Tag Archives: depression

I Still Believe

So my family and I watched this raw and poignant documentary (see movie trailer above) about gospel singer and song writer, Russ Taff. Such a moving and candid story about a six GRAMMY® awards and nine Gospel Music Association Dove awards talented singer, hailed by Billboard Magazine as “the single most electrifying voice in Christian music.” YET, when one would consider him at the top of the world, he struggled deep with depression, emotional pain and despair in many ways.

NEWS FLASH: No one is perfect except the Lord God Almighty! I have NOT arrived, and neither have you! As a Christian, we ALL have a cross to bear, working out our salvation with fear and trembling, fighting the good fight of faith. You may be at the top of your game, but I bet you have a struggle, a needling if you will, in your decaying flesh you wish you could overcome – yesterday! Well don’t stop praying and believing. We work out our salvation by going to the very source of our salvation—the Word of God—wherein we renew our hearts and minds … daily.

In viewing this movie, I appreciated Russ Taff’s honesty and he never tried to gloss it over. He spoke about his religious, strict upbringing (talk about legalism), his own personal shame and debilitation guilt in struggling with an addiction he tried to bury and hide. He loathed himself. So, if we struggle with our earthly parents, will it not be difficult to see our Heavenly Father as loving and forgiving of our own flaws? And if we loath ourselves, then how can we comprehend and accept God’s perfect love for us?

When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see? Some of us are gonna have to open our eyes by faith here!

At the end of this movie, I took away a lot of golden nuggets.

But one interesting term (I had just never heard before): Covert Incest – it is also known as emotional incest, a type of abuse in which a parent looks to their child for the emotional support that would be normally provided by another adult. Wow! I know now what I wished I had known regarding my own childhood so long ago. Such a revelation  for me!

I highly recommend this inspirational film – do not miss it!

 

 

Thank you, Russ, for your candid testimony about your life as a Christian. And thank you for coming to Texas and visiting our church, The Freedom Center, in 2012. I also thank you and your precious wife, Tori, for not giving up on God and on each other. I love you guys!

The best comment was from Tori herself, “Russ is a grateful recovering alcoholic, saved by grace!”

My all-time favorite song by Russ Taff:

 

 

© M.A. Pérez, 2018, All Rights Reserved

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Filed under #istillbelieve, Russ Taff

The Day the Earth Stood Still

https://bible.org/illustration/build-me-son-o-lord

Thoughts …

What is your Father’s or Mother’s Prayer for your children? You’ll probably never achieve the level of accomplishment of General Douglas MacArthur, but when all is said and done, what will make you whisper “I have not lived in vain”?

Reflections From the Heart

“No, not again! Not now!” I cried out in the bathroom. I’ll call Marisa. She’s always been strong. She has it together.

I reached for the phone and dialed her number. When she answered, I blurted, “The test is positive! I’m pregnant.” She’ll lift my spirits.

“Mary . . .” she began. “How in the world will you care for another baby?”

Then again, maybe not.

“What are you going to do?” Marisa squealed.

I thought, If I knew that, I wouldn’t have called you. Wasn’t I the one supposed to get some reassurances, some guidance, some support here?

“I . . . I don’t know, I thought–”

“Mary, what were you thinking?” she shot back. “You can’t possibly have another baby! You’re only twenty-one; you already have three children, and now number four on its way? Your husband drinks too much, he works only when he wants to…

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Filed under Memoir, Pro-Life

The Day the Earth Stood Still

“No, not again! Not now!” I cried out in the bathroom. I’ll call Marisa. She’s always been strong. She has it together.

I reached for the phone and dialed her number. When she answered, I blurted, “The test is positive! I’m pregnant.” She’ll lift my spirits.

“Mary . . .” she began. “How in the world will you care for another baby?”

Then again, maybe not.

“What are you going to do?” Marisa squealed.

I thought, If I knew that, I wouldn’t have called you. Wasn’t I the one supposed to get some reassurances, some guidance, some support here?

