The Joy & Pain of a Broken Empath

Empathy. Many days, it's awful. Being a broken empath? Nearly unbearable. I understand the "gift" of empathy. I understand that those of you who connect with my writing & have encouraged me to *finally* finish my memoir -or any book for that matter- see the spiritual gift of empathy in me. Being able to see & speak into the pain of others is a tremendously beautiful gift God has graciously allowed me to have to make my sista-frans & beautiful brothas a bit more at home in a world full of rejection. But. Empathy is the taking on of others pain. And I am a "high empath." Which means I'm feeling another's pain *almost* as if it were my own. If I'm closely connected to someone who's pain is unleashed in irresponsible ways, I am literally absorbing toxicity much like the dude on the 1st season of Heroes who absorbed others powers after he killed them, except I don't kill people so there's that. I digress.Yesterday I had a safe space conversation in which I ran through … [Read more...]

In Which Rescue is on Deck

I turn 40 later this month, and as such have become hella reflective. This year has been one of the worst years of my life. So much so, I’m thinking of canceling my 40th birthday party. Please, please forgive my swears, but what is the gottdamb mutha-effin’ point of a celebration when you are wildly swiveling through the five stages of grief every other day or week? And please know, I do not say any of this lightly. I do not say that for the sake of page hits, Facebook hyperbole, ‘likes’ or pity.I say this because it’s completely, wildly, disappointingly, surprisingly, mortifyingly true. For those of you who’ve kept up with my blog & my writings know that the implosion of my 1st marriage, a complete breakdown, a fierce custody battle, an ugly divorce are all a part of my story, and that too was deeply painful. This year rivals the level of pain & hopelessness of those years. I cannot say why. I am still surprised at the turn of events. I only know life is as equally a nightm … [Read more...]

Sitting with Jesus at Sex Camp

I remember meeting Jesus once at sex camp. It wasn't our first meeting, but an important one.Everyday I walked up to a giant, beautiful, colorful painting of Jesus’s head, hair blowing in the wind. The massive painting hung on the wall of the Church where I was attending a week long retreat for women being treated for female sex addiction...what I like to call 'Sex Camp.'When I first saw the painting I was taken aback. Great art captures one that way. And the size, my God, it was huge. I said “well hello there Jesus.” In that moment he seemed so real with his piercing brown eyes bigger than my head. In the course of the week, every time I passed it I'd say “Hi Jesus!" I’d try to say sweetly but somewhat sarcastically “it’s another great day at sex camp!”  "How are you feeling about sex camp?"  "Me?" "Oh, well I feel deep shame & loathing self-pity, so there's that. I'd rather be on a cruise. No offense."Join me to read the rest over at the Mudroom blog?&n … [Read more...]

I Used To Be a Minister

I used to a be a Minister. I served in a ministry position for 12 years. For about 259 reasons I walked away from it, which was healthy & necessary at the time. Intuitively, I knew the storm brewing in my heart and life was bigger than I could handle. Also, I was one half of a crumbling, toxic marriage. As the nightmares of life grew I went on to have a breakdown of sorts including but not limited to PSTD, depression and spectacular moral failures of epic proportions. The marriage disintegrated into a million little ugly pieces, followed by a traumatic divorce & an equally traumatic custody battle where I genuinely feared I would lose my children. During that time, I lost my job, every penny I had, I was *nearly* homeless, slightly suicidal and spent a week in rehab followed by months in Anonymous meetings. I threw away a lot. I ran from a lot. I lost a lot. I hurt a lot. I was hurting. Deeply, deeply hurting.When I’ve casually thrown around the phrase “I put a blo … [Read more...]

I Am at Peace

After years & yearsof angst & soul crushing sorrow,I am at peace.What I've been through to get here......seems downright unmentionable.Peace born from resolve,is greater than happiness.But also, surprisingly there’s happiness too!I am so in love with my husband.My boys are priceless, rowdy treasures.And the joy of a bonus daughter?What four on earth could be more beautiful?I'd give them the sun, moon, stars & the ocean,each & every one.There’s something different about this love I’m receiving,this love I’m giving...its overflowing & going outwildly.I'm softening to enemies,previous abusersand just regular old shitty, inconsistent friends.This love is overflowing & going outwildly.I’m learning to practice this: love anyway.I’m rejecting petty,because, God’s daughter.I’m longing for peace & reconciliation,in new, in confusing ways.I don’t know the “how” just yet,let me live,let me learn. … [Read more...]

In which it is okay for me to exist here

I shared a FaceBook post last week that made me feel powerfully vulnerable and ashamed.  Bloggers call this a "vulnerability hangover," which seems pretty all true.  I shared it after tossing and turning one night, after hearing some harsh words spoken about me, I wanted to rise up and defend myself.On a subterranean level, I wanted to articulate that it was okay with me to be heard, to be powerful, to stand up for myself.  I wanted to acknowledge the depth of my struggles -as I've tried to again & again- while also acknowledging that my marriage as a living, breathing organism deeply wounded me as well.  That's not something I've been able to articulate in very many settings, if it all.  I've mentioned over the years an abiding depth of sadness but Lord knows I wasn't able to articulate the plethora of issues we faced beyond my counselor and 2 trusted friends who "got" it.Later, the fall out.  A few Faceboook friends lost (though I did invite this) & an acknowledgement … [Read more...]

The Day I sent my Daddy to Prison

I was jittery nervous in that witness box. I shoved sweaty hands under my little thighs to keep them from shaking.  Across and in front of me, Ma was on my left, Dad on my right.  On my direct right, the honorable Judge So-And-So presiding.  The court recorder was down in front, the jury,  my lawyer, my fathers lawyer, and a room full of strangers were watching the proceedings.  I was not briefed beforehand.  Though vague memories of “just be honest, honey,” persist.Questioning began.  My lawyer asked questions and I answered politely.  I got a warm reception.  And then he asked me to use my fingers to describe what my Dad had done.  I said no.  I looked to my father, but he wouldn’t make eye contact.He was understandably mortified, but I was too.  I needed him to look at me.  I didn’t move for what felt like a long time.  I had the feeling of dread coursing through my body.  You know the feeling you get when your car starts slipping and you’re certain you’re going to plunge into … [Read more...]

God am I really trusting you because ‘ish is f*cked?

About 7 months ago, shit fell apart.  All the way apart.  In every way, apart.  Complete decimation of normalcy.  It was, in part what divorce and custody battles do to folks, but there was so much more.  Nothing felt scarier than transitioning out of a 14 yr. marriage whilst facing the worst part of myself whilst taking a moral inventory of my soul.  Nothing felt scarier then scooping out 15 layers of grime, gunk, filth, dirt & shame particles everywhere.  When I wasn't scooping, I sat there inhaling poisonous fumes fearful to move, fearful to scoop, fearful to admit defeat. Paralyzed by fear, yet hungry for change.During that time -the worst of the worst time- a former InterVarsity colleague and friend of mine, Joe Ella invited me to a retreat she was planning for women in ministry, official or unofficial.Joe Ella, chile, I am in no place to be "in ministry," I said. But she assured me that it was a retreat to pour into women and she wanted me there.Joe Ella, chile, I … [Read more...]

God Knits

"And now you ask me through your tears, the age-old question through the years: Heredity or environment, which are you the product of? Neither, my darling, neither. Just two different kinds of love."////{via}Who am I? Why I'm here?I'm here because he saw her. They said yes to adulterous passion.  It's simple as that.Eons before all that, He decided to make a Grace Sandra Green.  Throughout 1976 He did a little knitting.  He knew my name, frame & favorite video game.  Tetris. A centennial baby, He said.That covers the "why," unless we focus on those pesky "why's" that give us these existential mid-life crisis'.Who am I after grit & grace, in between the passionate lover and the angry advocate?Dunno.I am lost. I am found.I am slathered in grace but bound by judgement.  {My own}I am quiet with Him.  I am loud in emotion.I am sorry.  I am proud.I am beautiful.  I am yellow.I am a Mama. I am selfish.I am dreaming.  I am nightmar … [Read more...]

Amazing grace: that saved a RATCHET ASS like me

This is MY & OUR story.My story is that I like to write.  That may be the STUPIDEST understatement of the year because I can't NOT write: even when I don't want to, my brain writes Facebook status, tweets, blog posts, books, chapters, arguments and ALL MANNER of thing, in ALL MANNER of inconvenient times.My story is that I've rarely -not ever- but rarely cared what the majority of people think of me at any random time.  My husband has always accused me of "personality crafting" online ---trying like hell to shape an opinion of myself that I approve of --- when truthfully, I've told my story with little regard for what folks make of it. (Repeat: little regard, not no regard).  That he and others have misunderstood my intentions to share vulnerably has mattered little to me ---obviously because I've continued to do it.  Quite honestly, I've HATED when folks use their uncomfortability to silence me, their list of "why's" absurd as the day is long.My story is that I have ver … [Read more...]