Stop Believing Family is Supposed to Love You, When They Don’t

Older sister on the left and me on the right, and younger sister in front.  I remember this day at Wildwood NJ
Older sister on the left and me on the right, and younger sister in front. I remember this day at Wildwood NJ

When I wake in the morning I always grab my Nook, swallow 10 mg of methadone and start my daily routine on the web, while waiting for some of the pain to subside, so I can get on with my day, which usually includes 12 hrs or more in front of my laptop on my other website http://mynameisjamie.net or writing my book “InsideOut” There are three of ten chapters written so far that can be found on the opening page of that site. The weather isn’t nice outside, so I have a reason to hole up inside. I absolutely hate cold weather and won’t go out in it if I don’t have it.

I’m beating about the bush. I happened on some posts at https://drkottaway.wordpress.com/ about how childhood trauma can affect you.  There are quite a few great posts here and is a worthwhile blog going to.   I have some deep issues dealing with my family and they came to a head recently and dealing with them has not been easy. I decided to just write and get it out.

I am inserting a piece of music I recorded. My music is all improvisational, never to be played again.  A wrong note here and there. Keep that in mind and listen while you read.

———————————————–Sonni Quick   copyright 2015 -Watching and Waiting

When we are children, we have no way to process the things that happen to us, so we end up thinking it is our fault and most of the time it affects who we are to this very day. It’s not so easy to just say, “I won’t think about it any more.  It won’t affect my life any more”, because the damage has already been done and all we can do is pick up the pieces and try to use what we have learned in a positive way somehow. Easier said than done.  I don’t think any child escapes trauma of some kind and even though it may even seem like such a small thing today, back then it affected everything – which then affects your existence today.

Me, my father, my older sister and younger sister. Happy family time.
Me, my father, my older sister and younger sister. Happy family time.

I went through a molestation with a visiting uncle who took his penis out and wanted me to touch it. I did. He did it one of my sisters, too. I didn’t find that out, though for 45 years. I never told anyone. Neither did she. He didn’t visit for long, so he had no other opportunities to do anything else. I don’t know why I never said anything, but I knew it was wrong.  What do you say, “Uncle took his thingy out” – when I don’t even think I knew then what it was called? I never told anyone until I was in my 50’s. 

Negative family relationships

I have a sister a year older than me who, when I was 5, when we were walking to school, wouldn’t let me walk with her, and this 6 year old told me, “I don’t want anyone to know you are my sister.” Until we graduated, if she saw me in the school hall she turned her face away. If my own sister didn’t want me around why would anyone? I hated to go to the lunch room in fear I’d have no one to sit with.  Gym class petrified me and I thought of every excuse I could to not have to play games where people picked other people for their team. Since I had no friends, of course I was usually picked last or close to it. Until I graduated I had very few friends. Until I was 34 I had very few friends. I scared people off by not being friendly first, so I didn’t have to worry if I was going to be rejected. I had such a fear of rejection I rejected them first. Why would someone want to be friends with me?

It wasn’t until I started practicing Buddhism and this woman I didn’t know called me and asked if I wanted to come to a discussion meeting.  I stood there with my hand on the phone in total amazement. A woman called me like she was my friend?  She wanted me around? I remember this so clearly.

Aside from this, I hustled pool, changed my name and reinvented myself several timees.  spent many years working as a professional musician, on stage many, many times. Confident, strong and an air of being so sure of myself and my goals.  I needed no one.   My wall was very high. My confidence alone pushed people away.  I could walk into a club and pick what man I wanted to spend time with and walk out with him.  I made myself believe I needed no one.

It’s easy to see why my family didn’t quite know how to deal with me, but did they need to be quite so hurtful? We’re in our 60’s.  Okay, I led a very diverse life. It sure wasn’t boring. This truth telling has only been the tip of the iceberg? Could I have led their lives doing the same thing over and over for decades?

I have a younger sister, but we were never “sisters”. She has recently made it clear that she doesn’t know ” how”.  A few weeks ago at the age of 61 my older sister had quadruple heart bypass surgery. I have a fairly large family. Mom, and also a variety of neices and nephews and their families.  Everyone was at the hospital to support her – except me, because I knew if I went it would cause a big problem. So I stayed home and kicked the walls for a few days. I sent her a card, said nice things in about wanting to see her, wrote her an email asking her to please call. She won’t answer her phone because she sees it’s me. No response.

Four years ago I had to move home to Pa from Key West. I lost my home and my business, a retail store of ten years at the Weston Hotel where the cruise ships docked.  I lost everything. My husband and I moved to my mothers into a 10×10 room.  My whole life was in storage or in that room.  I think my family expected me to be a whole person, but I wasn’t.  I was shattered into tiny pieces that were unable to process thought very well any more. I was very sick and was put on the liver transplant list, because 40 years ago, when I left home to go to college, I turned to drugs.

Drugs took the place of friends. people don’t do drugs because it makes them feel bad. It fills a hole. It puts good feelings in a place there is none. I had no self worth and when I was high I could come out of myself and play and dance and sing and be the person I wanted to be. It gave me fortitude the same way a drink gives fortitude to an alcoholic.

I was raped once when I was about 20. The only person I told was this man’s girlfriend. I ended that relationship. All I did was run away and spent 3 days shooting heroin, but stopped the first time I felt sick and knew it would make me feel better. I made a sign on a piece of cardboard and hitchhiked home, although home was not where I grew up.

Except occasionally,when I went to Pa every couple years to visit, I had no communication with my sisters. Why?

I had a problem with drugs off and on until age 34.  Once and addict always an addict, just like someone never really recovers from alcohol.  One drink can set them back.  I never turned down any drug if it was put in front of my face. But at 34, I found Nichiren Buddhism, which I’ve written about many times. Even my mother changed from Christianity to Buddhism after she took an honest look at what it taught. But it was at age 34, when I realized my life really did have value and I didn’t need to be afraid any more. That was 27 years ago.

That day I stopped doing street drugs. But within months the ugly head of hep C reared with unexplained illnesses.  Since very few doctors knew abou Hepatitis C they gave an addict pain pills for the nerve pain or wanted to give me anti depressants because, since they couldn’t diagnose it, it was all in my head. It was another ten years before I got a diagnoses. I stayed on my feet for 12 more years until my liver was a complete mess and a transplant was necessary. It had turned to liver cancer. I was out of time. I had to move home where there was a good transplant hospital.

Shooting drugs from ages 19-22, hiding from myself and pretending to be someone else was a massive cause and effect.

My mother has always asked me why I did drugs. If I hadn’t left the state to go to college, which I screwed up doing drugs, and stayed home, maybe I wouldn’t have done them? Karma is karma. There are drugs everywhere.  Staying home wouldn’t have changed that, but being away my family also meant they couldn’t see what I was doing.

When I moved back to Pa I thought I would have a family who cared about me.  It was a very big shock, although I don’t know why, to find out that I didn’t.  They didn’t care a whit about what happened to me and proved it over and over and over.  I thought, “Stupid me”

