Living a Lie

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Living a Lie
By Bernadette A. Moyer

illusion

My husband is famous for saying “he/she is just living a lie.” Sadly we have known more than a few people like that, people that create a narrative to help justify their own poor behaviors. There are people that knowingly lie so they don’t have to accept responsibility for their circumstances and life choices.

We live in a world where “political correctness” often takes the place of harsh reality. And many of us actually bless it and go along with it. You can declare what sex you are! I recently filled out an application where I was asked if I was male, female, and other or does not wish to declare. Next thing we will be able to adjust who our parents are if we can fill out forms like a birth certificate and “declare” whatever sex we are then maybe the next step is we can also “declare” and decide whoever we want our parents to be regardless of who they truly were?

The definition of “mental illness” used to be defined as living in an altered reality and yet in our culture today we almost promote it.

I remember so vividly back in the 1980’s telling my mother that her husband was a child abuser and I will never ever forget her response to me, “we will never speak of this again” she said.

What she meant was I will never speak to you again. Think about that response? Not something like he would never do that or why on earth would you say that? But “never speak of this” she knew the truth and she lived more than 30 years with a lie. She was living a lie. It was easier for her to deny the truth than to face the cold harsh reality.

What made it even harder to witness was how she aligned herself with others in the family that would also provide cover for her and go along with the lie because the truth was just so hard to accept. Who on earth wants to be married to a child molester or have one in the family? In order for her to believe the truth she would have had to leave him and she wasn’t going to do that.

I couldn’t live her lie, I couldn’t live with it for me and I wouldn’t put my three children around someone that was known to me as a child abuser. There were no winners but I knew I did what had to be done. And even though I seldom spoke of it, let’s face it; it’s pretty embarrassing having a known child abuser marry into the family. Initially I didn’t want to embarrass my mother and I didn’t want to bring further harm to the child who trusted me enough to confide in me. Then one day you realize that by NOT speaking out and by not speaking the truth you have contributed to making yourself the scapegoat and a target.

The problem with living a lie though is that seldom is it innocent and seldom does it just include or affect just one person. It has been said “you are only as sick as your secrets.”

They say that many abuse survivors go into an altered state to protect themselves when they are being abused. PTSD or posttraumatic stress disorder is a mental disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to a traumatic event such as sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions or other threats on a person’s life. Many survivors can’t face the truth. It is just so painful and therefore some will create an alternate reality.

For almost 20 years now I have been a part of several support groups for estranged parents of adult children. I knew that pain from both sides. I knew it from my mother and years later I would know it from my daughter. I have been supported and I have supported many others through their shock and pain and disbelief. It’s messy. Most parents take it on themselves blaming themselves and looking at what they did, didn’t do and could have done differently. After all we were the adults, we were the parents we were the ones that raised them.

What I have uncovered in many circumstances and from speaking to parents as well as the adult children that estrange is that often it starts out simple enough, something was said and done or perceived as a wrong and the child decides to dismiss mom and dad from their lives.

But … and a big but as time goes by it becomes more and more difficult to return. Much has happened and typically the adult child has others in their ear it could be a spouse, a husband or wife a friend, a family member someone that usually has an agenda of their own. The adult child doesn’t want to be the “bad” one because what “good” adult child throws mom and dad away and erases them from their life? So mom and dad have to be the bad guys.

Recently I had an adult child confide in me that they literally sought out others in the family that would side with them. Anyone that already had issues was a new alliance in the estrangement. Sides are drawn and sides are chosen, again making any meaningful reconciliation virtually impossible.

The road coming back becomes littered with more and more lies … they lie to protect themselves, they lie about their families, they lie about mom and dad and in being a “victim” many reap the rewards of victimization. So the lies continue.

One lie typically leads to numerous other lies and sadly and eventually they end up living a lie … it has been said, “The only people who are mad at you for speaking the truth are those people who are living a lie. Keep speaking the truth.”

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
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Another Year

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Another Year
By Bernadette A. Moyer

beachbench

My husband just celebrated his birthday a few days ago and in less than a month I will celebrate mine, God willing. And I truly mean “God willing” since not one of us knows when that actual date of ending life will arrive we just know that it is a foregone conclusion.

There are so many gifts that come with age; the first being wisdom. Wisdom that comes from years of living life and wisdom that comes from learning life lessons.

With each year we become more grateful not just grateful for what we have now but grateful for all that we endured and survived. My parents’ generation was famous for sayings like “youth is wasted on the young.” When you get older you can appreciate a statement like that one more and more.

We celebrated his birthday with a weekend chock full of events and activities and his children remembered him and that was all he needed, he was happy and indeed celebrated a happy birthday.

Another year becomes another chance to do and to see and to learn and to grow. Another year translates to endless possibilities and the magic that is yet to unfold.

Above all else we are just so thankful and so grateful and so truly appreciative, we are here, we are together and we share so much love …

Thank you God for this year and for the chance and the hopes that a new year can and will bring our way.

It just sounds so simple and yet so magnificent … another year … God willing!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
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Two Chairs

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Two Chairs
By Bernadette A. Moyer

tworockers

When was the last time you really talked to someone? When was the last time you spoke from your heart? When was the last time you listened from your heart?

