Searchlight

“Tell me about the color red,” Laura, my holistic counselor asked on behalf of my guardian angels. 

“What? Red? Man, I just don’t know,” I replied. “I know it’s the color of our root chakra and I know I don’t really like it all that much.” 

Pausing, I let my mind search, and then laughed, “I have been eating a shit ton of cinnamon Jolly Ranchers and Red Hots. They’re red. Could that be it?” I asked even though I knew she wouldn’t have the answer. 

True enough, she shrugged and replied, “It’s been coming up a lot for you lately.” 

Continuing, she said, “They are asking you to ‘help someone out.’” 

Wrong thing to ask. 

“Help someone out?” I stammered and shook my head in disbelief, tears of frustration pricking my eyes. “I already do pro bono work, I put my desires on hold, I reach out to those who are going through difficulties even though I’m way deep in the shit myself. I sorta wanna give my angels the finger for that comment. I’d like to help myself out for a change.” 

She, no stranger to cryptic angelic missives, smiled and nodded, letting me know she heard and understood me, but that she was powerless to do anything.

After leaving her office, I headed for another appointment at a local plasma donation business. The idea of donating plasma had been floating around my consciousness for a few months but didn’t fully click until I had taken our daughter to an outdoor children’s event in June. It was there, after roaming freely, we found ourselves in front of their kiosk. 

Imagine that! I thought, followed by, I wanna do this. Impulsively I grabbed a business card and the next day I made an appointment. It would be several weeks until I fully understood why. 

Those weeks passed and I found that I kind of liked donating plasma, mainly because it was the one place I was forced to relax – errands or chores couldn’t be done while tethered to a blood-sucking machine. Instead, when I was sequestered in a comfortable chair, it was one hundred percent me time. I listened to the ambient conversations, read a book, daydreamed. Is it any wonder I asked if I could donate more than the maximum of twice weekly?  

Currently, I was thinking about the lucky people who would be receiving my super-duper, Reiki-infused, maximum-healing plasma when a young phlebotomist greeted me. I glanced at her ID tag and thought her name was beautiful.

“Hi, Amara.” I chirped. 

“Oh, you pronounced my name right! So many people mess that up. How are you today?”

We exchanged pleasantries while she attended to business and since I’m always curious as to why people work the professions they do, I asked her. She answered and then added, almost as an afterthought, “I can’t donate, though. I have a disease that prevents me from doing so.” 

With that seemingly random utterance, unsolicited intuitive information flooded my brain. Startled, my eyes broke contact and I stared at the wall grappling with what to do.

Dammit, Guys, I internally hissed, You know I hate doing intuitive work outside of session. You know that! 

Their response: Help someone out.

Aw shit. You’re kidding me, right? No. No, no, no, NO! Don’t ask this of me. I can’t possib–

“Okay, Melissa. You’re all set. Feeling okay?” Amara asked.

My eyes snapped back to hers and I nodded absently, thinking, Oh, sweet girl, I can feel how swollen and hot your abdomen is and how your fluctuating moods take their toll.

After she left, I whispered, “Shit!” and then once again to myself. 

Again, the Guys spoke: Help someone out. 

This presented a dilemma. Do I break my self-imposed rule of not doing Reiki or intuitive work outside of session or do I keep my yapper shut? 

I took a deep breath and began pumping my fist with more force than was necessary. For several minutes, I stared without seeing, thinking about what to do, and when my vision regained focus, I was looking at my blood making its journey through the clear tube, and into the collection bin. It was then my worlds collided. 

Red. 

(“Tell me about the color red.”)

Oh my God. RED!

(“It’s been coming up a lot for you lately.”)

Ho-leeey shit! And just like that, I knew why I had found my amazing Trailblazing Communications counselor (I couldn’t quit staring at her picture on Facebook’s “People You May Know”), and why I sensed there wouldn’t be many, if any, future plasma donations. 

With that mystery solved, a relieved smile broke out on my face, my eyes closed, and my head lolled backward. Two things became clear: I was here for Amara, and, without question, I needed to help her. I took a few minutes to think of how I could do that while still maintaining my professional standards. The answer came just as Amara was returning. 

Now or never, Guys. Help me.

“Hey,” I said after taking a deep breath. “Have you ever considered – or would you consider – taking a probiotic for your lower abdomen?” 

“I had a friend who did that and she had good results, but I’ve not thought about it. Why would you suggest that?”

Danger. Danger! “Oh, I’ve heard (I wasn’t lying!) that it might make a difference. You do have issues with your gut, right?” It wasn’t a reach, especially since I knew a little bit about her illness, still, I do love me some validation. 

“Uhhhhh yeaaaaah,” she replied hesitantly while wrapping the bandage around my arm and giving me a side-long questioning glance.

I know that look, I thought. She thinks I’m an alien. I gotta be careful or she’s gonna shut down and I’ll have lost another one to Ditech.

“Well, if it feels right, maybe google it or look into it.” Easy, breezy.

“Um, okay. I will. Thanks.”

With that, I barely contained a mega-watt smile. I felt slightly rebellious and more than a little euphoric from having pulled off the coup. It wasn’t until I was out of her sight that I fist-pumped the air and unleashed my grin. 

God, that felt goooooood, I thought and then tears of happiness and gratitude filled my eyes. With a blink, they spilled over. I wiped them away, not caring who saw, and understood that maybe instead of trusting, as I have always done, that those who need my services will find me, it might be my turn to find them. 


Four months had passed since Amara’s cameo appearance, and just as I’d suspected, I was unable to return for more donations. I wanted to, but life had other plans. Now it was mid-November and I was at the dentist’s office where I had been told I’d cracked a tooth and needed a crown. 

I couldn’t even joke about it. In fact, my first thought was that somehow I had gotten old because only old people need crowns. My logic was faulty; it was based on seeing my own mother’s shiny gold and silver-filled mouth, not supported by facts. 

For the first of two appointments, Dr. McToothfairy’s (you like?) energy was that of a very stressed person. Again, I don’t try to do my intuitive work outside of session, but laying there, staring up at a bright light (or the ceiling), while clenching my hands into fists, bits of data floated in. 

I glanced at him and he was, as always, the epitome of comfortable professionalism; nothing about his physical appearance gave away that he was in excruciating pain. It was on the tip of my tongue to ask him if I could give him Reiki, but I chided myself and let it go. 

Later that night, as my ground-down, temporarily capped molar began to throb, I felt eager anticipation wondering what good would come from this. And much like Amara’s story, I didn’t have long to wait. 

At my next appointment, Dr. McToothfairy was getting ready to place my permanent crown when I’d had enough of the Should I or Shouldn’t I game. “Thomas?” I asked. “What did you do to your shoulder? It’s . . . incredibly painful.”

Poor Thomas. He pushed his stool away and looked like a deer caught in the headlights. I had all I could do to keep from laughing. He stared at me for several seconds (probably trying to decide how to play this, I thought), then blinked his eyes and responded, “Yes. Yes, it is. About five years ago I was in an accident and it’s been incredibly painful ever since. How did you . . .” 

“Because I can feel it. Oh my God, I can feel it!” 

Dr. McToothfairy knew what I did for a living, but he didn’t know. I watched as his lips parted and confusion flashed in his eyes. It was then I asked if I could do energy work on him and that meant I would lightly place my hands on the front and back of his shoulder and give him Reiki. I added that I knew he was busy, so I’d be careful not to take up too much of his time. 

Another blink followed by a pregnant pause, and then as if he was talking himself into it, “Uhhhh. Okayyyyy? Well, sure!” 

I explained what Reiki was and how he might feel during and afterward while I was administering it. After three minutes, I knew I had done all I could. 

“There you go!” I said, removing my hands and flashing a smile.

“Wow! I think that did reduce the pain. Thank you!”

I didn’t know whether to believe him or not but within minutes he said, “You know? I think I have more mobility in my neck, and I swear my pain has been reduced. That’s amazing! Thank you!” This time I knew he meant it. 

Then it hit me. That’s why I cracked my tooth so that I could help him!  Then, with a message for my angels, Did you really hafta have me break a tooth to accomplish this? Jeez! This is effing expensi– 

“I just can’t believe it!” Thomas said. “I may have to come and see you!”

Flustered, I rushed my response, “Dr. McToothfairy, noooo . . . that’s not why I did it. I’m not trying to drum up business, I swear! I could just feel your pain and felt drawn to asking you if I could try to help.”

He continued, “Well, I’ve tried massage, physical therapy, you name it, and I’ve not gotten much relief, but this . . . Wow! I haven’t felt this good in years!” 

His excitement was contagious, and I found myself smiling from ear to ear. The next day I received a voice mail from him saying, “I just have to thank you again for what you did yesterday. I slept great and feel even better today! I don’t know exactly what it was that you did, but I sure am thankful.” 

Of this, I did not doubt since I, too, was deeply thankful.


Some details and names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

Courage

“I just hit A.V.’s (dog) trolley with the tractor roll bar and the carabiner sling shotted back and knocked me out. I have a buckle in my forehead,” read my husband’s text message.

“And you’re texting me instead of calling?! Jesus Christ.”

“Trying to stop the bleeding. I’ll be fine.”

Famous last words.

“You’re so pretty. So very, very pretty,” was my typed response.

Knowing I couldn’t convince my stubborn husband to go to the emergency room, I didn’t even try. Instead, I shrugged my shoulders, set the phone aside, and listened to the peaceful quiet in our Fargo home. Then, with a smile, I thought, Hot damn! I’m getting a nap in today!  Hell to the yeah!  I could do this because our (then) seven-year-old was with her dad at our lake home and that allowed me another twenty-four glorious hours without hearing “Mom. Mom. Mom? MOM. MOM! MOM?!” fifty-five times in eight seconds.

When I awoke, I saw I had missed a call from hubby and that he had sent a text. “Come get me,” read the message.

Hope he’s come to his senses and is ready to go to the E.R., I thought.  With a smirk blooming on my face, I dialed his number only to have it wiped away when our little girl answered.

“Mommy!” she sobbed, and then uttered a string of unintelligible words.

“Honey, I can’t understand you,” I said calmly. “Slow down and tell me again, please.”

I heard her inhale and when she spoke again, this time in a slightly less garbled voice, all vestiges of sleep were immediately erased. “Come get me. Now! I think Dad’s dead.”

“What?!” came my shocked response, then, “Honey! Tell me what happened.”

Her wailing returned and her voice rose to a pitch making it impossible for me to understand her. I tried again, “Honey, let’s take a couple of deep breaths together, okay? Ready . . . inhale and exhale. Good. And let’s do one more . . .  Okay, do you feel like you can tell me what happened now?”

Without delay, she said, “Mommy! Daddy is bleeding all over the place and he’s jerking and making scary noises. He won’t open his eyes and he just keeps rolling around on the floor.”

Oh, Jesus Christ.

“Okay, honey. Can you wake him?”

“No. I don’t want to be near him. I’m so scared, Mom! I took all of my blankets and hid in the closet for a while. COME GET ME!”

“Okay honey. Okay. I’m here. I’ve got you. I need to call the police for a wellness check and then I’ll call you right back. Are you okay with that?”

“Yes, but hurry!

She didn’t need to say it twice.

“Stubborn, stubborn German!” I muttered while Googling the number for the sheriff.  After explaining the situation and letting him know I was seventy-five miles away, the sheriff said he’d get back to me and then did what I should have done – called 911.

I called Ceta and told her help, in the form of the sheriff, was on the way and that I was coming to get her. Then I asked, “Will you sit by Daddy, honey? Can you put your hand on his arm or rub his leg? Let him know you’re there and he’s not alone?”

“No! He’s scaring me! He keeps moaning and making weird noises and he’s twitching all over the place. I’m not going near him!”

“Okay, honey. You’ve done wonderfully. I’m so proud of you for knowing to call me and having the courage to do so. I’ve got help coming. Would you like to stay on the phone with me until they arrive? I’m gonna grab a few things and I’ll be there to get you in no ti—”

As I was finishing my sentence, call waiting beeped and I told Ceta I needed to call her right back. The incoming call was an officer from the Highway Patrol.

“Ms. Schaff?” he asked, mispronouncing my name. Out of habit, I corrected him and then rolled my eyes. What does it matter?!

“This is Officer Dogooder.” (Not really, but I can’t remember his name.) “We have your husband en route to the Perham Hospital. We have procured arrangements for your daughter to be . . .”  He continued in his professional police talk voice until I cut him off.

“Look. Officer. I’m coming from Fargo as soon as I can figure out this fucking Bluetooth hands-free-technology-shit in my car.  I’m gonna ask you for an assist. Can you do that?”

“Ma’am, that’s really not warranted. Your husband’s injury isn’t critical.”

“Okay, then you should know I’m gonna be comin’ in hot and I mean, I’m gonna be speeding my ass off.”  I honestly don’t know what got into me. I was raised to respect authority figures and by that I mean if I even see a uniformed police officer, I’m kegeling and thinking Oh my GOD, did I do something wrong!?  To further my point, since age sixteen, I’ve received exactly two speeding tickets and they’ve both left me in tears; not from the ticket itself, oh no, but from the presence of Big Blue – Officer John Law. 

Growing older, finding my voice and extreme stress changes people, at least it has me.

A mere sixty-five minutes later (I guess I’m not that much of a pedal-to-the-metal rebel; the trip normally takes eighty minutes) I pulled into the hospital’s parking lot and saw that the helicopter’s rotors were starting to turn. Walking quickly into the emergency entrance, I heard her sweet voice before I saw her and when I saw her, she was in the waiting room talking with a member of the First Responders staff.

“Hey Mom,” she said casually, as if this was an ordinary Saturday where we often hung out in hospital waiting rooms.

“Hey honey,” I replied with equal calm and stooped to give her a hug. I wanted to give her a real beaut, but she wanted nothing to do with me, keeping her body turned away, so I hugged her shoulders and asked, “Are you okay?”

She nodded and the lady said Ceta had kept her entertained with stories and pictures.  That’s so my girl, I thought.

A nurse came forward and asked who I was there to see. I told her and she said the doctor wanted to visit with me but that my husband was fine and would be fine, and if I wanted to see him before the chopper took off, I needed to go outside now.

Her words, while reassuring, sparked the first flames of anger.

Oh, you bet your sweet ass I wanna see him. Yes, I do. Very much.

Taking Ceta’s hand, we walked to where his gurney was parked several yards away from the increasingly noisy copter. My eyes scanned his body and returned to the white gauze bandage wrapped around his head.  I bent and peered a little closer at his face, noticing dried blood in his ear, eyebrows and by the corner of his mouth. My hawk-like eyes missed nothing and when I was satisfied, I raised my eyes to his and when they met, he said, a bit sheepishly, “I’m fine.”

Internally snorting, I thought, You’re about to be life flighted to Fargo. You’re not fine, you stubborn ass!  But instead of voicing this, flames of anger fully replaced worry and as I shook my head, I mouthed not “I love you” or “You’re gonna be fine,” but “You stupid fucker,” and then briefly kissed his lips.

Bet that was a first for the EMT’s.

Ceta and I reentered the hospital where the doctor was waiting. He explained Trinity had received a concussion, whiplash and a skull fracture. I had a brief thought that “someone” was trying to get his attention, and that “someone” may have saved his life. Before I could explore that, the doctor continued, validating my thoughts. He told me my husband was lucky; if the projectile had been an inch lower, he (Trinity) would be dead. He also said the puncture wound was small and no bone fragments had entered his brain; a positive, for sure.

“Why Life Flight, then?” I asked.

“Because you don’t fool around with head injuries and you certainly don’t want a small hospital like ours treating this.  Right now, he’s stable but his brain could bleed at any moment and he needs to be at a hospital where they are experts at this kind of stuff.  We are sending him to Sanford.”

“Oh no you’re not!” I protested. “He’s a veteran and needs to go to the VA.”

“Nope. Sanford. The VA is not equipped for this. Sanford is the only option.”

After a quick stop at the lake home to get the dog (and the I-pad, can’t forget that modern-day babysitter at a time like this), I saw a portion of what Ceta had witnessed. In addition to the bloody floors, rugs, towels, counter tops and furniture, Trinity’s t-shirt had been scissored off by the EMT’s and lay discarded among the carnage.

I walked to Ceta’s bedroom, looked inside her closet and saw the blankets and I-pad stuffed into a corner.  I understood what she was trying to do because I had employed this technique as a child too. My shoulders sank, my head fell forward, and my hands went to my eyes, covering them in an attempt to blot all of this out. It didn’t work.

In addition, the adrenaline was starting to wear off and tremors began, real teeth-clackers. I thought my knees were going to give out and if that happened, I knew I was an emotional goner. Silently, I prayed, Not yet God, I gotta get us home first. With that, my game-face returned, and after giving Ceta another sideways hug, I shoo’d her and A.V. out of the house and into the car and then drove to Fargo at a much more leisurely pace.

Ceta and I talked about how, just two weeks before, the Fire Department had come to her class and talked about what to do in case of an emergency. She and I roll played some scenarios before I tucked her into bed. I had no idea her “training” would be put to use – or so soon.

After dropping our goldie off at home, Ceta and I headed for the hospital.  It was there I thought to contact a neighbor, and after explaining the situation, I asked if Ceta could spend the night. Without hesitation, she agreed, and not only that, but she offered to pick Ceta up at the hospital.

Trinity awoke in the E.R. after several hours of fitful sleep. He didn’t have a clear memory of the last eight hours. His pain was manageable, he said, but when tests showed his kidneys were shutting down, something common with severe head trauma, that guaranteed him an extended stay at Hotel Sanford.

During this time, I received a text from the Fire Chief who had attended my husband. “Wanted to let you both know how amazing your daughter was yesterday. Not only did she have the presence of mind to call you when she knew there was something wrong with her dad, but she was the calmest, coolest kid I’ve ever seen on a call.  . . .Hats off to her for being such a trooper.”

Unable to sleep in the hospital’s hide-away bed, my mind again turned to Ceta. I wondered how this would affect her. I tried to make this less scary for her by turning it into a positive; I had also opened the lines of communication, so much so that she would eventually say, “Can we just quit talking about this? Please!”  I decided I would ask her if she’d like to speak with her school counselor and when I did, she said yes.

The next night, alone, and in the confines of my own bedroom, I cried hard, letting out all the fear, worry, and anger over not only this event, but also for what I had experienced as a child. As the sobbing let up, I thought it was crazy that Trinity’s accident had triggered a still painful memory from my youth and that by facing it as an adult, I was now able to heal it.

A few weeks after Trinity left the hospital in mid-October, everything was settling back to normal when I received a text from one of the First Responders. She said that the entire staff was so impressed with our little girl that they’d like to do something for her. I replied I wasn’t sure if Ceta wanted any more attention; she was trying to put the event behind her after sharing her story at school and getting a badge at Girl Scouts. After speaking to Ceta about it, she reluctantly agreed that they could do something for her as long as it didn’t involve her being on a stage or having a spotlight on her. I relayed her wishes.

Six weeks later, Ceta and I were sitting on the couch talking about Christmas when she announced, “You know how I know I won’t get coal from Santa?”

“How?” I asked, raising an eyebrow and thinking this oughta be good.

“Because I saved my dad’s life, that’s why.”

That knocked the wind out of me. Both Trinity and I had been careful not to put that weight on her shoulders, but somehow, she knew. After what felt like several seconds, I responded, “Yes, you did, honey. How do you feel about that?”

“It’s okay, Mom. I did. I did save Dad’s life but I just wanna put it behind me.”

Spoken like a true sage.

On New Year’s Eve, an envelope arrived addressed to Ceta. I suspected it was the “something” the First Responder had spoken about. Ceta, with a smile on her face, ripped open the envelope (what child doesn’t love getting mail?), removed the card and out floated her very own life-sized Fire and Rescue patch.

The perfectly timed item was the best “something” she could have received. Not only did the simple patch honor her heroism but it reminded her that she made a positive difference, not just for her dad, but for others as well.

Out of something bad, good will come.


Melissa’s Note: Trinity is doing well – he’s still having concussion issues, which frustrate him, but he is also loosely following doctor’s orders. Does that surprise you? Not me. He is also very aware that his life was spared and humbled by it. Apparently,  he has more to do on this earth – something which both Ceta and I are grateful.   

Battle

Once there were eight soldiers, all strangers and recent high school graduates who left their parents, siblings, jobs and homeland to fight in a war.  Putting aside the last of their waning youth, they focused their still-developing brains on learning how to kill and, perhaps more importantly, how to stay alive in Uncle Sam’s Army. Forming unbreakable bonds, they each became the other’s ride-or-die. Extreme trauma and battlefield duress became their normal and like most of their own families, this arrived with its own type of dysfunctional baggage.

As the war and these soldiers matured, so did the undertow of these alliances. Once the conflict ended, reunions were erratically scheduled. At first, they wouldn’t talk about what happened during their time in Iraq. Instead, they tried to numb the memories with addictive agents such as alcohol and/or narcotics.

Then, as time marched on and they grew older still, they started to open up and discuss what had happened in the streets, trenches and bunkers. This brought with it the knowledge that they were all self-medicating but instead of helping as they hoped, they were succumbing to the unrelenting and debilitating nerve pain brought on by the enemy’s chemical weapons.

Most sought help through the VA system, something that was designed just for them, but most walked away feeling as if it was broken and that they had been unheard, dismissed or had become…expendable.

Some were repeatedly rejected when they tried to have their disability rating increased. Others were unfairly judged to be pain pill seekers, even though it was well documented what Army soldiers had been subjected to.  Those who were prescribed narcotics found it to be a temporary fix and they needed higher and higher dosages to take the edge off, something the doctors were unwilling to do. And still others continued to go unmedicated while the doctors put them through a battery of needless tests and then, unable to find anything physically responsible for their pain, referred them to numerous “specialists.”

Meanwhile, these Gulf War veterans continued to experience nightmares, anxiety, PTSD, depression, and full-body joint pain. Some continued to find temporary solace in illegal drugs or, like my husband, alcohol. Others, having had enough of the physical and emotional agony or fighting for their own well-being, ended their lives, leaving those who had once protected them guilt-ridden and questioning their own fate.

After the death of their squad’s fifth member, my own husband then almost eighteen months sober and in PTSD counseling, felt his constant pain ratchet up from a six to an eight. He wondered absently if the pain was being passed on to those still alive.

I asked him if he wanted me to (intuitively) look into that and he said he did.  My response was immediate.

“No, the pain is not being passed from one of you to the next.”

“It sure feels that way,” he said.

I shook my head, emphasizing the point, “The disease is progressing.”  

Throughout our twelve years together, there was rarely a day when I didn’t give him Reiki, but even that has its limits. I kept telling him he’d find the answer. He’d look under every rock and he’d find something that would help. That day finally arrived in the form of a gift certificate to a local salt bath business.

After his first float in a large, non-claustrophobic tub, his pain was reduced to the level of five or six. Subsequent weekly floats brought it down to a three, something he was very grateful for. Most recently, I felt his body’s energy and said, “It’s changing. Your joints don’t feel so heavy or thick anymore. I can feel a reduction in the energetic swelling.  Whatever you’re doing – or not doing – it’s helping.”

Then, knowing another reunion was on the horizon, I asked if I could do minimal intuitive work about the surviving battle buddies.

“One of them is from Tennessee,” I said with knowing. Trinity validated my knowledge.

“He’s in a lot of pain,” I said. “Like in a bad, bad way. He’s really far gone, Trinity.”

“Yeah, I think he’ll be the next to go. I think the other one is doing alright, at least he’s in a little bit better space, but Gary is a complete alcoholic mess.”

Continuing, I said, “He feels worthless and lonely. I could help him. Have him call me. Or maybe you could tell him that his life matters and that you have found some relief from the pain with salt baths.”

A shoulder shrug was his response.

The night before his trip, Trinity confided, “I have this weird feeling that Gary and Andy are gonna do a murder-suicide thing. I’ve already told them I won’t come to their hotel room. We’ll meet in a public place or we won’t meet at all. I also told Gary not to bring any guns and he said he could just buy one at a pawn shop if he wanted to. His response was so quick that it tells me he’s thought about this.”

“Smart,” I told him. “You’ve got good instincts. Listen to them.”

Gary and Andy (not their real names) were each other’s wingmen. They had formed a deeper friendship in Iraq and that tie held for twenty-eight years. Trinity considered himself an outsider to this connection, but the memories of combat still bound the three together.  As it was, after several hours of talking about the past and present, they parted ways.

The next time Trinity saw them, Gary was pass-out drunk, clearly on a bender. Andy’s addiction was pain pills, prescription or illegal, so he appeared less intoxicated. Saying their goodbyes, Trinity left for the airport. The two war buddies stayed behind because their flights were scheduled for the next day.

They would not make them. Or any flights. Ever again.

            “I’m one-hundred percent sure it’s the last time I’ll see them alive,” read Trinity’s text to me that night.

The next day he called the hotel and asked them to do a welfare check. The hotel staff indicated money, ID’s, clothing and all personal effects were in the room, but the guests were not, nor had they checked out at the required time. Trinity notified police, filled out two missing person reports, gave a description of the clothes they might be wearing and offered his opinion on a murder-suicide pact.

After that, thoughts filled my husband’s head and sleep would not come. Had he missed the signs? Had he been bamboozled? Could he have done more? One thing he didn’t have to question was why they did it. Having lived with the annihilating and killing (literally) pain for the majority of his life, he knew the answer.

Within a day of Trinity’s return, the call came, confirming what he had suspected.

Two bodies had been found matching Trinity’s earlier description.  After a day and night of heavy drinking and possible drug use, both decided it was time. Stumbling into an alleyway, they wrapped an American flag around their heads, a final “fuck you” to the government or, perhaps, in remembrance that they were veterans who had given their all for the US of A.

Then, using a large caliber gun, they confirmed Trinity’s foreboding feeling.

The notifying police officer asked if Trinity knew their next of kin. My husband said that he was probably the closest thing to it. The officer said the hotel was asking that the bar tab be paid.

“How much was it?” Trinity asked, thinking he would do so out of respect for his fallen brothers.

“Thirty-one-hundred dollars.”

Christ!

“Uh. How about you get the US government to pay that.”

It’s the least they can do, I thought, after all, these men had just finished what the government started almost thirty years ago.

With that, the tears that had been welling spilled over and sobs ripped from my throat.  

“What do you need, honey? How can I help you?” I asked.

“I need to be alone and don’t worry, I won’t do anything stupid.” Meaning he wouldn’t kill himself. “I’ve already been in touch with my psychologist and I just need to process this. I want to close the door on this chapter in my life. I want to move forward. I, I want it to be done.”

As I was trying to sleep, an unsolicited vision of Trinity filled my mind. He was resting on his back, eyes closed. I placed two fingers on either side of his neck and when I did, a clear, watery, gel-like substance began bubbling, and then streaming, from his mouth. It ended almost as soon as it began, and I saw Trinity’s chest rhythmically rise and fall as if he was in a deep, peaceful sleep.

A “thought” came to me that now he could breathe easier and would sleep without feeling like he was drowning.

And then there was one.


Statistics report Army suicides are at fifty-two percent; the highest of any armed forces.

Believe

Before I left on sabbatical, a few clients had asked if I worked with couples. They felt my unique spiritual perspective could really benefit their marriages. I told them I hadn’t considered this, but I certainly would.

Throughout my leave, I kept thinking about this and realized my intuitive gifts, combined with straight-forward talk, could really help those who were wanting – or needing – something different. I kept the idea warm, returning to it every now and then, trusting that if it was meant to be it would be.

About three weeks ago a friend who is dealing with some marital issues reached out. I had this “thought” that I could help her and her husband and I should ask if she’d be open for me to do so, but I pushed it down because one of her besties is a powerful spiritual warrior and I didn’t want to step on her toes.

I appeased myself with the thought that I’d let it be and see what happened. You’d think I’d know better by now, wouldn’t ‘cha?  Within minutes, her husband’s voice filled my head.

Let Sarah do it, he said snidely and with bitterness. Then, in the manner of Jan Brady: Sarah, Sarah, SARAH!

Having a zero “poor me” tolerance, I softly said, “Oooooh Dave, noooo…You do it. You are an adult and you need to learn from your mistakes, just as we all do. Nobody can do it for you and life doesn’t come with a manual. Get used to it, dude.”

I’m not good enough, came his dejected reply.

“Sorry you think that, but how is that working for you? Good? No? Then change it!”

I’m scared.

“We all are, bucko. We all are.”

Will you help me?

“Welllll, I’m kinda in my own hell right now but I’ll never say no to a soul in need. Let’s start right away.”  My thought was I could spiritually work with him while I slept.

DEAL!  he said with enthusiasm and I was shown an image of him clapping his hands and jumping up and down.

“Dave,” I asked, “is it okay for me to share our talks with Sarah?”

NO!  Wait! Tell her a little. I want her to be proud of me.

That night I began working with him.  In what appeared to be a school room, he arrived looking like a seven-year-old version of his adult self. He was dressed in his best first-day-of-school clothes: a button-up short-sleeve shirt and blue dress pants. Completing his look was a fresh haircut. His blond hair had been gelled to create spikes. He carried a sharpened number two pencil and an unused, ruled notebook.

As he anxiously squirmed in his desk chair, he licked the tip of the pencil indicating he was ready to get down to business. He asked what our first lesson would be and without really knowing the answer, I said, “I want you to write ‘I believe in me.’”

His face fell and his shoulders slumped. That’s it?  he asked with incredulity. That’s what you want me to write?! 

Inwardly I smiled at his crestfallen look. “No,” I said. “I want you to believe it.”

With an open mouth, he stared at me as if I had just asked him to do something abhorrent.

And I had.

The next day, I told Sarah what had occurred and that I thought the Guys were urging me forward with Empowerment Counseling (a nice way of saying “couples therapy”) and that she was free to say no but would she and Dave consider coming to see me for a spiritual “counseling” session? Her response came within minutes; they were both on board.

Well, whaddya know?

A joint session was scheduled and that night, during another of Dave’s astral lessons, I asked him to use “I believe in me” in a sentence. Once again, his mouth fell open and he stared at me like I had sprouted horns and a spiked tail.

“This is where we must start, Dave,” I said. “The fact that you are genuinely struggling should be all the validation you need that this is important.”

His eyes rolled upward and then slammed shut. He pursed his lips and clenched his fist.  Like a petulant child, he moaned, Awwww maaaaan!   

“Dave, you’re ready or you wouldn’t have found me.”

The day of their session, I was filled with excitement. This felt right and even though I didn’t exactly know what this was going to look like, or how it would flow, I trusted it would be fine.  

Dave was understandably nervous, and I couldn’t blame him. After all, Sarah was very familiar with Reiki, intuitive work and even the Guys, but he wasn’t.  After a brief synopsis of what Reiki was, how my intuition worked and stating that I had asked for information which would serve both of them, I asked Dave to volunteer.

Being a good sport, he did. Once settled on the Reiki table, my validating intuitive gifts started to bubble forth. It felt so good to be back in the saddle again. After rambling off a series of knowing’s, Dave asked me how I was doing this.

“Have you talked to Sarah about this stuff?” he asked.

“Uh no.”

“Then how do you know this stuff?”

“’Cause I’m a Rockstar.”

As his time on the table was ending, Sarah left the room and I told Dave he had to believe in himself. I had earlier wondered if that information would bleed over into this session and it had. I also shared that he and I were working on spiritual lessons during the evening hours.

When Sarah returned, I was showing Dave the jade Reiki stone carrying a portion of the symbol that resembled what I had seen on his own spiritual heart. When I said the image’s name, the room grew quit.

“What did you say?” Sarah asked.  I repeated the name.

To Sarah, Dave said, “Isn’t that what Thomas (their son) says about the angel he sees? Showcoo? Isn’t that the name he uses?”

I glanced at Sarah and saw her eyes were wide. She nodded and I broke out in goosebumps.

Next, it was Sarah’s turn. With her, I used different terminology and was even more direct in what I saw and knew.  At one point, I heard Dave mumble that he was trying not to cry.

“You’re sensitive, Dave.” I said. “That’s a really good thing. This is a safe place to cry. Crying is the start of healing. Don’t hold back.”  But he did, at least externally.

Then, in a voice that was full of honesty and emotion, he said, “I love you, Sarah.”

“Dave!” I said. “Bless your heart! I love that you freely tell your wife that in front of someone you’ve just met. Most men wouldn’t do that; they would be too intimidated or embarrassed.” Then I started crying, partly because of something that was going on in my life but mainly because the energy surrounding his admission was breathtakingly beautiful.

As Sarah’s portion finished, she took her seat next to Dave and he reached for – and then held – her hand. He told her again he loved her, and that this session was the best and coolest thing he had ever done. Then he said something that caused my breath to catch, “Sarah used to be the securest person I knew and now she’s insecure because of me.”  

I was confused and alarmed by his statement. Having made it very clear during the session’s preamble that my “job” here wasn’t to place blame or point fingers, I quickly reviewed what I remembered from Sarah’s reading and couldn’t find anything that did so. I indicated, among other things, that her neck was pushed to one side, her spiritual heart was somewhat closed, her hips were out of alignment, and that the balls of her feet were swollen from being reactive.  Truly, nothing out of the normal.

Seeking to clear this up, I asked, “What did I say that caused you to feel like this, Dave?”

“She’s reactive from dealing with me.”

Knowing a response was not needed, I lowered my eyes.

He repeated, “I love you, Sarah.”

As they were leaving, I noticed a difference in Dave’s energy. My earlier telepathic communication with him was accurate; he was ready. Once in the parking lot, I saw him pull Sarah into his arms.  This caused tears to prick my eyes again but this time, instead of pain, I felt happiness knowing my Work was part of the reason for their embrace.

Jazzed and knowing this was all divinely inspired, I thought, Okay, I get it! I’m totally gonna offer this Empowerment Counseling thingy. This shit is my jam

(Even though permission was granted, aliases were used.)

Sabbatical

signs-of-spiritual-transformation

18 months ago, I let my students and potential students know that I would be finished teaching classes by June 2019. I had been feeling restless for about six months prior to that. I sat with it, trying to understand it until I finally knew it was time to act. It just felt right to “retire” from teaching and let my Reiki Master students take up the reins.

Several of you expressed concern that I would no longer be doing Intuitive Reiki. At the time I had no intention of stopping, however I couldn’t predict what the future would hold. Another piece of that future has fallen into place and it’s time to tell you about it.

My favorite soul-without-a-body, Kyle, came to a gifted Medium friend of mine almost a year ago. Kyle said I would soon need to decide which world I wanted to walk in or I would be ripped apart. My Medium friend said it looked like I had one foot on a dock and one foot on a boat. At the time I had begun my first novel so I suspected it had something to do with that.

Not long after that my husband came home from an AA meeting and told me, names withheld, about some of the attendees. I would intuitively pick up on their energy and know why they chose to drink or use drugs. I would relate this to him and he would validate my information. It was then that I started yearning for something bigger. I wanted to reach more people. I wanted to do my Work differently. I felt drawn to working with recovering alcoholic and addicts. I thought, “What a beautiful gift. I could help them understand their fears or insecurities and maybe why they drank/used.”

I pursued this through my (limited) channels, but nothing panned out. Instead of being frustrated, I chose to believe it wasn’t the right time. That quest opened an internal door that left me feeling like I was meant to do more and I started to yearn for whatever that was.

quotes-story-heal-iyanla-vanzant-480x480As my book progressed and I was editing chapter after chapter after chapter, I decided I didn’t want to write on Wednesday evenings only anymore. I knew the content of book number two still had a painful effect on me and switching between writing and clients was not possible. I needed to take some time away from work.

I floated the idea of a short sabbatical by my husband. Without hesitation he said, “Go for it.” That gave me the green light I had been needing but I was not physically able to take the next step.

Around this time, my hubby sold his building and moved his business into a larger space complete with two unused offices. He offhandedly said, “You could use one of these offices for Reiki.”  I felt a stirring somewhere inside of me. It was as if another cog had turned bringing me closer to my next purpose.  When he was proudly showing off his new digs, I was drawn to an office. I felt its energy and with excitement I knew that would be my new work space once my lease had expired.

Susie (my mentor and bestie) and I trade Reiki monthly. When I was working on her in August, her deceased dad’s voice came through with a message for me. He said, “Remember, you come first.”  I was startled and said, “Susie? Your dad is here but he’s talking directly to me. He says, “I come first.” She nodded her head and grabbed my hand and said, “You do!”  He asked me to repeat it so inside my head I intoned, “I come first.”

I knew what he was doing. I was emotionally struggling with letting my clients down. I am very maternal and protective of them. I feel vested in their forward progress. I felt like I had to find a home for them or I needed to make sure they would be safe. Susie’s dad was reminding me that I needed to put my needs first.

I talked with my Guys (guardian angels). “What am I going to do with all those who still need me? I just can’t abandon them.” They, so damn wise, said, “Perhaps you have taken them as far as they can go and now you will empower them to find others that can help in different ways.” (eyebrow raise) Uhhh…oooOOOOhhhh.

When I first moved into Inner Focus Reiki’s office space, I signed a three-year lease. When that expired, I intuitively knew I could only commit to two more years. I didn’t know the reason but I trusted in that knowing. Now my Guys had just given me what I needed to move forward. I posted on Facebook that I was looking to get out of my lease and within two days, a new renter appeared. Her approval process took over six weeks (not the norm, but perhaps it was needed?). I continued to trust all was falling into place. No easy feat, let me tell you!

Body artAfter the new renter appeared, things started spiritually happening to me which solidified my earlier decision. In addition to Troy giving me a taste of heaven, I saw a client’s soul body float up and out of her physical body. She was fully tattooed in deeply saturated marbleized colors that swirled and curled. She was supremely beautiful. Her face was also tattooed and radiated calmness. Her eyes were large, all black and held great wisdom. She looked at me and through her eyes, I felt unconditional love and acceptance. As my client’s session was ending, the soul body sank back into her physical body.

LavaAnother client had been sexually abused by her father. Before I even intuited that, I saw him, now deceased, as a burning red blob of magma that was oozing putrid yellow rivers of what looked like pus. I was transported to his lineage and knew that his great, great, great grandfather was southern and treated his women like livestock. He treated his slaves better than he did his wife as he viewed her as scum, only there to breed and he felt she deserved the abuse.

I saw another lifetime where her dad’s lineage was involved in the KKK. And still another that operated covertly to do maximum damage. Her dad had opted to have girls only in this lifetime so he could break the long history of male supremacy. Unfortunately, he didn’t overcome the cycle of abusing women.

Angle with Crown and WingsYet another client had an angel with white opalescent wings appear. This angel was there to reconnect us as we were previously sisters. She was also there to give us both an energy upgrade. When she finished with me, she said, “I have just given you the gift of sight.”  I said, “I already have that.” She calmly replied, “Not like this.” and then she vanished.

Most recently, a client had a Native American Chief come into her session. This Chief told me he was here to help her but was also here to help me heal my heart. As I sat at her head, I was told that I have “boundless, limitless energy” and that “I will now walk the earth in my true form.”

White angel wings appeared on my back. They spread out from my shoulders and spanned about five feet on either side of me. Not going to kid you readers, I was wide eyed and internally saying, “HOLY SHIT! Hooooleeeee SHIT!” As this client’s session ended, I was told, “Our karmic pact has been fulfilled.” I knew we both had learned what we needed from each other and it would be time for us to move forward.

Most of these clients had been on my books for months. One had even rescheduled her session from June until October. This allowed me to believe they all wanted to be a part of helping me grow and if things wouldn’t have fallen into place for me, none of these events would have occurred. This validated the movement I was taking was the right one.

sceptre 1Saturday I held what I think is my last Innately Intuitive class. While I was leading my students through an angel-inspired guided meditation, a heavy white silken opalescent cape draped around my shoulders. I was told this was a “Cloak of Purity.” An ornate golden staff with an clear oval crystal was placed upon my lap. A delicate gold crown was placed upon my head. I heard, “Priestess” and was told I am a “work of art” and not in the sarcastic way, either. Finally, “The next stage will begin immediately.”

sabbaticalday001

Which brings us to this blog, dear reader, client and/or student. I have decided to take a three or four month sabbatical starting December 1, 2018 in order to work on myself and book number two. I don’t know what my life will look like after that. This is as much information as I have right now.

I am drawn to empowerment and inspirational speaking. This is a great way for me to continue informal teaching and allows me to reach more people. Again, I don’t know what this looks like. My Guys have told me I will reach 80% of my clients (or people) this way. The other 20% will see me in person.

faith

I’m trusting. As I did almost 13 years ago when I quieted ego and opened the doors of Inner Focus Reiki, I’m taking another leap of faith. I’m following something primal and I’m agog with excitement and also pee-in-my-pants scared.

I want to thank each one of you who has seen me once or a hundred times during these years. You may think I was just helping you, but you were also helping me. You were giving me confidence, experience and allowing me to push boundaries. You were encouraging me to become more. You trusted in me and I, unknowingly, was trusting in you.  Thank you for finding your way to me. It’s an honor to have been part of your journey.

Sabbatical 2

(I will continue to see clients through November 28, 2018.)


As of today my first novel, “ONE (plus one makes…)” is still in the hands of my copy editor. I will post updates on my professional Facebook page as well as my website. ♥

Troy

“Can I have permission to enter your body?” Troy asked. I raised my eyebrows and looked questioningly at the ceiling. I glanced at my client while weighing what he was asking. I was thinking, “This (my office) is a safe space. I am infinitely protected here. If he wanted to harm me, he couldn’t be here. I have to trust.”  I replied, “Ummmm, I’ve never done this before, so this is a first. I guess if you don’t interrupt me (giving Reiki) or my client, I’m cool with it.”

His entry was uncomfortable. I said, “Back off a bit, will ya? Jeez. Slow it down.” Followed by, “I’m getting queasy. Back OFF!” That discomfort was over in a matter of seconds and soon we were one.

Sounds like a porno, doesn’t it? I’d be good at writing one but no, this isn’t that.

Troy is the deceased fiancé of one of my new clients. He came to her during her first session and then again to her second, which was on the anniversary of his death.   He asked me if he could work through me. He also said he wanted to be able to touch his lady love (my words). My client agreed and so did I. I apologized to her letting her know this had never happened, so I wasn’t sure how I would react. I wasn’t sure if I would be a babbling idiot. She smiled and giggled and told me not to worry about it.

Troy told me he was also here to give me an energy upgrade. I said, “In the past these upgrades have knocked me for a loop. I’ve got clients after her; I have to be able to function.” He smiled and nodded saying it wouldn’t be a problem.

He told me to concentrate on a circle of color. The color could be anything I wanted it to be. A marbled blue-green appeared. He told me to focus and concentrate on that and only that. When my mind would wander, he would gently coach me to return to the colored circle. I was vaguely aware that my hands were hovering over my client’s lower abdomen. I saw that I was trying to scrape away dirt, oil and debris. I was shown an image of cleaning a very dirty window so my client could “see” (deal with) the issues residing there.

Blue Green RoseI returned my gaze to the colored circle and watched as a thin red line appeared around it. Then it morphed into a rose bud and stem. It began to grow marbled roots which started as single shoots and then quickly branched out into multiples. I watched as those roots grew and spread quickly. Troy told me that these roots would help me reach more people. He also said my Work would be changing.

I was filled with giddy excitement. I thought, “Heyyyyyy. I’m not feeling any worry, anger or resentment. There’s no hatred or jealousy where I am. There’s no blame or guilt. I’m in a place that’s all love. I feel euphoric and empowered. This is amazing!”

I sensed Troy’s energy leave my body. I was rocked by what he had shown me and what I had felt. I thought, “This is cutting edge stuff! Man, girl, you’ve come far. You’ve really grown.” A feeling of being proud overruled my humility and I almost cried.

Then the dense, lower emotions returned. I felt disoriented. What the hell just happened? I did the only thing I could think to do and that was to bellow for Kyle. He popped into my office holding an unopened bottle of Mountain Dew. “What’s up?” he asked. I said, “Kyle! Oh my God. Kyle. Is this guy for real?” tossing my head towards Troy’s white shape. Kyle glanced at Troy and returned his eyes to mine. He twisted off the top of his soda bottle and said, “I dunno. Ask him.”

