Put your phones down;
stop thinking about yourself.

Look at me.

Do you not see the tears welling up
and streaming down my face?

You choose to ignore me.
You run on your treadmill of self,
not caring for your fellow man.


Day 2: Prosper

The tree of life is available
to those that cling to Jesus.


Day 1: The Poor

The poor are not to be banished,
they too need compassion and love.

Do not look away; see their pain.




Medium: water-color paint on tracing paper

Forgive Yourself

I'm lost in the void:
I remember doing wrong things
and yet knowing I'm not responsible.

I don't understand how
to undo what I did except
to let myself off the hook.



Fear Beyond Understanding

I uncovered a repressed memory last week of my father strangling me. But what is even more remarkable is the fear it has released inside of me. It was trapped inside and I didn't know why until now.

This is how I know fear is beyond our comprehension. I actually fainted because of it. It makes no logical sense at all that I would just faint out of the blue, except that I just identified that my biggest fear was to see my father again. I am so grateful to not have seen him since I was about six years old. But, he e-mailed me out of the blue.

I'm actually scared to death of him.... well was. It all had to come to the surface in order to acknowledge the fear he instilled in me. It manifested itself in my body in such a way that I had to "relive" the most fearful moment in my life. Not in every detail, but in its own way of showing me.

I mean I just know that so many of us have had terrible things done to us that we may or may not remember. I pray that God will give you the grace needed to uncover whatever hellish thing you need to in order to move on with your life. It has been terrible and wonderful at the same time for me. I am so grateful to release this fear and pain.


Shock and Awe

"But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn." (Job 14:22)

Wow, talk about a verse portraying exactly how I feel without me having the words... truly amazing.

I had another repressed memory wash over me last week. It was the cherry on the top of the sundae I had already remembered. My father choked me until I passed out. I mean this could mean attempted murder, correct?

I just don't know what to do with this information. I'm in shock somewhat still.



You cannot persecute God's children
without facing Him.




Now that everything is recovered,
real healing can happen.

The crevices of the brain
and the shadows of the heart.



This heavy spirit is recoiled;
God has my hand.



Medium: pastel and watercolor paint


Medium: pastel, oil pastel, and watercolor paint



Medium: pastel, oil pastel, and watercolor paint



Pressing forward for your relief,
ever wandering with your spirit.

Please send me your guidance and wisdom,
I cannot do this alone.



So, I got this incredibly big cold sore on my face a couple of weeks ago, and it is finally almost gone. But, yet I got a contemptuous look from someone. I really didn't have it in me to say, "What the f*ck!" But that is what she deserved.

I know it is not me. I know the pain is in her heart. But I got my feelings hurt, and I hate that my feelings got hurt.



These scars will not heal,
they fester and burn with pain.

Your mistakes are immeasurable,
yet I am awakened to forgive.

You want to linger in the cracks of my brain.
You want to rob me of any joy and peace.

You must face the God who knows
everything you did.


Look Up

Resounding hope is all we have to hold on to.


Inner Beauty

Medium: pastel, oil pastel, and watercolor paint



I'm scared of disappointing you, God.
I feel like I don't have what it takes.
I know you show your strength through our weakness,
but I am really scared.

Where does this fear come from?
Why is it always casting a shadow on me?

I ask that you deliver me from this impending doom I seem to always be feeling.



Material: pastel, oil pastel, and watercolor paint


Turning Glory into Shame

Regret is fathomless,
always beseeching us to shame.

Brush it off and stand your ground,
this too will pass.



Medium: oil pastel, pastel, and watercolor paint



I am guilty of doing the exact same thing my parents are guilty of. I have an anger issue, and I direct it at the ones I love so dearly. I have struggled with trying to identify the feeling that rises inside of me ahead of an outburst, but it has been very difficult. Usually, I have some kind of outburst and then excuse myself from the scene. I read something in the bible to adjust my perspective and then move on.

But the root of my anger issue arises from my parents’ using this strategy as well. I do not want to pass this trait on to my own children. I do not want them to believe that is alright to tear each other down even when your feelings make it seem justified. Children are never the cause of our unrest inside of us.

I want to try to use this to help you, but am so overcome with guilt right now. Finding the right words of wisdom and reassurance is just not where I’m at yet. I am overwhelmed honestly. I feel like a flood of water has overtaken me and I am bobbing on top grasping for help. I hope you can understand this feeling so that I don’t feel alone.

