Thursday, January 15, 2015

Long Blue Line | Chapter 1

Well...reading that that was awkward...if your wondering why I'm reading this story... (see chapter 1 excerpt from Long Blue Line below

I can't help but wonder how many other people out there were also highly sensitive kids. My sister recently finished reading a book on this topic, called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

She actually gave me her copy when she was finished, explaining that it reminded her of myself, almost exactly. I'm not surprised. Apparently, highly sensitive kids also have a brilliant side, if nurtured and understood.

So, when psychology refers to the highly sensitive child, what exactly are they talking about?

Here are some facts that I found to be interesting, and definitely relatable:

  • Highly Sensitive Child, or HSC, is one out of 15-20% of children who are born with an extremely reactive nervous system.
  • Loud noises, sudden changes, or the intense emotions of others can cause the HSC to become easily overwhelmed. 
  • The HSC can have any sort of temperament. There isn't a particular behavior linked to the HSC. Simply put, they're all sensitive to their physical and emotional environment. 
  • The highly sensitive child thinks before they act, sensing potential danger and assessing possible consequences of their actions.
From personal experience, I can say with certainty that having the trait of being highly sensitive as a child and as an adult has been entirely misunderstood by society, and even looked down on. This trait is not generally understood or viewed as a positive trait. This leaves a communication gap between children and their parents, teachers and peers. The HSC is often times a very talented person, who simply needs to be handled and approached with extra care while growing into adulthood. If the parents and teachers are unable to grasp that the child is highly sensitive, it's common for them to become anxious or even ashamed of every small failure.

Is your child highly sensitive? Or, were you highly sensitivee as a child?
I found this questionnaire that can help you recognize the signs to look for.

From this website, I'll share the authors thoughts as I close. And please, please don't allow your highly sensitive child to become a misunderstood label.

Peace and Love,
Lizzy McNew

True Story

Chapter 1 (Excerpt)

My scrawny little 13-year-old body was pumping with adrenaline. I peered over my shoulder and through my nerdy glasses to make sure that no one else in the class had noticed my shaky reaction. My G-rated literature days were over. I had never read anything so intense. It was like a first date - so nerve wracking but incredibly thrilling.
After losing my literature virginity, I started spending all of my free time cozied up in my little twin-sized bed obsessing over these novels. The characters were all young, beautiful girls in their teens. They all had a disadvantaged upbringing and faced horrible tragedy. Most importantly, they all ended up living in some immaculate mansion with a rich, distant relative that they never knew existed.
My young mind was incredibly influenced by these books. These stories started to create their own lives, building into my subconscious. I was suddenly and completely infatuated with tragedy as well as thinking up various ways of becoming rich like the girls in the novels. At the age of thirteen, I was going through the obituaries in the local newspaper hoping to find a rich relative that would leave me their estate. I also put together a flip -book of the future mansion I wanted to own in Palm Springs.
If I wasn’t romanticizing about death or tragedy, it was money I was thinking about or sometimes boys. The thought of boys would take over about a year later. To say I was a little mixed up would be an understatement.
I was always a sensitive kid. The most minor things would severely upset me, especially unexpected loud noises. I’ve been told that the vacuum, toilet flushing, and the blinds being pulled up would put me into a panic when I was a baby. On a night back in 1990, my mother was driving us all home from a weekend visit with my Grandma and Grandpa. First, I was already extremely upset over the fact that I had to leave them. They spoiled my twin and me rotten. Our older sister didn’t mind leaving as much as we did. She was a teenager and had more important affairs to attend to. My mom must have bribed me with candy of some sort for the four-hour drive home we had ahead of us. The candy was fantastic. The aftermath, however, was disastrous. It left me sticky. Even worse, the napkin my mom threw to me in the back seat was DRY. Little pieces of this napkin broke off as I tried with everything in my soul to get my hands clean. I was bawling my little eyes out.
 Not only was I sensitive, I was also very imaginative and compulsive. Let’s go back to my very firsts
My First Crush: We all have a first crush. I was only five years old. Seeing him gracefully fly around on his magic carpet, bravely leap from building to building, was all it took to have me completely in love. I had dreams of flying over the city every night. When I woke and realized that the only Aladdin I had with me was a Barbie doll, it practically broke my heart. I just knew that he would return one day to marry me.
My First Drink: 
Most all of us experiment with the beverage that so many adults elegantly held in their glasses. They refused to share a taste as they rambled on forever appearing to completely adore life and everything about it. Eventually, I got curious! My mom wasn’t much of a drinker, luckily. But other parents were. My best childhood friend, Holly, was just as curious and excited to sample our first drink. I brought a “water bottle” over to her house that night. It was the perfect night for this trial. Her dad was busy working late, and the only company sharing the space was her brothers. The vodka in the water bottle ruined our attempts to be discreet. We were dizzy in the hallway and giggling about how stupid we felt. Holly lectured each and every brother, three total, about the negative consequences of alcohol. They had expressions of fear in their eyes as if she’d gone completely mad. It was epic.
My First Time: 
How I cringe! I mainly cringe because I was just so young. He was my first boyfriend, and his name was Andy. Even though we were just kids, I still believe to this day that we were truly in love. Clearly, we wanted to move much more quickly than we were really ready for, physically and emotionally. We were together constantly for about a year. He lived with his grandparents, and his grandfather picked up a job out of town about four hours away. Eventually, he had to move. On moving day, my mom dropped me off at his house to help him and his grandparents pack. Another friend of ours, Jesse, was there too. The few hours I spent watching him pack his life away was utter heartache and torture. I had a lump in my throat and it took everything that I had in my soul not to break down and cry. I was too embarrassed at that age to show emotion, and for Andy, it had so much depth to it. We were both each other’s firsts - first in everything in the romance department. When my mom returned to pick me up, Andy pulled one of his childhood stuffed animals out from a box about ready to be taped shut. He then doused the bear with his cologne that I loved. Standing in front of his empty garage, with my mom and twin waiting to take me shopping down the hill with them, I had to make the goodbye as fast as possible before I broke down in front of everyone. Andy and I gave each other our last ever hug and a quick kiss with definite plans to be together again. For the next week I cried myself to sleep hugging and smelling the stuffed bear which was all that I would ever have left of my first true love. It took me about three months to realize that we couldn’t be together. We were too young, and having to wait for four years is a long time to a teenager.

Long Blue Line | Pre-Continuation

Shall I begin?
Let's see. I'm the author of my own five-hundred and something page memoir and to be honest...I haven't even read my own book. After spending a year of writing a memoir (or any book for that matter), you'd expect the author would reserve some time aside to read their hard work that they invested so much time into, and relax for once. Not me. 

I didn't have to think about what I would write next. It was already stuffed away in my dark and blurry memory. The most difficult task that I hadn't expected to face was having to actually force myself to think about those memories. It was the most difficult internal battle I've ever dealt with. I would write obsessively for weeks at a time, hardly sleeping as I typed away, and I knew that I would need to take a break when the signs of PTSD began rearing their ugly faces. The flashbacks were getting more intense, and I was getting closer and closer to believing that this time around, I really might end up in a white jacket. Reality was always sure to snap back to me when my husband called my name, or when my little girl demanded that I read her a book. These came to be moments of clarity. I went from devastation to elation in a matter of seconds. This was raw emotion.

I won't lie. The highs and lows sucked at times. But, they were there for a solid purpose. Without forcing myself to feel like shit for one moment, and completely thankful the next, my story wouldn't have the ability to tell itself. I was forced into moments of being faced with two options. Either skip over that one bad part that I really wasn't so proud of, or to suck it up and write with raw honesty

I wasn't writing for other people. I wasn't writing to "get it off my chest". I was writing because I missed myself. I had forgotten who I was and what I wanted to be when I grew up. I missed my young teen years where I spent summer after summer hiding in my bedroom reading my twisted novels. I missed all of the times where I would pretend that I was playing my guitar on a stage, in the spotlight with an audience in total awe.  I missed the moments where I couldn't just not sing along to my favorite songs, and even though I was embarrassed that my mom and sisters could most likely hear the teenage echo bouncing off of my beamed bedroom ceiling, I just couldn't help but sing.
I missed the little girl who I could never return to. I missed the kid who was making flip books of her future mansions in Palm Springs. I missed my childhood.

I needed to know why, or at least understand what could have possibly influenced my future choices as a young adult. I didn't know if I would find answers, but I had to try. I was at a turning point in life, and I knew that if I wasn't brave and continued to keep my eyes closed to my hidden past, my bright future had the possibility of dimming back out to subconscious self-destruction and pain. I wasn't willing to ever go back to that place. My life depended on this. 

I won't lie. I'm not jumping up and down over reading this book. But, my curiosity is slightly killing me. This blog (and whoever reads it) is going to hold my hand.

Never let any obstacle, no matter how great or small, stand in your way of living for your passion and fighting for what you believe in. We get one life. Max it out.

 –E. McNew

And so we rewind to a distant memory in 2001.
Chapter 1 | Long Blue Line

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ambiguous Loss

Ambiguous Loss

How to describe
a loss that's unknown

An undying question
if they'll ever come home.

In your heart you know
that they're ok

But what about the nights 
when they're gone far away?

Hanging by one string
The string of just hope

You can't let it break
It's our only way to cope

Once Upon a Time
Just a fuzzy distant thought

What you wish to have done over
What's left
and who's not

Our last conversation
Last hug and last smile

To feel it once more
You'd run mile after mile

Please God just please

Hold them tight every day
Please strengthen their hope
Let them know that I pray

To lose what's not gone
Is an undying pain

To live for you today
My prayer is to gain

The involuntary hope
For our parents we hold

That one small string
How I value as gold

Broken away
Unfair and gone

Living with today
For you I stay strong

If I don't again
See the memory I plead

I'll hold on to hope
That this life will still lead

This life I call mine
Has lead me to love

True hope
True faith
My Purpose 
All above

My passion is change
God's Light
So Real

No pain shall exist
That our God will not heal

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