My Inner Child Crashed My Party and I Wouldn’t Change a Thing
“To Little Lydia, her husband’s lack of celebration was a battle cry. And she came! Armed with her empty buckets in need of filing! She came with a body aching for connection! She came hell bent on establishing her significance! All eyes were on her, and she was ready to mix it up with the savagery of a DMX song.
That vulnerable little girl, who still resides within me, had never been celebrated, and still longs for glory. The voice resonating through my home was that of a grown woman, but the mind generating the words being spoken was that of a child who’s heels were dug in. She struggled to mold child’s feelings into cohesive, comprehensive thoughts, and when she found it impossible, finally donned her armour and activated her defensive tongue. She mounted her attack, yet as fierce as she seemed, the child within stood paralyzed in the fear of being abandoned in her own heartbreak. “
Keep reading on @elephantjournal!
My Inner Child Crashed My Party and I Wouldn’t Change a Thing
After I lost my baby, Michael in May of 1994, I wrote to help process the pain. It was early in 1997 that I entered a poetry contest that specified the type of poem that be submitted. The style requirement was that the poem had to be in villanelle format, and I had no idea what that was, so I researched it and found a description. The magazine Wish Women, where my poem was ultimately published, stated that the villanelle “strictly adhered to the meter (iambic pentameter), rhyme scheme (A1bA2, abA2, abA1, abA2, AbA1A2)” (Wish Women, Mar-Apr97). In layman’s terms this means, the first line of the first stanza repeats as the last line in the second stanza, fourth stanza and sixth stanza. Also, the last line of the first stanza repeats itself as the last line of the third and fifth stanzas as well. The iambic pentameter also requires that the second line of each stanza rhyme with one another throughout the poem, and that the first and third lines of the stanzas rhyme throughout the entire poem. The format was not easy and I read Dylan Thomas’s Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night to further comprehend the idea for a classic villanelle, and then I tried to emulate his pure genius.
When I tell you that writing this poem took great time and effort on my part, I am not embellishing. And now, looking back over 25 years ago, I realize God was guiding my fingers and creativity that day. I never expected to get published or win the contest, but I did and I still have the magazine to this day, and am still so very proud of this accomplishment and honor.
So, after much adieu, I give you Negligence:
May the sixth was the day my first son died, I never got to kiss his face or put my arms around him, God, tell me, will this continuous ache in my heart ever subside?
While I slept in ICU, his father knelt at my bedside, “Michael suffered severe asphyxia and is brain dead. The outlook is grim.” May the sixth was the day my first son died.
Why was Michael Joshua condemned to this infanticide? Did God choose my son to become one of his seraphim? God, tell me, will this continuous ache in my heart ever subside?
When I asked my doctor what happened, I was suspicious when she replied, "Sometimes these things just happen. You were my patient, not him." May the sixth was the day my first son died.
Michael never even had the chance to be lullabied, Now he's being lulled to sleep by sweet angelic hymn, God, tell me, will this continuous ache in my heart ever subside?
After my search for answers, my suspicions were justified, The chances of a mother's child dying due to eclampsia are quite slim, It was then I realized my doctor's negligence resulted in a child's homicide! May the sixth was the day my first son died.
-Lydia K. Lampert, Belvidere, NJ (LaPella at time of publication)
Nourshing My Soul
Today is a new day and I am exiting my pity party. Last night I came home from work and grounded myself by working the dirt of the earth in my garden. I mindfully broke balls of dirt down with my bare hands and it was there I came up with a plan. It was also in my garden where I realized I had gotten away from my much needed morning routine which included my self care and emotional self care time. So starting today, every morning I plan to:
1. Pray before my feet hit the floor and thank God for all my blessings.
2. Have my coffee/read and write or journal for an hour
3. Meditate/yoga before showering and leaving for work to get my mind and heart right for the day.
These actions will allow me to center myself, ground myself and appreciate all that I have.
I have also added every item to my Google calendar with reminders set. I’m not going to let my mornings start in a flurry of crazy energy again, as it sets the stage for a crumby day.