Anyone who has ever visited our home whether it was our beach house or our primary residence would find two rocking chairs on our front porch. We like the look and we think it says “welcome come sit and chat” but for us it also meant more than that.

My husband and I started our life together 25-years ago. We started by getting to know one another by sitting on two white chairs in a beachside bar/restaurant called The Red Pump located in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea in Florida. At that time he was recently widowed and my husband had died 9 years earlier. We both had children from our deceased spouses and we were both aged 32. We had a lot to talk about.

We started our relationship by just talking and really listening. We shared our past history, we shared our heart breaks and we shared our dreams and our desire for what a happy future could like, we sat on those chairs for hours and hours. We sat there getting to know one another. I can’t remember much of last week but I can remember most all of those early long conversations.

For us two chairs represent taking the time to talk, taking the time to listen and above all else taking the time to get to know one another.

In a world that can be crazy busy and all consuming, we still believe that two chairs and the people that stop to sit in them and hold long heartfelt conversations, are two people that are choosing to spend time well spent and of immeasurable value.

Stop, sit and hold those heartfelt conversations … share … listen … it doesn’t have to be so complicated. The greatest gift we can ever give to another person is our time and our attention. The greatest gifts come from mutual sharing.

Here is to spending more time pausing for a nice long sit, genuine conversation and really talking and really listening and doing it all from the heart ….

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

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57 Things I Learned in My 57 Years

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57 Things I Learned in My 57 Years
By Bernadette A. Moyer

mepic

1) My life and my happiness is my responsibility, period.

2) Kids will come and kids will go, build a life that is meaningful long after their departure.

3) Don’t take it personally, nothing other people do is because of you, it is because of them.

4) Gather as much information as you can and then make informed decisions.

5) Pick the guy who believes in you, supports you, loves you and thinks you are beautiful.

6) Bad boys are just that, bad.

7) Trust few but always trust in your own inner voice.

8) Every single day is a blessing.

9) Nothing lasts forever, this too shall pass.

10) People will come into your life and people will leave your life, let them.

11) You are beautiful just the way you are, believe it! No one knows your heart like you do.

12) Work hard, go that extra mile but play hard too.

13) Nature offers peace every single day and in every single season.

14) Animals have incredible souls and are capable of the most love and loyalty.

15) Writers write.

16) Estrangement is strange. It isn’t normal and there are no winners.

17) Trust someone the first time they reveal themselves to you.

18) Marriage requires ongoing efforts and commitment grounded in genuine love and care.

19) Surround yourself with people, places and things that you love. Create your own beautiful life.

20) I was a shy kid that stuttered; today I could debate with the best. Where you start is just a start.

21) Never ever give up on yourself.

22) Campy as it sounds, “Into each life, some rain must fall.”

23) Learn from it and then get over it!

24) Beauty exists everywhere and so does ugliness.

25) Good people can and do make bad mistakes.

26) You are not defined by one person, one experience or single life event.

27) Everything that seems bad really can be turned around and into something good.

28) Be a life-long learner. There is always something new to learn.

29) Gratitude is an attitude.

30) Life goes on …

31) God is good. In an ever changing world God is my salvation.

32) Family is so much more than blood; it is the people that love, support and see the best in you.

33) Girlfriend time is always time well spent.

34) Stress less. Pray more and worry less.

35) Eat the good foods and exercise. Life is about balance.

36) Make love, lots and lots of love.

37) Negative people are just that, negative.

38) Take the time to get to know yourself and always be your own best friend.

39) There is a big difference between being alone and being lonely.

40) Peace is always possible.

41) Stability doesn’t have to be boring.

42) Make something build something bake something create more. Just do it.

43) Build on a solid foundation.

44) Embrace change. Don’t fight it be open to new things, new people and new experiences.

45) Painful lessons are lasting lessons.

46) Pretty comes and pretty goes but being nice will last forever.

47) Share as much as possible but don’t allow yourself to be taken for granted.

48) Hatred and anger doesn’t look good on anyone. Not ever.

49) Forgive but don’t forget.

50) Not everything ends with “happy ever after” but that doesn’t mean your happiness has to end.

51) Give back! Every single person has something to offer.

52) Never wrestle with a pig, because you will both get dirty and the pig likes it.

53) We all have a birth date and a death date, no one gets out alive. Enjoy everything in between.

54) Getting old is a gift, cherish it.

55) Wisdom is born with age.

56) Breathe. Take long deep breathes.

57) Most things can be cured with a long hot bubble bath, a cup of tea or a glass of wine and a big warm embracing hug!

BONUS!

#58 Just because someone said it, doesn’t make it true.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

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Keeping Positive During These Negative Times

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Keeping Positive During These Negative Times
By Bernadette A. Moyer

positive

Have you had enough yet? I have! I have stopped watching the news, all of it! I am tired of all the negativity from both sides.

Wow! The amount of disrespect for this President makes me sick inside. Whether you like him or not, we are one Country and he was elected. If this isn’t your choice then go do something productive and positive to change the course.

