It has taken me many years to finally be open with this part of my life. I suffered tremendously of my own will.
It was the darkest periods in my entire life.
While researching “The Dark Night” I became acquainted with a wonderful person. She welcomed me and I did this very article as a guest blogger on her site.
Freedom From Ashes
Update…I just was going through my blog posts, checking links and am sorry to report that this site above is longer in the internet universe 😦
On a cold and dreary November day in November 1948, I came crying into this world.
It was mid month the 18 th. The trees were stark against the snowy countryside, casting their dark shadow limbs that glistened on the sparkling icy snow.
I was introduced to my older sister and their were many parties and I was showered with gifts. My older sister was not an only child anymore.This effected her. When I was three much to my mother’s anguish she cut off my beautiful blonde curls.
Throughout the years striving for the attention she felt was lacking she sabotaged me. She told on me, hoping that would be favorable. I was a tomboy, always outside; climbing trees or investigating Copperhead nesting grounds.
I especially enjoyed the Maryland winters, sled riding, ice skating, building igloo’s in the hill beside my grandparents house. We had no running water and our water supply came from a spring well.
I can remember my mama making us rice and beans days in a row. Turn that around and add a stroke of abundance. My father was a hustler. That entailed a hard day’s work or perhaps a win at the local pool hall…My dad would say bring on the steaks.
I don’t remember ever going to bed hungry. I was warm in the winter with two stoves to warm us. One was an electric gas stove, the other a kitchen wood burning stove.
I took nothing for granted because I knew of nothing better.
I started school at the early age of 5. My fondest memory was my first boyfriend, his name was Peachy. We played marbles at recess and took naps most of the day. This resulted in our missing the bus home on many days.
When I was 12 my mother became a Jehovah’s Witness. It changed my entire life as I knew it.
My home life in the early teen years was very inconsistent.
My parents never seemed to be in agreement on many things.
This resulted in my tendency to not make any decisions.
I believe this is where my “Whatever” attitude took on a life of its own.
Dad was very much into the John Bircher Society.
My grandparents were Freemasons.
I graduated in 1966. I wanted to be an airline stewardess or a model but I got married and started a family instead.
The outdoors no matter what the weather was my refuge. Trees made to climb with nature designed limbs to get you to the top. Creeks to wade in during the hot summers and skate on in the frozen winters.
Long lanes to pogo stick down and learn to ride my first bicycle.
Perfect sled runs down hills and hills of freshly fallen snow packed by my Uncle’s snow plow and a drizzle of frozen rain.
Croquet in the yard in the summer time with plenty of sweet Maryland iced tea to satisfy a thirst.
The smells of apple butter and apple cider being made at Butchering time. I can still see the huge vats of pig fat being made into cooking lard. The smoke wafting into the hot putrid air from the remnants of the slaughter. Preparing the humongous slabs of sugar-cured bacon and other parts to be cured in the smoke house.
For as long as I can remember I have had a thing with my hair.
I confess I am a chronic and compulsive hair twirler. I have let my hair grow shoulder length and it is so soft and comforting to feel it as it twirls in my fingers.
If my right hand is busy I use my left. I have used both and that must look really odd. Being ambidextrous is a plus in hair twirling, especially when one hand gets tired.
Funny thing I read the other day is that Gemini’s are good with their hands. My moon is in Gemini.
Now, there seems to be more hair on my brush and going down the drain then on my head.
Never again will I be a small girl dragging a red sled behind me – and standing at the top of a mighty hill, looking down toward the bottom with trepidation and excitement. Never again will I be a young child with frozen fingers and toes, running home to a glowing, warm house and a sweet cup of hot chocolate – that tastes even sweeter now because I know my mom made it for me from scratch. It was not the instant kind from a pouch.
I wonder if the reflections of the past are somehow honed by time into something they never were.
Maybe what is too painful to remember our minds simply choose to erase.
As my sister says ” I rather think that we have been led down a very strange path of beliefs by our fears, superstitions and wonders. Perhaps all is just the way it is meant to be.”
I like that.
Very strange paths and we followed until we found our own way.
Maybe the day will come when I won’t be able to recall the bitter, sad, hurtful memories at all anymore.
“there is no past, only what we feel about it.
there is no future, only what we think about it.
there is only now and what we do with it.
Be here now ”
There will always be a child inside me; it is the child inside the WOMAN. And, I love the gifts she gives me too much to ever let her go.
I don’t think I want those bad memories filtered so much. I want to remember the dark, hurting, sad days too. I’m not sure why – it just seems they are as much a part of me as the happy ones. I am the sum of the happy and the sad. I am the sum of the bitter and the sweet, of the bad and the good.
