Shattered Reflections

 

Calligraphing en l' air #6

Like billowing branches

In a thundering tempest

Swinging

Back and forth

Going nowhere

My senses numbed

I scream louder and louder

The pain ripping into

The flesh of my throat

Clasping, gasping for harmony

My screams trail off

To nowhere

I sit up and turn on the light

Questions howling at my thoughts

No gentle whispers in the raging ponderings

My hair whisked

Around my sweat-streaked face

Fear pressed in close

My lifeblood  pouring from my

Veins

Forsaken.

 

The storm ascended

Following a time of eerie stillness and foreboding gray skies.

The wind is so fierce that I don’t know if I can stay standing

My body battered from the swaying branches.

I long for a fortress

From the taunting roars

The shattered reflections

The echoed breaths of – my home

 

“There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of pain.”

Image @Riseart

 

 

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‘I am not ashamed of losing my home. But people’s judgemental attitudes make it harder’

Published The Journal.ie;

 

Each morning, I wake up in my beautiful home of 18 years with my two ‘babes’ ( Shih Tzu dogs, Olliepop and Bettyboop) and gaze out my large open bedroom window at the expansive oak tree dominating the carefully nurtured garden, listening to the bird’s song. I drag myself out of bed ladened with despair and anger to buoyant dogs wanting their run in the back garden. I move along my home passing the wide sweep of the dining room, where I celebrated many family events, Christmas lunches, entertained my many friends, and displayed my passion for art. Then suddenly I am overwhelmed with anguish and tears flood my cheeks. My adorable dogs clamber onto my legs offering me solace sensing my state of mind.

Why am I in this trauma? In a cruel twist of fate, I am fighting for my home, my sanctuary, my lifeline where I nurtured my dreams and hopes and hid from my insecurities. I am in the middle of a repossession battle, a place I never believed I would be. A place probably so many people in the same situation never thought they would be. ‘I console myself that I’m one of the lucky ones because at least I don’t have a young family to worry about.’ However, the trauma of losing my home in my early fifties is not diminished by that fact.

My idyllic life unraveled with my marriage. The details are not important the impact is the same no matter how one loses a home. It’s a major trauma in anyone’s life. Ironically enough I slept as a homeless person as part of the Focus Ireland initiative to raise awareness of homelessness in Ireland. As I lay under the stars, in a ragged blue sleeping bag damping from the night dew, I cried at the thought of anyone having to experience the harshness and loneliness of homelessness. It was an unsettling experience.

However, with the ever-growing repossessions, there is very little understanding or research into the psychological impact of losing a home. Instead of having sympathy for such homeowners, many people blame them for their dilemma. That isn’t surprising. It’s an example of a general tendency as documented by social psychologists, Melvin Lerner decades ago, which I will detail further on in my story.

The pain and despair I suffer every day is inexplicable. And yet the reality of my life, the loss of my home is met by stern reproaches: The exchanges go something like this: “Repossession is not the end of the world. You will be a stronger person from this. You will move on to a better place. We never thought your marriage was good. The banks will do what they have to do. You are just another number in the bank’s records, that’s life, they have no provision for circumstances or trauma. Everyone has problems.” And finally the big one “get on with it.” The hard-core views and commentary are, in fact, winning the battle of public opinion.

So let me take the other perspective — against the stern view. It has to do with the psychological effects of the strict enforcement of a mortgage contract, and abstract economic statistics which just might make us overlook what is important.

Mortgage contracts are usually set over a period of twenty-five to thirty years and based on the fact that circumstances will remain static over a lifetime. There is no accounting for life’s unknown: divorce, death, job loss or mental health issues. Furthermore, there is no genuine support system in place to help struggling mortgage holders reduce their debt by for example ‘downsizing’.

The Central Bank concerns itself rightly so with borrowing costs and repayment potential. But it also needs especially in an environment where ‘job for life’ is over, with ‘growing separation statists’ and ‘mental health issues’ to reconsider the inflexibility of terms in an ever changing society. The ability to pay back a mortgage established on the first signing of the contract based on an anomaly that life’s circumstances never changes undermines its functionality completely. This inflexibility is devastating to so many people especially as there are real alternatives and options rarely exercised by the banks other than repossession. Believe me; no one deliberately sets out to rip apart the foundations of their home, their sanctuary in life by simply not making mortgage repayments, it is more commonly a change in life’s circumstances which create the fragmentation of home life and the loss of a home.

So back to Melvin Lerner commentary in his 1980 book, “The Belief in a Just World: A Fundamental Delusion,” where he puts up the argument that people want to believe in the inherent justice of the economic system. They want to believe that those who appear to be suffering are in fact responsible for their situations. He provides observational evidence that after an initial feeling of sympathy on-lookers develop adverse views toward those who are suffering. And this unsympathetic tendency seems to be at work today without any consideration for the deep trauma caused by losing a home and in most cases from circumstances out of one’s control.

And it is this detail that we need to start looking at more closely. The reasons and manner in which a deposition is occurring. There should be a legal obligation at most and a moral obligation at least on banks to look at the extenuating circumstance of mortgage problems with an open, flexible mind, offering solutions rather than a death knell of repossession. We need to fundamentally review our attitude to home repossessions and question our judgmental attitude to such circumstances. I am not ashamed of losing my home; I am desolate at losing my home.

My home was the crowning jewel of all my hard work, savings. Profits and plans for over 25 years. As I look out over the scene, it no longer feels like mine – mine to enjoy, mine to call home. I stand for a long time, remembering my daughter growing up here, her many birthdays, racing about with their friends, with family and pets. I am looking at a postcard of a lovely place, vibrant with color but just an image, a two-dimensional illustration of something that was real, but which I no longer embody. My life vein is draining, the happy memories altering. The pain is endless, the suffering unrelenting and ignorant judgment on top of all of that is soul destroying. However, I am a spirit who continues to strut her stuff without shame of repossession, but instead feeling shameful at my vulnerable and desperation.

I hope that maybe in some small way my story might start to change the thinking, the narrative about how we view and treat people who find themselves without a home and in the depth of gloom. I hope it begins to break the stigma and reproach that exists around repossession. I know I must continue the struggle for my home regardless of opinion or judgment so that my dreams can live on, my memories can be happy again so that homesickness does not become my enemy that stalks me forever.

Shades of Danger & Adventure

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“There were many shades in the danger of adventures and gales, most of which were exhilarating and golden. It is only now and then that there appears on the face of facts a sinister violence of intention- that indefinable something which forces it upon the mind and the heart. It is this complication of incidents, or these elemental furies are coming at me with a purpose of malice, with a strength beyond control, with an unbridled cruelty. And this means it tears out my hope and passion. MY pain of fatigue and longing for rest targets destruction annihilates all I can see, known, loved, enjoyed, or hated; all that is priceless and necessary- the sunshine, the memories, the future. My precious world as I knew it sweeps utterly away from my sight, further and further as each day goes by, it’s simply an appalling act of losing my life.”

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adapted  Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim 

artist: John Lijo Bluefish

Mother’s  Love

Her love is like

an island in life’s ocean,

vast and wide

A peaceful, quiet shelter

From the wind, the rain, the tide.

‘Tis bound on the north by Hope,

By Patience on the West,

By tender Love on the South

And on the East by Rest.

Above it like a beacon light

Shine Faith, and Prayer;

And thro’ the changing scenes of life

I find a haven in my mother.

Heart’s Rhythm

 

Screen Shot 2016-12-03 at 9.31.20 p.m.I could see no images only shades of light
I spread my arms out over the abyss
wanting to breathe,
my heart’s rhythm was so slow
I couldn’t find my breath
there was no need to inhale
my soul on the edge of the abyss
strands of obscure light from the heart of the earth
reached out and attached to my skin hugging me
I embraced the powerful draw of the abyss
the light fading and dying, I looked up and saw nothing

 

 

Do You See

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In this time of turmoil and despair——it’s difficult to figure out what to do and how to react in what seems to be a darkening, “widening gyre” of circumstances. But I am hoping that this challenge, as bleak as it may be, will drive me to thrive and live a complete and happy life.

“If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment,” wrote Henry David Thoreau. Indeed, my compensation comes in the form of poetry and blogging, despite what dire circumstances it sprouts from, it still reaches toward solace, a place of transcendence and honesty. And I hope it inspires others going through turbulent times. Each word on a page  works the bugs out of my inner ferment.  It could do the same for you so go on give writing a chance and who knows hopefully your pages will be your consolation as well.

“Do You See” – A Poem to KBC Bank Ireland

Do you see
what you do to me
every time
my voice is discounted

A saddened world evolves
into a violent universe
tossing me ever which way
not knowing where I will land

I want to show you
what goes through my mind
as I watch my world fall apart
as I spin into orbit
my creation cast away

KBC Bank This is my Voice – Up Date

About the Author

If you would like to get in touch with me you can do so with the form below.

My Home

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If I had a serious illness, my phone would ring, my friends would call around, bring me lots of comforts and inspirational comments to help me cope and believe in my survival of the disease encompassing my body. But losing my life to deceit, my whole world falling apart, losing my home, my sanctuary, my peace of mind does not extract the same care or sympathy, or compassion. But I can tell you I am on the same pathway of suffering and pain. My home is no longer my prerogative. I did not ask for this, I did not plan for this, it came to me like a silent bullet. What makes a physical illness different to my position is that no one can openly see it.

So what is my position?

In a split moment on a Wednesday evening, I find that KBC Bank is going to the courts to take a repossession order on my home. A disclosure that rocked me to my core. Emotional Abuse ends in many ways. The mortgage payments were not being fulfilled unbeknownst to me resulting in the repossession order, and it was presented to me as a fete comply.    

The scars from mental cruelty are profound and probably more long-lasting than wounds from punches or slaps but are not seen or recognized as a broken arm, or black eye is.  Often my narration of my experiences has been denied, trivialized, or distorted. The wounds of my heart and the scars on my mind are bottomless. Now the potential of losing my home is the hardest punch of all.   My connection to my home is the first thread in my life. My home is part of my self-definition, my identity,  it defines the line between me and my surroundings, it is my shrine of peace.  It’s more than a sheltering roof and embracing walls. It is the core of my being, my soul, my lifeblood. I always have been a home bird. Travel has been a big part of my life mostly due to work and at the core of those days was knowing I would return to the soulfulness of my home.  So losing my home is not about bricks and mortar, it’s about my soul.  

There are many descriptions of the soul and here is mine.  My soul senses the force; that animates my thoughts, words, and actions. It is the wisdom that shapes this animating force into patterns of experience. In the depths of my home, my soul is still and boundless. It flows in a countless variety of emotions and thoughts that glue my mind to my body, my body to my home and my home to my life. 

Emotional Abuse is dangerous; it’s as harmful as physical abuse. It can whip your life away in one fell swoop. 

I have a You Tube Diary on the story and ongoing processes to keep my home that might give other people in similar position spirit to find a way to keep their home. 

This is my Voice  full blog.

KBC Bank Ireland This is my voice; Up date You Tube

Am I Dreaming ?


With closed eyes I feel the salty kiss of the ocean waves

I feel my heart pounding , am I only dreaming, give me your hand, tell me I am only dreaming

The storm is brewing – the waves are bashing against the weight of my body
The whole force engulfs me
I am struggling, wobbling, holding on with all my strength, no lifebuoy, no hand to hold
The salty water permeates my skin
I feel life being slowly taken away, but I am fighting hard to hold on

I’ve been lied to so much
It hurts to much
I feel  I’m going to keep falling
I can’t bear the agony
How tortured I feel
Don’t deny me the torment I am going through

I keep it inside because it’s too hard to explain

But I know that my happiness is real
When I actually feel it… so
I feel like I’m going insane
Like everything in this life I’ve lived
Is wasted
Like I’m slowly perishing
It’s too hard to explain
I just know what I know

I need the torture to end

Am I only dreaming?

Where the wind don’t blow

WHERE THE WIND DON’T BLOW

My home is a place where the wind don’t blow. My heart rests in the place where the wind don’t blow. Strange place a home, strange place where gentleness calms the wind, its a point on a bleak horizon. How can my home be this way – most priceless- yet most defenceless – most valuable -yet most valueless – most welcoming- -yet most forbidding. Tread softly – the walls breathe peace, deep, dark peace, and where the wind don’t blow.

KBC Bank This is my Voice – Up Date

Night or Day

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Is it night or day?
That’s moon or sun?
Well, anyway,
I have to run.
I see the tears.
Don’t cry, my eyes.
I feel my fears,
I feel them rise.
I have to go,
I know it now

I awaken in a dream, where my sadness does not allow the light to reform
My body is weak and pale against the birth of the day
Staring down into the deepness of abyss

A crimson sky of city follows me to reveal my diminishing soul
A life shunning out the city glow  dwells deep inside me
The guardian of my breath the pen mightier than the loneliness

How did I let it come to this?