“I . . . I don’t know, I thought–”

“Mary, what were you thinking?” she shot back. “You can’t possibly have another baby! You’re only twenty-one; you already have three children, and now number four on its way? Your husband drinks too much, he works only when he wants to, you have a child with special needs, you guys don’t have enough money . . . !”

My mind swirled. I hung by a flimsy strand, all hope slipping. Okay! Tell me something I don’t know. Marisa’s right, whom am I kidding? I. Can’t. Go. On.

Then, she added, “Listen, I’ll help you. If you will get an abortion . . . I will help you pay for one.”

So, that’s it? The quick-fix solution to the problem . . . to end an innocent life?

“I . . . I’ll have to think about this,” I muttered. “Let me sleep on it and get back with you.”

Did that answer come out of me?

I placed the receiver down, heavy with conflicting emotions. My world came to a halt. My heart felt heavy. I cradled my belly, thinking: I can’t have another baby. But can I truly consider this the way out?

The girls slept in their room. Their father was—Lord only knows where. I sat alone in the dark, crossed-legged on the bed. My head ached. My stomach tied in knots. Overcome with waves of hopelessness, memories churned to the one security blanket I had ever known: the home of my grandparents. And I realized I was sinking. Fast.

What happened to my anchor of faith? My hope? Isn’t God big enough to handle the mess in my life? I have to admit, I’ve been too busy for Him. Now that I need Him, does He still care? Then it occurred to me: If I can’t trust God now, then what’s the point of going on?

That instant I prayed like never before, and pored over my Bible. The Book of Psalms always comforted me, and that night before sleep overtook me, my “Ah hah” moment came after reading Psalm 139:13: For You created my innermost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I wasn’t about to take the life of my unborn child, believing that God gave that life in me.

Come morning. A new day. A fresh start. Resolute in my decision, faith sparked. God had always taken care of me before. I determined to trust Him to carry me now. I believe, Lord. Help my unbelief. Give me the grace to endure…

I reached for the phone and dialed Marisa’s number.

“Thanks, but no thanks.”

“Mary, think about what—”

“No!” I shouted. “I’m going to walk on and trust God. You knew my convictions. I thought they were yours too.”

“Mary, I was only trying. . .”

“How?” I interrupted, pacing the floor. “By offering me an abortion? I came to you down and out for encouragement and prayer. I needed to hear ‘hope’ beyond my pain, but you didn’t—you wouldn’t—give me that!”

“Look Mary, you’re still so young. I’ve been around longer than you. . .”

“You never had children,” I protested.

“I married a jerk once too. They don’t change.” Marisa went on to give one reason after another how she was looking out for my best interest.

After long seconds of dead silence and nothing else to say, we hung up.

I thought of a lesson in Sunday school about Job who called his friends miserable comforters, even his wife told him to “curse God and die.” They were supposed to be his friends; yet, those comforters increased his trouble by condemning him.

Marisa and I parted ways. Our friendship ended that day.

Days, weeks and months overlapped one another; my past troubles behind me. With my heart overflowing and my eyes drowning in tears, I reached down to kiss my newborn. “Hello, Daniel Michael,” I whispered. “I’m your Mommy.”

**********

Before long, my little curly-lock hair boy is running around with deep brown eyes touching my heart each time he looks up at me.

Next thing I knew I blinked, and the little boy is now a strapping young man and I am gazing up at him.

(An excerpt from Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace)

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Note: Please understand I share this story not to condemn, criticize, judge or belittle anyone who for whatever reason may have made a different decision than I did. Everyone has their own story to tell; this is mine. I may have made a lot of mistakes in my life. This was one example when I was strong enough to make the right decision for me. I believe that strength came as I prayed to my Heavenly Father. While it’s true that I may have my share of regrets in life, not giving birth to my one and only son thirty-six years ago is not one of them.

Happy Birthday, son! I love you with all my heart!

© M.A. Perez 2018, All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Memoir, Pro-Life, Uncategorized

When it Hurts to No End

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“I haven’t thought about suicide in a long time. I’m thinking about it now. I feel very dumb. I feel like a midget in a world full of giants. Giant successful CEOs, athletes that think quick on their feet, good looking men and woman who have the gift of conversation and looking good while doing it. I am a midget, I can barely make a sentence sound intelligent. I am short with no special talents that will make me any money. When I am in complete despair with not a single positive springing care I chose to end it. I don’t think it is selfish. Depression is a pain unlike any other. It’s like a black hole in the middle of your body, slowly sucking in your body parts from the inside out. Eventually your chest and your abdomen hurt like there’s nothing in there.  I imagine an open casket viewing …”

“Not much make up but I want blush so I look alive. I haven’t looked ‘alive’ for some time. My blonde curls pinned up with little white flowers sprinkled about them. My three favorite rings. Minimal jewelry as I have always been. I have a bouquet of flowers in my closed hands. Big beautiful callalillies, white mums and miniature white roses. I love green plants more than flowers so there is eucalyptus and ferns within the flowers and there are multiple trailing vines flowing out of the bouquet. I am in a sweet little girls white dress with eyelet embellishments. The dress has cap sleeves and a boat neck. The skirt ends just above my ankles showing my tattoos. I am barefoot with no toe nail polish. I love to be bare foot and feel I should go that way. Hardly any make up, very little jewelry and no shoes. That is me and that is the way I want to go. Where I can finally rest and the hurt ends.”

(The above message was printed with permission by family member)

Note: I am sadden to say, the above message was sent a week before a beautiful soul fatally chose to end her life. She leaves behind family members: a loving and grieving mother, father, sister, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews, cousins, and a devoted boyfriend who had found her on that tragic day. All are left with unanswered questions, blame, guilt, and of course, deep sorrow. As I pray for this entire family, I am heartbroken. As a mother myself, this sadness knows no bounds.

September was National Suicide Prevention Month. Not all disabilities are visible. Why do most of us suffer in silence? Having suicidal thoughts does not mean someone is weak or flawed. We all have meltdown periods. I’m sure we’ve all have felt hopeless before, and we all know what it feels like to walk under a dark cloud – it can happened to anyone regardless of age, gender, race or status.

Please be mindful of those around you. Don’t take your loved ones for granted. Won’t you reach out to those you hold dear? Will you let them know that they are loved and you appreciate they’re in your lives? Hold on to the moment. Some don’t have that privilege anymore.

© M.A. Pérez 2015, All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Suicide Awareness, Suicide Prevention

Time

“I always did love you, just had too many problems.”
Ten words on ink and paper.
Written by her.
Pierces my heart.
Quiet pain.

Does she know I exist? Or care? Or want me?
I love her, look up to her; want to be her.
Unspoken. Forsaken.
Isn’t love also a verb?
Hidden shame.

Grandparents notice. Embrace me. Love me.
They say I am worthy and special.
I am not allow to stay with them.
She said I might become spoil.
Wounded heart.

I leave home. Searching for Mr. Right.
Embraced him at sixteen. Happily ever after.
Young. Naïve. Taken for granted.
Thinks to mold me into his image.
His way or the highway.
Internal screams.

Motherhood. Baby having babies.
Crawl before walk. Stumble. Fall.
Clinging unto a strand, unraveling.
Faded dreams.

Years overlap. Encumbering.
Emotions are numb.
Hubby seeks greener pastures.
Two-timer. Tosses me to the wolves.
Abandon.

Water is not missed until the well is dry.
Alone. They’ve aged. Reaching out.
Across the miles, they call my name.
Vowing eternal devotion.
Hollow words.

Grown children look back.
Open arms. Nostalgic.
Rebuild the fences.
Dying to live.
Forgive.

In times of happiness, embrace your beloved.
In times of calamity, hold them closer.
Love isn’t love until you give it away.
God grants life.
And second chances.

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Me, at three months old with my mom

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Filed under Life, poetry, relationship, Social, Time