By Janine Milliken
I have finally managed to pass on my knowledge of how to study to my nephew who is studying at the University of Zimbabwe (we are very proud of him, as we are proud of them all). I only found out how to study when I was doing my degree at the age of 35 years. Better late than never. I found this information out from a book called ‘How to switch on your brain’ by Doctor Caroline Leaf. Doctor Leaf was born in Zimbabwe, moved to South Africa and now resides in America. She has been given her knowledge by God and I am living proof it works. If you can buy her books, I would highly recommend them.
My nephew was having an anxiety attack about studying 48 pages of notes. I sat down with him, did my own study notes on his work and showed him how it worked. In 10 minutes he broke down the whole 48 pages to half an A4 page, in study notes. My nephew has now calmed down and thinks maybe Aunty is not so stupid. Aunty is the hero for another day.
I have a Doctor appointment every day for an injection that helps me with my physical ailments. Without the injection I am useless and will lie in bed all day in complete agony. The Doctor has a problem in that he cannot find my veins. My veins are like baby veins. My veins also disappear, or burst, or hide, or move and now I am in search of a vein finder machine. I am almost positive that when the machine arrives we are going to find the biggest vein ever, and wonder how we have missed it all these years. I keep telling the Doctor it looks like he has murdered me as I have blood dripping from several attempts of injecting me, but I have to admit it is my body’s fault and the Doctor is perfectly capable. We do have a laugh about it, and I make quite a scene when I come out of his office, especially if I have several injection sites, so I scare the other patients next in line. I have a very high threshold for pain, but just to keep my Doctor on his toes, I let out a scream from time to time, although I should not do this now because he misses the whole vein and nearly injects himself. I will behave from now on.
So I am looking for a very expensive vein finder, as the cheap ones will not do the proper job. I have told the Doctor I will go to medical school as a guinea pig and part of the exam for Doctors, is if they can find a vein in my body, they pass!
I remember going for an operation, the anesthetist had given me a ‘calm down’ medication before the operation. Instead of calming me down, it had the opposite effect and I ended up like the ‘duracell bunny’ instead. I arrived in the operating theatre, speaking very fast, jumping around in my bed, asking everyone what all the machines were for. The anesthetist looked at me and said, ‘did I not give you the calming down pill?’ I said that indeed he had but it had the opposite effect on me. He told me that this was impossible and could I behave and calm down while he injected me and count to 10. I think I counted to 20 before I passed out, but in counting to 20 managed to tell them not to knock out any of my teeth while I was under for the operation. When I woke up the first thing I checked was my teeth, that they were all present and they were. When the Doctor came to check on me later, he was very confused as to why I had told them not to knock out my teeth. I told him that a week earlier, my uncle had been in for an operation and had come out the operation with two less teeth and no sign of them, which meant he swallowed them! I was very worried my looks would be damaged if my teeth were knocked out and kept on repeating to look after my teeth. He said that he had never had a request like that before, to which I replied that my uncle had never lost his teeth in an operation before either and now my uncle was worried his teeth were in his stomach! I had no concern for my appendix that had gone rotten and the Doctor had never seen one like that before, I kept repeating well I still have my teeth, so we good.
So not to worry, I am not on anything addictive and not a drug addict. I have very low blood pressure and migraines every day. I have to live with this and spend most days at home in my bed, which is annoying. Anyway I thought I would start studying again, as my nephew is studying and he has now excited my brain to learn something new. This time I hope I can use my degree to help others and not to collapse and get traumatized from it all. I am quite a useless counselor, trauma counselor, grief counselor. Although I have been through all these scenarios I am incapable of helping others. My brain usually shuts down and I go sit in my bedroom and look at the wall. When my brain shuts down, I go blank and am unable to remember the day’s events. This is my body’s way of protecting me from further trauma, although it is quite annoying. I am never sure when my brain will switch itself on again and so I go into survival mode answering questions with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.
I would love to help other grieving parents and maybe further down the line I can. I have a lot of helpful tips and a lot of comfort to give them but am unable to do it right now without traumatizing myself at the same time. Although I did counsel a couple who had lost a baby and I said to them that it will never get better and it gets worse over the years. I never saw them again and I do not blame them, I had been very thoughtless in saying that. My mom was sitting with me and said to me that I was a pretty blunt and useless counselor and should offer more comfort. I have to agree with my mom there, but I also had to be truthful. I am 15 years post grief and it still feels like yesterday. So as a grief counselor, I am useless, although I have such good advice. I wish I could help. Maybe in 5 years’ time I will be able to cope with grief counselling or maybe my talent is to write about it rather and offer help in that way?
I went to Island Hospice, while they were training their counselors. As I was the worst case that had ever walked through their door, they thought it would be good that I gave my testimony. I was excited and really wanted my testimony out there, just to help the counselors so they could help others. I started my story, went blank, started to sob, then shake. Eventually gave my story and collapsed. The Island Hospice ladies had to take me aside and counsel me some more and have never asked me to do it again. Now my counselor gives my story, which I have to say is better for me.
My absolutely amazing counselor, had a traumatic time counselling me, but she saved my life many times. She had to go for counselling after she counselled me. She is now a very true, deep friend and although she does not counsel I still go and ask her for advice. When you meet a counselor, you have to come to a point where you trust them. I was very weary of my counselor, as I asked her if she had lost a child, to which she replied no. I was rude, in that I did not think she could help me if she had not lost a child. I now understand why people who have lost children cannot counsel as it is too traumatic. I can serve as a consultant rather than a counselor.
I am spiritual, always was, even before my children went to heaven. So after the accident I was a very confused Christian. The ‘why’ never gets answered, I know that now, but it will be answered in heaven. Spiritually my children were protected by me and my prayers, but physically they were not. It has taken me 15 years of wrestling with God, the Bible and Jesus. I have my own opinions. I will not share them as they are mine alone and took me 15 years to figure out. Should you be interested in my opinion, I will be happy to share with you.
I am very drawn to the Jews and have recently found out I have Austrian Jew blood in me from my dad’s side of the family. I love the Jewish holidays, traditions and how they bless the family every weekend. This is my personal opinion and I do not expect anyone to take this on themselves. I am not arguing with anyone, as I believe we all have our beliefs and I will not force someone to believe in what I believe in. God is a big enough God and if he wants you, He can talk to you on your own.
I had the absolute pleasure of going to Israel a year ago. I was absolutely touched in the spirit just by walking on their land. My ‘aha’ moment came when I looked from King David’s city to the cemetery, where Jesus said that the dead will rise first. It touched me so much as I knew my babies would rise and join Jesus in heaven and then I would join them. I cannot tell you how excited I am to join them in heaven. I know they are no longer babies as they have grown up in heaven and they are now adults. Yes, I have lost so much time with them. ‘That which the locusts have eaten’, will be given back to me double fold.
I have no living children on earth. I will not have grandchildren and I will not have children to look after me in my old age. This is a very hard thing to accept. I often break down about this, but this is my life and I have to trust God that He will never leave me nor forsake me. I am not a victim, I am a victor. I am alive for a purpose. The bigger the pain here on earth, the bigger the calling God has for you. Now with me being so sick, I am positive I have a calling but my soul is tired. My soul is so tired but I have to persevere with courage, as Jesus says in the bible that the ones who are ‘over-comers’ will rule nations in the next life.
It is 15 years since my accident and the pain is the same. I have learnt to cope better over time but the pain remains the same. You see two pieces of my heart have been taken to heaven. My heart will always be incomplete on earth, till I arrive in heaven and we reunite and make up for lost time.
I have an ongoing conversation with God all day and realized that it is a relationship we should have with God. I do not have a set time for prayer as I talk to God all day and know how important it is to have His word imprinted on your heart.
Whenever a child dies in the Zimbabwe community, I am the first one who is contacted. I know people mean well, but I just sob and sob for the ones left behind and ask God to give them courage for each and every day. I cannot watch the news as it affects me emotionally and I end up crying for the world, especially if there is a shooting in a school. I feel the pain.
I have to listen closely to God and if someone is put in my path from God, I am to help them. I will only do that if God has told me, otherwise I waste my energy and emotions on people who are not ready for my message. Some people do not want to hear what I have to say and that is ok.
I have looked at adoption, as I cannot naturally have children anymore. This proved very difficult, as I have been in a psychiatric hospital and all that information has to put on the forms. I have come to accept this but I will not stop looking for a child who needs a mom. Should a baby be left on my driveway I will take that baby as my own, and God willing the papers will be approved.
In the meantime I have 8 nephews, 2 Goddaughters, 9 nieces (2 in heaven from cancer) and I spoil them like any Aunty would do. They give me great pleasure, I love them all and they love me back. They send me notes about how much they love me. I also have a note in my purse from one of my nephews that says: ‘Aunty you will never be alone, we love you too much. We will always be here for you.’ I cannot tell you how much that means to me and how much it has helped me to survive in life.
So as of today, I am being very emotional. I pray for the day I can jump out of bed and go out and do some work. I pray for the day I can make a difference in other’s lives. In the meantime, my poor Island Hospice Counselor is very sick and been through battles of her own. Yet, she still offers me advice and has so much time for me. What wonderful, blessed people I have met along my path of life. I am blessed, I am refined as gold before my Maker, I am victorious.
My only goal right now is to finish my race ……… victorious. I hope that God can say to me, ‘My good and faithful servant.’ Then I will be reunited with my family and I will once again be a complete person.
My book, Eternity in my Heart, by Janine Milliken can be downloaded for free on the website Zimshoppingmalls, for those who are grieving and cannot afford to buy it.