Sunday Shortie: Healing: Finding Ida


Another Sunday Morning Shortie. A few quick thoughts, typed out fast, minimal editing.

I had no idea the kind of shape I was in until I found myself hiding behind the kitchen barstools. Honest to goodness, I didn’t understand the extent of damage my soul had taken. No wonder I stopped that feeling business.

Well, phewy on that. I don’t want to stay damaged. I want to be whole and healthy in this lifetime. My children need their mom. My grandchildren need to see a strong, mature woman who’s life is a testimony to the saving grace of God. I’m not leaving this place without a fight, dadgumit.

I believe healing is active, a partnership. God provides, we walk forward. So if someone recommends anything as good medicine for the soul, I give it to prayer. Here’s some stuff I’ve found helpful.


I’ve got a good friend who understands if I get a little carried away. She tut-tuts appropriately in all the right places. This is not stuff for the kiddies, it’s not stuff I want to share with my ever-so-patient counselor. This is me– Ida Mae– squealing like a piggie at all the injustices of the world in general and my life in particular.

I try not to abuse her patience. I’m convinced she’ll get a special jewel in her crown for suffering long with her hyperbolic friend. *She* is a  jewel and someday, maybe I’ll be healthy enough to reciprocate.


Perhaps this should go without saying. I was highly opposed to counselors for years, mostly because I still thought the thinking of thoughts in my head belonged to me and not to the one planting his thoughts while yanking up mine. Some days, I still have to stop and say, Ida? Do you *really* believe the world is flat or are you spouting off the anti-husband’s talking points. Again.

The counselor is my weeder. He challenges my thinking. He says back the things I say so I can hear the Crazy. Counseling is helping in ways I’m not able to articulate just yet. I am a fan.


Somewhere during the first seven years, I quit listening to music. Music is all about eliciting an emotional response and I was short on those.

Before I left, someone mentioned Pandora, a free internet radio. I started by going all the way back and finding music from my childhood. I clicked on YouTube links posted by friends on Facebook. I listened to songs of love and loss and heartbreak and cried along. Felt pretty good.

Now I have an extensive library of music in all sorts of genre’s I never thought I’d like. The other day, I heard this fantastic mariachi singer and while I didn’t understand a word, I resonated with the emotion in his deep voice. I’m going to make up some words and sing along next time.


I’m a writer, not an artist. I lost my words for a long, long time.

When all my words were gone, I found a box of Prang watercolors at Walmart and a spiral bound journal of watercolor paper. I listened to The Eagles  sing Already Gone and swished some pretty colors on blank paper. The colors make me happy.

Later, the counselor suggested going further. I bought a professional set of watercolors, thicker paper and a squirrel-hair brush that makes me giggle every time I think of the little furry rats combing their tails for the sake of art.

I found I can lose myself  working through the intricacies of painting the same way I once did with words. My pictures are just copies of stuff I find on the internet. There’s all sorts of free instructional stuff online and the results are pretty good, especially viewed from a distance with squinty eyeballs. I send unsolicited phone pix to the kids and let them tell me how good they look. They are quite accommodating.

Just as an FYI, I credit all squirrel-kind with helping find my lost voice. If squirrels don’t get crowns in heaven, I’ll make my own and pass them out.

Angry Walks

These on-purpose, mad walks feature plenty of ranting, only to the Father this time.  I pull out my arsenal of Psalms-type fussing and let the ‘smite my enemies’ fly with an occasional ‘how long, Oh Lord?’ thrown in for good measure. I may not feel better when I’m done, but I am tired. Tired means sleep. Sleep is a good thing. Seriously, as long as I’m fussing anyway, why not take it to Someone with the authority to change things?

My safe little prayers of yesterday just don’t cut it these days. I’ve got a whole passel of damaged kid-lings on my hands and an anti-husband who continues to provide kerosene for the fire. I don’t see the angry walks letting up anytime soon.


My journals are password protected and for my eyes only. Only me and Jesus will ever see the secrets written on those pages. I read the prayers I wrote, the anguish of a heart in bondage. I recall the beast’s words and actions, free of all the fog, written out, dated along with my at-that-moment  gut response. They resonate with first-hand experience. My memories do not.

My memories are clouded and I doubt them. Too many years of confusion. Too many words spoken into my soul. Too much poison ingested on a daily basis.

Journals are history. I look back and confirm dates. I see patterns. They confirm the truth of my story.

I see how far I’ve come and I’m thankful for the blood on the pages.

Today my journals are about hope. I write about you– the others I meet here and how your kindness sustains my heart. How the stories we share mend places in my soul I didn’t realize needed the attention. About plans for a future and the gentle art of living in peace.

My journal is my prized possession and quite literally, I ran back into a house about to blow sky-high to save it.

But that’s another story. . .

2 responses »

  1. Well… pretty darn close to the healing and finding Renee:

    Ranting- check (I’ve got a wonderful handful of women who listen attentively and indulge me in this needed “luxury”)

    Counseling- check ( a wonderful christian woman counselor who “GETS IT”)

    Music- double check (love the oldies that my “old self” used to groove and/or cry to)

    Journaling- check (written with angry pen marks on many-a-tear stained page)

    Ranting again- check again 🙂

    Art -not so much, but I do make some pretty, yummy scones for a local coffee shop!

    Angry Walks – not so much (bad knee), but I do work up quite a sweat on the elliptical at the rec center

    Books/blogs/and websites – reading all I can on the subject of abuse, narcissism, sociopaths, domestic violence etc. and following amazing blogs and forums such as yours, Cindy Burrell’s, Barbara Roberts’, Linda Martinez-Lewi’s and any other ones that can lend any sort of method to the madness

    Thank you, Ida Mae, for sharing your shortie today… a great dose of medicine for my soul.

  2. There’s a bunch that needs to be written on the subject of healing for emotional/verbal abuse victims. When you can’t see the damage, its hard to know where to start. At least with a broken bone, you’ve got some idea what’s needed.

    Glad you mentioned the books because understanding is so vital to healing. Sometimes though, a book will be hitting *way* to close to home so I have to put it aside and go paint squirrels. You wouldn’t believe how long it took me to get through The Verbally Abusive Relationship~

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