I had that transplant 2 1/2 years ago.  Not one member of my family was there for me that day, except my husband. The rest of my  family went to the beach on vacation. Not one phone call to even see if I was dead. My mother did stop by the ICU on her way out of town. My Dr said my transplant was in the nick of time. My husband was scared to death and there was no one there to support him. My family didn’t like him, either, and they made no bones about saying so. The negative gossip was so thick you could cut it with a knife.  They didn’t know him, but being married to me was all that was needed. I was told I had maybe a couple weeks of life left at the most, if they hadn’t been able to find a liver in time. I’d been bed ridden for about a year by then. My husband had to do everything for me, even wipe my ass and help me on and off the toilet. I was on a massive amount of drugs to keep protein from building up in my brain and going into a coma.  My body swelled up so big with fluid it was leaking out through sores on my legs. Thinking was hard.  All I could was lay in bed and watch movies on my DVD player.  We don’t own a TV.  He would help me walk to the living room to sit or out to the garden and sit. Not one get well card. No one called.  Recently, when talking to my neice she told me how bad I looked before my surgery.  I bit my tongue and kept my mouth shut because I wanted to say, “How would you know?  I didn’t see you once the year before my surgery. . . .  They have no clue.  I was bedridden for a year after the surgery because I had to relearn how to walk and feed myself. After the surgery my back fractured along with 7 ribs, one at a time. The wall of solid pain didn’t even begin to diminish for six weeks. If anyone would have asked me if I wanted to die, I would have gladly gone. Hopefully I will be having spine surgery in the next couple months so they can place sensors in my spine to try and cut off the pain before it reaches my brain. I hate taking these goddamn painkillers. But when I stopped ‘using’ my life made me continue. what would my life be like with no pills, even though half of them are so I don’t reject my new liver.

Now, as I try to bring this sob story to an end, as I try to figure out what all of this means, I know, as we go through painful events in our lives, we want to see them as being separate . We want to see them as things that were done “to” us, and we carry these pains, stuff them down, and try to make ourselves think it doesn’t matter. Sometimes we let it ruin our lives.  I can honestly say that this hateful family of mine is not ruining my life. I seek to understand and change the karma I brought into my life of having a family such as this one.

It hurts me greatly when I think of it, but I have had my practice of Buddhism to help me understand that happiness comes from within.  I can’t ask anything else to change it for me.  That change has to come from within.  Without this practice of Buddhism I would have been dead a long time ago.  It was the direction I was going in.  But winter always turns to spring.  Every single year.  Every year is a new opportunity I have to live a life of value, and to pass that value on, because the only legacy we can every really leave behind is the effect we have had on other people, that has helped their life in turn.  If my family sees no value in me, then that is a cause they make for themselves. I let this consume me for the past four years out of my 60, but no more.  I try to think, what value would they bring into my life?  I have tried, though, because I see how much it pains my mother to see her daughters at such odds.  All 3 of us – none of us are friends.  She thinks she did something wrong.  She didn’t.  I so love and appreciate my mother and if this illness brought me home to live a block away from her, then that is a wonderful benefit. If anything changed with my sisters  it would take all three of us to want it to be better, and two out of three don’t.

I tried for so long to “make” my family see me as a real person – to want to include me in their lives. I’ve pleaded, wrote letters and even screamed and yelled in frustration, “Why? What have I done that is so terrible? Why are you being such a lousy sister?” I wanted to have even one person say they were sorry for letting me go through a traumatic illness, surgery alone, but my younger sister insists, “I have nothing to be sorry about”.  You have nothing to be sorry about??   She doesn’t get it.  Not at all. I wanted an apology for what she did to me. She’s says she didn’t do anything to me.  She’s right. It’s what she didn’t do. 

According to my family I am toxic. I am the scapegoat for all the problems in the family even though they haven’t been around me. This year, for Christmas, my mother and I cooked dinner and invited family to come.  They did, but there was also a Christmas party planned at my nephew’s house.  Everyone was invited but me so there wouldn’t be any problems. There will be no more Christmas dinners, or birthdays or fourth of July picnics.   I won’t be where I am truly not wanted.  What did they think I was going to do?  Christmas presents I had for one sister are still in my closet.  The birthday card I had for my other sister on March 15th was never sent. For awhile one sister did pretend to care – the one who just had heart surgery, but due to urgings from the family passing gossip, she, too, cut off communication. If I could think of what I did to cause this unforgivable animosity I could deal with it better, but I can’t.  I just don’t understand people who can be so hurtful andso selfish

So I ask myself, why do I want them in my life? What is the purpose of family? Do I judge myself by the way I am judged? Am I the person they judge me to be? No.

I know that what happened when I was five, when my sister made it clear she wanted no part of being my sister – she meant it, even though she didn’t think it at the time, and I’m sure doesn’t even remember saying it. I know the way I felt about myself helped lead me to drugs. I also know, through my study of life through Buddhism these past 27 years that this was karma I caused for myself, somewhere, somehow. It is what I do with this understanding that will either change it or perpetuate it.

For my own sanity I have to let my family go. Stop trying to make them love me, because they don’t. They really, really don’t. They are a group of people that kisses and hugs at holidays and talks about the weather and their jobs and kids, and then doesn’t speak to each other again until the next holiday. So shallow. That holds no value for me. I wanted a sister to be my friend. What is an adult sister but a friend. Someone you talk to about your life. Who you are. I wanted too much from my family. I see that now. I have no value to them. How could we possibly be friends? So how could their children or their children want me as their aunt. So here I am at age 60, finally realizing with utter completeness, I – Have – No – Family. I do still have my mother who loves me and shakes her head at the lack of compassion her family shows me. When she passes, I doubt I will ever be a reason to hear from any member of my family again.  I have my own children and grandchildren, but my immediate family no longer exists.

Now I’m going to go blow my nose and wash my face and take this pile of garbage out to the trash for the last time.

September 2015. Labor Day. I just went back re-read this and thought I’d write a catch up. My entire family and friends are at my older sisters camper at Raystown Lake, so nothing has changed there. Even if they decided I was worthwhile to be around I don’t think it would mean anything to me. Such is life. I also had the surgery on my spine a month ago but it caused complications I’m still healing from. AND 3 weeks ago I started on the new Hepatitis C drug so my fingers are crossed!! And lastly, I bought myself a present. A new keyboard I’m excited. I can record 6 tracks.

20 thoughts on “Stop Believing Family is Supposed to Love You, When They Don’t

    1. But my family doesn’t like it very much – as the problem continues. No one likes to confront the bad things that happen when someone gets hurt. They just pretend it never happened. I can’t play happy happy just because it’s Xmas . Oh well…

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    1. Nothing risked, nothing gained. I know all problems can’t be fixed. There is no magic bullet – but we can change the way we see out problems. When we change something on the inside it changes something on the outside. You, too have it rough. Everyone has their own karmic soup to deal with. I wrote a post ‘The Bear Went over the Mountain’, because ever time we overcome an obstacle there is always another mountain to climb. How we deal with each mountain determines the next one. negativity breeds negativity. Hope breeds hope. We are exactly what we think. If we think we can we can. If we think we can’t, we can’t. We’re right on both counts. A high life condition pulls the right people to you. We have more control than most people think they have.

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  1. SO SORRY ABOUT YOUR NIECE.,I’M IN REMISSION FROM CERVICAL CANCER.I HOPE THEY FOUND IT EARLY.THE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM,ARE ORGANS THAT WE CAN LIVE WITHOUT.I PLAN TO HAVE MINE REMOVED.I HAVE ENOUGH PROBLEMS WITH MY SPINE TURNING INTO A “C”. HOW ARE YOU FEELING AFTER YOUR SURGERY?

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    1. My neice is doing okay. She was lucky. I had my ovaries and tubes removed before liver transplant. I had cysts for years so they took them out. They have to be careful about any infections when you are on rejection meds – because of low immune system. today my incisions are starting to heal but it hurts to stand up. Pressure on spine. Today I’m going to turn the machine on. It’s been on low until now, so the electricity will be flowing!! I have a piano student coming in an hour. That will be the first test!

