The Recluse

From the outside looking in, it is very difficult to understand why this woman who appears to be healthy and normal would choose to live in isolation. It doesn’t however, keep people in the neighborhood from trying to peek and ascertain why their neighbor is so strange. In fact she is the subject of not a few urban legends, tales the town’s children hear and love to repeat. Though everyone has forgotten her name, she bears many titles, “The Ghost”, “The Brown Recluse”, “Witch”, “The Vampire”, each depending on the childish story repeated to then, be expounded upon. Adults repeat tall tales of their own in stories that are gossip excused as knowing the “dangers” that exist in the neighborhood. As a result, parents warn their children to steer clear of “that strange woman’s house” and everyone keeps a vigilant eye on a quiet home where nothing ever happens. If they knew the truth about their neighbor who by simply being isolated adds drama to their hum-drum lives, they would most likely, shed tears and understand “the recluse” to be a fellow human being.

Estelle is a pretty, older woman who was once, a beauty. She has lived in this small house on Welland Avenue for her entire life. As an only child, she simply never moved away not because she was dependent upon her parents but after her father died it was natural for her to remain and care for her mother. Estelle is a very independent person but her mother was unable to survive on her own. In fact, Emma her mother, was forever a child in a woman’s body. As if she had no arms and legs of her own, she depended upon the legs and arms of others to meet her needs. Emma was a beautiful woman and as a young woman, lacked for nothing of material value because of her looks. Instead of learning to fend for herself, she became adept at manipulation especially, of men. It all backfired on her at the age of thirty-one, when her allure was beginning to fade and she found herself somehow, pregnant. Estelle’s father Joe, a simple man, became an easy target for Emma in her dire situation. It wasn’t difficult for her to con Joe into loving her and accepting full responsibility for her and another man’s baby. He wasn’t the kind of man that Emma admired (admiration was Emma’s only, definition of love) but he presented himself as handy and she grabbed him to preserve the image she liked to project of herself. Unlucky Estelle was the innocent baby born to this union formed to suit Emma’s need.

Emma’s lack proved to be bottomless over the years. Joe wasn’t capable of giving her what she wanted. His simple love, devotion, and faithful care weren’t enough. Emma hated their small house but never thought of getting a job to help Joe buy a bigger house. Instead, she nagged and grew bitter, drowning herself in herself and alcohol. “Estelle! Listen to me schweetheart…don’t saddle yourself with a wimp like your dad. Marrying him ruined my life! I deserve so much more than this! You find yourself a real man with the means to provide, the way a man is supposed to provide for his woman!” Even though it was Estelle’s dad that gave her genuine love, discipline, and kept a roof over her head, there was something about Emma that required worship and Estelle worshiped her mom. She also, adopted the view of her father that her mom so often promoted. In fact Estelle doted on her mother, tended to her when she had too much to drink, listened to her complaints, and tried with everything in her, to please her mother. She wanted so badly, to earn her mother’s love but love was outside of Emma’s ability to give. In fact, nothing about Emma was real. She existed as a clawing empty shell projecting many false images designed to please and manipulate in a false hope of filling her insatiable desires. Estelle, the dutiful daughter, learned to reflect admiration for each and every one of those personas. In fact, she looked up to her mother’s pretense as an amazing ability to convey wholeness to others when in fact, her life was in shambles. Estelle felt that she was lacking in her inability to hide her true feelings. She knew her straight forward nature upset her mother and since she admired her mother so greatly, she also, learned to despise herself for being so different from her mother. Estelle’s self esteem revolved around filling her mother’s bottomless inner void, in hopes of earning her approval.

Estelle was in college when Joe suddenly, died of a heart attack. He was a hard worker who gave little thought to himself and his small family also, paid little attention to him. Perhaps, if he’d been more proactive about his health he wouldn’t have died at age 55 but his life’s reward was apparently, not on this earth but in Heaven. Joe was such a good man that to most people, he was invisible. Emma was furious when she received word of her husband’s death. How could he? “What in God’s Name am I supposed to do now?” were the first words out of her mouth. The second sentence, “Once a worm always a no good worm, I knew he’d pull something like this on me!” It was Joe’s death that made Estelle aware of what he’d meant in her life and now, she felt the full weight of the responsibility he had carried for her mother shift onto her shoulders. Suddenly, she knew her father may have had his weaknesses but he was never a wimp. “Don’t worry, Mamma. I’m here. I’ll quit school and I’ll take care of you.” She pulled her mother close to comfort her and they shed tears together. Estelle cried for the loss of her dad and Emma cried for herself.

Estelle cared for her mother with same kind of devotion that a good mother has for her child. It wasn’t so much that they reversed roles rather, Estelle grew into the role of mother, as Emma remained forever, a child. Over the years, there were men interested in Estelle. She was beautiful with dark hair, green eyes, white skin, and a long slender physique. Though quiet and shy, her personality was sweet and she was very intelligent. However, her mother couldn’t abide her daughter deserting her for any man and Estelle wasn’t capable of standing up to her mother. In fact, her whole life was about her mother and making sure her mother had the things she needed and wanted. She really didn’t have time for a life of her own. The thought of leaving her mother with strangers made her feel so guilty. She just couldn’t do that and soon she learned how to erect walls to keep men from even daring to look her way. Her girlfriends did marry and had families. Slowly, they faded from Estelle’s life, as she lost all commonality with her peers. As Emma aged, she became more demanding and staged great, draining dramas if she didn’t get enough attention. Estelle lost herself in work and in caring for the mother she doted on. Even though her mother never truly, loved her in return.

