Sep 30, 2014

I Can't Keep Apologizing ~ Brain Injury Survivor

I am not sure why I need to say this, but I do. In 2006 I suffered a traumatic brain injury as the result of a car accident. The frontal lobes of my brain were damaged. It left me with ADHD and personality changes. I have been told, "I want the old Susie back or don't lose all of who you were." I can't get back what is no longer there. I have apologized for it, but I will no longer do that. I am told elements of who I always was are there, but others will never return because the connection is gone. My dear husband, Charlie, has been through the roller coaster ride. Of everyone he knows the changes, lived the changes, loved me through the changes. Not even he or my daughters know the times I have been alone and cried because of all of it.

It really isn't important or earth shattering that when I opened a closet door and looked at scrapbooks and supplies I felt no connection, couldn’t really remember creating the scrapbooks. I had no desire to even pursue the hobby.  Yet, it was scary. It was like looking at something a stranger left behind.  I gathered up everything and gave it away

My ideas on religion have changed. I don't identify with religious. I have faith, seek spirituality, I pray. I've seen miracles, I love, I seek peace. I can no longer align with organized religion, but I bless others who find love and compassion there. It brought too much pain to my family.

My ADHD is frustrating at times for me and I know it is for Charlie. My scatterbrain thoughts take me from project to project around the house. That is not always a good thing. I may open the dishwasher in the morning, see a cardinal outside my window, run for my camera, hear a thought in my head, pick up a journal….in the evening I see the dishwasher still open.

I could go on and on, but I think it gives a small idea of what I am living with. Yes, living with! I am a survivor. I can’t keep saying I am sorry I have changed. I am working with the me I know. If that is something you can’t accept, there is nothing I can do.  

Aug 11, 2014

If Words Can Help ~ Goodbye Robin

Dust Calls

Tomorrow is a closed gate
vined with wilting dreams
my tears can no longer water.

Joy and sorrow are sisters
standing at my bedside
counting breaths until
dust calls for flesh and bone.

I feel my life fleeing hushed and
gentle like the gazelle
to a soon chiseled epitaph.

I am not afraid…the moon

waits to cradle me in its smile.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

(The line "I feel my life fleeing hushed and gentle like the gazelle" from Gabriela Mistral's poem, Dusk was the inspiration for this poem.)

I wrote this poem last night not knowing death would come to Robin Williams or the other souls that would make that journey. I have been at that desperate hour of suicide. Without Charlie I would not be here. He was a nineteen year old husband trying to catch a few hours of sleep with his hand wrapped around my wrist to keep me from roaming the night in search of death. We didn't tell anyone...our families didn't know...our friends didn't know. I medicated my pain with humor. I was screaming inside while showing the world a smile.

There is no sanity in suicide. It is a mind desperate to escape its thoughts, a body seeking escape from pain, the agony of feeling helpless in a world you are drowning in. It is not fair to those you leave behind.

Please, please reach out to those who struggle. Listen to them, encourage them, be there for them. I wrote this poem as peace for those who travel the valley to life's end and those who grieve..not for ending one's own life. But perhaps it can bring some comfort to those who are left with the pain of a loved one's suicide.

Goodbye Robin...You left us too soon.


If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide please know there are people who care. The world is much brighter with you in it. You are loved.

This is a link for suicide crisis organizations around the world.

Jul 1, 2014

The Power Of Poetry

This is a little lengthy, but I am humbled to share how my poem, Gnawing Silence, has become part of a petition for the firefighters of San Jose, station #5 in San Jose California. Firefighters at this station have been put at a health risk for cancer because of the toxic environment of their station and efforts to get them reassigned to a safer building have failed. Kim Chaffee contacted me because she saw the poem on my About Me page. It originally was written about a relationship between two people, but she felt it spoke for the firemen and asked me if I would consider doing some minor rewriting so she could make it part of her petition. I was happy to be a small part in her fight to bring justice to men/women who put their lives on the line for their community and did the rewrite. I have included the link to her petition which contains more information as well as my poem. As a poet it is my hope that what I write will reach those who need it. (In an aside I was contacted the same day by a musician who told me Gnawing Silence spoke to him about he and his wife who unfortunately had recently divorced.)

Here is the link to Kim's petition. Cancer Fire Station 5

Here is the link to my About Me page where the original poem is posted.
Susie Clevenger About Me

Apr 3, 2014

A Month of Poems

Since April is National Poetry Month I have taken on the challenge of writing a poem a day. I have been in a slump lately where everything I have written seems to take so much energy. I scribble so many thoughts, but can't seem to connect the dots.

 I am hoping my muse will cooperate. So far I have produced three poems without too much gnashing of teeth. The fear my mind has become a dry desert has retreated to a small degree. Sometimes what I feel to be mediocre poetry on my part has been well received. I suffer from being my worst critic.

If you wish to follow my journey this month, you can find my poetry at Confessions Of A Laundry Goddess. Please take part in celebrating Poetry Month by reading, writing and sharing. Happy National Poetry Month!!

Mar 10, 2014

Lee High School Roars

This is Lee High School in Baytown, Texas. Both my daughters attended this school. I am so proud of these kids showing their school spirit!!

Feb 7, 2014

Political Cholera

I thought only little girls loved to play dress up, but deceit has a fondness for wearing sheep's clothing to hide wolfish lies. There is an epidemic of red, white
and blue chills that wasn't caught by waving flags. Politicians poisoned the water with campaign promises causing an outbreak of "pandering to special interest" cholera.

This is for the G-Man. Friday Flash 55

Jan 22, 2014

I Weary The Alphabet

I wonder why some writers can walk through the alphabet collecting everything they need while I weary it with my inadequate pen. Feeling incompetent is humbling. I am surrounded by words yet I can't produce a sentence.

Every writer has dry spells, but lately I seem to be choking on dust. Yes, I have written some poetry, but not on the level I would like. I feel like a wallflower
watching art refusing to ask me to dance. Why is it insomnia loves to throw pity parties?

Jan 20, 2014

Puzzle Fascination

I don't know why I have become obsessed with doing jig saw puzzles on my Kindle. Maybe it is something about solving them that attracts. It isn't like life that rips you into pieces and then tries to refit you into another reality.

 I try to go with the flow when it comes to change, but that isn't always easy. When it is change I don't want, I dig my feet in and try to rewind myself back to yesterday. Foolish I know, but I think most people wish they could do that very thing.

The last couple of years have been some rough ones for me with illness and a broken foot. This is going to be a better year. I am standing on that rock of positivity...That is a word isn't it? Well, if not I am still going to stand on it. Plus no one likes to be around whining and I am way to social to trudge through the year alone.

Jan 16, 2014

The Lady Suits ~ Practical Magic

The Lady Suits ~ Three humorous ladies telling it like it is.
"Almost middle-aged", single, cat loving, opinionated, riotous laughing, boot wearing, lipstick donning women.

More Comedy Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with The Lady Suits on BlogTalkRadio

Jan 7, 2014

A Little Family Time

Susie Clevenger's Slidely by Slidely Slideshow

We are a family of love and laughter. So many times we have been
hit hard by life, but we come through adversity stronger.