Our Jeweled Sanctuary

I am beauty calling you

from the canopy of my lush home.

Notice the bright colors that mark

our different, equally beautiful bodies.

Listen to the song of my brothers and sisters

as we invite you to find peace, mutual respect

joy and safety in our Earth, our jeweled sanctuary.

jungle

©Alexis Rose, image: Pexels

 

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

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That’s what friend’s do!

This weekend as I was walking with a new friend, she was asking me how I do friendship, what it means to me, and how do I let people into my inner circle of trust. I love these kinds of conversations.

My new friend was telling me about how she and her friend are working through a big rift. Her friend knew a co-worker was saying some really nasty, and hurtful things about new friend professionally, and had even witnessed it happening and did not come to her defense. Her friend said to her, I just don’t like conflict and I don’t want to get involved, besides I wouldn’t know what to say. My new friend was crushed, hurt and couldn’t understand that kind of behavior.

She’s the kind of person, who sticks up for someone when they are being talked about, or something unkind is said to their face. Like me, my friend believes in right speech. That you don’t get to mow someone down with your words, just because it makes you feel better by getting it off your chest. As adults, we can have control over what we say to another person. Now, I’m not talking about the heat of the moment disagreements with our spouses or a respectful, but heated debate about a topic. I’m talking about well thought out emails, verbal assaults, or social media bashing.

I related to my new friend that I had experienced a situation like that in my life too. At a dinner party, a woman said something extremely inappropriate and mean to me. I stood there stunned, confused, and fumbling my goodbyes left in tears. One of the women, who was a good friend, said to me the next day, she thought it was extremely inappropriate and really wants to say something, but didn’t want to get people mad at her. Another woman who witnessed it, said to me, that if it made the person feel better by getting it out, then it was okay. I don’t agree. I would have come to the defense (and have come to the defense) of someone who is being hurt. I reassured my new friend, that if someone was being mean and inappropriate and I witnessed it, I would say something to that person.  I don’t let my friends fall unaided into the hands of “mean-girl” behavior. We continued our walk, I dropped her off at home and went about my Saturday business.

Little did I know how synchronistic our conversation was going to be. When I checked my email later in the day, I was treated to a few vicious paragraphs from someone who attends the same writing group I belong to. She has never had a personal conversation with me. Ever! But decided from reading my book, that she had permission to spray me with all sorts of venomous comments.

This woman offered to give my writing partner and I the name of a niece in New York, who works at a film school after we mentioned in our writer’s meeting that we are ready to begin to pitch our project. The woman wanted to read my book first, which makes perfect sense to me. She liked the book, the story was well written, she did not critique my writing, instead, she began to attack me personally, with comments written by a master narcissist. I felt like I had just received an email from my mother and was shaken to my core. The woman copied my writing partner, (who is also a good friend) so she saw the email too. I immediately texted my friend and said, I’m not going to respond, and then went in tears to my husband to tell him about the email.

After she funneled through a myriad of emotions from the email, my friend proceeded to write a beautifully crafted, respectful, direct response to this woman. She told her how cruel, and insensitive this woman had been, especially when she has never had a single personal conversation with me. Directly calling out her hurtful actions and letting her know, that it isn’t okay to treat another person that way. She was straight forward to the point, and included suggestions on what she could do, to right her initial email. My friend sent me a copy of the email separately so I could see what she wrote to this woman.

After reading the email, I broke down in tears. I’m blessed in my life, to have a wonderfully supportive group of friends. My inner circle of friendship is something I never take for granted. But this past Saturday, to witness a friend immediately coming to my defense in such a protective, loving way with no fear, of what someone may think of her, or if they will be mad at her, or will then be the target of an ugly email was humbling and stopped me from going down a dark road.

Not only did my friend write this email, because her core values wouldn’t let someone treat another with such disrespect, but she also did it because she respects me and feels I deserve to be treated the way I treat others. Remember earlier that day, I had that conversation about this very subject. It’s a strange, synchronistic world sometimes.

After tearfully, thanking my friend for coming to my defense, I told my husband what my friend did for me. His response? “That’s what friend’s do!”

tounge-has-no-bones

image source: google images

 

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

 

Self-doubt, is that you knocking? Come in for tea!

A rare, but familiar knock on my self-esteems door.

Come in for tea, Self-doubt and tell me what you think of me.

Self-doubt sips it’s tea and begins to play the old tapes, the drone of familiar chants.

You’re not good enough, not worthy, not well enough, smart enough, you’re a poser.

The fear and rejection hangs in the air between us as it tells me all the reasons

I shouldn’t try or that I should give up.

I listen, with respect, compassion, and a loving ear because I know

Self-doubt wouldn’t come uninvited.

When I’ve heard enough, I thank Self-doubt for the visit and say we’re done with tea.

I show it out the door, shake it off, take a deep breath and

reset my sails into the wind, as Self-doubt fades onto a distant shore.

I may hear this rare, but familiar knock on my door again, and if I do

I’ll invite it in for a cup of tea and listen with a loving compassionate ear.

shadow

©Alexis Rose, image: pexels

 

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

 

With a Wink and a Smile

Sometimes the climb to the top of the mountain is rigorous and uneven.

Rest and gather strength on the summit.

Look to the person next to you who never strayed from your side

with a wink and a smile set off together for the next adventure.

adventure-1807524_1920

©Alexis Rose, Image: pixabay

 

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

Lessons of the Flowers

I take with me the lessons of the flowers. 

I will persevere and grow

silently displaying my beauty and strength.

I will reach towards the sun

hold fast during storms

I will live life fully in bloom. 

©Alexis Rose

amazing-beautiful-beauty-blue

image: pexels

 
Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

 

Wait, What? I still have PTSD

I wrote a post by the same name last spring. Amazingly, I asked this question to my therapist again the other day, nearly a year later and my reaction was exactly the same when he answered, “Yes, you still have PTSD.”

The past year has been a whirlwind of powerful and positive changes in my life.  My son got engaged and we were over the moon excited for the wedding. Until she broke his heart, thankfully before the wedding. After nursing his broken heart, he is again happy and thriving. My daughter, who has struggled so fiercely, is happy, in a good relationship, excelling at the University, and is realizing that she is the intelligent, insightful woman that we all see. I have come to a place where I have processed and accepted my past (most of the time). I have a huge toolbox of distress tolerance tools and have gotten the answers to the big questions that were hanging out there in my mind. I’m also very fortunate to do some marketing for two wonderful small business owners who understand my limitations and often require only 1/2 hour of work per week. These are wonderful, exciting, sometimes painful strides, and I make sure and acknowledge how the past few months have propelled my trajectory of healing.

So, why do I still have symptoms of PTSD? Why do I still have flashbacks, why am I still triggered by certain sounds, why can’t I make my brain concentrate for more than two hours at a time, without it shutting down and becoming so overwhelmed that I begin to decompensate? I mistakenly thought that just like when I had cancer, and five years later was declared cured and a survivor, that when I got to a certain point in therapy, I would be pronounced cured of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s how I approached therapy from the beginning. My therapist, nor anyone else put that thought in my mind, and I never really talked about it, I just thought, Oh, I’m sick, I will do this thing called therapy, incorporate all the tools I’m learning, and then I will be cured.

For me, however, that is not going to be the case. I have some long-lasting effects from the trauma I endured. From the reading that I’ve done the past few months, and the understanding I have about the extent of my trauma, I’m still going to have PTSD. I’m not intimating that this is a forever illness, I don’t know what the future will hold. But I have accepted that even when therapy stops (or if I need the occasional tune-up) I’m still going to suffer from symptoms. When I was talking to my son about this yesterday, he looked at me and said, “you wouldn’t expect someone in a wheelchair to stand up and walk just because they are done with physical therapy, would you?” I replied, “of course not!” I wonder, is it the invisibility of my illness that makes me so uncomfortable, or is it that I have an illness that makes me so uncomfortable. Maybe both.

When my therapist and I had a talk last Friday, and he answered my question with, “Yep, you will still have PTSD when we are finished working together.” I was disappointed. I wasn’t disappointed that I was nearing the end of intensive therapy, I was disappointed because I wanted to hear you’re cured. The same words my oncologist said to me just a last year ago.  My therapist took a lot of time and patiently, once again tried to help me accept that some wounds are extremely slow to heal, but will heal

I have to keep reminding myself that I am working hard to heal and it’s not anything I did or am doing to cause these symptoms. I’m not perpetuating them, I am living with them. When I lose sight of this I find myself getting very angry at my PTSD. Well, to be honest, I’m often angry at it, which detracts from the reasons I have it and can interrupt my healing process. When the anger and frustration well up, and starts to boil over, I make myself stop, sit down, reflect, rest and try to focus on the goal of what I want for my life. I can acknowledge my progress, watch my children fly from the nest and make adult lives for themselves, and feel good about my ability to contribute to a life I want to have, and still, understand that I have this invisible illness of PTSD.

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Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856