#mymorningsaremine #bloomingwithgrace #ptsd #sobermom #takingcontrol #groundingmyself #nourishingtraditions #nourishyoursoul #newroutines
The Demon Won Tonight
The artist who created this masterpiece so perfectly depicts how I feel right now. I am in a shitty place right now and struggling to claw my way out from underneath this monster inside of me that rears his ugly head when my defenses are at their lowest. I fucking hate how this feels. It sucks and I truly feel that no one can even fathom how dark and ugly I feel inside. My mantras aren’t working. I am just depleted from overload. Overload of memories, emotions, pain, exhaustion and I feel defeated. I want someone to fix me tonight, to just love me for me, good and bad and now I have created a barrier with the one person who does, my husband. I give up. I’m so upset right now and praying tomorrow will be better. My throat hurts from yelling and trying to get him to understand, and instead he’s now shut down. I hate myself for doing this but when this happens it’s like an out of body experience, like watching a runaway train ready to fly off the tracks and being unable to stop it. I’m 65 days alcohol free, so now he thinks I’m supposed to be ok. I kept screaming that the alcohol was the symptom and now I haven’t even got that numbing agent to lessen the pain I feel when I am vulnerable. I need rest, and I need some seriously good healing vibes sent my way, please. #ptsd #hurtingsoul #apologynotaccepted #badbehavior #howdoistfu
Breathe, Just Breathe
Today I am overwhelmed with a flood of emotions. You see, 27 years ago my son was born brain dead because I was in full on eclamptic seizures and the blood rushed away from him to save my brain. I never got to hold him, never got to say goodbye and that Mother’s Day was spent trapped on a maternity ward without my child. I woke up this morning and wished him a Happy Birthday and I prayed to God for courage to get through this difficult day for me.
To further complicate my current state of mind, I found out last night, that one of my fellow bloggers, who helped me through a dark depression 6 years ago, took her own life in 2016. I was crushed and so saddened that this stigma that exists for people with pain, not mental illness but pain so overwhelming they have no idea what to do with it, drives some to take their own lives because it seems like a better option.
I am coming up on 2 months sober this Saturday, and one of the main reasons I became so fond of alcohol was because it allowed me to cry for my son, when I was so angry at God for taking him, and couldn’t feel anything but overwhelming rage. I remember playing music so loudly in my apartment and drinking, listening to the Cranberries, Zombie and at one point in my inebriation, tears began to flow. It felt good, but for almost 27 more years, I only cried when I was drunk, very drunk.
Today, I cry when I feel joy, when I’m sad, when I remember my dysfunctional youth and when I find out someone I cared for died way too soon.
The emotions are many today for me, and all I can hear in my head is Anna Nalick, serenading me, telling me to breathe, just breathe. That’s all I can do today, in this moment of sadness, as there is still hope because my heart can truly feel again.
#loss #sadness #ptsd #depression #sobriety #healing #healingjourney #breathe #breatheinbreatheout
It’s Never Too Late To Reminisce, Dedicated to my friend blahpolar
It had been almost six years since I logged into my WordPress account, but one of the first people I knew I wanted to check on was my old blogging buddy, @blahpolar. We used to banter back and forth about music, psych hospitals, meds, whatever. She was one of my first followers here and one of my good friends although we never met in person. I was so saddened to find out tonight that she had passed away several years ago. My heart actually hurt, because when I decided to return to writing here, I was very excited to reconnect with her and see how she was doing.
When I was afraid to go to the hospital, she provided me encouragement and support. She encouraged me when I was battling writer’s block completely doped up on Seroquel. We supported one another, but life got busy and I stopped writing, hence, stopped logging into a place where I found a tremendous amount of comfort in 2014-2015. I found such support here at such a very dark time in my life, and had I not, I believe, I could have ended up just as my friend did, gone way too soon.
Depression is a vicious beast, that far too many medical providers do not fully understand. I work as a nurse in a primary care office now, and I work closely with many high risk patients, many patients that suffer the way I had and the way my friend, @blahpolar had, and I try my damndest to advocate for each and every one of the patients with whom I work. But there is so much work to be done. The stigmas of mental illness continue to permeate our society, and now to further complicate matters, Covid has shut down all in person support groups, IOP programs, therapy sessions and personal contact. When someone is in a crisis situation, the last thing they are going to do is pick up a phone or join a Zoom call. I know when I was at my deepest point of depression, I would not have. For God’s sake, I could not even get in the shower or change my clothes.
I am going to miss my friend now that I am back, and I feel so terribly that she was suffering so silently. Depression is good at making us think we are imposing our sadness on others, when really, so many of us would be willing to listen, especially in this community, but the voice of depression drowns out any sense of reason. I do know one thing, however, that is a blessing and it’s the fact that thanks to the internet, her talent, her kindness and her beautiful supportive words to others will live on forever. If I want to remember one of our conversations, it’s memorialized on my posts or on hers.
To my friend, I must apologize for I am so sorry I did not get to say goodbye, and I am sorry, I did not reciprocate the support you provided me when I needed it most, because I was not here at the time. I can tell you this, though, I’ve been receiving signs from the universe that it was time to put my words to the keys again, and seeing your comments and words to me, while I revisited them tonight in my sadness, reinforced how important writing is for me and the need for me to continue. As Emily Dickinson once wrote, “Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality.”
After viewing everyone’s comments on your page, it’s obvious you have been sadly missed and deeply loved, and always will be. I pray you are finally at peace and jamming out to Rage Against the Machine in your Rage Against the Latrines t-shirt once more.
