come.

I wonder what life without all the people, voices and noises will be like.  I wonder if I’ll feel more human or lost without them.  I do know they are all unhealthy coping mechanisms and I, like a child, have to learn appropriate and healthy coping mechanisms.

Can you teach a 53 year old dog new tricks? 

I’m committed but I wonder, am I capable? 

Time will tell. 

~ jdoe

Pasta For One, But Many To Feed

In Life Is Like A … Bowl Of Spaghetti and Spaghetti … And A Few Meatballs you read about the history of sexual abuse I suffered as well as the initial mental illness.  Here you’ll read how that mental illness manifested itself and grew into my adult life.

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At age fifteen two new people became visible to me: Pam and Mr. Carhart.  I know today that Pam represents good and Mr. Carhart evil.  How do I know their positions?  Mr. Carhart appeared first and was instrumental in my first suicide attempt.  Pam appeared shortly after the attempt and stands between me and Mr. Carhart and comforts me.

Shortly after my second suicide attempt at age twenty a group of people became mostly visible.  They number seven and sit (3) and stand (4) in a misty haze.  All I can tell about them is they’re human but there is no level of facial/physical detail beyond that.  I can tell two are children, two are adolescents, and three are adults.  And I think they represent those three phases of growth for me.

By age twenty-one, I was dealing with a severe addiction to pornography, voices and noises inside my head, Pam, Mr. Carhart, and The Seven in The Mist as well as colors and patterns in my field of vision.  There were also three others who would make occasional, short appearances at times of extreme emotional crisis.  I was a mess and no one knew.

I told no one.

I kept it all to myself for many reasons – none healthy as I now know.  I was afraid of what it all might mean, the stigma and what might happen to me.  After all, haven’t we all seen what happens to ‘crazy’ people on TV and in the movies?!  Institutionalized and drugged!  I was also afraid of what it might mean for my mind.  I’m a pretty intelligent person and I’ve always valued my intellect.  It’s what kept me ‘sane’ and helped me achieve many things.   Of course it’s also what lead to my current place in exile.  My mind, my ego, said, “I can handle it all,” and for many years it did –  sort of.

I began to seriously break at age 48.  The repressed memories of the rape began to push from subconscious to conscious.  The images seemed so unreal and fantastical that I was convinced they were created out of my own addiction to porn.  How or when did I, a solid heterosexual, have a penis in my mouth?! And in my anus?!  It was too awful to be true.

I also started to have serious, more serious actually, issues in interpersonal relationships with my wife, family , friends and employees.  My work was suffering and I began planning suicide again.  I was a mess again and I told no one.

I told myself I could handle it all. 

I was wrong.

My hope – if anyone reading this has suffered as I did and/or deals with mental illness, you will heed my advice and get help. 

Do it today.  Do not wait.  Do not remain in that prison. 

Almost there, one more part.  Next I discuss my breakdown and how I ended up here in exile. ~ jdoe