I need to feel that I am not the only one that feels so guilty about all the bad decisions I’ve made and still make. I need to feel that it is alright to be imperfect and just to be aware of my shortcomings is all that is required. I cannot fix myself. I cannot undo all my mistakes. All I can do is try to love all those around me the best I can. This is my biggest desire.

My parents in their anger would call me ugly. I don’t even understand why they would both want to hurt me so bad. The ugliness this created later in my life is so big. I never felt good enough and never pretty enough. When I was a teenager, my mother always told everyone how pretty I was in front of me. Was she trying to make up for her mistakes when I was younger? I don’t have the answers, but struggle with this so much as a parent myself.

I know I have to let it go, but it feels so ugly. I really hate my parents right now and want justice so bad. Is this wrong of me to feel this way? I hope not. I just don’t get it. And now seeing that I do some of the same behavior is making me feel ugly. Here we go.

I am not to feel guilty for what my parents did to me. I am not to feel shame for their mistakes any longer. I am not going to perpetuate the same ugliness they put on me on to others. I will take a stand for love and goodness.

I don’t plan on being perfect. But in my heart and in my soul, I do not want to be angry anymore. I do not want this cycle to continue. I will stop it here for my future generations. I have a future brighter than I can realize and I plan on seeing it.


Medium: oil pastel, pastel, and watercolor paint



Medium: oil pastel, pastel, and watercolor paint



Medium: oil pastel, pastel, and watercolor paint


Relentless Love

The fear of the repressed is overwhelming,
the enemy does not relent for a single moment.

We seek your reprieve, Lord.
Do no abandon us in this valley.



good vs. evil

Medium: oil pastel, pastel, and watercolor paint


Child of God

You say that you know I was despised.
You say that you know I was neglected.
You say that you know I was raped.
You say that you know I was left,
but you say that you took me as your own.



The Spirit

Medium: oil pastel, pastel, and watercolor paint


Too Sad

I hit a valley of deep sorrow for a good couple of days. I know depression from my not too distant past, but this was something different.

I felt as though I was mourning the loss of me. Me as a child. I lost me.


I Mourn

for the little girl 
who lost her innocence

for the little girl 
who had big dreams

for the little girl
who has too much sorrow

for the little girl
who now knows it was wrong.


I am convinced that there is no purgatory.

For the Ladies in the House

So, I really am being so brutally honest right now... no bars holding me now... rape does something to your emotional psyche, right?

Why do I feel this constant tugging on my heart strings... I can't seem to relate to anyone right now... sorry, I'm not writing complete sentences... but, sometimes a girl just needs to take a deep exhale. For me, with my words.

He hurt the insides of us more than we could comprehend. This is way nasty things that should never happen to us. We connect our pain with the physical scars we had to bare.  The emotional scarring that is way beyond repair.

But, I have something that heals all that... ready? Jesus. Not exactly where you thought I was headed, right? I know. But let me say a simple prayer for you. God, in the name of Jesus, can you please show yourself to her?


I watched you leave,
withered and without life.

You became a friend
when I had no one.

But your time has ended,
I no longer want your friendship.

My Biggest Wish

All I want more then anything is to own the title, "child of god."

I am so broken and hurt inside. I feel like I can't do anything right.

I feel as though my heart has been pulled out of my chest, smashed by the monster who pulled it out, and then placed back inside.

What is the purpose for all of this pain?


Medium: oil pastel, pastel, and watercolor paint



The regret is so deep and unbanished.
The pain is too big and unrelentless.
The loss is overpowering.

I am a survivor.



Medium: oil pastel, pastel, and watercolor paint



Medium: oil pastel, pastel, and watercolor paint



Please, God, help me... I don't know where to turn.
This habit is a pain in the ass.
I don't want to drop it, but need to desperately.

Please, get me through this.
I need your help, because I cannot do this alone.

Please pray for me...

This is really rock bottom for me...
this is the moment when everything goes....



I feel the pain of my parents
acknowledging their own daughter
suffered at the hand of a friend.

I feel the anguish
of the guilt it wants to bring.

I feel the agony
of relating too much.


The Irony

When I was nine years old, I had a little brother born. My step-father married my mother with three little girls, and then had a child of his own. The dynamics of our family changed.

That summer, we moved back to Florida -- my mother's home. We moved a couple of times out of state but always went back to Florida. Once we got settled in, I started spending lots of time with our family friends. They were a married couple with daughters older than me. So, it seemed to make sense I guess.

