A really nice thing happened at work

The nicest thing happened at work. Of course
there is a story to it: I was working Christmas Eve and two ladies and a
gentleman (say all in there 70’s) were at Macy’s buying gifts. I
struck up a conversation (like I do with everyone) and we ended up like
talking for 45 minutes. I learned so much about them. It was the man’s
birthday and they were out buying his wife presents for his birthday (lol).
It was so cute. Also the sister-in-law was with them. The sisters
were like best friends. We were talking and talking and they ended up
ringing up all their purchases at my cosmetic counter. I really liked
them so much. So, I bagged up all their stuff and even walked them out
to the door when they were leaving and we all hugged. Then just as they
were leaving they asked me what I was doing for the holiday and I said,
“I’m going over my daughter’s house. It will be a tough day. I lost
my youngest son a few year’s ago in a car accident.” They stared at me
and began to tear up and the sister (whose name is Shirley) said, “Oh
Sharen I am so sorry. My son had a car accident 17 years ago. He lived
but he’s been in a rehab since then. He broke his neck.” I said, “My
son broke his neck, too, and the angels took him.” So, then we hugged
some more and said good night and Merry Christmas and they asked me when
I was working again. I told them on Sun. Wouldn’t you know the three
of them came back in yesterday and surprised me with a DD coffee and
some more hugs and a DD gift card, signed, “the three musketeers.” I
started to cry (I’m so dumb). They also told me they want to invite me
over for dinner. So then I told them about my music and gave them my
website and the man said that he plays saxophone, so I said then we can
jam out when I come over to your house.

I just thought this was so nice, and I wanted to share.



Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

Beautiful New Year greeting

The link below will take you to a beautiful, heartfelt message wishing you a very happy and healthy 2013.  It has pictures of locomotives and lovely piano music to accompany the pictures.  

I just wanted to share it because I like the message but also because I love “choo choo” trains!

Happy New Year greeting


Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

My beautiful day in Westport, MA.

             

            

             

I
must be strange, I never, ever get bored with walking the beach and
being near the ocean, of looking up at the sun or the moon, of stopping to
enjoy a warm breeze or a pretty field, talking with people that I meet
in my journey and of being interested in
what they have to say, holding the door open for someone, waiting my
turn, saying thank you, venturing to a new town and stopping for a cup of coffee at a “real” coffee/breakfast shop. I love being in the moment, which is what nature
offers us each and every day. Nature doesn’t possess a beginning, middle or an end, it
just “is” and it’s always perfect no matter what.  I think I’ve finally realized that my existence is actually more real while I’m living in the moment and that anything outside of the now is really just a distraction to the
truth, which is that nothing really exists outside of the present moment.

I was out exploring yesterday and found a beautiful new beach in Westport, MA.  I stopped to walk and took these pics.  It definitely felt like heaven on earth for me (takes my breath away), like it always does when I’m near
the ocean.

I never get tired of being near the ocean.  It’s such a spiritual connection for me.


Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

Healing from the trauma and pain of domestic violence.


                                   

I’ve been divorced since February 14, 2006, although my husband continued to be in my life even after our divorce up until the Spring of 2009.  This was a relationship that began on Oct. 19, 1974.  He and I had four children.  Our youngest child died in a car accident in 2008.  He was just 20 years old.

I can write about any topic it seems, all except about my experiences living in an abusive relationship. Abuse, and the fear which accompanies it, was actually the backdrop of my entire life beginning in earliest childhood up until my relationship with my husband finally came to an end four years ago.  There is a lifetime of abuse swirling around in my brain all the time but I can never seem to calm myself long enough to write about it.  I also have a lifetime of journals that I wrote the whole time I was married which I can no longer read because they plunge me back into reliving my nightmare.   I try not to speak about the abuse in the hope that the memories will just go away. 

However, something curious happened to me yesterday and it made me reconsider my strategy of just ignoring my memories.  You see, my current strategy is to just go along living my life hoping that the trauma and pain of a lifetime of abuse will just simply fade away into the sunset, and I’ll finally be free.  That if I keep it buried long enough it will cease to exist.  That if I simply ignore the nightmares and flashbacks and keep the lid on tight to the pot filled with memories, a pot which is perpetually boiling and threatening to spew, that this is what it means to take my life back.   

This perspective of mine was completely challenged yesterday when I came upon a video that was circulating on Facebook.  The video is about a young women applying make-up to cover up bruises she supposedly got from her husband.  I did not know the video is a actually public service message designed to illustrate how domestic violence is hidden, so when I tuned in I actually thought it was real.  Here is the link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-XHPHRlWZk&feature=player_embedded

So, I’m watching this video and I started crying and I kept crying for two hours.  I cried so hard I started to hyperventilate and it took all my strength to regain my composure.  The tears were because I lived like that for so many decades with my husband and also grew up with a father who was very abusive, physically and emotionally.  I didn’t cry because I felt bad for myself either, that was definitely not why.  I was crying because I could feel the fear welling up in me, I was reminded that I was the girl in the video.  I was having a flashback to the life I thought I’d successfully forgotten and it scared me terribly all over again.  There is a difference though now, and it’s that I felt free enough to cry, something I never would allow myself to do for most of my life.  I even wrote a song called. I Won’t Cry.      

So, I realized yesterday that the trauma and pain can not and will not miraculously disappear not matter how much I pretend that it doesn’t exist.  I need to begin to share.  As of right now I am really not quite sure what all of this means or how much I will actually be able to share.  I already feel nervous about writing what I’ve written here today.  I worry that all my terrible memories will haunt me for the rest of my life, similar to the way a veteran suffers with memories long after he or she returns home from combat. 

I’m not sure how to start sharing my memories.  I know I have to though because I don’t want them to die with me.  I want them out of my brain and maybe my experiences will help other people find strength.  It doesn’t mean that I hate my ex-husband or wish him or anyone else any harm either.  I honestly wish him well.  It’s actually not about anyone else, especially not him or my father it’s just about me trying to heal and find some peace.  The only way to do this is to be honest and not cover up my memories anymore.  

I suppose I could just start by sharing one of my journal entries.  I guess one day I’ll just open a journal and pick the first one I open to.  I have no idea when or if I ever will.  For now, the journals are just collecting dust in a box in my bedroom.    

Please leave a comment if you want, I’d like that.  You can also share about your experiences, too. 


             

     

   

Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

If the world really ended on Dec. 21st

             

On my busy days of running errands I pass several beautiful fields of
grass. They tempt me, especially in late summer when the grass is tall
and shimmering in the glow of the late afternoon sun, to pull over from
my hectic life, park my car, and just run through them. I have dreamed
often of doing this for many years, but have never quite gotten up courage.
I mean, someone might think I’d lost my mind and call the police and
have me arrested. But, if the world really were going to end on Dec.
21st, then I would hop in my car right now and drive to a climate that
is warmer than the wintry New England climate where I call home. I would drive until I
came upon a field of grass that was wide enough for me to keep running
until I collapsed, completely out of breath and laughing. Then I would
lay there, face up toward the sun, close my eyes, and let the sunlight warm my face forever. This would
be the most peaceful way I can imagine to welcome the end of the world.


                                                                                                                                                                                         

Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

Remembering the children of Newtown, Conn.

                                      

                                                         

All those beautiful little children and the adults. What a horrible event. Poor, poor little innocent children.

It’s heartbreaking when even just one little
child loses his or her life. Each child in this massacre deserves to be
remembered & honored and grieved for individually, not grouped into
one of many. I want to pray for each in a personal way.

Tonight before I
lay my head down to go to sleep I am going to make myself a cup of tea,
light a candle and say the names of each of these beautiful angels,
praying for each one to find restful peace (along with my son, Carmen,
who left me in 2008) now and forever.



                                                                

                                                        

Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

Random statistics on mental health, drug and alcohol use, and prison populations. Looking for correlations prompted by the Newtown, Conn. massacre.

Friday’s massacre of so many innocent children and adults by a young man who also had the rest of his life ahead of him prompted me to do a little
research about the mental health, prison, and drug situation in our
country. I’ll just list some of the facts, as well as links to some of
the articles I read.  This is by no means an exhaustive study, just someone looking for some answers. 

You can draw your own conclusions and maybe even do some research on the subject as well. Knowledge is key.  We really need to start making some correlations between pieces of information screaming out at us.   

1. In 1880 there were 75 mental hospitals for our population of 50
million people. As of the current population clock we now have a
population of 314,953,059 and according to data from the American
Hospital Association’s 2010 survey there were 435 non-federal
psychiatric hospitals. So, in 1880 we had 1 mental hospital for
approximately every 676,000 people. Today we have approximately 1 mental
hospital for every 724,000 people.

2. In 1954, the anti-psychotic medication Thorazine was introduced.
    a. In 1955 there were 560,000 mental patients in institutions.
    b. By 1975 there were 228,000 mental patients in institutions.
    c. By 1977 there were 160,000.
    d. By 1980 there were 130,000.

3. In 1955 there were 339 psychiatric beds per 100,000 pp.
    a. In 2006 there were only 49,000 beds.

3. In 1880, of our population of 50 million, 58,000 pp were in prison or jail. 1 in every 862 people.
    a. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4537) at the end of 2011 there were 6,977,700 people in prison or jail. 1 in every 107 adults was incarcerated.

4. According to a 2012 study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/monitoring-future)
while both alcohol and cigarette use is down among high school kids,
sadly, of the 12th graders surveyed, not only has marijuana use increased but 10.5% use or used the prescription
pain med, Vicodin. That’s approx. 10 in 100….100 in 1000….1000 in
10,000….10,000 in 100,000…..100,000 kids out of a million have used
Vicodin, a prescription drug.

http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/37146/A-History-of-Mental-Institutions-in-the-United-States/#vars!date=1985-02-27_07:02:45!


Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

Another holiday in a new life.


                                            
    

Can it really be true that I’ll be living another Christmas without my son?  How many is that now?  Oh yeah, I think it’s five.  Honestly, I feel a little bit numb to the holidays this year.  Although that is probably how I felt last year and the year before, too, but I just don’t remember.  I tried to put up decorations but could only muster the strength to put up the little table top tree.  There just doesn’t seem to be a reason anymore, not because I dislike the holidays, but because everyone is busy and so I’m not expecting any company.  It’s not like the old days when I was married and the kids always came around and there was a never ending parade of company, and food and presents and laughter.  My new life is quiet now, so quiet, completely opposite from my life which was devoted to my family and working in our small business.  I never thought I would ever need a financially secure career so now, at 50 years old, I am struggling to find my place in the business world.  Back then, even if I wanted to create a separate career, my responsibilities in my home and our business were my priorities.  This enabled my husband to devote his energy to building our business, which put food on our table and which he still has.  I’ve been trying since the divorce to build up a new life, but there are so many pieces to that puzzle; there is the financial piece, the companion piece, the home piece, the work piece, the spiritual piece, the family piece, the identity piece, etc.  I imagine it’s because I was married for over three decades and worked in our small business, but maybe it’s just that it takes time for a new life to gel because none of my puzzle pieces stayed in place after the divorce.  I am creating a brand new puzzle but none of the pieces are cured at the same time.  It’s been such an arduous road for the past six years.

I had so much more drive and energy in the first few years after the divorce, but then I lost my son  four years ago.  At that time it took all my strength just to get out of bed and get my butt to work.  Then budget cuts and I got laid off so I focused on music and simplifying my life to align my expenses with my income.  Right now, I am now down to working for $8 an hour as a seasonal employee at a dept. store for the holidays.  Not that I mind because it’s not much stress (which is good), but a person really can’t live on $8 an hour.  Well you can, but you can’t afford gas for your car or food.  Tough when there isn’t any other source of income.  I had a job since last March up until a few months ago tutoring and being a nanny but it ended.  I also made money painting houses over the summer.  I really didn’t expect to find myself jobless again.  I am grateful that I have some kind of job though, even though it doesn’t pay much.  I put in applications for Reading Specialist but only get called in for interviews half of the time.  It’s probably because I’ve only worked on my own in my own business.  I’ve only been a small business owner/entrepreneur.  We are a rare breed.     

I am praying that for the new year I can finally get my financial situation into a stable routine of earning enough money to support myself and to also be able to buy things for my granddaughters.  For the very first time in my life, this Christmas I can’t afford to buy anyone presents.  I’m trying not to let it bother me but I feel very inadequate, plus missing my son and the family life I used to have……..   Chin up though. Time to go and get ready for my day working at Macy’s.  I do love talking to all the customers, for real, not because I am trying to sell anything.  That’s not really important to me.  I just really love connecting with people.   

Enjoy your day!  My song is available on iTunes


                    

Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

Missing a child during the holidays.


                                             

I know it’s not good to wish things were different in life, and I do so
try always to love and enjoy (regardless of changes) whatever life I
find myself living but I’m a bereaved mother, and I must admit that I
find myself wishing so much that my son was here to enjoy the holidays
with me and his sister, his brothers, relatives and friends. It’s just
really difficult to have to walk through my days right now knowing this.

Glad I’m busy working, and I enjoy meeting people at my job at the Estee
Lauder counter in the mall, but I keep tearing up over innocent things.
Like today, I was talking to a customer, and she showed me what she’d
bought. I was so excited for her, and then she showed me a pair of
pajamas she’d bought for her 13 yr old son. I had to look away because
it made me tear up. Then another lady was there shopping with her
teenage kids (a real sweet family) and her son (who looked to be about
14 years old) was nagging her for some money so he could buy a drink or
something. He kept saying, “But Ma, I’m dying of thirst. I need a drink.
Ma. Ma. Ma.” She gave him one of those exasperated mother looks and
finally relented. I passed by and looked over at her: she was smiling
watching him run off to buy what he wanted. It reminded me of my son and
I.

Not quite sure how to handle this all, but I guess it’s just like what
I’ve been doing for the past four Christmas’: by getting up each day,
being grateful for what I have, and just dealing with it. I decided to
go ahead and put up my tabletop, fiber optic tree. (Seriously, wasn’t
even going to bother because I feel sad.) Tried to put up some
decorations but found I was tearing up so decided not to. Maybe I’ll try
again tomorrow. I’m doing the best and as much as I can. That’s how
I’ll get through the holidays.

I’ve written a Christmas song describing those mournful feelings that accompany the holidays for so many people, including myself. The song is called, CHRISTMAS TIME BLUES and you can hear it on YouTube and on my website and also download it from iTunes.   
 


Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

Turn your loss around.

                            

It’s kind of funny but it’s true that you must
enjoy and be positive with whatever you have at any given time because
everything changes. For instance, I loved my life of raising my kids
and of being married. Now, that’s changed and yet I find that I love
having a peaceful life. I loved being a college student but now I love
not having to study. I loved have a business and an office but
now I
love
to be looking forward to creating and building a new business. I loved
the wonderful animals who have entered and left my life but now I love
my new animals just as much. I loved living in a house that overlooked
the ocean but now I love my new home and bike riding or walking to the
ocean.

I have been completely in love with the many “lives” I’ve lived
while I am living them. Now, I am in love with a new life, one which does not resemble any of the life (lives) I lived before. The truth is, I create my own perspective of joy and
beauty regardless of what is happening in my life (and oftentimes my life has been incredibly difficult and stressful).

Even about losing my
son, it’s been over four years now and I think I am beginning to gain
some objectivity and recognize how blessed I was to have him in my life
for 20 years. Granted, sometimes I find myself grief-stricken all over
again (especially with the holidays here) but I think my positive
attitude strengthens me and gives me a reason to go on.
 



I kind of struggled with finding the right way to say what I was feeling
and thinking today. I was thinking this morning that I do love and enjoy my
life, but then I thought to myself that I also loved and enjoyed raising
my kids so much and then I thought of all the different times in my
life that I have loved my life and even though I love this life and try
and make the most of it, things will probably change and then I’ll be
also be loving a completely new life.

I never have to look far for a reason to smile. 






Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.