When Emma passed (due to liver damage as the result of her alcoholism) the empty hole at the core of her being didn’t die. It simply, transferred itself to haunt Estelle. Having lived for her mother instead, of developing a life of her own, left Estelle with nothing but the void she inherited. It was all she had left and sadly, it was so familiar that she surrendered herself to it. She became one with it as she withdrew entirely, from the world around her. She began working at home through her computer and the only, people she had contact with were those acquaintances who provided necessary services. This is the truth about Estelle, the recluse; a tale more sinister than any urban legend, the story of a woman who lived for another and never developed a life of her own.

Now, Estelle lives in isolation and waits, with no clue as to what or who she is waiting for.

(To be continued.)


Never-you-mind what I said the other day;

While I do this, you-all look the other way!

Better yet, you-all close your eyes to pray,

As I watch seeking an opportunity to prey,

On the little guy; all know I’m here to stay!

On this you can depend, I’ll not walk away!

Political games are what I just love to play!

You need ME to keep our enemies at bay!

Don’t you listen to what truth-sayers say!

Naiveté isn’t relevant to the world today;

Crafty gray lies; this is the diplomatic way,

To achieve peace, keeps all poverty away!

No right or wrong, black or white, all gray,

Depends on political winds blowing today!

So, never-mind what I said the other day,

Remember you need ME, I’m here to stay!







Truth (Do you really want it?) by Julie Sheppard

A wonderful post on the relationship between Truth and trust by Sheppaja at emotionalpeace.


     People claim to be seeking the truth, but most of what we hear is lies. Yes they sound good, and it may even be what we wanted to hear, but is it true? Do we actually desire to know the truth or just what makes us feel good? News stories once had to be factual, and they were accountable for reporting the truth. Today if you read a news article or watch the news does not mean it is true. At least half if not more of what you read on the internet is not true. Our opinions have become fact( at least that is what we want to believe), which does not make it true. We even have a term to make lies sound nice; they are called ‘white lies’.

      In the movie “A Few Good Men” Jack Nicholson’s character states “You can’t handle the…

View original post 971 more words

Joy is Born in Truthful Reckoning

Every little boy and every little girl dreams of being someone important with magical powers to create and control their own special world. In childhood, we imagine ourselves as knights, kings, queens, and princesses, rulers over all we survey. Magic is what we long for because magic can make what we dream of real, or at least, imitate reality and be believable. This common longing for control and power is the seed of all sin; it is the foolishness that inhabits every child heart. This is the birthplace of all the lies, in every form, that human beings naturally utilize to survive and thrive in the world. Though children are innocent, they are born fallen and each child born is subjected to the same temptation that caused Eve and then Adam, to fall. The need to control and transform the world around us drives all of us and the magic we embrace to accomplish it is the lie. Magic has the power to induce momentary bliss but lies can never produce the lasting joy that every magician desires to create.

Satan’s original lie was in the form of manipulation and like a slithering snake the power to manipulate is engrained in the minds of every human being. It hides in the grass of denial and often, we aren’t even aware of how we manipulate. Others are aware and become masters of manipulation and can even think of their controlling form of lying as an ability to be proud of. Pride expressed as denial allows us to ignore that nasty snake, pretend we are the honest people we want to be seen as, and expect other people to be. Denial is delusion in its infantile state and for those who practice denial as a way of life, delusion is the next step, when the magic of denial proves weak. Delusional people are dissociated people, disconnected from reality and in extreme cases, avoiding contact even with themselves because of excruciating shame. They develop masks and personas in hopes of pleasing and fooling others into believing they are someone other than the shameful person they know as their true self. When reality of self can’t be ignored, alcohol, drugs, money, fame, prestige, present themselves as a reasonable choice in maintaining the charade. However, the charade always falters because lies are magic and deception can’t create but only imitate. The power of the lie is fear and the fear of exposure traps people inside the worlds they create in pursuit of their dreams of greatness and personal power. The only way out is reckoning with ultimate, divine truth.

There is nothing a liar hates worse than the truth and those who live by lies will not willing seek Jesus, who unlike all other human beings isn’t the embodiment of the lie but instead, divine truth in living form. Jesus didn’t desire personal power or personal greatness. Jesus desired God’s Will and lived and died in service to Him. The Ten Commandments are an offense, an accusation to every liar but to Jesus, they were the Commandments He loved and lived by, from the heart. Every liar confronted by God’s Holy Law, will either snarl and run for cover, or collapse in utter recognition of how great God is and what a miserable lying worm they are in comparison. Without Jesus and His sacrificial death, each response ends in death. Because Jesus died for our sins and lives, those who understand their hopelessness may find hope by believing and accepting Jesus as Savior from their sin. Those who open their hearts to saving faith are sealed as belonging to Jesus, when the Holy Spirit makes His home in their heart. It is the Spirit that dispels the magic of the lie by breaking its fearful power and replacing it with divine truth. It is the beginning of a life-long process that ends in total freedom from sin, as all natural longings for power and greatness that come by instinct, are replaced with the desire to glorify God. The Ten Commandments no longer condemn but become the very Words of life for those who by the Spirit have become new creatures, destined for the new Creation and partakers of eternal life.

Believers are spiritually new creatures who remain in carnal form. They will still struggle against the instinct to seek their own power and control but every time we give in to the old nature, Jesus is there to remind us of the new; we stumble, we fall, and Jesus picks us back up. Though, we are still sometimes deceived by that slithering snake, his magic has no power over us because we no longer belong to him. We belong to Jesus. His Father is our Father now, and in Jesus we are being transformed from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. It is by self-confrontation and reckoning with divine truth that we are set free from death and it is by truthful reckoning that we maintain the joy of the salvation that will end in complete freedom from sin. There is no magic spell that can prevent its completion and no lie can apprehend or destroy the righteous joy of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is Spirit.