My Descent Into the Darkness
For this day, I choose with all my heart to go back in time.
It is the healer in me that inspires to be of help and service to others in pain.
Those Dark Nights were surrounded by shadows that I chose. The tracks of the tears, fears and years that led me here.
“Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again”
Simon and Garfunkel “Sounds of Silence”
Lyrics: Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never shared
No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools,” said I, “you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence”
“I am reading the book “The Secret of the Shadow” again by Debbie Ford.
That’s our shadow folks…always there, always waiting.”
I knew I was in trouble. I needed Help. I asked the Universe to please show me a different path.
At the time I was living in Michigan with an elderly couple and my man of many drug laced years. We fought often and violently. The couple called the police. She also called my daughter and told her if she didn’t get me away from the situation I was in she feared for my life. I still have the letter my daughter wrote me encouraging me to some how get too Key West. I would live with her and get my life in order. I had not seen her in seven years. My grandchildren who I had never met were 1 1/2 and almost 5. She mentioned that she had a dream where the police were involved. She stressed she only had one mother and those words tugged at my heartstrings.
This was a grand plan. I borrowed the money and bought my bus ticket. A day before leaving I cashed it in and partied for three days. A few months later I left my car and every worldly possession and hitch hiked to Key West, FL on 18 Wheelers. This was 1992. I had the clothes on my back and my pocketbook with perhaps a bit of change and a few dollars. Traveling light took on a new meaning for me. I did not tell my daughter I was coming; as I had done so many times before and never made it.
My boyfriend’s mother was so concerned that her son would be arrested for my disappearance. I called the State Police and informed them I was traveling too Key West. I did not mention that I was hitch hiking.
There was no turning back.
In hide sight I was always looking for that new rush and I tried the entire A-Z line of drugs. Many things bring back those memories.
The Kasbah Life
Slinky basket filled with defanged cobra’s
Dark strong smooth kif
Snow covered majestic mountains
Remembering life in Tangier,Morocco…another part of my journey.
Servers work so hard.
It’s a kiss ass kinda job.
I worked in the service industry (restaurants and bars) for over 35 years because I enjoy people.
I made a lot of great tips.
Nowadays people think a tip is doing the server a favor.
They think minimum wage is sufficient.
Most of the persons I worked with led a drug and alcohol filled existence. There was always a party somewhere…I had to separate myself from persons that I had done the most unimaginable things with for years. That is hard.
Letting go does not just propel you in any other direction. It is just a total and repeated nothingness. You are emptying the mind and the emotions so that something else can come in and show you your way.
This peace within, or your lack thereof, always affects those around you. When you choose peace within, others see that they too have this choice.
This is a wonderful gift. Open daily.
However, if you continue to be caught up in outer events and tied to your past traumas, anger and resentments, you will keep those around you somewhat caught up as well.
In Michigan~ No matter the season, hot as the blazes or so cold your tears froze.
I lied, stole, lived on the street, laid my head on rumpled newspaper in vacant hallways, in vacant and uninhabitable houses. Slept in my car until it wouldn’t run anymore. Got evicted from great apartments and lost many a job because I was too busy.
Driven by the Shadows that came. They came in disguised form as a fluffy, fine white powder.
Chasing the shadow the white ghost was my life. Getting the $ to do it, finding it, and doing it around people who were so paranoid I couldn’t understand WHY they did it.
Paranoid, not me. I just wanted to get high. After blowing most of my veins and acquiring cotton fever too many times to remember I found a new way.
Crack…it is WACK in reference to what a famous person once said.
Then of course, no more, not even a crumb, not on the floor, on the table nowhere…no kibbles and no bits.Then pushing the pipe until it couldn’t be pushed anymore and inhaling the burnt chore boy.
I remember coughing up these little round air balls. They would POP. This came from my lungs. Oh and when you held the pipe in your hand and burnt it, I had huge blisters on my hand from holding the pipe, keeping it away from my man who said I was a fiend.
(A man or woman who craves a certain substance, usually a drug. Various types of fiends exist, such as the tweaker, the crack fiend, the pothead, the cokehead fiend)
We were both fiends. We finally stopped using every day, and we lived and worked for the weekend. We became weekend fiend warriors.
Sobbing on a shoulder, lost and out of control.
I drank, I passed out. I didn’t have to think.
I broke my foot and don’t remember the how’s, where or why’s.
Acquiring, indulging, repeat until the money was gone and there were no groceries bought and no bills paid. Then selling our jewelry given to us by our families, heirloom keepsakes, but what ever we needed to get HIGH and that was it…that was all that mattered.
