Category Archives: faith

refugees

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

  • Martin Niemoller

 

I seldom get into politics on my blog (I can’t say never because I do sometimes) and I realize I’m breaking a long silence with a controversial post but I’m tired of being silent.

I first read this poem at The Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. And it struck me then as important and in these recent days it has been apparent to me just how important the lesson in this poem is. And how it still applies today.

The refugee debate on Facebook has been strong this last week and it has saddened me how hateful and coldhearted some people can be. At some points it has just plain scared me. Have we learned nothing from history? Condemning a whole group of people as terrorists, dangerous, unclean and unwelcome seems dangerously similarly to how Jews were treated during WWII.

We once turned away a ship full of Jewish people and that act is regarded as shameful as many of those people returned to Europe to be murdered. Yet, here governors, presidential candidates and my Facebook friends call for us to turn away another generation of refugees. We shall someday regret this and look with shame on our actions I believe.

People have given many arguments for why they don’t want refugees coming to the United States and one I have heard is “we don’t have the resources to take care of our own homeless”. At the end of the day that problem will still be there whether we take in more refugees or not. And I ask you – how much did you care about the homeless before this debate started?

I don’t even want to touch on the terrorist argument. It just seems absurd to me that we should deny a whole group of people entry because one or two may put us at risk. And that isn’t guaranteed. It is stereotyping of Muslims that drives me crazy. I’d rather debate about how many people white males kill with guns.

Returning to the poem at the beginning of my post: while people sit at home typing on their computers I hope they remember that we as human beings have a responsibility to be there for one another. One day we might be the person that needs taken care of and if we don’t help now there may be no one there to help us when the time comes.

 

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Filed under culture, faith, quotes, social change, society, writing/poetry

nobody’s got it all together (Jill Phillips) – sunday song

I discovered this song before Laureate. I was slowly dying and no one knew and I listened to this song obsessively as I did behavior after behavior. So what prompts me to choose it as my Sunday Song tonight? Well, I think it’s a good reminder that although on the surface it may appear like things are good and well for a person that doesn’t tell the whole story. “Nobod’sy got it all together” is the norm – not the other way around.

 

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Filed under coping skills, eating disorder, eating disorders, faith, Hope, Life Story, music, PTSD, Recovery, Sunday Songs, survivor

monday mood lifters – there is good in the midst of tragedy – Boston Marathon

 

 

 

I had a whole post planned today but then the terrible events at the Boston Marathon occurred  Today’s Monday Mood Lifter’s are dedicated to finding good in the midst of tragedy and the love humans can show.

1) 

 

2) Google is offering this service for those who need to find loved ones is Boston

3) Remember this:

“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

4. 

5. Imagine a world without hate (this makes me sad but it is appropriate for today) It won’t embed but I encourage you to click on the link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KyvlMJefR4

6.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
― Fred Rogers

7. Children – children are mood lifters. Look at them and remember there is innocence is this world.

8. The fact that our country can come together even in the midst of such political divide. As Obama said –

“On a day like today, there are no Republicans or Democrats, we’re all Americans.”

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9. Hope – Please remember hope.

10. And finally this quote which means so much to me. I hope that it can comfort you in some way like it has often brought comfort to me.

I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding onto something. – J.R.R. Tolkien (The Two Towers)

 

I hope you find hope tonight. I hope you find something to hold onto. I hope you turn to your loved ones and hug them tight. I hope you pray to your God or cry out to who you believe in. I hope you remember that evil exists in the world but it has not taken over as easy as it is to believe. I hope you choose hope.

Love,

Kate

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Filed under faith, Hope, life events, Monday Mood Lifters, survivor

blessed be the name of the lord – sunday song – Easter

Spirituality and faith has been something I have been slowly exploring since my time at CFC. The Center for Change placed a very large emphasis on spirituality. They believed that faith in something was an important part of recovery. And I believe this as well. As I search through my own beliefs and am trying to make my own faith personal I can see how it positively effects my recovery.

When I was at the Center I loved to play piano during a time we had called “togetherness” where inpatient and residential spent time together. I played the piano in the basement different tunes and at times had others singing along. I had a hymn book and there was one particular hymn that I grew to love. This song was “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord”. In fact, at my goodbye group I played this song because I believe that faith and hope is my future.

Today, for Easter Sunday I choose this as my song of the week.

 

 

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monday mood lifters February 18

I’ll admit it. I’m doing these Monday Mood Lifters for me. I need some mood lifting in my life. Here we go…

Monday Mood Lifters1. Giving Back – I’m finally in a position I can give back to people. And I can do this with Ben. My neighbor has special needs. Once a week we get together so he can have “Ben time”.  I also take him to the grocery store and various other places. I love knowing that  I am helping someone. I have been so wrapped up in my own world for so very long that it feels wonderful to step outside of it and into someone else’s.

2. The Violence Against Women Act was renewed – last year the act did not pass because of objections that it protected gay, illegal immigrants and American Indian’s. This year the House got their head on straight and passed the bill so all women who are victims of abuse can receive help and protection.

3. Ben’s Valentine  – Ben gave me a Valentine for Valentine’s day

4. My new baby ‘niece’ – normally I don’t hold babies. But Kinley was cuddly and sturdy enough I broke my rule and I’m glad I did.

5. Take a Seat. Make a Friend? – strangers meet in a ball pit and ask each other’s questions. It brought tears to my eyes.

6. This Picture – In the top picture the man has hair. In the bottom he doesn’t.

7. Agility – I have always loved this dog sport and am excited to get back into it.

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8. The fact that Finn and Rachel and Kurt and Blaine might be getting back together  – yes I’m too invested in a t.v. show.

9. This quote: 

“What if God doesn’t just love you because He’s God and that’s His job? What if the truth is that God actually likes you? Yes, you – right there, looking at this screen – you with the zits and the past and the lust and the blazing self-doubt – you with that weird laugh and the deep hurts and questions – you. What if God just really likes you for exactly who you are? Can you bear it?” – Lee Younger

10. And of course Benny 

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Filed under Ben, dogs, faith, Funny, Monday Mood Lifters, quotes

What No Longer Defines Me: 

My eating disorder

Hospitalizations/treatment

This mythical idea of the ‘perfect’ job

This locked in view of who God is

The image of the ‘sheltered one’

Being a ‘drummer’

My school status

Choosing to be “the quiet one”

The victim role

What Still Defines Me But I am Working to Let Go Off

My PTSD

Memories

My fear

That illness

The option of self-destruction

Self-Blame

Shame

The hold they have over me

The attachment to the past

What Does Define Me

My relationship with Ben

The idea that my spirituality and faith can be fluid and changing. I don’t have it all figured out and I don’t have to fit into a mold and that’s okay.

My friendships. The true meaningful ones.

Giving back. Loving more.

Family, friends

Self-respect

Self-esteem

Recovery

Writing

Finding my passions and pursuing them

Dreaming and following those dreams

Allowing myself to Live. Truly live.

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Filed under Ben, depression, dogs, eating disorder, eating disorders, faith, family, friends, Hope, Identity, New Life, PTSD, Recovery, survivor, the past, trauma

look at your life and know what you already have – i don’t want your pity

Last night I was virtually up all night because I didn’t feel well. I passed the time by watching TED talks. I chose to watch one particular talk given by Brene Brown called “The Price of Invulnerability” (it’s a good talk – go watch it!). Now whether it was because it was 4 am and I was feeling pretty crummy physically and also emotionally after a hard day or if it was just because it is an amazing talk I spent part of the time watching it close to tears. And when she said one thing the tears erupted. She said something (roughly) like this:

People who are trauma survivors have told me ‘I don’t want your sympathy. I don’t want your pity. I want you to look at your life and know what you already have’.

For me this is it. I don’t want my friend’s pity or something for what I have had to endure, my diagnosis or my past. All I want is for them to have gratitude for what they already have. I have run into people in the treatment world who wish for trauma, who make it up or embellish it. I go through times when this makes me angry and times when it simply makes me sad and times when it makes me both. I suppose the wishing/embellishing/making up comes from a place of trying to relate to other or validate why they struggle with what they struggle with. That anyways is the nice answer I can pull out of the hat.

P and I were trying to put the exact concept of gratitude that Brene Brown does so succiently above into words the other day. We were talking of our treatment friends (and they are always there) who are like this. I think to a degree we can intellectually understand it like I described above but like me P, is also a trauma survivor and there is a deep seated pain and anguish that arises when people ‘wish’ for trauma or embellish their experiences. We also talked about how we would like others to relate to us and we tossed around words like we wished other knew how ‘lucky’ they were. How they by some shade of fate or whatever just happened to have all the right hands in the deck tossed at them so they avoided trauma. We talked that we don’t want the pity or sadness which we sometimes receive from people, we just want them to know damn lucky they are. ie – all we want from others is that they know what they already have.

It’s hard not to get mad at people when they show me pity or sympathy. In my mind these are very different emotions than empathy. Empathy to me is much more of an equalizer  It put both the empathizer and the one receiving the empathy on the same level. There is no ‘looking down upon’ or feeling sorry which pity and sympathy entails. Empathy is not static. It moves with a person and allows someone to heal. Pity keeps a person in a box. A box in which the peson who feels pity towards them sees that the situation that happened to them is ‘so sad’ and makes that individual a victim. There is no room to move away from that box. And I believe that there is no room to move in a relationship when one individual feels pity for another. I believe that the pittyier so to say naturally feels somewhat superior while the one who is pitied tends to feel demeaned.

And to those who do not have trauma nor can they understand my past? I don’t want that pity. I don’t want that sympathy. It doesn’t make me feel loved. It doesn’t make me feel understood. As Brene Brown reported I just want people to know what they already have. I want you or whoever is reading this to be able to feel grateful that you have been spared (if you have) by luck, fate, faith (whatever you believe in) the devastating effects of trauma. Not all are so lucky. I have not been so lucky. Be grateful for what you have and for what you have been spared. As Brene Brown says “look at your life and know what you already have’. That’s all I want or need from you as a survivor.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under coping skills, depression, eating disorder, eating disorders, faith, family, friends, Identity, life events, New Life, PTSD, Recovery, survivor, the past, trauma

it’s time for me to tell my story

This year on fightingmywayback I am going to begin something new. I am going to begin telling my life story. In treatment, first at Laureate and then later at The Center for Change, we had to write out our life stories/autobiographies. The thinking behind this was that each person’s story is important and deserves to be heard. And by sharing your life story you can combat shame, have a shared experience with others and learn that you matter. That the good and the bad in your life matter. That bad things that happened were not okay, that you can forgive yourself for things that you did or had happen to you and thus begin your healing. It is a powerful experience to tell your own story and then listen to others tell theirs.

Each time I was in treatment I purposely abbreviated  cut short and the things that needed to be told most were left out. More than likely I’m not going to be telling those parts on here either. Maybe some generalities but not specifics  This isn’t the forum for that. In the last two years I’ve been able to tell my therapists and best friends those things which has slowly reduced some of my shame. Secrets keep you sick is a mantra that is repeated because of it’s truth. And as I’ve told mine it has opened me up to more healing.

Some of what I will write will be painful. I will keep certain parts of my life out for my own sake and for those I love’s sake (and at times my own protection) but other times I will be more bold. I am not expecting to use numbers to explain my eating disorder. In my experience these are only used to shock and awe others. There is no need to do this. To say I was very ill is enough. I will show a few pictures – most will not be triggering but I will warn if they are. And the same goes for parts of my story. I expect one section could be triggering and I will include that to show the depths one can sink in an eating disorder, the hell that is the sickness and how tormented one can be. And I might password protect these posts. I may give out the password to some or may not give it out to anyone and simply leave it up for me in order to document my own life.

These posts will not happen all at once. They won’t be consecutive. There may be months that go in-between life story posts or there may be simply days. We’ll see how it goes. But it’s time for me to tell my story. And I’m committed to doing that. It’s part of how I am fighting my way back.

 

 

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Filed under bullying, depression, eating disorder, eating disorders, faith, family, friends, Hope, Identity, Independence, life events, Life Story, New Life, PTSD, Recovery, survivor, the past

we love each other too much to let each other go – “to be with you”

Tonight was family Christmas on my mother’s side. Each year we celebrate by exchanging sock gifts for a person we have drawn the year before. We all come together open gifts, spend time together, eat cheese and veggie dips and soups for dinner. As a child these celebrations were magical times of gift opening and waiting in anticipation for my turn. We always went in order from youngest to oldest which meant that  I was always number four (the first girl). At that time Grandma filled our socks and we each opened our two presents from Grandma and Grandpa. Since we have started the name draw instead of Grandma and Grandpa filling each sock the person who drew our name does so.  This means that each year the presents are unique to that gift giver and it is (supposed to be) a surprise to who had us. I’m much older so I’m not breathless with anticipation to open my sock gifts but I do look forward to it eyeing my sock and trying to gauge who it’s from and what is in it. I like to watch the person who I had shopped for open their sock and discover what I found for them.

This year was a little different. Our gathering was smaller than normal as my family more than twenty-five is scattered far and wide but we still held our sock exchange, laughed at the little girls, admired baby Kinely who is less than a week old and enjoyed each other’s company. I was also blessed to have my Grandmom (my father’s mother) here from Denver. She joined our gathering and I loved knowing that many of the people I loved were in the same room or represented by the socks they had sent.

One thing that has become apparent to me this year as the family has continued to scatter is that it takes work to be a family. Especially, an extended family. It takes dedication. Love, yes but also dedication, a dash of stubbornness and a huge amount of commitment. When you live far from someone you love it is easy to let a relationship go. I’ve watched my father work to continue his relationship with my Grandmom, calling every night even when they may not have lots to talk about. It works. They are close and they have a bond. Without those phone calls and the decision to communicate the relationship could easily have been lost. And now for the first time as my mother’s side of the family begins to truly scatter it marks a change and it requires something new from all of us. A new form of loyalty, love and effort. But I have no doubt we have it in us. We love each other too much to let each other go.

And now….my normal Sunday song. This songs means a lot to me this year as I am home for the first time in four years and my grandmother from Denver who I have not seen in years joins us for Christmas. It is called “To Be With You”.

We come in from our travels
Lay our gifts beneath the tree
my mothers in the kitchen
the parade is on tv
my father’s with his father
their setting out some toys
the kids all want the train he’s had
since he was a boy

to be with you
to be with you
i love this time of year
it always brings me here
to be with you

I fall in with my sisters
just like when we were young
my grandma holds the baby
she rocks and softly hums
we gather round the table
we close our eyes and sing
Praise God from whom all blessings flow

to be with you
to be with you
i love this time of year
it always brings me here
to be with you

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

We set our milk and cookies
the kids are quick to bed
they know St. Nick is coming
and nothing need be said
we gather by the fire
reminiscing by it’s light
the kids will be up early
but it’s hard to say goodnight

to be with you
to be with you
i love this time of year
it always brings me here
to be with you

 

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Filed under faith, family, Hope, life events, music, New Life, Recovery, Sunday Songs

“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” – JRR Tolkien

Several days ago I posted “I don’t understand” about how I don’t understand how much sadness and evil there can be in this world. It all comes backs tonight as the nation grieves for the children lost in Newton Connecticut. I have been avoiding the news coverage and reading facebook posts about it. I’m not in a head space where I can watch the news and not sink into a deep hole but I know enough to feel such sadness for the children, parents, teachers and all who were affected. I imagine their life (like mine) will now have a dividing line a before and an after.

I still do not understand and I won’t ever understand the reason for pain and sadness. I can say that I believe in God. And I do. But I am confused right now about that statement. Yes, I believe in him. Yes, I have faith but how it extends beyond that I struggle with. And no, I don’t believe that he ’caused’ the tragedy that happened today or the other horrible, bad things that have happened in my life or others but where was he? Where is he now? I do not know.

However, I realized tonight that I must hold onto hope that there is good in the world. We all have to. If we all gave up (like I have in the past) there is no meaning in life. Nothing changes. Life remains the same. The world continues to go on and evil acts continue to happen. If we stand up and fight then we have a say in this world. You might not see how you are affecting the world and tragedies like today might make you question how you are helping when so many people are grieving but to fight back against evil, against depression, against illness – that is what slowly changes the world. And what will slowly begin my healing.

And so like Tolkien said we must believe:

There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for

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Filed under depression, eating disorder, eating disorders, faith, family, friends, Hope, life events, New Life, quotes, Recovery, survivor, trauma