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  2. BEING CHRISTIAN MY BIBLE SAYS A MANS FOES WILL BE THEY OF HIS OWN HOUSEHOLD WE HAVE WITH ALL THE THINGS WE GO THRU I HAVE LEARNED ITS NOT WHAT HAPPENS TO ME BUT HOW I REACT I CAN LOVE PEOPLE WHO DONT LOVE ME IF MY CHILDREN DONT WANT TO SEE ME I CHOSE NOT BE UPSET AT THEM I MAY HURT BUT WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY FAMILY YOU TOO ITS HOW WE CHOSE TO DEAL WITH IT AND NO MATTER WHICH WAY ITS DEALT ALOT OF TIMES BECAUSE OF OUR PAST WE ACT FROM IT BUT CAN WE CHANGE YES WE CHOICE THE PATH THE ONLY REAL ENEMY I HAVE IS MYSELF(MYSELFISHNESS) MY EGO THEY MAY HANDCUFF ME THROW ME IN PRISON EVEN KILL ME BUT THEY CAN NEVER TOUCH MY TRUTH WHATS INSIDE ITS MINE

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    1. Well said. I’m telling you Rick. I think you’re a Buddhist! This is why I’ve said for a long time that much of the same truth I is found in many faiths. Because the truth is the truth. I could have written what you wrote, these things I’ve learned through Buddhist scripture. I think, through your long quest of understanding your life and your place in it because we both have gone through so much turmoil, and my quest to understand as well,made us look for a way to make sense of it. People see you as they see me and it isn’t the people we are, it’s their perception of us. My mother asked me the other day what I think of you now. You were nineteen when I met you. I told her I liked the person you are now. Anything in the past is simply that. A memory. Each of us andwhat we went through made us who we are today. Had we not gone through it we wouldn’t be who we are. So I will only pursue those relationships with the people around me who have a desire to know who I am. Everyone else has to find their own path.

      To anyone else reading this, Rick is the father of our grown children and 7 grand children.

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    2. I went back and read this again Rick, trying to understand the things that are happening now. I think wisdom is wasted on the old. Would not have done much better if we had the wisdom we learned from our past and instead had it in our youth when we needed it more? It’s so much easier now to look back and say, “I did this and here is my consequence.” Where would I have been if I had done one thing different and it veered the path in another direction. The basic karma is there. The lessons we need to learn are there no matter what, but the time and places would be different. At this point in life it seems that it is one thing after another, all to people you love. Get over one thing just in time for the next. I spoke of a niece in this post? Found out yesterday that she has uterine cancer. I know when my mother calls me at 10:30PM it isn’t because she just wants to talk. So I have to put away anything about how I feel and send my positive energy and pray/chant for her good health and to be strong.

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  3. You never really outgrow your childhood, as the saying goes. I won’t get into why here, but I understand. The idea or ideal family is one that it supposed to back you, to be in your corner, to understand the saying that “blood is thicker than water”. Some people, some families, just don’t.

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    1. I know now. I think I was gone too long and when I came back they didn’t know me. I ripped myself up over it for a long time to the point it was interfering in my life – and they didn’t even know it. That’s the kicker. The thought never entered into their minds how I would feel. It didn’t matter. Oh well, time to get over it and move on. It’s their loss, too.

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    2. But at the very core of who I am, I don’t want to treat them the way I was treated, even though, out of spite, sometimes I want to. They have no basic understanding they did anything wrong in the first place, so the path is a difficult one. My mother has made a very good point to me when I say I don’t care anymore and I’ll never try to talk to them again, out of hurt and anger. She said – If you didn’t care it wouldn’t have the power to hurt you like it does. She’s right. The dilemma of our human nature. Do were perpetuate the karma and try to get back at them back, or do we remember, no matter what that they do have good inside them, too, even if they have trouble showing it to me. Should I show them better side of my character instead of giving them continued reason to treat me like I have the plague? I know the answer to that question, but the right thing to do is often the hardest thing to do – and the only thing to do if I want to change it in this lifetime. Which has more benefit? I live in a retirement community and most of my friends are 15 -30 years older than me. Some are alone all the time. It is not that they don’t have any family, it is because they are estranged from them. One woman says she hasn’t talked to her son in ten years, another says her daughter doesn’t care how she’s doing and never calls her ever. They have no one to care about them at the end of the day. Estranged from children and grand children and great grandchildren because the communication broke down with their children. These later generations don’t have the benefit of knowing them with their wisdom, nor do they have the joy of seeing the children grow. I don’t want a life like that.