So tired and sick of being sick and tired but wanting just ONE more hit. Watching the smoke curl in the glass pipe. Hearing the sizzle, crack and pop.
Well this is actually a story that has been told and will be told again and again. Each time it is told it will sound the same, because that’s what addiction to anything we lose control over is.
Whatever the drug of choice is…crack, meth, hallucinogens, heroin, weed, pills, alcohol…even food, it ensures everyday will be the same.
Dawn~A New Way
Things happen…it pains us.
Sometimes it is the pain that makes US realize the change that needs to occur.
Sometimes the pain of all the hurts has too be “Let Go” of Our sweet intoxicating lovers. The most insidious and powerful drug I had ever done. One hit and it owned me, It held me it’s captive like no other.
Key lessons I learned.
They may kick you when you are down, and they most certainly will kick you when you are up. It’s all in how you stand tall, proud and unashamed; once your feet are steady on the ground.
There is no time in this life for regrets. Everything that you experienced made you the unique person you are this moment. It is being “REAL” that eventually opens our heart.
I love life. If you always see the IF in it, there are endless possibilities.
The Dark and the Light
I didn’t wake up one day and aspire to be a “Junkie”. That word, sends chills all over me. I suppose for some reasons; perhaps even now I have not acknowledged what made me so bad as my mama so fondly would say. I didn’t think I was bad. I wasn’t this horrible person, I was sick! Addicted, an Addict.
I don’t have aids or dying as a good friend of mine is doing as I write this. Both her kidneys have failed and her liver.
When I knew the Dark Nights of my Soul were killing me I aspired to be an Eagle and fly free.
Even if it meant giving up this earthly life.
Watching a life pass before your eyes, it might be your life or a close friend. All the while thinking this must be utopia. Having a great nod is not my idea of living.
I always loved watching Eagles fly. So smoothly and they looked so powerful.
Eagles seemed so at peace in their world and I was far from being in peace in mine.
Many times I intentionally tried to destroy myself, at least I would be flying free like the eagle.
I cut my wrists, drank and mixed pills and drugs.
I always woke up. In a major daze mind you but alive.
Now that I am free, I notice everything and am in total awe of all that I have missed. I was an addict from 1967 to 1998. A few times I gave in to my inner demons that said just one hit, just one drink…and I had to just finally STOP.
I have been clean for almost 15 years as far as drugs go. Drinking took on a new life so too speak. In 1998 I became very sick. I had very little energy, I felt as if I was in a fog. This haze was not drug induced.
I have several tattoos also… Tattoos or piercings performed either before the mid-1980s and afterwards.
“underground,” or nonprofessionals are of particular concern, since sterile techniques in such settings may be lacking.”
I have since curtailed my drinking. I have slipped a few times, got overly booze buzzed, wrecked my moped, dealt with broken bones and hospitals.
What was I NOT thinking ?
I have a beautiful daughter 44 and two lovely drug free grandchildren (27-22).
I am single now. My last relationship was void of the influence of drugs and alcohol but it still went south. We never married.
I have to ask myself why I was so insecure in recent years ? Why I felt I needed this Gemini man in my life ?
Especially after surviving so many dark days and nights.
He was inconsistent, insecure, he accused me of things, insinuated and said derogatory remarks. He would always say “I know you have someone else”. He was the one that always had someone else.
He tried to project what he did. How he felt and his twisted thoughts on too me and I did not like it. I have my own thoughts and feelings, I do not need anyone else’s.
Invalidation, is what I am talking about and he just did NOT get it.
I am so thankful that HE is in my past.
I am thankful for the lessons learned.
In this 5 year relationship the Lessons took way too much of my valuable time.
My life now that I am older, retired from the work mania. I find I am at a place of serenity and acceptance of myself with most of my idiosyncrasy’s acknowledged and dealt with.
I am getting back into photography of unusual and unique moments that capture my eye.
I take more time letting people into my life. They have to show me there worthy of knowing me.
I did marry one more time. My wedding was on the beach, it was beautiful. This is the poem Rev. Casper read at our wedding….May 24th 1997
“I love you not only for what you are but for what I am when I am with you.
I love you not only for what you have made of yourself but for what you are making of me.
I love you for putting your hand into my heaped up heart and passing over all the frivolous and weak things that you can not help seeing there.
You draw out into the light all the beautiful radiant things that no one else has looked quite far enough inside to find.
I love you for ignoring the possibilities of the fool in me and laying firm hold of all the good in me.
I love you for closing your eyes to the discord in me and adding to the music in me just by listening.”
