…abuse happens in the most inconceivable places

today many have facebook and twitter, instagram and pinterest, kik and about 200 more social media apps… To list them all would be worse than the genealogies found in Genesis, Matthew or Luke.  The point here is – there’s a bunch…

So, how does that relate to abuse you ask?  Great question!

Do you live your life on social media?  Many people do and that’s okay if that’s where you chose to spend your time.  There is a great deal of entertainment value in those mediums, but isn’t that all it is? Entertainment?

How many people live their real lives in social media?  I don’t have an answer to that, but it seems to me more people than not live the life they want everyone to think they lead on social media.  Once in awhile an element of truth will reveal itself but that’s more the exception than the rule isn’t it?

I just finished the book – Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming.

WOW!  What a story…  For a successful actor like Alan to reveal so much of himself and his family history in a book like that is nothing short of amazing.  You see, Alan was a victim of abuse from an early age.  As a matter of fact, the story he tells is a bit depressing.  I won’t go not any detail  – you should read the book – but the abuse he suffered at home at the hand of his father is sad.

He overcame that abuse but it certainly influenced the man Alan grew to be and that’s the point.  I have some dark things in my past while growing up in a dysfunctional family too.  I don’t know if I’m brave enough to write a book about it but honestly, don’t we all have skeletons in our closets?  Don’t all our experiences contribute to who we are today? Yeah – they do.

Abuse comes in many forms doesn’t it?  Verbal, physical, sexual, psychological…

That’s what #metoo is all about isn’t it?  Not only coming to grips with how women have been taken advantage of but also understanding how it changes us all.

What I appreciated about Alan’s story is he sought help and found someone who walked with him through that pain… and ultimately he forgave his father for the abuse that was poured out on him. That must have been incredibly difficult.  I struggle with that. It’s one thing to say I forgive someone but quiet another to really let ago on an emotional level.

It wasn’t until my transition that I realized some of my experiences were abuse.  Instead of blaming myself I began to understand that I was being used and taken advantage of.  Reading “Not My Father’s Son” gave me pause because it made we wonder how many more of us have been subjected to abuse, and didn’t realize it at the time.  I certainly didn’t.  Alan didn’t.  It was just the way things were and too many times it felt like I couldn’t measure up.   I could never be good enough.  It did for me at least.  Confidence was never high on my list of traits.  Acting out sure was though.  Appearing to be a rebel when in reality I was very accommodating, was the game I played.

What was most appalling was wondering if my children felt that way too.  They are both amazing young women today, with awesome families of their own, but I wonder if there is more I could have done to prepare them for life.  How could I have been a better parent? More compassionate and understanding..

And here I always thought having a strong work ethic was a good trait until I came to realize, for me at least, it was smoke screen to cover up my own insecurity.  As long I performed well I would receive praise from my bosses and those around me.  It was almost like a crack addiction, or so I’m told…

Did I subject my girls to the same?

Someone told me a bout a book called The Four Tendencies recently.  I did a brief quiz online and it said I’m an Obliger.   Meets outer expectations. Resists inner expectations.  “You can count on me, and I’m counting on you to count on me.”

That nailed it. What gave me pause was something called Obliger-Rebellion..

I haven’t starting reading the book yet but it’s next on my list.

Until next time…

Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

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transition…

This post is a little out of order. 

Thanksgiving has passed.

Christmas has passed.

New Years has passed. 

I was looking at some goal setting resources for my team recently.  One of the greats is Brian Tracy  His material on Goal Setting is pretty good.  Of course one of the most important points of goal setting is writing it down.  I started to write one down here around Thanksgiving.  Its too hard to say what distracted me, to the point I never finished the post and publish it.  Could have been any of 1,000 things.  

Its not profound or earth shattering.  It was only a thought about the season and time of year.  So here it is….

Thanksgiving and the change of seasons marks the transition to winter and the Christmas season.  Patty and I, for the past three years, have enjoyed Thanksgiving together at a local restaurant, brave enough to be open on the holiday.  I say brave enough because its always tough to serve the community in this way; there’s never enough staff, the clientele seems more demanding and the sheer volume taxes everyone’s patience, client and staff alike.

Mimi’s Cafe has stood the test.. They aren’t perfect but we are grateful they are there and enjoyed their hospitality again this year.

It’s been a good weekend!  One of my least favorite chores is complete…  took the better part of 3 days!   Yes – the raking of the leaves.  Raking is a metaphor of course because now its really the Black & Decker leaf blower, a tarp and rake.  The blessing is the 15 trees in our back yard – the curse is the 15 trees in our backyard in the fall.  No – wait – only 14 now – one had termites and had to be taken down.

 

Fall 2017
Raking of the Leaves

Now there’s time for decorations and shopping and all the hustle and bustle that goes with the season.  Most of our shopping was done online, decorations are in process but really – whats this all about anyway?

Today is the first Sunday of Advent from the Latin meaning coming.  Why is it important?  Anticipation of the days to come.  Anticipation of the birth of Jesus.

 

The Advent celebration represents Hope, Preparation, Joy and Love leading to Redemption and the promise God fulfilled to provide a Savior.

This year I resolve to focus on Jesus.  His humble birth.  His life and all the lessons He taught us, and is still teaching us today.

another day in the life…

Kelly

put your money where your mouth is…

the past several days I’ve been posting the Weather Chanel current temperature on my Facebook page.  It’s cold.  It’s so cold it’s dangerous.

I’m not sure, in the comfort of our cozy homes, we give much consideration to the homeless population in our respective communities.  What about those who are battling relationship, financial and health issues on these cold dreary days and nights?

James said, “Faith without works is dead”. Jeremiah talks about motives too. Can I do the right thing for the wrong reasons? Yup, I sure can…

I, Yahweh, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭17:10‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

I just can’t stop thinking about how blessed we are, to have the opportunities and life style we enjoy.  How can I make a difference for someone today? How can I connect with someone in a meaningful way that expresses the love of Christ in me?

another day in the life….

Kelly

 

it’s Jennifer’s fault

it’s been a while since I’ve visited.  Jennifer and I were chatting yesterday and she commented I should be writing more.  I knew that; just hadn’t made it a priority.

Almost said i hadn’t had the time… truth is, we all the same amount of time, simply chose to use it differently.  How we set our priorities tells its own story…

One of the things I did on a regular basis prior to transition was spend time in the prayer room at the church I attended.  Beginning my mornings there was a comforting and centering time for me.  It gave me an opportunity to quiet myself and talk to my Lord.  When a friend told me “you shouldn’t bring that in here” after my transition, I was hurt and uncomfortable.  Far be it from me to be a hindrance to someone else’s view of morality and righteousness. The pastor had told me earlier on that regardless of my choice I should continue to attend.  When I shared the comment my friend made he spoke to that individual but the next day or so I received an email from one of the ministry leaders stating that the church didn’t agree with my transition and as a result, I wouldn’t be allowed to serve.  I was welcome to attend services but not serve.  That hurt more than my friend’s comment.  Isn’t that what being a Christian is – based on our faith in Christ, serving those around us?  It was one of the reasons why that church worked for me – the commitment to serve the community in practice and not simply lip service.

I wish it had been handled differently. It was disappointing and, at least in my view, an unfortunate way to address a sensitive issue.

When I saw this article in the Tennessean yesterday it brought up that memory..

Demetria Kalodimos says WSMV got rid of her with a letter left on her desk — and no thanks

I never read the whole article but it felt similar..

Many in the LGBT community (personal observation) are hyper aware of the slights they may encounter.  Not being accepted or being judged is an uncomfortable feeling no matter who we are or what the issue is.  Most of the time I don’t pay much attention but sometimes I do…especially living in the south.  Its amazing that there are so many different responses.   Like my friend from church, the one who told me I shouldn’t be me, it is his heartfelt conviction.  He honestly felt he was doing what the word told us to do when a brother goes astray.  How can I question his conviction any more than some can or should question mine, without getting to know me or him or the reasons why we each hold our point of view?  Most of us don’t want to take the time, or are so closed minded there is no room for another point of view. Sometimes it’s just too painful…

I am guilty of that.  I don’t like to admit, it but I am.  I really miss that time in the prayer room… it helped create space for perspective and relationship with the Creator.

My therapist suggested I create that space at home.  I was ready for that one.  Had already thought about it but… its too hectic around my house with three dogs. When Patty is up the TV is always one. its too distracting.. There are too many shiny objects to distract me – things to do that keep me from staying focused.  The prayer room didn’t have all those distractions. It was a place to go away from the fray.  She suggested I find another place…which I summarily rejected because… I wasn’t ready. I am now.

..so i am creating my own space at home.  It’s different but that’s okay.  Once I came to the conclusion the excuses I was making were just that, excuses, it became much easier.  They didn’t measure up to the importance I placed on this practice.
Prayer is a pretty important part of the Christian faith, many faiths actually.  Being quiet and meditating on the word is a key element of being centered and focused on the things that really matter, at least for me.  *Your mileage my vary.

Today is a new day. Yesterday is done and tomorrow isn’t here yet so I’m going to focus on today.

…another day in the life

Kelly

disappointed…

Community and relationships are important to me.  Understanding the value of friendship is tantamount to life.  There are times when it hurts to care.  This is one of those times for me.

When relationships are strained one is faced with several choices.  You can persevere, which generally is the option I choose; you can bail, which is the option I used to choose most often; you can become angry and act out, not advisable under any cirucmstances; you could become depressed and isolated, dangerous territory for anyone; or you can pray for wisdom, discernment and direction – which is where I am right now.

There is a level of honest reflection that came and was borne out when I made the decision to transition.  For years I had been hiding, from myself and from everyone around me.  The concept of being known was real but the practice left something to be desired in my life.

Patty was watching the 2014 movie Divergent recently.  I love that movie.  When I think about sanctification I think about Divergent – being set apart – not conforming to the thought of the day  – looking for the right way instead of the easy way.  I did not choose an easy path but believe it to be the right path for me.

Since my transition, my well meaning Christian friends have admonished me, ignored me, suggested I stay away from church, and excluded me from serving the community along side them.  A handful have been accepting and supportive.  Some have been gracious and were quick to tell me they love me no matter what but…  yeah, there’s the but…

I get it.  Its hard for some people to swallow depending on their up bringing, life experiences and strongly held beliefs.  How long did people believe the earth was flat?  How long was it against Jewish tradition for Gentiles and Jews to share the same roof, or a meal even?  When those paradigms proved untrue the world was changed.

…so, I’m disappointed.  Its time for a rest.  This is going to be a long journey.

t.g.i.f……

More than half way through the month, our team has had its share of challenges.  We adapt and adjust and do what we can to stem the tide.  I’m excited that some of the projects we’ve been working on, that will make our jobs easier and provide an improved client experience, are coming to fruition.  Watching paint dry can be a tedious, painful pursuit…

A manager I worked with years ago told me “You can paint the merry-go-round but you can’t stop it.”   I had just come from a 5 week corporate training where we had been completely immersed in policy and procedure and then cut loose in the real world of daily operations.  When theory and best practice meets the real world day to day there is often conflict.  I’ve repeated that comment many times over the years.  Life, for me, has never been that well orchestrated.  Change happens every day whether we’re ready or not.  How we respond and adapt to that change makes all the difference in the world.

The challenges keep coming…  had a number of conversations yesterday about new projects.  More to come today..  No one has time but we can’t keep doing the same thing, day after day and expect a different result.  If I’m not mistaken someone defined insanity that way.  Sure, it’s cliche’ – but it’s so true.

On a personal level, this has been an eventful week.  Coming out at work has afforded me an opportunity to be myself, to see people I work with in different light and to appreciate, even more, how blessed I am.  Interestingly, people are generally more open with me now.  There are fewer barriers since I’ve revealed myself.  That’s probably one of the most positive impacts thus far.

I started to see that early on when my oldest daughter said as much to me shortly after I shared the news of my impending transition.  I was fearful of how either of the girls would respond to the news, but remarkably they have been two of my most ardent supporters. I couldn’t be happier!  We are closer now than we have been in a very long time.

Its all still so novel. That will wear off soon. What will be left is how we treat each other everyday.  Will we all remain open?  I sure hope so…  my heart is full today.  I want great things for my staff and the other stakeholders we interact with everyday.  Most times we are not dealing with life and death issues but we are dealing with people – how they think and feel about us, themselves and our brand.

Be blessed all!  If you are reading this know you are valuable and important… to me and to others around you.  You matter!

day one comes to a close

being myself for the first time at the office was amazing.  I’ve been  fortunate to receive many affirming messages and emails from coworkers.  Even flowers!

It’s been a good day.                                92904717-98E7-41DC-A444-F0D13B66FBF0

I’m grateful to HR for all the work they’ve done on my behalf.  The collaboration and planning is paying off in a big way.  The support of my Sr. Manager and others who are part of the management team has been nothing short of remarkable.

It makes me wonder what I was afraid of for so long.  I truly feel empowered and affirmed.  It makes me proud to be a part of a company that values diversity with more than lip service.

Several people commented they appreciated my courage.  This process has been a challenge.  Fear kept me in check for a long time.

Last year I heard a song by Steffany Gretzinger called Out of Hiding. It goes like this:

Come out of hiding
You’re safe here with Me
There’s no need to cover
What I already see

You’ve got your reasons
But I hold your peace
You’ve been on lockdown
And I hold the key

‘Cause I loved you before you knew it was love
And I saw it all, still I chose the cross
And you were the one that I was thinking of
When I rose from the grave

Now rid of the shackles, My victory’s yours
I tore the veil for you to come close
There’s no reason to stand at a distance anymore
You’re not far from home

I’ll be your lighthouse
When you’re lost at sea
And I will illuminate everything
No need to be frightened
By intimacy

No, just throw off your fear
And come running to Me….

I came to accept it was time to stop hiding… I don’t think Steffany had my situation in mind when she wrote the song but it resonated with me in a profound way.  This song helped me understand that Jesus already knew my story.   I couldn’t hide from Him. Accepting and admitting where I was meant it didn’t matter what anyone else thought – He already knew.  That’s all that mattered.

People have always been important to me.  What people thought about me was more important than is should have been.  A friend who doesn’t agree with the path I am on made that very clear to me recently.  I’m okay with his attitude today.  There are times in my life where that would have wrecked me.

The Christian community at large seems fearful to embrace what they do not understand.   That’s not what Jesus modeled for us.  He  embraced and engaged the culture of the day, with truth and love.

I have much to be grateful for today…