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    3. I DON’T KNOW IF IT’S KARMA OR SOMETHING ANGELIC,THAT BROUGHT YOU INTO MY LIFE.EXCEPT FOR THE AGE(A FEW YEARS),WE WALKED THE SAME PATH.FROM THE UNCLE, DRUGS,EVIL FAMILY (EVEN MY OWN HUSBAND/CHILDREN).PHYSICAL,EMOTIONAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE FROM MY HUSBAND.HE TOLD ME HE LOVED ME EVERYDAY.I HAVE A HUGE FAMILY ON PAPER. TRUTH, I HAVE NOBODY. MY YOUNGEST DAUGHTER IS THE ONLY ONE WHO TALKS TO ME.I’M HOUSEBOUND BECAUSE MY SPINE IS PROGRESSIVELY DEGENERATING.MY DAUGHTER STOPS BY,WHEN SHE NEEDS SOMETHING.I FEAR WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS.AS I GET OLDER/SICKER, I HAVE NO FAMILY TO HELP.I TOO HAD NO VISITORS, WHEN THEY TOOK PART OF MY SPINE OUT.I WAS A DANCER, MUSIC PROMOTER,WRITER, LYRICIST,POET AND MORE.NOW I HAVE TO LIE DOWN AFTER I FINISH THIS COMMENT;BECAUSE I’M DRAINED. I HOPE WE CAN STAY IN TOUCH.ONLY FIVE YEARS SEPARATE US; AND A FEW HOURS DRIVE BUT IT MIGHT AS WELL BE A BARBED FENCE,SINCE MY DAYS OF TRAVELLING ARE OVER. ……….NEVI IS MY NAME

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      1. Nevi Ill answer more later. I have to go to the hospital in 30 minutes for surgery for my spine to hopefully relieve pain. But one thing Ill say – it was karma – no angels. The law of cause and effect is what moves things in our life.

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      2. I WISH I HAD STARTED TALKING TO YOU EARLIER.5 YEARS AGO, THEY TOLD MY DAUGHTER AND HER STEPFATHER,(MY MALE ROOM OCCUPIER); THAT IF I DIDN’T HAVE SURGERY THAT A SUDDEN STOP IN THE CAR OR EVEN A SNEEZE, COULD KILL ME.THEY CUT FROM THE BRAIN STEM, TO BETWEEN THE SHOULDERS.A PIN WITH A SERIAL NO. AND WHAT WAS LEFT OF MY DISCS WERE GLUED AROUND IT.SINCE THEN : I CAN’T BE IN A CAR,CAN’T SIT UP, HOLD MY HEAD UP AND SUDDEN MOVEMENTS CAN SEVER MY SPINE.THE REST OF MY SPINE IS FALLING APART.MORE SURGERY IS NEEDED. MY ANSWER IS NO, NO NEVER AGAIN.HORRIFIC PAIN THAT NEVER ENDS,ALONG WITH THE FEAR THAT EVERY MORNING WHEN I GET UP; MAY BE THE LAST MORNING I WILL WALK (DRAG) MY BODY.ADD C.O.P.D ,RHEUMATHOID ARTHRITIS,CERVICAL CANCER,AND ON THE MENTAL PART: P.T.S.D ,ANTICIPATORY ANXIETY AND FIBRO WITH SEVERE NERVE DAMAGE; WELL I’M A MESS.IF YOU NEED A LIFT, JUST FIND ME. I WILL UNDERSTAND. BEST WISHES. I’M WORKING ON A GET WELL CARD FOR YOU. THAT I CAN STILL DO..

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      3. I found a few posts I didn’t see from right before I went to the hospital. I h ad wondered what was wrong with you. So you had gone in to have this fixed and they made it worse? Geez, I have trouble putting this in one place in my brain. Life was never supposed to be this hard on anyone. Do you ever get any relief? I know what you can’t do – what is it that you can do? Does anything help?Do you have at all where you live? From what you wrote recently, I don’t think so. Did you ever go to that website I gave you? http://sgi-usa.org

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      4. I HAVE A RARE PROGRESSIVE,DEGENERATIVE SPINAL DISEASE. IT USED TO BE CALLED THE “UGLY WOMAN DISEASE”.THE SURGERY STOPPED MY TERRIBLE MIGRAINES AND HAS KEPT ME OUT OF A WHEELCHAIR.I DO HAVE TO USE A CANE.I’M IN RECESSION, FROM CERVICAL CANCER, ALSO:C.O.P.D, FIBRO, P.T.S.D ,ANTICIPATORY ANXIETY. ….AND MORE. MOST DOCTORS WON’T HELP ME; BECAUSE I’M A DIFFICULT CASE.. THEY WOULD HAVE TO ACTUALLY WORK TO TREAT ME.

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      5. I understand. They can’t afford to give you more than your alloted 15 minutes. I have been fortunate. I’ve had good doctors that have given me their time and have listened. I, like you, have been seeing doctors for a long time. Your list of things wrong looks like mine – long. It would have been so easy to give up. But I have hundreds of people pulling for me. My victory is their victory. Buddhism is about winning. it’s about having courage. This is why I said that learning about this Buddhism saved my life. Life is a rhythm. That is easy to see. The tides, the circle of life – birth, aging, sickness and death. All life goes through it. People who practice yoga or tai chi understand it. How do you get your life into the rhythm that puts you in the right place to find the doctors that can help – to meet the people you need to meet. Everything is the effect of a cause. Somewhere a seed was planted in you. if you don’t find a way to bring positive into your life you continue a spiral down. I chanted for the determination to show proof in my life and know I didn’t have to accept the inevitable. I can win my battles. I can change things. I know I can. I do that by making good causes – helping people – teaching them how to have hope. If I had not reached into jamie’s prison cell and grabbed hold of him he would be ruined by now. He falls – I pull him up. He holds me up when I need it – he too has a purpose. It doesn’t matter that I am 61 and he is 32. This love for a human being surpasses that. I love my husband very much. It is not that kind of love. How could i know him this well and NOT love him. It is this connection that has given him the courage to keep on trying. Through this it will help my grandson, which will help his mother. Lives affecting other other lives. They book I’m writing, which is much much more than what I’ve posted, is something I know I have to do. I can’t let everything else in my life get in the way of that. It is my dreams and goals that give me the energy when I don’t think I have any left.

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      6. Growing up as a Christian, there are a lot of holes in that reasoning. I left the church when I was 18 – became agnostic – It wasn’t until I was 34 that I began studying Nichiren Buddhism and it changed my life. I would probably be dead now. Most people believe what they are taught as children or what their community dictates, not realizing, just because they were taught something doesn’t mean it’s true. But God can’t lose because whether things work out or not, then God works in mysterious ways or it’s part of his plan. He has human emotions and everything. We are such a tiny speck of dirt in the Universe. I can’t believe there is an entity that loves me. BUT – there are so many similarities between the teachings of Christianity and Buddhism. Even the ten commandments, except that Buddhism was teaching it 1000 years earlier. There will never be one religion. Don’t get me wrong. There are many teachings in Christianity that are good, and I do have Christian friends, but most of them don’t REALLY apply what they learn. They don’t know how. Christians are often very judgmental. There is more than one way to be happy. Christianity’s teachings are more about after you die and Buddhism is more about your life today. Heaven and hell aren’t places you go to. They are life conditions you live today. I see so many Christians only live their teachings when it suits them – a lot of hate when people don’t believe what they believe. We need to stop trying to make people believe what we want them to believe and concentrate on our own happiness and the happiness of the people around us. Christians call it – you reap what you sow. Buddhist calls it the law of cause and effect, and there are consequences to that. I enjoy learning about other philosophies, but when you get to the bottom line most people want to be happy and raise their families and they only use what is around them and don’t know how to look outside the box. When you deal with something as constant as chronic pain or year after year in a prison cell you have to look outside the box if you want to change it.

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