When I see people hold signage of hatred and signs that read “Resist” and “Not My President” all I can think of is how other countries must view us and then I think about all the childhood lessons we were taught about winning and losing. That being a “sore loser” just wasn’t an option. And more than that I think about little kids with eyes wide open that are seeing a culture of disrespect, disrespect from all sides on all issues and towards all kinds of people.

What am I going to do about it? I don’t even switch channels as not to give the hate media more exposure and more clicks. When friends and associates post things I can’t stomach I quickly scan by and sometimes even remove them and block them. You see to me the sounds and the signs of disrespect, hate, anger, ugly words used by people that I know looks badly on them and not at all on their intended targets. Sadly it makes me think less of them.

People that spew anger, hatred, ugly comments and sentiments only make themselves look bad, period. I don’t want any parts of it.

My husband comes home from work and says, “Did you hear about this or did you see that —?” and I am like no I haven’t I have decided to tune it all out.

So what am I feeding my heart and my soul these days?

• More music
• Longer walks in nature
• Candles
• Pretty pictures
• Bird watching
• Cooking
• Baking
• Cleaning
• Writing
• Hanging out with my fur babies
• Reading
• Journaling
• Prayers
• Home improvement projects
• Adult coloring books

I can’t control what anyone else says and does but I can control how I respond to it. I choose to deliberately put my peace and well-being above all the political noise. And that is exactly what it is nothing but noise!

How many wonderful things could you be doing with your time and with your life rather than spewing ugly words and derogatory statements when the truth is you don’t even have all the insider knowledge and facts? The information that you are currently receiving is coming to you by a bias media that has their own agenda. They don’t think we are smart enough to hear all the facts and then make our own decisions without them telling us how to think. No thanks!

Didn’t we all grow up with our parents teaching us that “if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all!” Mine did good advice then and still good advice today.

If nothing else adults should stop and think if their behaviors are ones that little kids should ever witness? If the answer is “no” that might be a pretty good indication that no good comes from what you are doing and from any form of hate and anger.

Find a positive outlet for your upset, anger and disappointments and try to do something good and worthwhile. Please!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Simple Pleasures

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Simple Pleasures
By Bernadette A. Moyer

peaches

Simple pleasures, what are yours?

Just a few of mine include:

• That bowl of fresh peaches sitting on the kitchen counter
• My first cup of coffee in the morning
• Snuggling with my two pooches
• Watching my husband drive up after a long work day
• The look and smells of a freshly cut lawn
• Driving top down on a quiet country road with the music blaring
• Sunsets
• Sunrise
• The innocence of small children
• A clean house
• A clean desk
• Quiet time at home
• Lunch with a friend
• Writing a new blog
• The subtle seasonal changes
• Sitting on the beach
• Praying to God
• Good friends
• Happy people
• My roses opening and in full bloom
• A new book or magazine waiting to be read
• Rabbits running through the yard
• A road trip
• A live concert
• A baseball game
• Long meaningful conversations
• Fresh new paper and stationary
• Birthdays
• Holidays
• Cooking dinner
• Baking treats
• The smell of fresh laundry
• Long lazy weekends
• A tall glass of ice water

And I seriously could go on and on …

What are your simple pleasures? Gratitude is an attitude!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Don’t Tug That War

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Don’t Tug That War
By Bernadette A. Moyer

peace by bernadette

Remember tug of war, that game where two sides came together and who ever tugged hardest won? It was a battle of might putting two sides against one another to determine a “winner” the winner being the team that literally dragged the other side over to their side.

There are people in life that enjoy this game; they thrive on building their team and then literally trying to drag you through the mud so that their side wins.

Just a few days after her 50 year old daughter “Jane” (not her real name) was found dead in her bed her mother called me. The mother was living in Las Vegas and her daughter in Baltimore, they had been estranged for many years and even when they were in communication it was a difficult relationship.

The mother said “I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I will be talked about if I show up for the funeral and I will be talked about if I don’t show up. I don’t really have the money for the flight so I have decided not to come.”

I told her I understood and how difficult a decision it must have been for her. This was her mother, a mother who already had a daughter die at age 29, a mother that tried to understand this second daughter who almost always tried to create a tug of war with her mother. This was the mother who brought “Jane” into the world, the mother who raised “Jane” and the same mother who now has to grieve her daughter’s untimely death.

As I am writing this I hear from my “Soul Sister” Gwen who brings a great word to me “release” and how we must learn to release things, situations, events and people that only want to hurt us. Gwen talked about nature and the animals and how they are set free.

Release, think about that for a minute so what could you release and set free that is not healthy and is harming you? (Thanks Gwen I will definitely be meditating on “release” today, what a gift you are to me!)

And what about the game tug of war? What happens if you decide that you are not interested in playing and you don’t tug back?

Recently I told my husband that if I had to do it again, I wouldn’t have pushed our kids so hard to succeed. His immediate response was, “but that’s what parents do!”

Today I think more and more about accepting people and situations as they are and not as I have so often chosen to view them through rose colored glasses. Always wanting to see their highest potential and pushing and coaching for them to be their best.

The easiest way to peace is to give up the resistance, accept it, leave it, release it and don’t tug that war!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble