Ella Elevated 2 Eternity


6:45 am: It just happened and I didn’t have the heart to take her picture nor see where she’s being hurried or taken too. The boys are going to do that.

I cried with Gaby my last son, David who seemed to love her most, and on whose bed she died, just hugged me so tight. I hope he processes that too.

We are having a family meeting shortly, and oh Ella will be past tense now.

I grieve by reading and writing, so what else can I do now?

We had Ella for exactly 2 years+few days, my heart aches, I just got her a tray of eggs two days ago and I saw her this morning as ran to David’s bed, but she had poo and maybe thrown up and something just told me this is it. I was called to see her fretting and throwing up some more, and in no time she was gone.

Whenever you are attached to a person or pet (these especially who love you unconditionally), their death is like a part of you paralysed.

Oh life and love and all these emotions which only last but for a fleeting…

Bye bye Ella, for all the love and joy and everything in between…we’ll be missing you…

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Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy, Poetry, Uncategorized

Ain’t Got No Time To Hate


Dear ex, know it for good

Ain’t got no time to hate

You can blackmail forever

I wouldn’t live on forever

Ain’t wasting time to hate

The buttons you so pushed

When you carelessly rode

My lift up, down and round

Finally did the unthinkable

The lift broke down for real

And yet, life has to go on

Ain’t got no time to hate

Me got my lift rebuilt

Learned to service it good

No more careless riders allowed

Ain’t got no time to hate

You can disown dem all you want

You ain’t God and will never be

Me got so much I gotta do

For myself and a distance too

Do whate’r you wish with you

Pray and work harder is what I do

Ain’t got no time to hate

(C) 2018 Marie Abanga

p.s: Wow, and I mean wow…it’s been a long long while I wrote a poem, this should be the first I am writing for publishing in 2018. I mean I have moved from a searching soul to a serene soul and was getting ready to publish my serene soul collection by December, and although this poem is seemingly serene, the circumstances surrounding its composing were a bit disturbing. In a nut shell, x threatened by sms to disown sons because they refused to go with his ‘erratic plans’ this summer. He seems to have stood by his word and followed up saying he ain’t chipping a dime for their back to school. Well, thanks for the pain and inspiration – am not wasting any energy fighting – got my boys already with me and he ain’t God. So, to all in my shoes or anything similar, don’t give in to hate, that’ll eat you up…bring yourself to grieve and then steam it off…don’t give them the luxury of thinking they got you psychologically and emotionally again – Amen

pps: 27/08/18 Update deserved because this is a testimony that love conquers all.  The above saga played out in July and it took me 3 weeks to deal and heal and write that poem for closure. I refused to fight back in human ways, my support system was active, and I let it go. And just on this day when this scheduled poem was published, I receive what I cal a “peace truce phone call”. The balance of the kids fees and needs for the year has been paid. I looked up to the Heavens and said a silent prayer of gratitude. Ain’t got no time to hate and bear any grudges indeed. Sometimes the best fighting is done on your knees and with tears…all is well that ends well

Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy

Let’s talk about breakups shall we???


How do I look in that picture at first glance? Anyway, that was a couple of hours to yet another heartbreaking breakup. I have had one too many in my life and to be candid, I have instigated 99.97% of them.

Why am I even writing this post and washing such linen in public? Well, because as a psychologist and CBT Therapist, I have worked with many who have been through very tough times before and after a breakup.

It is one of those taboo topics marred with the ego’s looming shame, guilt and suck for revenge. Needless saying what some have or will do to supposedly get even after a breakup.

So, how do I feel especially after once again instigating a breakup? I feel like a pity party wouldn’t even do me justice. And yet, it takes commensurate courage to instigate a breakup and do it civil like you guys were having any other conversation. This breakup ha, I prayed for the how to go about it for an entire month. I know others who will just walk away, change numbers or just spit it out and fume it all downing same with whatever can numb the hurt and feelings.

To add salt to injury, it’s not like there is any prospect or plan moving on. Nope, am letting my spirit flow even if right now I can shrink if spoken to by a man.

Let me be raw here, this is my life’s purpose. This is also a better healing mechanism for me than tears and trash. Indeed, an RA mini flare up couldn’t be avoided and I was literally carried back home and massaged.

It still hurts today and am pampering myself some. I believe in the adage ‘Therapist heal thyself’, and writing is one of those healing balms.

I once murmured to a friend that it sometimes was tough being the ‘Go to Person’, because you could as well end up not having your own ‘Go to Person’. My God and my soul are my own ‘Go tos’ and am not doubting them.

And so, to you who can identify with this post in any and either way, know you are not alone. Tough times never last but tough people do.

I hate breakups and if there was a vaccine against them or some magic pill to counter their side effects, I would have gone for those.

But helas, damage control is what I focus on, learning lessons, counting blessings, seeing prospects, not burning bridges are what I look out and forward to. My mental health being of primordial here.

I chose peace over conflict and think I have finally won over my ex husband. The same yesterday, he and I had a very peaceful and dare I say respectful discussion, and for all these milestones I am very grateful.

Any thoughts about breakups to share in the comments anyone?

Be inspired and motivated everyone …

Posted in Journey to Coaching

Are you defined or refined by your past???


Do we see or feel the rays no matter how blurred; or we only see the narrow and dark path? How much is this a cause and effect of our past?

Hello world,

We are approaching the weekend and my ever contemplative and searching soul just thought about what my past has or is still doing to me. I then thought to share it with us all here and maybe inspire others to do their own introspection.

Ok let’s go.

1) Did my past cause me so much pain to make me despise lots of it? YES. I have admitted my role in all the mess of my past and tried to deal with them in different ways all with a bid to heal. Now, we all know the wise saying about not focussing so much on your past to let it influence your present right? Well I dare argue that wisdom so so easier said than done… There are many including myself who have numerous times over been both physical and mental victims – hostage of their pasts. Some pasts have been know to impact so badly our present circumstances so much that the future is completely blurred and unfathomable…  but then next;

2) Am I so ashamed of my past to talk about it or share it? Me, NO. When I realized how much shame of my past was killing me slowly and almost got me to drive a knife in, I decided, (even if implementing that took a few years) to deal with that shame and talk about that past through any medium available. For me, it was also a way to fight stigma. The stigma associated with being a ‘loser, a pimp, an addict, a mentally challenged or ill, etc etc’ and who knows whom will be helped by my story right? ok, and so what now;

3) What has facing my past and pain and sharing done? Oh my, the big big positives negate the tiny setbacks or few hate trolls. I even got a national award for my very first memoir. I have become much more self-empowered and aware, so full of gratitude, so conscious of Amazing Grace, so full of faith, oh so determined as a women’s rights and mental health advocate.I hardly turn down any invitation to talk about my past, share my lessons and journey and yes on my own platforms there is no hiding where I come from… I have become one of those brands you don’t mess around with and I am at peace with this ME… Who knows what or where I would have been had I not made that conscious, painful and challenging decision  to deal with and heal from my past;  and so in conclusion;

peace-1

Today, I confidently answer that my past has not defined me but it has refined me – it has helped me to embrace self-improvement, self-love, self-appreciation, self-worth and oh my self-esteem is better than ever. This has been a long journey and actually an ongoing one… But, am better equipped and am using that past and pain as solid foundations from which to springboard to greater heights in all faith, hope and charity.

And you…??? Please share cause you really never know who can be helped by your comment

Have a nice weekend everyone!!!

Posted in Poetry

Can you sense it ??


sense-it

Can you see the mirage in my mind

Can you see the hole in my heart

Can you see the search in my soul

Can you see the helpless thought

Can you feel the hurt there is

Can you feel the pain in it

Can you fee the drudge and drought

Can you feel the storms within

Can you touch the cancer cell

Can you touch the insane mind

Can you touch the heart beat

Can you touch the scars on the soul

Can you smell the peace I seek

Can you smell the love I have

Can you smell the smile in me

Can you smell the strides I make

Can you hear the voice within

Can you hear the silent screams

Can you hear the songs they hum

Can you hear the drums not beat

Can you sense any of it

Can you sense all of it

Can you sense even a mite

If not what can you sense ???

Posted in Book Reviews, Mental Health Advocacy

Book Review: Nothing like Normal; Surviving a Sibling’s Schizophrenia by MGW


nothing-like-normal

What is NORMAL Anway?

This was the question I was ‘foolishly’ or maybe ‘highly unrealistically’ expecting to be answered in this all too human and yet piercing memoir.

I began reading this memoir by carefully studying the cover picture. I concluded the two chubby innocent girls on the front cover were  Martha Graham-Waldon (MGW) to the left and her dearest sister Kathy Graham (KG) to the right. While MGW looked at the camera, KG looked more closely into the gaze of the pet birds they carried. I noticed her shirt lifted up a little and showed her tummy and yet that wasn’t a problem for the photographer. Yet, some of you may agree with me that in some cultures, keeping birds for pets, or not being properly tucked up be you kids, is simply not NORMAL.

This memoir did more to me than just help me see how another family just like mine had, faced and dealt with their member’s mental illness. MGW may not know to what extent her memoir will impact some, but it has definitely completely shattered this paradigm of ‘NORMAL’ to me.

Was NORMAL to be the absence of a diagnosis mindful of some signs that something was seemingly going on with KG? Was it now their new NORMAL that something was indeed going on with KG but then they had to ’embrace’ that as is, or ‘pretend’ to still fit in with ‘conventional community’? What about it being NORMAL to sympathize with their mum who suffered a stroke, and yet shy away and stigmatize the Grahams for having a ‘mad member’ in their family?

I am not going on any further, I read this memoir with so much attention to everything because I couldn’t really believe another family, far away in the USA, could go through such shattering trauma and deal with stigma too! I really thought such things happened only in Africa, to families like mine, well in a setting where people died more from ignorance than from Negligence. I don’t know what to make of the ‘medication tradition or pattern out there’. What is NORMAL now? Go after the symptoms? Go after the illness as diagnosed? Go after the person and beat the Shit out of them?

And in the process of it, how do you a close sibling deal and heal with it all? I applaud MGW’s vivid narration of their various exotic and adventurous family vacations and existence before ‘Life happened’. This in my firm opinion as an aggrieved sibling like herself, states the strong case that the ‘lunatic’ the world now sees, had a ‘NORMAL’ life before their mental illness. I am glad and actually obliged to MGW for writing this memoir mindful of her pain. I rate the book a 5/5 because of the ‘intensity of the different subjects covered’. If I could recommend only 3 books for your year end, this will definitely be one of them. If you read carefully and in between, you’ll definitely re-evaluate that word NORMAL.

About the Author

mgw

Martha Graham-Waldon is a writer, spiritual entrepreneur and armchair activist who resides in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California with her family and a menagerie of pets. Her articles have been published locally, internationally and online. She is a winner of the 2015 Women’s Memoirs contest for a vignette based on her memoir Nothing Like Normal: Surviving a Sibling’s Schizophrenia published by Black Opal Books. A member of the National Association of Memoir Writers, Martha also loves travel, the outdoors, Jazzercise and music.

Posted in Journey to Coaching, Marie's Garden

Heal & Deal : Deal & Heal


Hence my philosophy that the two go together
Hence my philosophy that the two go together

Hello world, today I want to share with you some reflections on the above. You know I turned 37 yesterday and that makes it seven bonus years already. Why bonus? Read this post

When I recently wrote a post on Maya Angelou’s advice not to make someone a priority when all you were to them was an option, I equally shared how I tried to only leave that place when I had done a lot to Deal and Heal. In that instance, the greater bulk of the process took me 90 or so minutes. In other cases, that process has taken me years. Some issues are even still outstanding.  Gosh, I wasn’t even so aware of Heal and Deal (or the otherway round as the case may apply) until a few years back…

So let’s look at them one after the other:

Heal

I love this one
I love this one

I found this definition online: to make healthy, whole, or sound; restore to health; free from ailment

Heal yourself with love, joy, peace & compassion

Well, just on it’s own, I think to heal is pretty easy right? The benefits are glaring and em everybody wants a ‘healthy heart’ so they live long right? If it’s physical wounds and stuff of course we can’t stand the awful ordour, or blood gushing and handicap that may arise. So we are prepared to do all it takes, go to whoever it is, to get that wound or ailment healed.

Now when it’s emotional stuff, hmm; psychological stuff, hmm hmm and on we go… The first picture at the top  says it all: You can’t heal what you refuse to confront… of course even with that wound you have to look at it…

Deal

Dealing to a Hurray
Dealing to a Hurray

This one phrase from the various definitions of the word, caught my attention: To take action with respect to someone or something:

When something is not right, and we want to heal, we have to think of the deal involved…

I titled this post H&D or D&H and you’ll see why now.

There is an issue bugging you, and maybe you just don’t have the energy (be it emotional, psychological etc) to work to heal. You reflect on the deal (used here to mean the worth), and you decide you ain’t ready to go there… I mean a friend once told me they would have loved loving someone, but how it hurts to love and loss. They weren’t prepared to go that way again yet or even ever… they’ve sort of dealt with that issue “for now we may add”, but they have not emabarked on any healing because there’s no big deal…

And that is how I think there are situations where the healing preceded the dealing, while in other scenarios the dealing leads the healing. It may be a choice or a natural process. And yet, it sure takes and deserves time…

How much time? I don't know...
How much time? I don’t know…

A couple of days ago, it took me around 90 mins to D&H an ackward situation, although I still had to brood it over with a few friends into the next day…

Since Sunday, I have embarked on a situation that’s sixteen good years old, to hopefully D&H because that’s the logical approach at this moment. I need to deal with the pain it is inflicting and am ready now more than before. Since I wasn’t the only one involved, it’s good that the other party is ready too. We can thus do some of the dealing together, although the healing is of course an individual machination. And yes I must admit it hurts… I am still crawling on that although it’s getting better by the moment…

What’s holding you back

I once watched an amazing youtube from Ms O’s Life Class

I was touched to say the least. When we don’t H&D or D&H, the pain stays there. It stays and grows, and gains proportion – intensity and much more. I mean the pain starts to Haunt you, then it Hunts you down and then it Hurts you terribly.  It could someday become you, your story, your definition. People start saying: who, that angry woman? That jealous woman? That childless woman? That drunkard? That Selfish fellow? you name it…

You’ve gotta want to do that dirty homework of confronting what’s wrong. First you have to identify it, feel it, even embrace it, then deal with it in order to proceed to the healing. Other times, you may have to first position your mind to let go of the saga (heal), forgive yourself and show yourself love and all, then you can deal with it once and for all.

Dear all, last year around this same time, I shared my 36 courses learned in the University of Life. I share this post this day as another birthday gift to us all… -the first being my free books on the amazon… this is my year of Gratitude so help me Lord… may I keep fighting my fears especially those surrounding Love… Amen

Gratitude all the way
Gratitude all the way