The First Time I Read The Word Exquisite

I actually remember the first time I ever read the word “exquisite”. It sent shivers up and down my spine and filled me with excitement. There was something special about that word, it was incredibly alluring. I have included the verse I read when I was just a little girl that filled me with anticipation.

Around this time of year, I am longing for bleak, grey winter to be over and longing for spring. Every day I feel excited as I anticipate the colour and warmth and life returning.

Sometimes it is hard to wait for the good times ahead. But I know they are coming. Nothing will stop the march of the seasons. I am full of hope, no matter how bitterly cold and dismal it is right now.

Whenever I turn on the news or read a newspaper it seems obvious that this world is quite lost, in need of a great rescue and recovery operation.

I am reminded of that seem feeling. I am full of hope. No matter how bitterly cold and ghastly this world becomes (and I am sure it will get worse before change comes), I am full of conviction that this winter will end and much brighter times are ahead.

I have solid reason for hope. Whatever source gives you hope, I am sure you too feel that same anticipation and longing for an exquisite era ahead.

 

“right hearted people will possess the earth

and find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace”

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/01/13/exquisite/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/01/13/your-daily-word-prompt-lost-january-13-2019/

 

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Hiding The Bruises

I am alright now, (I think) but for a long time the situation with my ex-flatmate Jack kept my nerves on a knife-edge. I know there are some people who make a career out of being the subject of idle gossip for others, but that has never been something I wanted for myself.

Even when I was living with Jack, the rumours about the two of us were so upsetting, I tried to leave the flat earlier than anyone else and arrive home in the dark. I was sneaking in and out of my own home, to escape the attention of whoever it was who kept these shocking rumours breeding.

When I returned to London, after almost a year of resting and recovering from the physical injuries I had sustained the night I was assaulted (and then…being left for dead underneath some bushes) I was pretty nervous.

Although my physical injuries were healing up nicely, I was deeply self-conscious in so many ways. I was very nervous around men. I was very aware of my head! I felt secure with a hat on, or a bandana or scarf in the summer. I found London overwhelming. I felt very lost at times. I found bright lights gave me severe headaches. I always wore sunglasses out of doors. The first six months, I looked a bit like the woman in the picture prompt from The Haunted Wordsmith.

But what I found effected me most deeply was gossip. I saw friends and colleagues. They were confused about why I had disappeared for a year. Many of them thought I had left in disgrace. Just before I had been attacked, there were rumours that I was involved with a married man. I don’t really feel like writing about that today, but I will at some point. There are already a couple of posts where I have touched on it already:

embarrassedBut it has taken a long time to be able to battle the anxiety that other people, people I admire and respect, think terrible things of me. That realization has made me pretty dismal at times.

I could have caused trouble for Jack. I did not want to do that. I could have talked about being assaulted (I find it really difficult to use the R word still) and beaten up. But you know, I really did not want to. If I started talking about it, I would have been asked a thousand questions by people that I was not ready to answer. So instead I let them think whatever they wanted to think.

As far as many of them are concerned, I was acting strangely, sneaking in and out of my own home at unusual hours, becoming cagey and defensive and emotional…and then I disappeared for a year. I returned to London wearing hats and sunglasses (with style!) and not answering questions openly.

I am a lot more settled than I was then, more relaxed about everything, and my friends are more relaxed. They all seem genuinely glad to have me around and everyone is very polite about what has happened in the past. Some of my very close friends know a lot more about what happened of course, and when I need someone to talk to they are wonderful. But on the whole, everyone has been so incredibly discreet about what happened to me, which I am extremely grateful for.

But there is a kind of loneliness that comes with having a big secret that you hide. I hide all the details of what went on between Jack and I. I hide all the details about what happened to me in the park. People know not to push me with too many questions because I will leave.

Aaaaah!

Well…I have said enough for today. It takes it out of me thinking about things that I don’t want to think about! So, to end this post I wanted to share a song that I fell in love with, mainly because I have become such a huge fan of the voice of Kristina Train. But I liked the song too…it does touch me in my situation. I have put two versions for you just in case you prefer the acoustic version. I like both actually.

 

 

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/daily-writing-challenge-nov-27/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/dismal/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/your-daily-word-prompt-lost-november-27-2018/

FOWC with Fandango — Leave

Since I Lost You

IMG_1345Sunday is here! I have been out all morning and it is gorgeous outside!

Sunday is of course “SONG LYRIC SUNDAY”. Please check out the post from the lovely Helen, host to this fabulous chance to share a musical moment and touch base with a long list of other bloggers.

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 10/21/18

This week’s theme is:

LOST

So many songs came to mind, but I have gone with this one simply because I love Kristina Train’s voice. Jackie Wilson and of course Aretha Franklin’s version may be more well known. But I have been really taken with Kristina’s voice over the past few years and am hoping she is working on new releases. Hearing her haunting notes “…I lost you, I lost you…” causes my eyes to brim over with tears.

I’m wandering, been moving to and from
just wandering, with no place to go,
since I lost you, lost you, all I ever do
is be wandering, ’til I wander back to you…
Oh, I’m wishing, been yearning for your kiss,
oh and I’ve been missing, the warmth of your caress,
since I lost you, I lost you, all I ever do
is be wandering, wandering, wandering,
wandering, I’ll be wandering, ’til I wander back to you…
I look on every corner, down every dismal street,
are you there?, are you there?, oh darling I repeat…
I visit all familiar places, there’s no one there but me,
where can you be?, where can you be?
oh darling, where can you be?…
Oh I’m praying, your touch for me has grown,
oh and I’m saying, for before it’s not been known
I love you, I love you, and all I ever do
is be wandering, crying, wandering, wandering
I’ll be wandering, ’til I wander, ’til I wander back to you
yeah, oh yeah, I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be wandering
’til I wander back to you, yeah, yeah,
oh wandering back to you!

 

Composer  Berry Gordy Jr., Tyran Carlo
Composition’s Year  1958
First Recording Artist  Jackie Wilson

Lyrics published by http://www.songlyrics.com/kristina-train/i-m-wanderin-lyrics/

Do not be afraid. I…will help you.

I don’t mind being alone…truth be told, I quite like my own company.  My head is never empty of happy thoughts, wonderful memories, dreamy hopes.  I am more than content to be alone at times and be lost in my own pleasant mind.

However, I was once all alone.  Not on my own physically, rather I was isolated within a challenge that I could no longer handle.  I am going to save the full saga of how this challenge developed and intensified for other posts.  But for now, it is enough for you to know that I had no idea who to turn to for help.  It was a situation I did not feel I could share with my loving family.  It would have appalled them to know what I was dealing with.

I had lost confidence in the friends around me.  I had many friends who had known me since childhood but none of whom were living in London.  Those I thought could perhaps help, I either did not want to bother them because they were so important, or I was frightened of the consequences of getting others involved.  Truth be told, the man who was the root of all my trials had confused me.  (If you read “Peanut-Butter Cookies – That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbled” or “Would You Like A Cup Of Tea?” you may understand why I was confused.)

This man seemed to have decided to make my life miserable…he was a very influential man.  He was a popular celebrity.  He had been using social media to spread his dissatisfaction with me which had intensified my isolation.  I am a softie…I don’t fight with people.  I had never been in this situation before.

My isolation had been increasing over time.  One Tuesday evening, I felt I could not go home to where I lived because I might see him again.  I had seen him several times during the previous days and he had shown his usual hostility.  So I did not go home.  I went to a local park.  I sat on a bench and allowed tears to stream down my face.  I was overwhelmed by this challenge…I felt not just alone, but all alone.  Isolated in my emotional pain.  Maybe you have experienced that kind of alone…”all alone”…feeling under intense stress and not knowing who you can turn to.

In London you are not often alone physically.  There are always lots of people around. When I arrived in the park there were joggers, dog-walkers, cyclists.  A man sat next to me on the bench.  A complete stranger.  It was him.  I was not afraid at first, I was caught up in my burdensome brooding.  But I do remember what happened when I stood up with the sudden awareness that now it was dark and there were no joggers, dog-walkers, cyclists anywhere I looked.  I had decided I should not be there.  I said it out loud.  I actually said, “I should go home.”  I try not to think about him.  Despite what he did that night, the damage was already done.  Caramel was already crushed long before that night.

Now I am going to take you forward several hours.  A security guard had found me…he had found me left in bushes with obvious injuries.  He had called an ambulance.

Ambulance

The rest of the day…well I remember an array of flashes and noises.  I was asked many questions, the same questions over and over, by paramedics, nurses, doctors, police…everyone introduced themselves…I still remember some of  their names, Gary, Patrick, Michelle, Daryl, Samara, Naomi, Carol, Jyoti, Michael, another Michael…I cannot remember their roles, but I can remember their words.  I was asked again and again what I could remember.  I would be asked that question many many more times.

I was also asked who they could call…I kept on saying “Noone, please, not yet.”  I told them where I lived, but I begged them not to contact anyone yet.  I knew that my family and friends would be very distressed.  I needed time to be able to muster the strength to reassure them that I was alright and everything was going to be alright.

I drifted in and out of consciousness…after a whole day and night in the hospital I woke up on the Thursday morning feeling numb and empty.  One of the first people I saw that morning must have been a ward clerk, with the task of arranging discharges.  She introduced herself as Sally.  She asked me how I was getting home? had I arranged my transport home? was someone coming to pick me up? or would I be making my own way home?  I felt horrified…suddenly the thought of going back to my accommodation after what had happened to me in the park was impossible in my mind.

How could I go back there?  He was still there…the man who had been making my life unbearable for two years.  There were scores of neighbours who had been speculating about the relationship between he and I.  Over the two years thousands of cruel words had been spread about me.  I had been taunted and mocked about him.  Hundreds, perhaps thousands of others – friends, workmates, and his fans had read his posts about me on his social media sites.  He even used me as the subject of a comedy sketch he was involved in on an entertainment show.  After that I received many many more remarks about his view of me.  I had been enduring all of that for almost two years and it had essentially crushed me.

This site is Crushed Caramel.  I am finally sharing with you what crushed Caramel.  Not what happened that night in the park, but the two years beforehand.  Now…with my physical injuries and the horror inside of me of what had happened during the night I was in the park…how could I go back now?  I was not ready.

I said to Sally that I had not made any arrangements yet.  I asked her what time did I have to leave? was the bed I was in needed by another patient?  She had a look at my notes and replied that I should not worry until the consultant made his rounds.  I was worried though!  When the consultant came…I asked him what time I had to leave.  He made it clear that I was not going anywhere.  He said that they would be keeping an eye on me for the next few days.  I was relieved.  Pressure lifted, I felt that would allow me the time to work out what next.  Who should I call?

My best friend Marta was on holiday in Spain, visiting her family.  My closest sister Milly had just flown out to Central Africa to begin a new project.  I did not want to call my parents just then because I knew they would be anxious, possibly devastated if they saw what had happened to me.  My flatmates, Ivo and Lyn, were also on holiday.  I did not want to call my boss or anyone too important.  I had many friends in London, but they were all  friends of my ex-flatmate.  I was frightened they would tell him what had happened to me.  There was one thing I was sure of, I did not want him to know.

Momentarily, I felt desperately alone.  For the first time since I arrived at the hospital I began to cry.  It was not being on my own, but feeling all alone.  There seemed to be noone who could really take the weight of this enormous challenge away from my shoulders, noone who could lift the heavy burden on my heart.  The pressure inside me was welling up and out poured tears.  I cried silently.  But the raw pain inside was burning away.

That was when these words suddenly started to echo around my mind:

If I would fly away with the wings of the dawn to reside by the most remote sea,  Even there your hand would lead me and your right hand would take hold of me.  

If I say: “Surely darkness will conceal me!” Then the night around me would become light.  Even the darkness would not be too dark for you. But night would be as bright as the day; Darkness is the same as light to you.