But, oh no. This would end up being my pedophile's home. We spent lots of time together; he was my buddy. We even shot some of his guns in his back yard. He was actually a real member of Hell's Angels as well.

Anyway, I spent lots of time at his house just hanging out with him, his wife, and kids. His daughters were four and six years older than me. I would hang out with the fourteen year old, but the oldest one was always working.

After I joined the U.S. Air Force at the age of nineteen, I went home one year on leave to visit. My dad asked me to meet him at a particular bar one evening. I ended up making some friends with a group of guys around my age. We were playing darts, when a really good looking older man walked in the bar.

We made eye contact and continued to for some time. Finally, he asked me to join him and his group of friends to go to another drinking establishment. This restaurant was very quiet and he ordered whatever I wanted to drink. He was truly a gentleman.

This was not the most interesting part of this story. The really surprising part for me was the bartender at the first bar, a biker bar. She was my pedophile's younger daughter.



Medium: oil pastel, pastel, and watercolor paint


Times Up

I am afraid of letting everyone down.

My job was to protect everyone;
I couldn't let my secret out
for fear of him killing you all.

He promised he would
starting with my little sister.


Medium: oil pastel, pastel, and watercolor paint



So, you think because you literally scared me to death that I wouldn't someday remember what you did to me. How could you rape a 10-yr. old little girl? And your wife held me down covering my mouth with one hand. I kicked her so hard and long.

I do not know why it hurts so much.



You consume me from the inside,
ever present but yet obscure.
You demand my emotions
and never let me forget.

You are unrelenting in your fierceness,
raging in my brain and body.
You are beyond my control.
When will you let me go?

A Mess


Do not go forward; there are terrors within.


Over Sharing

The very thing I don't really want people to know about me is the very thing I told someone today.  I was medicated for Bipolar Disorder for a year of my life.

I had an incident where I displayed some manic symptoms for a short while. I got prescribed Depakote from a psychiatrist. It was so challenging. I had to see him because I was in the military and with the diagnosis of bipolar disorder you are taken off of deployment status; a big no-no in the military.

I had to see the psychiatrist every month for a year in which he kept increasing my dosage if I had a single day of depression. It was heart breaking for me to think about how numb I was to the world. I didn't have any joy, no anxiousness, no depression for the most part --- I was an emotional zombie.

But I woke up every single day and took care of our son who was two at the onset. I did all the required things and some more because I would get manic episodes where I would start projects. My brain was always racing. It was pretty insane. Luckily, nothing terrible happened.

Then about a year into taking the medicine, I started shaking uncontrollably. My psychiatrist told me it was a common side effect. When I did my research, I found out that if you stay on Depakote indefinitely the shaking will not subside. Also, we wanted to have another child and I would not with that medicine in my system.

So, yes you already can see where this is going --- I completely stopped taking it. I lied to my psychiatrist for a couple of months in which I still needed his signature for my military paperwork.

I was advised by my military commander to get another diagnosis. No problem. I saw a different psychiatrist and left out my manic episode because with all honesty I wasn't experiencing them any longer. He diagnosed me back to depression.

That was that and then I found another psychiatrist who ended up testing me for PTSD and was easily diagnosed with the proper disorder, finally.

But that doesn't mean I want people to know. You all get to know because hopefully someone reading this can relate to my story and I can use my pain to lift someone else's.


Forgetting Everything

I don't know when it happened exactly, but at some point in my childhood I decided to stop remembering all the bad things that were happening to me. I would somehow forget about it. My sister's memories fill in the blanks for me, but I feel like I've missed out on some of my childhood. Granted, these were bad memories; I still feel robbed.

I am disappointed in myself sometimes. Like why can't my PTSD be done by now. Of course I didn't get diagnosed until about five years ago. Still, why do I feel in such a hurry sometimes... ok, honestly almost all the time.

I'm forty-four years old and still am a stay-at-home mother. Does that sound bad? Why should it sound bad when our daughter is three and a half. I'm not sure. Isn't it important to be a good mother?

I just feel underwhelmed sometimes. But yet these moments with my children when they are small have been my favorite memories ever.



You were a welcomed friend long ago,
but I no longer need you.

You bully me and try to control me,
you have me rely on my feelings.

I try to resist your charms,
but succumb to the temptation.

I don't want to live with
your need to dominate any goodness.


Cement Feet

You hold me down under the weight of my guilt and shame, 
but I hold on to something stronger.



It is strangling me,
it is slandering me,
it is not forgiving me.

It is reminding me,
it is foraging me
for memories lost.

It will not let me go,
it consumes me,
it paralyzes me.

I will not forget
who is holding me up.


PTSD Brain

So you know you have PTSD when something that bothered you over a month ago gets triggered back up and your depressed over it for three days. Yikes!

I literally wrote about my family being a disappointment over the holidays (What-do-you-do-when-you-are-ignored) and yet I was not over it.

So I'm trying to see if there is a reason for this to happen. Am I the only one who gets triggered out of the middle of nowhere? I didn't see it coming.

Got to love the brain's way of dealing with disappointment from loved ones. Just stuff it down. How do we undo these pathways?



Why would a person who loves you hurt you?

I cannot answer this question. I struggle to understand it, yet I still experience it. Over and over again, I am hurt by those that are my family. Do I choose to be hurt? Definitely not. Do I expect love? Absolutely. Are my expectations wrong?

How can love be wrong?


Heavy Heart

My sister, a victim of complex PTSD, is suffering deeply. I know God can get her through it, but it appears to be overwhelming for her.

She is a recovering addict from about twenty years plus of drug use. You have no idea the miracles God has already done in order for her to still be alive today. One could argue that she is a miracle, but not from the world's point of view.

She is struggling, with a capital "s". She just got out of jail and has a criminal record. But she did find a job as a waitress, something she is really good at. But now she has a bad foot from a accident before she went to jail that just got worse while away. She cannot stand on it very long without it swelling.

So now the only skill she has cannot last for her. She has to find something else. She probably needs to go back to school. If I recollect things, I'm not entirely sure she even has her high school diploma.

But for now she has to try each and every day that she wakes up to choose to stay sober. Sobering, right? Sorry, I couldn't resist. You think your life might be rough, but you never know what that person is going through that is walking down the street with a slight limp.



Follow me to the reservoir,
I will not teeter.


Feeling for You

I am grieving for a friend who is getting bullied by her molester. She was molested when she was little, but this person is still in her life. I just can't imagine. The constant reminder that it happened and the constant fear.

This is the thing that bothers me the most....always afraid. This is a constant battle, no relief. Please, Lord surround her with your protection.



There are roads not taken,
paths not worn down.
Are you on one?


Wicked Eyes

My only desire is for you to face up to what you did.
You broke my spirit way before I could remember.
You speak in riddles trying to see what I remember.

Your curse of inflicting pain on your own children
ends with me --- I will never.



You're pushed to the brink,
relying on all your inner strength.
More patience, please.

But why must we feel fear?
I know my nerves are frazzled,
I know I am so beyond tired.

I am reaching for more strength,
I am reaching for more peace.


Who's Wrong?

What do you do when someone is rude to you?
Do you think that they might have something wrong with them?
I never do; I always, always think it's my fault.

I am so sick of feeling like everything bad around me is
my fault.
Who decided I'm the scapegoat?
Did anyone even request my permission?

I'm done feeling this way.
We have done nothing wrong.
We did not deserve to be abused.

We do not deserve to be bullied by every notion.


Resolving Our Shit

If you don't know already, PTSD can be passed on from generation to generation. I realized today that my mother's mother had it due to a house fire where her two smallest children died. Hers was unresolved until the day she died. She had Alzheimer's disease for more than twenty years.

So what do we do if we want the cycle to end with us. We resolve it! We figure out who did what to us and forgive them. That's it, just forgive them. Probably impossible for us all. But all you have to do is try. Ask God to help you and let it go.


Disparaging Voice

The loudest voice in my head is so vicious.
It is unrelenting and ruthless.
I want to go hide in my cave.

But a stiller, smaller, and loving voice
tells me to be brave and strong.
I don't feel I am any of these things.

Love wants to win.


Facing Fear

I've always lived with a senseless amount of fear. I could never really identify where it came from until just today. I have been scared of a man who raped me when I was a child.

I mean really, the man is seventy years old now. What harm could he really do to me now? But I have to confess I am scared beyond comprehension that I will see him again.

This is the power that our attackers have on us. It really doesn't have to make sense; that is the point. Our brains have been programmed to respond to the littlest things as being bigger than they are. Do you ever feel like he could just walk in on you while your back is turned?

This lingering fear is what I have to face; I can't live like this any longer. Now that I can remember who he is, it's time to take down the giant.