Stay tuned, as a lot has changed in 6 years, but the one thing that didn’t was my desire to write and share my ongoing journey to find myself and learn to love myself unconditionally. I have missed this forum and the connections I made here. It’s been too long, and the sad thing is, I’m still trying to put all the puzzle pieces together, but this time, I’m completely sober and no longer on any medications.
I am truly feeling my stuff, crying both tears of joy and tears of pain and it’s the most amazing experience I have ever been through. When I began to work with my spiritual healer she made a profound statement to me when I told her of my two hospitalizations. She said, “You are not mentally ill, you are in extreme pain, and have been for over forty years. Pain makes us react and takes us to deep dark places, but that does not have to be where you reside for the rest of your life. You can change the narrative.”
As a writer, it finally clicked, and three weeks into her program, I’m reprogramming my brain, giving all the pain to God and finding my true purpose in life.
When I am Grateful, I Find My Grace
Monday I began the Free 21 Day Meditation with Oprah and Deepak that was all over the internet. Thus far, it has been great, and I would definitely suggest it to anyone interested in getting back into their meditation habits or newly trying meditation. I find it totally amusing that I am even suggesting this to anyone when six months ago I shuddered at the thought of sitting still and becoming in touch with my inner self and being, but as I have said before and will say again, what a difference time makes!
I know it is Wednesday, however, Monday, I had the opportunity to journal about the meditation we did. The centering thought was, “When I am grateful, I find my grace.” Deepak instructed us to think of one thing for which we were grateful, and the first thing I thought of was my family.
I concentrated on that thought the entire 20 minutes we meditated, and when we were done, there were journal questions you could answer, the first one of which was, “What does grace mean to you?” My answer was simple. Grace means forgiveness and freedom through forgiveness of others and forgiveness of self. Grace, to me, always meant something light and airy, like a ballerina. And although for the past 43 years I was Mikhail Baryshnikov’s worst nightmare with two lead feet, I now see that I can be that ballerina in a sense by forgiving others and forgiving myself, thus lightening the burden and load I have been carrying for 43 years. Anger and grudges weigh us all down so much and over the last six months, they have worn me out and made me tired and depressed. Not anymore. I am unloading those burdens like a farmer bailing hay, and the feeling is truly amazing. The sense of calm that is restored by doing this is something I have never known, and I am so grateful to have been introduced to a different way.
In order to find grace however, one must first be grateful and as such, the journal questions proceeded to ask you to name the people in your life you are most grateful for and list one specific thing about each person for which you are thankful. The names of “my people” came to mind immediately: John, Kaylee, Ian, James, my Mom, Tiffany, Aimee and Laura. These are the people I consider closest and most important to me and who have been there even when I felt I didn’t deserve them to be.
John not only loves me at my best and wants my best for me, but he loves me at my worst as well. He has seen me through the darkest time in my life and never gave up on me. Some would say that is what a husband is supposed to do, and maybe it is, but many out there would not have been so patient and steadfast, and I will be forever thankful that he is my husband, my best friend and my soul mate.
Kaylee reminds me every day that despite extreme adversity, you still have the ability to go on if you make your mind up to do so. My soon to be 19 year old daughter is an inspiration to me every day and I hope she knows just how much she makes me want to be a better person.
I am grateful for my son Ian, because he is a truly kind and gentle being, a genuinely good soul, and despite my difficulties, is a daily reminder that I did something right as I was raising him.
I am thankful for my youngest son, James because he reminds me daily to hold onto my youth, my curiosity and joy and to always find happiness and delight by stopping and looking at the world through the eyes of a child.
I am thankful for my Mom because she has never given up on me and through her actions I’ve learned to be a better Mom to my children.
Tiffany, one of my oldest and dearest friends, gave me the gift of faith again when I never thought I would possess it. Her relentlessness, persistence and prayer will never be forgotten.
Aimee, another one of my oldest and dearest friends, was, has always been and always will be the calming voice I needed during the greatest storm in my life. Her calm ways and patience with me gave me the courage to seek the help I needed.
I am also thankful for my dear friend, Laura who has always loved me at my best and my worst and has always been there to listen when I needed her and when it was time for her to be brutally honest, she loved me enough to do so.
I have to say, though, all in all, I am grateful for my place in life today. Had none of the other things happened over the course of my life, I would never be in this place that I am today; a good place, a happy place, a place of calm and serenity. I would never have become this person who can let things go and who is aware that there are only very few things over which we have control. I am truly blessed with wonderful, loving and supportive people around me and I thank God everyday for them. (Yes, I said, I thank God. If you are not sure why that is such a big deal, please refer to my previous post “Thanks for the Kindling, Jehovahs!”) As I continue on this 21 day journey toward gratefulness, I hope to find an even deeper sense of appreciation of my past for making me the person all of these wonderful people chose to love, and the woman I choose to love everyday for the rest of my life. Namaste.
If anyone is interested, here is the link for the Free 21 Day Meditation: