Archive for the ‘family values’ Tag

August 15, 2015   1 comment

I realize that there was a time when I wrote on this blog very often and then stopped.  I would come back and promise to write, but never really picked it back up.  I wanted to, but I never had the motivation.  I’ve started several other blogs under several other email address, different identities that tap into other sides of my personality, but I just can’t seem to get the ball rolling.  My brain is faulty I guess, I don’t know.  But i loved this blog at one time and I miss the sense of it being my “home base” so I want to write this out so if I am not able to come back again any time soon there is at least some sense as to why.

So much as happened to me in the last few years.  In 2004 my father died.  In 2007 my partner of 8 years died.  In 2012 my mother died.  All of those things are probably written about in here.  But they all also changed me and left me wanting for more.  Then my absolute faith in God was challenged and I have spent the last 4 years or so basically living my life as an atheist.  If you knew me, you would know just how intense and bizarre that was for me.  Then, last week, I just sat down on the edge of the tub of my bathroom and started talking to him again.  Him being God.  For the first time in four years.  We just talked.  And it was amazing.  It was like nothing I have ever felt before.

But you don’t have to worry about me becoming some kind of religious nut.  The relationship I have with God is really different than most people in that it’s a strong committed relationship, but it’s also very relaxed and open.  There are no rules really.  I don’t have to do this or that to make him happy.  We’re friends and he loves me just like I love him.  We just talk.  And share our stories.  And from time to time, I take  his advice.

But I do want to tell the story of my life.  And that’s going to take a certain turn.  It’s going to include my mental illness which means you’re going to hear about the fact that I have been hearing voices nearly all of my life.  And one of those voices has been Gods.  I can’t be sure if that’s real or not.  You’ll have to decide for yourself.  Just let me tell you my story and you listen and figure out what you want.

Anyway, I’m going to sum this up now with a clear “Thank you”.  I have enjoyed writing on this blog for the batch of you who read this.  And when I get around to it, it will mean a lot to me knowing I can count on your all to be intelligent, kind readers.

Take care for now,

Jen

Advertisements

Sweet Things   Leave a comment

Dear friends,

I love you all. First and foremost, let me just say that because I, by now you know, don’t wait for “special occasions” like Thanksgiving to say sweet things or show my emotions. I have been bitten once too often by the misfortune of time to know that we don’t often get to reach the anniversary of milestones before the definition of our existence is qualified by the manifest of our character. By that I simply mean, it is not the memories of those gathered around a table on holidays that make me filled with love and gratitude, but instead all of those times past when minutes slipped by silent and unknowing and one of you or another had helped me justify my reality that lends to me now this feeling of such full honor and reward. As I prepare for a quiet celebration this Thursday, just a small meal that I will prepare myself for the two of us and then in the evening meeting up with my dearest friend for some not-so-casual conversation, I am thinking of everyone living up to their traditions who are surrounded by families and friends and busy with the coming of Christmas. I don’t celebrate Christmas anymore because I live its message all year round and no longer believe in its foundational origination. The same as I gave up faith for knowledge and prayer for learning, I have given up telling stories for sincere communication and dwelling on the past for weaving my timeline so that I can constantly be present while ever moving forward, slow and with purpose. I come to you now, humble and with a sincere heart, offering you with all the hope, honesty and innocent commitment I can muster, my love and friendship and my constant effort to be a quiet place where your weary heart may find comfort, your tired soul may find peace and your restless mind may find refuge. As you have all done for me, from time to time, whether you know it or not, I extend to give you now and always. I love you, my friends. Thank you for bringing me to this place of self love and acceptance. I could never have found me without you.

Enjoy your holiday,
Jen

Something Transitional   Leave a comment

 

My head is really cloudy and I’m not sure where I’m going to wind up.  I’ve spoken with a good friend and I’ve explained a little bit to my girlfriend, but I don’t think I’ve said nearly enough to anyone.  The main reason is because I don’t believe I have much of a clue as to what is going on with me.

There is quite possibly a chance that I am actually doing really well and about to bust out with something amazing; some remarkable period of growth and enlightenment.  Or that could just be the budding development of a manic episode about to take me down a very dark road.  I don’t know.  I guess we will just have to watch and see.

What I am aiming to report here is this:  I know that I have been holding on to this, this life and this concept of existence for far too long.  So whether it is death in a final sense or death as a means of rebirth and growth or something transitional or what have you, something needs to change.  I am not depressed and hoping to leave, but I am not going to lie about my eagerness, my desperate need to move on from this state of being.  If I can’t find a way to make something happen then I will have little choice, so I am going to try with all my heart, all of my creativity, all my tattered faith, all of my hope, all of my childlike wonder, all of my love, all my sense of responsibility, all of my lust for joy and thirst for knowledge and anything and everything that can propel me and move me further and beyond to make something of this life.  I am not trying for success or fortune or fame, but for some sense of purpose.  Art and integrity and a personal value that is currently lacking, I need to believe in myself again.

Right now, with all of the pretty faces that shine on me with such love and devotion, while they find me and bring me warmth it is like the sun baring down on a dead body.  I need to be jolted with the spirit of life again.

To continue like this is exactly the same thing as being dead.  And I will not allow myself to lumber around the planet, a giant and wasteful, draining the joy out of those that love me, corpse that can furnish no purpose and offer no further hope.

So while I hope this letter is the end of this despair and the beginning of me kick starting my way back or some fresh start, if nothing changes then take it as the beginning of a goodbye that will not drag on and on.  I don’t have time to waste.  I’m tired of wasting.

I still love.  And that’s why I know it’s about time I start this process.

Jen Czahur

Storytellers   Leave a comment

 

 

I grew up hearing people say to my mother that she should write a book.  It’s true, to hear her tell her life out in story form made her sound like some sort of wild and crazy character who had not only herself been interesting, but had also been invested and involved with other such colorful people and plots.  But as I’ve gotten older and I’ve met my fair share of people and as I myself have had many experiences, I realize that nearly everyone should write a book if all that matters is the story involved.  We all have something interesting to say.  What makes it worth telling isn’t the story, it’s the storyteller.

It’s a rare breed of animal that can captivate you with a tale.  Someone who makes you want to sit, mouth hanging open, eyes wide with wonder, ears pricked in awe and heart pounding with suspense.  It’s not the story; it’s the person telling the story.  Think about it.  Think about how many times someone has told you about something as simple as a trip to the store and it was a revelation.  We need to cherish our storytellers.  We need to prop them up and ask them, beg them if necessary, to tell us their tales because they are the essence of what it means to be human.

But my guess is it won’t take much to get them to start talking.  After all, a true storyteller is always merely awaiting her audience.

Seek these people out.  Live and learn and pass along the passion of this amazing art.

Jen Czahur

Splinter   Leave a comment

 

Red crosses lay at the foot of my bed

Made of splintered wood and stained

By the blood of battle tested,

War weary bodies thrown

On pyres, neglected by the sought after

Mighty and glistening celestial

Gods that demand in their own absence

What preachers and holy mother church

Postulate and ascertain by design of

Their own reward and etched out

In palaces and rectory halls

With sure hands that find their way

Into the very minds that doubt whether or not

There is reason to believe

Reason to question

Cancel out the faith that brings in the

Guardian light and the eager deeds of what every

Mother and father has put upon each young soul

I am not a believer

In heaven and hell

I have cast out my own demons and denounced my

Own bitter need for the sky lord

Still voices echo in my war torn head

And I find no sleep

Only red crosses at the foot of my bed

Made of splintered wood

Stained with my blood

My body warming by the flames of the nearby

Pyre.

Jen Czahur

Gust   1 comment

 

I’ve tried to learn as much as I can during this life.  That doesn’t mean I’m very educated.  It doesn’t mean that my memory is all that crisp and full of exact times, names and dates.  But I have on as many occasions as I have been able to open my mind and eyes to the wonder of a situation so that I can see things from various perspectives, challenge my own take and respect the complexities that make up the ins and outs of what is going on around me.  I do believe that the best way to know my own heart and mind is to know just what makes other people feel the way they do.  I try to listen, to debate just enough to make sure that I fully understand what you are saying, to make sure that you fully understand what you are saying.  Very rarely am I trying to convince you that I am right, because I figure that if I am you will see it for yourself if the right answer is what you are truly seeking out.

But at the end of it all, what I have been confronted with most in recent events is that people often feel the need to challenge what they are uncomfortable with and in that robust and awkward rebellion they really don’t allow themselves the bliss of being unsure.

It’s truly a remarkable experience.  To just be free of all of your assumptions and fantasies and to let go of what you’ve settled for; you need to allow for the truth and the truth is simply this: you don’t know.

I grew up with a lot of love.  I had parents who were as close to being magical and mythical as you could ever hope to find.  That doesn’t mean that they were traditional and that doesn’t imply that I had it easy.  But I see where I was blessed and lucky.  And I see where, even though I was denied and wronged, I have had an incredible opportunity to build my own magic.  Because I am able to come to you now, a 38 year old woman who worked and sacrificed to construct strong relationships with my mother and father, do not pretend to understand just how this has all come about.  You do not.  This is not a fault of yours.  But you pretending to understand, pretending to know, pretending your situation was the same is a fault because it is disrespectful.  My truth is not unknowable, but if I have not explained it to you then you do not know it.

I love my parents and I want to simply be in a positive place regarding them both now.  I was the primary caregiver to them both in their final days.  They have both passed.  I can honestly say that I was each of their best friends as they were mine the last years of their lives.  I see no reason to trash talk them.  I did the work to heal and to fix and to move on.

But this does not mean that I am at some whimsical place where I am comfortable having someone impose on me their version of my truth.  Do not tell me that my mother or father did this or that for me when you have no idea who they were or how they treated me.  Part of my mental and spiritual health comes from my journey.  And that entails me starting as a child who was not properly cared for, who was not validated or safe and who learned to fend for myself.  And then after years of struggle and self doubt, a long process of fighting demons and caring about people who left me to the wolves whenever it suited them, I found it within myself to gather strength, compassion, loyalty and self-awareness.

When I speak with love, kindness and warmth it does not mean that I have gotten over the wrong done to me.  It means that I am bigger than the wrong done to me because I have found a way to grow because of it.  I have used all of the gifts and all of the burdens to develop into the most brilliant version of me that I am currently capable of being and that is not a pursuit that I am finished realizing.  I am forever a work in progress.

I wish I understood why some people feel so compelled to dig up reasons to exploit their pasts.  Why some need to showcase their parents or others as villains and paint themselves as victims.  We all have pain and we have all been hurt and denied.  Human beings are flawed and we let each other down.  Just like you have been let down, you have let others down and yet you want to be praised and adored for what you have done well.  I find it odd how often the words vicious and cycle get placed together.  It is the nature of a cycle to be persistent.  It’s not vicious, it’s merely undeniable.

Instead of talking about how crazy you are or how abused you have been, do me a simple favor.  Make a list of all of the wonderful things you have to be truly grateful for.  Do it right now, don’t put it off.  Don’t complain, don’t compare, don’t trivialize or forget just what assets you have that you so easily forget to mention.

I’ll list mine here for you now.  I’ll list them so that you can see just how amazing my life is.  Because along with all of the sadness and hardship, I have been so incredibly fortunate and I know it.  I never let myself forget it.  And the only thing that ever takes my sights off of all that I have to be happy about are those moments when I talk to someone and they do one of two things.

  1. When I am trying to explain who I am and where I’ve been and instead of just learning about me they need to compete and tell me how rough they have had it by comparing.  It’s so sad that they waste such an intimate opportunity to get to know me by trying to play a game like this.  I’m not telling you how horrible things really were.  You don’t know the darkness I’ve lived through.  You should respect me and the life I’ve lived enough to trust that for me to be in the situation I’m in I’ve been through things you can’t imagine and just let me have my grief without trying to one up me.  (I do give a good amount of time to listening)
  2. When I am talking to someone about a third party who I know incredibly better than the 2nd party and the person I am talking to can’t let go of their preconceived notions and little fantasies long enough to trust my hard won truth.  I shouldn’t have to deconstruct someone before your very eyes.  I know this person.  You do not.  Let go of your over-romantic bullshit and consider for a moment that there is a lot you don’t know and allow me to state what I’ve stated without contention.  If you can’t allow it, then at least be respectful enough to question it as a means of seeking more information but never in a manner in which you are forcing your distorted view back onto the more knowledgeable person.

And now for the stuff that I’m truly grateful for:

  1. I have the most loyal and passionate friends who have stayed close to me no matter how much time or distance has come between us.  They found that sacred place in my soul that was calling out to them each individually and allowed for it to reach their hearts and never have they denied that bond between us.  There are many of them and they know who they are.  My grandmother always mocked people in my family for “thinking” they had friends when she thought only family could be so close, but my mother always said to me, “I cannot believe how truly blessed you have been to have such amazing friends.  You must really be something special.”  It wasn’t until these last couple of years when we were so close and honest with each other when she really got to know me that she found herself able to say, “I see now why you have such beautiful friends, Jen.  You are one.”
  2. The last 2 and half years with my mom.  She and I laughed and cried and cuddled so much that I think I honestly don’t even feel sorrow in her passing.  I feel her love so much still that I don’t “miss” her.  I still have the warmth of her with me.
  3. Being there for my father when he was weak.  My dad was a bad ass kind of guy.  I was with him in bar fights and other shady operations and I never had to worry about my physical well-being when he was around, but in the last few months of his life he was really feeling the effects of his illness.  And even though most people would be overwhelmed with the shock or sadness of it, I found myself being really content because it was the only time in my dad’s life (at least in my lifetime) where he needed someone and he didn’t have to sacrifice his pride to be taken care of.  Earlier in his life, he was ill and he had to swallow a lot of pride because I wasn’t around and he needed other people to help him.  And when they helped him it came with a lot of bullshit.  That’s just how it happens where we come from.  And my dad had a real way of making trouble for himself too.  So in those last few months, having me there to care for him and him still being my hero and still being able to hold his head high even if he couldn’t lift it himself, it meant a lot to us both.  I get upset often about being left alone to care for him because it wasn’t fair to either of us.  But truthfully, my friends and my niece were there for me at the end and it helped me realize that family is what you make of it.  I love my dad.  With all of his flaws and with all of our problems, he helped me realize that you don’t give up on people just because it’s hard going.  But you can give up on people even when you’re related if it’s the right thing to do.  He didn’t deserve to be given up on.  I don’t either.  And I’ll always be a daddy’s girl.
  4. Words.  That’s right.  Words.  Whether its poetry, lyrics, a long rant in a blog, a passage from a book or a conversation full of whimsy or conviction, words are the magic that allows me to surf the tides of this varied life.  My own odes or those of others, they are the saints of the religion of my mind.  And with them I am capable of things left only for me to imagine.

Oh there is so much more!  But why keep listing when I can keep enjoying?  I’ll write more at another time about this.  But my main point is your life is wonderful too.  You just need to enjoy it.  Stop bitching, stop complaining.  If you can’t find the sunshine, then maybe you should stop looking for it in the night!

I am mentally ill.  I freely admit this.  It’s not self-diagnosed.  It’s not a convenient way of explaining why I’m moody or difficult.  If you can “manage” your problems, then maybe you should stop trying to convince yourself or others that you have so many of them and instead be really happy that your life is going so well!  If you don’t need therapy and medication then you shouldn’t try so hard to find ways to bring negativity into your world.

Everyone gets depressed, stressed, anxious and overwhelmed.  This doesn’t mean that you’re crazy or suffering from something.  And just because you can identify with a list of symptoms doesn’t mean you have a mental illness.  When someone who truly has a mental illness has to deal with a person who tries to compare themselves over and over again not only is it tiresome, it’s disrespectful.  It’s like you’re saying, “Yes, I have the same problems, but I don’t need the help you need and I can still do all the stuff you can’t because I’m better then you.”

Well, fuck you very much!

At the end of all of this I just want to part saying the following:

Every day is a struggle for me because I am caught in the middle between a revelation and a nightmare.  I am just inches from stepping into a shaft of pure sunlight and teetering backwards off of a cliff which has me precariously perched above a hellish concept of non reality.  I am trying to, at the very least, maintain my footing if not proceed forward.

If I find you in any way a gust of wind in the wrong direction you will cease to be a part of my landscape.

Jen Czahur

Apple   Leave a comment

 

 

Frantic mind

Creeping out

And settling in corners

Made by the shade

That falls out of windows

Ushered in by curtains

And the potted plant artillery

That formal folks

Have designed to mark

This room from that

And these stories

From the casual lies we utter

To all the passers by

Who reaffirm the needs and wants

Against the backdrops

And the landslides

Of families torn

Communities spackled rich and full

That leaves us panting for more

And burning for purpose

But we have nothing

Just tan lines

Freckles and splotches

Bruises and the leathery reminders

And a hope like cancer

Eating away at us

Doubt is our free clinic

But in the long lines

We cave

And the Jesus nurses

Offer us forgiveness, comfort, compassion

All for the price of eternal sin

An apple a day

Be still my reasoning mind

And sink my teeth into

This luscious regret

 

 

 

Jen Czahur

%d bloggers like this: