new phrases, have you heard?

February 28, 2013 at 2:53 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

you know how your mind just sort wanders when you are tired and just in that zone?  this afternoon i used an old phrase i remembered hearing my grandmother use and a new phrase i heard a few weeks ago and it is still kicking around in my head.  the dichotomy of these two phrases is not lost on me and so i offer it to you.

a few weeks ago i was only sort of listening to the t.v. and as i heard this phrase i had to stop and pay attention.  i wish i could remember what the show was! i will admit it was most likely something quite low brow. the phrase was…

Duh-mazing!!  the young woman’s explanation for this combination of words was …. let’s say creative.  she said – haven’t you ever had something happen that your first thought is well Duh and then you realize it was amazing at the same time?  so of course it is Duh-mazing.              ever since i heard this i have wondered if anyone else i know has heard of it.  at first i sort of shook my head but here i am weeks later, thinking about it.    this phrase is starting to sound better to me, not that i will be throwing it around anytime soon.  my life is sort of Duh-mazing. life in general is rather amazing.  when you think about how we are even brought into this world it is awe-inspiring.   i am so grateful for quality of life i enjoy, however (or duh), we have worked hard and made some sacrifices to be where we are now.

my grandmother used some very interesting terms and phrases.  all these years later i had cause to use one of these phrases.  every day when i finally wake up it is a struggle to get my body moving.  i use this time to think about what i would really like to get done and then i revise it to what has  the best chance of really being done.  if it is a good day i will have about 3 hours of time that i can do things that require little physical activity. some days i have to go back to bed after just an hour or two, on some days we lay down together and sort of dose and talk.  today he asked if i was tired. before i could answer he said i know you are tired and probably wish i would stop asking that question.  it came to me that i was, as i had heard in my youth, bone weary.  even as i am speaking i realize that in the past i didn’t really know what this meant.  bone weary was not something i would have said before this current situation developed.

i am hoping i have more cause to use the phrase duh-mazing rather than bone weary.  if not, well i will still think life is duh-mazing.




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survivor guilt

February 3, 2013 at 3:37 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

a couple of days ago we were sitting at our favorite local eatery, and after some sleepless nights, when exactly what i had been feeling became clear.  this vague feeling that i had done something wrong when i knew i had not was not an unusual feeling to me.  it was in fact a mixture of sadness and guilt for no readily apparent event.

the first time it occurred i was so young it was a mere thread of thoughts.  at around the age of 9 my grandmother and i were visiting the queen mother, my dad and my sister (not the youngest) who was only 2 yrs old at the time.  for several yrs the mother had often lost control of her temper and i was the easiest target.  i had been protected up to the age of 3 or 4 and after that she had married my dad.  he somehow kept her from me.  my grandmother did all she could, yet she knew she could not risk having me removed from her permanently.  m was only 2 yrs old when she became another target.

the first time i was so relieved and surprised.  later i felt as though i had done something so wrong there was no way to right it.  for the most part over the years i would step in whenever i was around. there were times i took the beatings without hesitation and others i could have taken and didn’t.  m is the opposite of me in most ways and nothing like our youngest sister.  m not only angered the mother she angered her dad.  i had never seen him get as angry as when he was with the mother, they fought constantly, and with m.  m would yell, fight back and do what you would expect a child to do to avoid a beating.  when the mother was pregnant with my youngest sister she wasn’t able to be as strenuous with her “discipline” so her “tools” changed.  the point is i felt guilty any time i could have taken the anger and didn’t.

in the military there is a level of guilt when you know a fellow soldier has fallen. as  nurse it is when a patient dies before all can be done.  come home after hanging out a bit too long and find your husband dead? it matters not that none of this was under your control.  even now sitting in a restaurant and i feel the guilt. why should i survive when so many others are truly more worthy?  a daughter with 2 young sons passes and here i sit eating breakfast.  more personally why should i be happy, have a good life when my middle sister has never had a break from birth? she experienced a high fever at a young age and there was no money for a dr.  she received what we so kindly call learning disabilities.  every morning for the 2 almost 3 yrs i lived with them before leaving to start my life, i watched her cry.  there was never a moment of mercy for her.  neither of her parents seemed to want her.


History of survivor guilt:

Survivor guilt was first identified during the 1960s. Several therapists recognized similar if not identical conditions among Holocaust survivors. Similar signs and symptoms have been recognized in survivors of traumatic situations including combat, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and wide-ranging job layoffs. A variant form has been found among rescue and emergency services personnel who blame themselves for doing too little to help those in danger, and among therapists, who may feel a form of guilt in the face of their patients’ suffering.

Sufferers may with time divert their guilt into helping others deal with traumatic situations. They may describe or regard their own survival as insignificant. Survivors who feel guilty sometimes suffer self-blame and clinical depression.

i can only hope that i have turned my guilt into something worthy.





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