“KYLE!” I demanded. “YOU ask him!” Kyle stopped short of rolling his eyes as he looked at Troy again. “Dude? Are you for real?”  Not helpful, Kyle. Really. Not helpful. He flashed me an impish smile, shrugged his shoulders and said, “You are a cool chick.” With that, he vanished.

I looked at my client who was unaware of all of this. I turned my attention to Troy who had now regained his see-through human form. He was standing next to his lady. His left hand was lightly resting on her arm. My nerves quieted as I saw the look of love he wore upon his face. He turned to me, smiled and said, “You just got a taste of what heaven is like.”

(mic drop)

Entity

We have our home professionally cleaned once a month and have been with the same company for almost a year. I’ve had the same team of two fantastic gals come each month but for some reason, one of the gals was different this time. I didn’t think anything of it, after all people do get sick. I was just thankful I could walk on our kitchen floor without my socks sticking to droplets of apple cider.

Later in the evening, after my little miss was asleep, I went downstairs. We live in a small rambler so it’s not as if I’m descending into the bowels of Hell when I do this. About half way down the stairs, my brows knit together and my steps hesitated. In my mind I was saying, “What is that?” and I tilted my head to the right as if to hear better. I didn’t see anything. I didn’t hear anything. I didn’t smell anything but I felt as if something was off.

When I made it to the foot of the stairs, I innately and immediately extended my left arm in front of me and put my fingers to the ceiling thus signifying the universal sign for “stop.” I don’t know why, but I started intoning a Reiki 2 symbol that I use to purify a room prior to giving students Reiki attunements.

I turned the corner, arm and hand still out in a powerful, protective stance and walked towards the room where our sump pump, freezer and furnace is. The negative energy became stronger as I approached the door. I was utilizing the light from the stairs and remember chastising myself for not turning on the ceiling lights.

As my right hand reached for the doorknob, I knew whatever I was sensing was in there. With my left hand, I flipped on the light switch and with my right, I simultaneously turned the door knob. I jumped into the brightly lit, light silver-green room like a ninja. I crouched low, had my left hand and arm out in front of me while the right hand was balled into a fist and my arm was cocked back, ready to punch someone’s lights out.  Man, I’m telling you I was ready to do battle!

There was nothing there. Well, nothing I could see with my squinted physical eyes and I didn’t WANT to see anything with my spiritual eyes. I straightened my stance, dropped both my arms and kept repeating the powerful Reiki symbol.

I grabbed what I needed, raced towards the door slamming it as I went through. For a nano second I thought about leaving the light on and just procuring my safety, but energy conservation is too ingrained in me. I have (cough) been referred to as the “Light Nazi” on an occasion or two. My Devil be damned attitude was no surprise and I shut off the lights.  As I was ascending the stairs, two at a time, I thought, “What in the hell is wrong with me!? I’m acting like a child. What was THAT?!”

I am not prone to drama nor am I prone to hysterics, although that’s what I tried to tell myself it was. Then the spiritual part of me kicked in and said, “Has this ever happened in the 9 years you’ve lived here?” No, never. “Then what is different?”  That is when I checked the signatures on the work order and discovered a different person had entered our house.

I decided to see if lightening would strike twice. Don’t idiots do this in horror movies and then die?!  Well, ode to Nightmare on Elm Street, I descended the stairs once again. I felt the negative energy. The hair on my arms stood up. I looked around but didn’t see anything. I was muttering the powerful Reiki symbol inside my head. I went into my home office and the energy was unadulterated. It felt untouched and pure, just as I had left it. I whirled around, squinted my eyes at our normally energetically inviting theater room and briskly walked towards the stairs. As I did so, the hair on the nape of my neck tingled and rose.

In the safety of our upstairs well-lit living room, I grabbed my phone to text my husband. I discovered I was trembling. Ok, well, that’s not normal and neither is the physical response I experienced downstairs. I dropped the phone onto a chair and called my Guardian Angels (The Guys). I stormed, “What in the FUCK was that?!” I pointed my finger towards the heavens and demandingly growled, “I, and this house and all those that reside within are supposed to be infinitely protected! That was the deal! I put myself out there and do your Work, YOU are supposed to keep my sanctuary SAFE. What in the HELL happened!?!  Better yet, just GET RID OF IT NOW!”

My eyes closed and my head tilted back. My hands and arms rose slightly from my sides, palms facing the ceiling. I took in a deep breath and felt my entire body quiver with righteous energy. After about 10 seconds of this, I heard a feminine voice with a hint of a smile softly say, “It is gone. You are safe.”

I opened my eyes and said, “What WAS that?! Holy shit! WHAT WAS THAT?!” And before they could answer I said, “Never mind! I don’t want to know. I don’t want to see it, I don’t want to know. Thank you for getting it out of here.”  I then proceeded to infuse the Reiki 2 symbol in all the doorways and windows. Protection, baby. Protection of the energetic kind.

I thought about contacting two married friends of mine who are both intuitively gifted. I wanted to see if they thought the entity was gone; I wanted human reassurance. But then I decided my Guys have never lied to me and so I was to trust in them. Besides, the energy in the house felt different. I still wasn’t about to go downstairs. That would wait until morning when it was naturally light outside.

As I was going to bed, I had this passing thought that I should get our gun. That was how real this threat was to me and to my sleeping little miss. I snorted inside of my head, rolled my eyes and thought, “Oh good one, Melissa. As if a gun is going to do anything against an entity. Chaaaaaaaaa.”

As is my way, I talk with my Guardian Angels as I am falling asleep. I heard them say, “Do you trust?” and I was like, “Dudes. For real. Are we going to have this convo again?!” Then I was infused with the knowledge of what took place on a spiritual level. Have I mentioned EVER (being factious here!) how thankful I am that I can see things from a spiritual perspective as it vastly differs from what we think is happening on the physical realm?

The sweet miss (or misses) who came to clean our home left a part of herself here. She didn’t do so intentionally, it was as if she sloughed off some dead skin, only this “skin” looked like a leach on steroids. I didn’t want to see the entity but my angels felt it best so I could understand what had happened.

I was shown this tentacle type of thing, sort of like you would see in a Sci-Fi movie. It looked like an alien octopus had one of its conical appendages lopped off, minus the suckers. It was shiny, black and writhing. “Death throes” is what I heard.

I knew this miss had been going through something horrible and that part of her was dying. She (no coincidences) came to our home, our HIGH ENERGY home to be rid of a succubus; something that was no longer needed. This entity had crawled into our little used basement room preparing to die. I messed that up when I came downstairs and felt it.

So to make this a little more clear, the substitute cleaning miss, on some level, knew our home would be a safe place for her to rid a portion (or all) of her burden, her darkness. She had outgrown or no longer needed it. She trusted we would be safe and the gal she replaced, the one who knew the energy of our home, trusted that this would be for her replacement’s highest good.

I am at peace with what happened. I am at peace knowing that our home, filled with laughter and tears, felt like a safe haven for a woman to begin (or continue) her unburdening transformation. I am at peace with my angels lowering the frequency of our home to allow this to happen. I am at peace knowing that we provided a safe place, outside of my Work, for someone to heal. I now understand why my Guys asked earlier, “Do you trust?” They were trying to calm me or remind me all is not as it seems; there is a Higher Power at work here.

 

Sober

“Expectation is the root of all disappointment.” Uhhh, yes. Yes it is. When I stumbled upon that timely sentence (thank you, Fargo Forum!), I realized I needed to stop all expectations regarding Trinity. If he said he’d be home for supper, I didn’t believe him. If he said he’d help me with a project, I didn’t believe him. If he said he’d pick up our daughter, I didn’t believe him. No expectations, no disappointments.

One night, after working late, he brought our daughter home. He was horribly drunk and thought making himself something to eat was a good idea. He burned everything. It took some time for his glassy eyes to focus. His words were slurred even though he was trying to appear somewhat sober. In my head, I thanked God for getting them home safely.

The next day, when he was less drunk, I calmly told him he had crossed the line by driving drunk with Ceta. I said, “Look. I don’t give a damn if you kill yourself in a car accident, but you may NOT kill our daughter. She is a miracle and you may not hurt her.” In my head I said, “If you drink and drive with her again, I’ll call 911 myself.”

I asked him if he could tell me how much longer he planned to drink. One year? Five years? “No. Not that long” was his dejected response. I said again, “Can you please tell me so I can plan accordingly?” He replied in a soft dispirited whisper, “Someday I won’t drink.”

I looked into having him committed. I researched what I needed to do and ultimately I decided I couldn’t control this. I wanted to call his doctor and tell him the truth about how much Trinity was drinking. I was the only one who would have been at an Intervention so that wouldn’t work and besides, I had been steadily doing that throughout the years.

One day, after leaving work, I sat at a red light and looked at a lady in a white, four-door car. In my head I said to her, “Do you think about your marriage ending every second of the day, every day? Do you? Do you wonder if your marriage is going to make it? Does it consume you like it does me? No? I didn’t think so.”  I swiveled my head and looked at a sparkly blue Chevy pickup. I mentally asked the driver if he constantly worried about the success or failure of his marriage. No? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

“So,” I thought, “what the fuck am I doing? ENOUGH!” I made up my mind then and there, sitting at that stop light, that I was done worrying about it, too. I was going to put all my energy into focusing on trusting and believing this marriage was going to be successful. I told God and my Guides, that I was leaving it up to them. The light turned green, I pressed my foot on the gas pedal and I felt lighter than I had in years.

Not long after my stop light revelation, I heard my husband mumbling to himself as he was making coffee. He said, “I’ve GOT to get a life.” I didn’t say a word but my eyes rose from the newspaper I was reading. I felt something changing. I stared at his back with squinted eyes trying to figure out what it was. Could it be, with that simple mumbled comment, he was acknowledging he had a drinking problem? I lowered my eyes back to the newspaper, lifted my left eyebrow, pursed my lips and thought, “Huh. How you liking life, honey?”

Soon after that he came home and said he had contacted the VA about alcohol in/out patient treatment. Uh huh. Sure you did. Riiiiight. He said he’d left a message for them and they were to return his call.  Yup. Sure. I bet they’ll “drop the ball” and you’ll never reach out to them again and then it’ll be their fault that you’re still drunk. Without any of the hope and excitement I was feeling, I said, “Good for you, honey. Let me know what they say.” Disengage and have no expectations. If you’re the spouse of an addict/alcoholic, this could be your motto.

But he DID contact the VA and they DID get back to him. Whaaa? Apparently, he was ready to ask for and accept help. I remained optimistically guarded. This wasn’t my first rodeo with an alcoholic cowboy. But true to his word, he did report for an alcohol evaluation and he did enter treatment.

He elected to detox at home. The VA allowed him to do this as he still had a good support system. Most alcoholics have lost their entire family by this time and just have a few enabling “friends” in their life. I watched as the DT’s took hold of him as he slept on our couch. I watched his body shake violently. I watched him reach for the garbage can to empty his stomach. I watched him walk to the bathroom on unsteady legs, like a newborn colt. I heard him moaning in pain while he fitfully slept.

I watched as this man desperately struggled against the siren song of the internal alcoholic who whispers, “Awww, come on. You can have ONE drink. It’s just one drink and then you can stop. I promise.” While remaining emotionally cautious, I watched him fight this invisible demon and found a growing respect for him and for all recovering addicts/alcoholics.

There was already something different about him; he was gentle again. He was embarrassed at how much he drank and how far he had fallen. He was thankful I was still at his side. He told me that I got through to him when I told him he could not drive drunk with our daughter ever again. He tells me that made a powerful impact on him.

Early on in his recovery, I was standing at the kitchen sink (this, apparently, is where I’ve been struck with a lot of intuitive information throughout the years!) and I saw/heard/knew that by Trinity choosing to become sober, he changed our daughter’s life for the better. She was no longer going to be a slave to alcohol. He had broken the cycle. THAT is some big spiritual whoop-ass, my friends.

I said to God and my Guides, “Holy shit! That’s HUGE! Oh my gosh! Thank you for showing me that glimpse!” My respect and admiration for him tripled. By facing his demons, by no longer choosing avoidance, by trying to heal, he was not only making his life better, but mine and our daughters, too. Talk about a new perspective, huh?

We recently watched the movie, “My Name Is Bill W.” It’s about the gentlemen who started AA. It was powerfully moving for me. I found myself wracked with tears at one point, not bothering to stifle or hold them in. I was crying not because of something the alcoholic was dealing with, but something his wife was dealing with. It hit way too close to home. It also helped me understand I’m not alone and that this disease doesn’t discriminate. It helped me understand how much the personality changes when a person becomes an alcoholic.

It wasn’t long after that movie I started recognizing my anger towards him. For so long I shoved that emotion (as well as others) under the table as I wasn’t able to effectively deal with them. But now it was coming out in full force. I was angry for so many reasons and that anger was working towards resentment. Once resentment takes hold, your marriage is in a death spiral.

I took our 5 year old to skating lessons one evening. My favorite deceased person “randomly” showed up and sat down next to me. I tried to be all casual and off handedly said, “Oh! Hi, Kyle. What’s up?”  His smile was infectious and his blue eyes danced. He said, “Not much. How about with you?”  I knew he was there for me as he certainly wasn’t there to watch my little miss skate backwards. For about a nano second I thought about lying to him and then I realized it was demeaning to both of us. I said, “Well, I’ve been better.” He said, “What’s up?” and I internally replied, “I’m having a bunch of anger issues towards my husband.”

Without losing a hint of his smile, he telepathically told me to let it go. I immediately got defensive and flustered. I hurriedly gushed, “But anger is a stage of grief! I’m supposed to go through this!! It’s normal!” His smile was softly fading and his laughing blue eyes became tinged with seriousness. He repeated, “Let. It. Go.” I blinked, took in a deep inhalation and mentally smiled at him. I, with humbleness and genuineness, softly said, “I love you, Kyle.” His mega-watt smile reemerged and he vanished instantly.

At a recent open AA meeting, my husband spoke loudly and clearly, “My name is Trinity and I’m an Alcoholic.” It jolted me, kind of as if I was being roused from a trance. I immediately knew he was going to wipe alcohol’s bastard ass all over the dance floor. I hadn’t yet heard him call himself an Alcoholic. I hadn’t yet heard him own it.  But when he did, I knew it was real. A sort of peace came over me and all the nagging “what if’s?” and fears disappeared.

Trinity is early into this living sober thing (day 90!) and he tells me he will never have another drink. I believe him; he’s just stubborn enough to pull this off. He is also facing the cause of his drinking, head on (play on words there, people! Did you get it? HAHA!). Boooyah, soldier! Boooyah! His humor, playfulness, respect and kindness have all returned.  I see him watching our daughter sometimes and I know he’s thinking about how much time he’s lost with us, how much he’s missed out on.

His brain and his body will continue healing from alcohol’s destruction for up to two years. I’m so proud of this Army Ranger who will now fight for his sobriety every day in a culture where alcohol is a staple.

 

(He has given me permission to publish this story in hopes that it helps others.)


 

This is the third of a trilogy of blogs: Alcoholic, Alcoholism and Sober

For background reading pertaining to these blogs:
Kyle
The Guys (Guides)
Priestess

Alcoholism

After the debacle of my starter marriage, I made sure my eyes were open when I started dating my forever husband. He, like me, was a mild social drinker. He would have a glass of wine at night, maybe a beer, maybe two.  We would have more on weekends or when we were out with friends. Somewhere along the line though, something changed for him. During our first couple years of marriage, I noticed he was drinking 5 to 6 beers a night (Miller Lite, if you can even call that watery beer a beer. I’ve become such a beer snob!).

If you’ve been a reader of my blogs, you’ll understand how Trinity has helped me heal my own pain throughout the years. You’ll also understand how I have empowered him to do the same. He has been instrumental in me becoming the woman you know today. He has successfully done what others could not; he has helped me find and use my voice effectively. I, through gritted teeth, often tell God and my angels that they can knock off the “using my voice” lessons anytime.

I would tell him how frightened I was by his usage of alcohol. He would, in the earlier years, agree he was drinking too much and he would back off.  About 3 years ago, though, that all changed. A six pack of Miller Lite or two glasses of wine was no longer satisfying. He had moved on to Heineken, Guinness and then the high-alcohol content craft beers, not to mention bottles and then boxes of wine. As days moved into months, his consumption increased in direct proportion to my fears.

As Trinity’s drinking exceeded even his maximum, I became frantic. The way I was approaching him wasn’t working so I took several steps back. My husband has helped me overcome so much…and here was another way he did so. Instead of feeling as if my (and our daughter’s) safety was threatened by his alcohol usage, I backed off. I decided I could no longer count how many beers he had, I could no longer call it out to him and that took tremendous pressure off of me. I stepped back from sort of a parental role and decided I had made my fears known. I had been clear about his alcohol consumption and I needed to give him space to figure it out on his own.

One night he came home late and had been drinking. Our daughter was 3. He stood in our entry way with tears in his eyes and said, “I can’t stop with just one. I’ve tried. I can’t stop with just one drink.”  I thought that was it; I thought that was his rock bottom but it wasn’t even close. I would wait two more years before that happened.

After the discovery of his emotional affair in late 2015, he vowed to stop, or at least slow down his drinking. He did well for about a week and then I noticed a beer on his desk at 4:30, then at 3:00, then at noon. It would get earlier and earlier each day.  Towards the end he was drinking at 9:00 in the morning. He tells me now I didn’t know the half of how much he was drinking. For that I am thankful as what I knew terrified me.

I watched our bank accounts dwindle and I refused to say anything to him. My thought was, “He makes money, he can spend it as he sees fit.” As is the way with alcoholics, secrets and hiding things from others are a way of life. What was being charged to our credit card was only about half of what he was really spending.

In September 2016, on my birthday, he was arrested for DUI. When he told me about it, I thought two things: “This is going to financially fuck us without lube.” and “Thank you, GOD! Thank you! Maybe this is what he needs to finally get some help.” But it wasn’t. In fact, he repeatedly stated that he was only at .09 and “that’s barely over the legal limit.” He missed the point entirely. For him, .09 was barely breaking a sweat; it was his normal Blood Alcohol Content. He hired an attorney and pled down to reckless driving.

My reaction to his drinking was subconscious but I was experiencing real PTSD because of it. I didn’t put these pieces together until an amazing counselor at the VA pointed out that I felt like everything I wanted or had obtained, my entire way of life, my existence, was once again being threatened by alcohol.  This was the counselor my husband and I went to after I had my anxiety breakdown. He also witnessed my physical distress as my body shook like that of a scared dog. It was him who suggested I might be in fear for (and fighting for) my life.

(Jim, if you are reading this, I thank GOD for you every day. I didn’t have the knowledge to work through this one and you helped put some of the puzzle pieces together. There was no coincidence that I found you. Thank you for helping me heal.)

Jim pointed out that I have lost (almost) everyone I’ve loved due to the highly addictive bitch called Alcohol. They have either physically or emotionally abandoned me or I have had to leave them. This explains why I have Abandonment issues in this lifetime, doesn’t it?!! Alcohol(ism) is in both my maternal and paternal sides of the family. On a scale of 1 to 10 of how terrified I felt due to Trinity’s drinking, I was at a 12. This was a mouth-goes-dry-eyes-go-wide-body-tremors-flight-fight-or-freeze kind of 12.

I hated who he became when he was drinking. Couldn’t he see how this terrified me? Didn’t he care? Where was the man I married? He’d be horrified at the thought of hurting me. It turns out, the man I married was still in there, but his brain chemistry had changed so much that he no longer cared about anything except alcohol. He didn’t care about his health, his work, his marriage or his children; he just wanted to escape. He became mean, impatient and angry with the world. He would use vulgar, lewd and harassing language in front of our daughter. He constantly reeked of booze and when he would touch me in ways I viewed as volatile, he would belligerently laugh as I rebuked him.

He was really bringing out the big guns to get me to leave our marriage. He was fighting against growing spiritually and dealing with his emotional pain. He still viewed himself as unworthy and unloveable and he was trying to avoid the spiritual Mack truck that was bearing down upon him.

I had made a vow before him and God that I was never going to leave him and I meant it.  As with his affair, he expected me to leave him because that was what people in his life did. He wanted me to leave him so he didn’t have to face reality. At one point, towards the very end when he was drunk and having a pity party for one, he insinuated he was going to ask me for a divorce.

I nonchalantly thought, “Go ahead buddy. I’m not afraid of being alone anymore. You’ve made me stronger. I no longer fear abandonment. I know Ceta and I will be just fine without you but know this; We’ve been through too much and I’m NOT leaving you. You do it, you call it quits, after all it’s what you do, Mr. Avoidance but I believe we made a commitment to help each other overcome our past life issues. I’ve been there for you and I’ve given you a safe place to do just that. I trust you’d do the same for me. I am NOT leaving.”

The truth of the matter was I wasn’t sure how much longer I could physically do this.

 

 


This is the second of a trilogy of blogs: 
Part 1: Alcoholic
Part 2: Alcoholism
Part 3: Sober

~ For background reading pertaining to this blog:
Anxiety
Unloveable

Alcoholic

I remember a time when I was 14 or 15; a tough age for a girl. I would find full bottles of alcohol hidden in linen closets, under furniture and in the basement. I remember being so disgusted with my mom that I would loathingly pour the alcohol down the bathroom sink drain and refill the bottles with tap water. I would replace them where I found them.

When I returned from school, I remember feeling hatred towards my mom because the bottles were either half empty or gone. I would become incensed and repulsed thinking that she was either too drunk or too stupid to know that I had replaced the alcohol with water and she drank it anyway.

“You stupid bitch”, I would think and I would turn my venom on my mom. Sometimes I used the passive-aggressive techniques I had been taught. I would go for days without looking at her or talking to her. Other times I would let loose on her by screaming and pummeling her with my abusive words. God, I HATED her at times. I hated that she wasn’t there for me emotionally. I hated that she loved alcohol more than me and I hated that I needed her and she had emotionally and physically abandoned me. Hell hath no fury like a hormonal teen-aged girl.

A neighbor once told me years after my mom had died that she had found my mom passed out by our mailbox. She thought my mom had fallen and went to help. My mom was perfectly fine except she was blotto’d. I remember feeling embarrassment at hearing this, even though I was in my early thirties.

My dad was aware, but we didn’t talk about it. Good Lord, no. That’s not what us conservative Norwegian/German Lutheran/Catholic Midwesterners do. We don’t talk about alcoholism, abortion, mental illness, abuse, adultery, or rape. Oh no, that’s not neighborly or polite. It’s icky and ugly and we don’t want to talk about that stuff.  Let’s sweep it under the rug; let’s not tell the children the real story because they’ll never need to know or they’re not “strong enough” to handle it.  Has it occurred to anyone that it’s this type of mentality, this type of secrecy, that encourages these actions to continue?

I used to watch my stoic dad search the house looking for errant bottles of hidden alcohol. I watched as he loaded them into the trunk of our cream colored Ford Thunderbird and left for work. I watched as he would take a bottle out after work and have a few drinks (or several, I don’t remember). And then I would watch as he replaced the bottle in the trunk, shut the lid and hid the keys. I clearly saw the strain on my dad’s face but I did not understand the toll it was taking on him. Although I’ve never walked a mile in my dad’s shoes, I think I may have walked a few blocks.

Each school day, I would leave my mom lying on her favorite pink velvet love seat. Each day, when I returned, she would still be lying there. I didn’t know that each day she would order alcohol and have it delivered but my dad knew. Night after night, morning after morning this process would repeat itself. My anger and resentment towards her, and her illness, grew. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize alcoholism WAS an illness. I just thought she was weak.

One night my mom was trashed and sleeping in the living room. My dad was sleeping in their bedroom and I in mine. I could hear mom weakly calling to my dad, “Merle. Merle! Merle? I have to go to the bathroom.” My dad was maybe 54 or 55 at the time, not much different in age than I am now. Dad got up but not as quickly as mom needed. She tried to make it to the bathroom on her own but fell. She thinly said, “Merle! I fell! Help me!” and that might have been when my dad emotionally snapped.

He grabbed her right arm by the shoulder and drug her across the carpeted floor towards the bathroom. At the time and for years to come, I hated my dad for this treatment. But now, as a parent, as an older, wiser adult and as someone who has loved/lived with alcoholics, I understand his reaction. You can only take so much shit, so much stress, so many sleepless nights, so many worries, so much pent up anger, so much disappointment and so much emotional strain before your mind unravels.

I heard my mom fall and I instantly sat up in my bed on high alert. My eyes were wide in the darkness. Ever mom’s protector, I threw my legs over the bed and raced down the unlit hallway. I flipped the bathroom light on and as my eyes adjusted my mouth fell to the floor. Her right arm was grasped in his left hand and she looked so tiny, so frail. She wasn’t a big woman anyway and had become very emaciated from the alcohol. My dad always appeared larger to me than he really was.

I remember seeing her eyes flutter open and then close. There were tears on her cheeks and she slurringly said, “Merle! You’re hurting me!”  I screamed at my dad to stop it. I remember vainly trying to push him away from her. Everything was moving in slow motion. As I stood in the bathroom’s harsh light wearing my baby-doll shorty pajamas, I felt utterly helpless and powerless. I also felt extreme anger, repulsion and sympathy all at once. A part of me wanted to repeatedly hit my dad and a part of me wanted to pull my own mother down the hallway, too. I ended up doing what I normally did; bursting into tears, racing for the sanctuary of my bedroom and slamming the door.

My mom did get help. It wasn’t professional help, as least I don’t think so, but she did cut out or cut down her drinking. She told me once she’d “got a handle on it.” And I never, EVER saw her drunk again, buzzed yes, but drunk no.

As with most children of addictions/abuse, you either become so repulsed by the action that you would NEVER do it…..or you become that action; after all, it’s what you know. There’s not often a middle of the road for us…it’s usually all or nothing.

In Midwestern American, if it’s a nice day out, we drink. If it’s too cold, we drink. If it’s juuuuuust right, we drink. Having a good day? Drink. Having a bad day? Drink. Having a perfect day? Drink. Started the job? Drink. Finished the job? Drink. Somewhere in the middle? Drink. Weddings? Drink. Funeral? Drink. Breathing? Drink.

I took my first drink at 17. My husband took his at 14. In Midwestern America, it’s what we do. It’s what we know.

 


This is the first in a trilogy of blogs: 
Part 1: "Alcoholic", Part 2: "Alcoholism" Part 3: "Sober"