You may know these words well or perhaps you have never heard those words before. You may have other sources you turn to for comfort and wisdom. But these were the beautiful words that started to sing within me.  The pain, the pressure, the panic melted. Comfort invaded the space they had been occupying.  Comfort in the shape of warmth, of courage, of knowing I was not alone.  The awareness that I had a friend who was far bigger than any challenge I could ever face, far more powerful than the worst of my fears, was immensely comforting.  I felt as if a great pair of arms lifted me up out of the bed I was resting in and gave me a bear hug!

Those last words “darkness is the same as light to you”.  Momentarily the gloominess of my situation had overwhelmed me.  However, even if my pain was dark and bitter and I could not see hope ahead or a way out…well, He could.  To Him, it was clear as day…night might as well be day.  He saw past the darkness, He could see everything and understood everything.

More words came into my head and comforted me.

I have many friends and family members.  At times though I had felt as if they didn’t understand who I really was on the inside.  Everyone thought I was a little ray of sunshine.  I tried to be happy and friendly with everyone.  I had tried for those past two years to conceal the pain of essentially being bullied and tormented.  I had tried to laugh it off, to make light of it, to pretend I was not bothered by the cruel words uttered against me.  As I mentioned, I had felt all alone because there did not seem to be anyone I could turn to for help with this challenge.  The words that came into my head again in a loud and reassuring tone were these:

My bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret. When I was woven in the depths of the earth.  

Your eyes even saw me as an embryo.  All its parts were written in your book.  Regarding the days when they were formed before any of them existed.

To feel all alone, to feel as if there was nobody that really understood me or could help me with this challenge…how wrong I was!  From the moment I was conceived He knew I existed.  Nothing has escaped his notice.  He knows every detail of my mind and the depths of my heart.  There I was alone in hospital, but now I knew I was not alone!  I was now infused with the peace and calm and power I needed to face the future.

It gave me the courage to face with calmness everything I needed to do.  I rang our Mandy, who was the only family member I thought could see me with my injuries without sobbing.  Mandy is one tough cookie.  She jumped in the car and came straight down to London.  She did cry when she saw me, but she managed to control herself as she saw that I needed calm.  Together we rang a close friend of mine who was of great influence.  He promised to look after all of my arrangements in London.

All of these beautiful expressions, which were penned around 3000 years ago, were evidence to me that we were never intended to have an isolated existence.  Being on your own is good for you at times, but feeling all alone is not good…it is not what we were designed for.  We thrive on love – showing love and knowing we are loved.  To me these special words breathe love and deep personal interest.

To sum up the effect of these words, I would like to share my quote for today.  If you ever feel all alone.  Isolated, with a challenge that is beyond your ability to deal with.  If your heart is weighed down with grief or anxiety and you cannot see any light ahead.  The quote, the 2,700 year old famous words that empowered me like never before were these:

Do not be afraid. I…will help you.

And He did!  Every step!

__________________

Many of us are very sad at the news that First Fridays, Daily Prompt and The Community Pool are no more to be…We are all hoping there will be ways to keep the connections going.  Well one way appears to be challenges bloggers can nominate each other for.  So this post is Day Three of the Three Day Challenge.

I was nominated for this audacious challenge by Mr Mark Anthony, as you can see from his post.  Thank you Mark Anthony…the nomination gave me some ideas regarding more lessons in life that Caramel has indeed learned.  I am pleased to be able to share them on the Crushed Caramel site.

https://markanthonysthings.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/3-days-3-quote-challenge-day-1-1st-tag-be-inspire/?wref=pil&wref=pil

THE RULES:

• Thank the person who nominated you.

• Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).

• Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

“ Do not be afraid. I will help you.” 

CRUSHED CARAMEL (LEARNER AT LOVE) – DAY THREE OF THE THREE DAY – THREE QUOTE CHALLENGE

 

My nominees :

https://pepperedwithstories.com

https://gratefulsinglemoms.com

https://mylifes810015070.wordpress.com

I love looking at your posts and appreciate all of your support and encouragement.

I hope you enjoy this challenge as much as I have.  Maybe you will have something fun, wise or inspirational to you that you can share with us.

As for my own posts…well I promise you for the rest of the week they will be much more light-hearted!  I don’t want you to worry…we will come back to this subject at a much later date.