Years later I realized that I was living with a stranger, someone who had hidden all his flaws so well from me. The main one being a cocaine habit. We divorced and he passed away from a heart attack a few years later.
Reminds me of the song “Everyone Plays the Fool Sometimes, No exception to the Rule” that Marvin Gaye sang so beautifully.
It has taken me many years to feel the power of the Phoenix.
I was that Scorpion on the ground, stinging anything and everything that got in my way 🙂
At present I am in the process of slowing my incessant Chatter in my brain. I feel like the Energized Bunny .
My older sister always says “You are an open book”
My reply is “all the better to read and understand”
Sometimes I feel I am just getting started figuring out the real me.
You know what?
The Journey never ends.
I have always been interested in astrology, numerology, anything to do with darkness, and Light of course. Many years ago a Psychic told me that when I returned from Africa I brought 7 spirits back with me. She said as in all things some were good, some were great and others would nearly kill me. This piqued my interest naturally and I started researching in every library I could find. I didn’t have a computer and instant knowledge at my finger tips. I forget the name of the astrology book I read, but it mentioned that a Scorpio is so special because they have not two but three symbols.
Scorpion symbolizes a hotheaded warrior who is violently passionate, bluntly sarcastic, egotistical, controlling and manipulative. As I mentioned earlier she will sting others even if the payback is getting stung herself.
Eagle represents the calm but intense, focused, determined, intuitive and perceptive Scorpio who often developed healing, clairvoyant and counseling abilities.
The Phoenix is the confident, courageous, positive transformer that transcends personal ego.
I died many small deaths during my addiction. I pulled up out of the deep dark cesspools and survived.
That moment when I realized I was indeed THE Phoenix.
Of course on an added note…the Scorpion does not back down. I will defend you till the end if I feel you are being railroaded or extreme bias is knocking on your door. I can be venomous with my speech. If looks could kill, well let’s just say their would be fewer assholes walking this earth.
“The spider web weaves what no fly should touch…just saying”
Quote by “Me”
I have my amazing thoughts, memories and creativeness whirling in my brain
I have had the fever and furious lovemaking, the lies, the betrayal, complicated maze
Nights of undeniable bliss
I have witnessed many an azure sky with winking stars and mysterious neighboring mists
In too many cities wandering and erratic in between the twilight shadows
My journals speak of days and nights
sometimes blended as one
Kaleidoscopic pictures of the Maze in fragmentary facts
Raised on religious rhetoric
Isolated and Detached
Waiting for an END that never came
Disillusioned youth, fractured family
I have no interest in babbling gossip
He said, she said, they said, who cares
But seriously speaking, what is the use of it?
Ex friends that remind me of sandpaper
with their critical judgment,vigorous invective
They rub the wrong way
No time for the maddening monotony
© Cynthia Martz 2012
The “Simplest” Way
When we finally arrive at a space where we are simply happy and grateful for what we do have, we will know that we have arrived. All the wanting, trying to create, trying to keep up, and trying to get somewhere, are simply the road we undertook to get to this higher space of giving up and letting go….which is precisely where we need to be…in gratitude, wonder, and joy for it all. And this is when we finally get all that we have ever wanted, only we find that we really no longer need these things that we thought we had to have! When we finally arrive in this incredible space, we seem to be able then, to be happy, joyful, and full of love wherever we find ourselves. We have then come full circle.
Struggle, then, creates the space of letting go (basically through exhaustion). And letting go and surrendering, creates the space of the higher realms reality, where Source can then enter oh so much more easily.
Do we need to never want a thing ever again? Absolutely not! We only need know that we can be happy right where we are, no matter where that may be. And accepting where we are and how things are in the world or around us, gives us the strength through knowledge that all is always in divine and perfect order. And through this acceptance, we can then receive all that we have ever wanted.
If we choose, we can arrive in this space, by-passing the long journey of struggle, a journey which eventually culminates at the very place where it all began.
We can align right now then, in this simple way:
When we align with the simple things in life, which are always available and present, we are automatically placed in alignment.”
ENCOURAGEMENT from the Phoenix
Everyone needs to be encouraged…Change is hard. But sometime it is the only thing that saves you. You must want the change, so badly. Addiction is evil. It takes hold and says “I won’t let you go”. You have to be smarter than your addiction and say “You may not let me go, but I am outta here”
Same with bad relationships.
We stay because they are comfy, like an old pair of slippers. Sometimes, cleaning out that closet is the best thing you can ever do. After all it makes room for new and better things.
YOUR NEW LIFE
Written in Love,Peace and Light
© Cynthia Martz