Grappling In The Dark

Another mental health message/post from C.R. Murphree, mental health advocate, mental health speaker, educator, young adult novelist.

Running in Place…#110


Running in Place…

Life is uncertain, a race where most people

do no more than run in place, there can be

happiness, sadness, and around every corner

a surprise; yet hope blooms. Life is what one

must create within their allotted space, or sit

on the sidelines, leaving their journey to fate.

Life is not all joy, as we float upon the winds

of time; there are rights and wrongs; and

unknown quandaries, setbacks, and living means

many mountains to climb. Life quickly passes,

fair and cloudy days, laughter and tears, and

then the warmth of the older years subsides

ones fears.

Life may mean walking in the valley of

despair until fate starts an upward climb,

living with happiness, or grief; always trust

the heart and mind. Life lived in harmony

with others, loving, caring and expectations

met; seeds of livelihood sown, atonement

locked away; we strive and labor as time

passes on. Life waits for no one, your parents

may have taught you the lessons to get you

through those uncertain years, and you leave

the nest filled with a heartfelt quest; now

living as an adult, it is your own mind that

you must trust.

Life is a learning ground, you stumble and

you fall, the lessons you were taught might

take effort, then you find that you do not

know it all. Life when you were a teen you

found that you were filled with adventure,

you move forward in the quest; soon you

are older and found that you have tried

to do your best.  Life has turned dark hair

into gray; the pains of just living will never

go away. Life gave you the spirit to live,

when things went wrong you never ask why;

age is now no longer running in place; you

can see the light that you will follow. You

grow silent, sitting broken and bent, you

mind growing hollow.





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Art and Writing…#109

I have shared below a few of my own art collection, during a time when I was in grief over the loss of my child I placed my thoughts, scenes from my childhood into painting in acrylics and watercolors.  My hope is that someday they will become family treasures.  I continue to paint today for my enjoyment.



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A short-short story


The young man standing over the battered woman was bitter with his life; filled with arguments and questions he was unyielding. He needed no prompting; his waking hours devoted to causing heartache, pain and suffering. He had a skill for creating pain, even in his passionate moments. His joy was to reign over his rightful possession, his wife. On their first day of marriage, she would cease to have a will of her own, she was afraid and she obeyed. To serve, to have no mind of her own, without any support from others she too thought that he owned her. She would never be his equal, when he was with her his words brought new bleeding to her heart and mind. He was only satisfied when he drew blood, his appetite for hurting never ceased.

He had broken their vows thousands of times, his mouth foul and dishonest with an adulterous heart beating within his broad barrel chest. She thought maybe his past, his youth; his own suffering at the hands of another had brought him to this day? He was not true or kind; he felt no shame in the bruises he left behind. Among those who knew him, he could do no harm; people did not know him. She had not asked for pearls or rubies, and she did not ask that her blood be spread across every moment of her life. His moods released terror in his path, and eventually she lay like twisted metal after it had met with deadly winds. She felt no worth, or equalities, she believed in only his wrath and his sickly attempts to have her go mad.

His affections never tender, many times, she was like a lamb to be killed at the altar by his manic desires. At times when people would try to get acquainted with her, he and only he owned her. The scars of battle went unseen; she was a caged animal in their home. Her discipline she held by grace but she vowed never give in to the bond he commanded, she fought back.  One day she rose from the floor screaming at him, “Your fist no longer stings, my stomach will no longer will live in knots, and my body will no longer be confined. Your torture inflames my spirit, it does not kill it; I will no longer cringe in shame and silence, and I will no longer suffer the pain; I will no longer live in shock or fear.”

Later that night she asks herself did her torturer have a soul; did he take an oath with the Devil? She did not weep, she did not cry, or show fear, “It is the last time,” she thought. She was not aware of the time that he put the poison in her food, but she somehow sensed that she was going to die that night. He would never let her leave him, with her face covered with tears she closed her eyes, there was no one to hear her moans, and she could not escape the tragedy of her life. Finally, she fell into a sleep from she would not wake from, a final thought danced across her dying mind, she was free.




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If fear were a color,
it would be black, void and unfeeling.
If fear were a taste,
it would be that of bitter weeds.
If fear were a feeling,
it would be that of suffocating.
If fear were a smell,
it would be that of burning flesh.
If fear were a sound,
it would be the rattle of one’s last breath.



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This re-blog is from Son, author of young adult novels and educator, his blog, I believe will be helpful to those who read. They will understand that they are not alone, many carry a burden of physical and emotional abuse. E.

Old Age…#106

“In something called the Pew Study, the responses were clearly that old age begins at 68. However, those older, 65, considered old age to begin at 74. As for me, at 80, old age may be 90.” Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree.

Old Age…

Therefore, there are more older people than ever before, most are not working forty hours a week and many are unsure of what they are going to do with their time. Life changes at advanced ages are both physical and emotional. I have struggled with the loss of loved ones and a share of my independence; almost everyone who has reached that magic number that declares we are old age shares this. I have tried to maintain a healthy life style, yet, as the body ages like any vehicle or vessel, its parts wear out. We have to maintain the highest quality of life possible, a fulfilling life and we must find ways to live our life. If you are mindful of changes in your life the ones that restrict you will not come as a surprise, it is known that exercising will contribute to a long life and it is never too late to start.

Exercise can help prevent memory loss; it provides you with “feel-good hormones known as endorphins. It helps reduce chronic pain, improves metabolism and it can improve your quality of sleep. Keep your brain active, you can feed your creativity now that you are no longer working, it is important to keep the brain strong.

It is said that older people living alone are lonely, unhappy and isolated; a study revealed that older people living alone are often poor and desperate. LET ME DISPEL THIS STATEMENT AS A MYTH! I have lived alone in the old age timeframe for ten years, I am not lonely, unhappy, nor do I feel isolated; and I am far from desperate. I am not poor, I am rich in family and the world around me; I have all that I need and want. Family, living in the moment and creativity is my chosen lifestyle, one that fulfills me in every way.

How do I maintain this outlook on life? I keep up with technology and modern culture while embracing my past and what it held for me, I do not disrespect that of others. I try to exercise within the limits of my current abilities; it is less than ten years ago, but every step counts. I try to keep my aches and pains to myself as well as my mental state at any given moment. As we, I have aged, I go through a gamut of emotions, and I do not believe that people change in old age. I do believe that their personalities and health cause unhappiness if they were unhappy as younger people, and they are happy if they have always tried to look as the glass half full instead of half empty. I consider above physical health that mental is the most important, without a good outlook on life the physical health does not have a chance. Family and social ties are a plus; I have to work on social ties.

I try to “practice what I preach”, I still have work to do on myself and probably always will, yet nothing stops me from trying. I have embraced my age, I have adopted a healthy lifestyle and I set goals. Yes, goals, I intend to continue to make myself as healthy as possible and I intend to continue to “write”, on anything and everything, to expand my world and move beyond that small bubble that is my life.

Want you come with me?



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I Believe…#105




I have always been interested the Bible, the Word, and its foundation for most laws throughout the world. I grew up in a little country Baptist church in the south, my mother and I went to church every Sunday. In the early years my daddy would take us up Burleson Mountain in a wagon drawn by our old mule Soap Sticks, he would be sitting out front an hour later to bring us home. By the time I was eight we had acquired and old WW II jeep, mother drove us, and would bring the preacher back home for dinner (lunch to non-southerners). We were then, my daddy and me required to sit and listen to what daddy called the re-sermon; mother would drive the preacher back up the mountain to his home. I ask my daddy one time why he didn’t have a wife, daddy said probably because he never shut up long enough to allow some woman to say, “I do”.
We left the farm when I was twelve years old, mother would not return to the church until years later when my little sister would be married in one. Oh, she would go occasionally, but I never knew why. My daddy only set foot in church twice in his life, once when they buried his grandmother and the last time at the wedding of my sister. Nonetheless, I ask our new town neighbors the location of the closest Baptist church, it was six blocks away; I went every Sunday until I married. That first Sunday I felt the “calling” and walked to the altar, the third Sunday I was baptized, neither of my parents came to the baptism. I continued going to a small Baptist church close to where we lived after I married. I felt at home there and for the next ten years, I taught Sunday school.
My reason for conveying this information is that many years ago I begin to question the Word, not that it was fiction or a lie, but if these teaching are true why do people or even animals suffer. When you begin to research these things then you begin to question them. I am today a person that is not religious or one that believes in organized religion, of those church leaders that live in the “lap of luxury” paid for by the less fortunate who give their few dollars a week; those who abuse children. I am spiritual, and I believe in helping others, treating others, as I would want to be treated. I believe that there is something out there bigger than we all are, and that there is a place of energy and of beauty beyond what we know as the “now”. However, I do believe that individuals that wanted to control others and set those words down as Law wrote the “Word”.
I believe that there were humans on earth before Adam and Eve, if years are counted right then this would make these two much younger than the world was at the time of their creation. I do not know by means of research or teachings if this is true. The Bible will show that Adam and Eve had many children, and that Cain killed Abel. It is then that Cain had to leave and he went beyond the Second Garden of Eden and he found his wife. Cain’s wife gave birth to a son that they named Enoch and Cain then built a city of that name. If there were not people other than Adam and Eve then how did this happen. It is believed that Cain traveled until he found other humans. If there were not others then why would Cain build a city for just him and his wife? The book of Genesis suggests all of these things.
Genesis 4:16 16So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
How can religion dispute the word they live by…?
If the creation of Adam and Eve is more myth that fact and we have the ability to know that Earth is hundreds or thousands year old and again time frames are set in place they may be real people and they may be the father and mother of generations, but not the first humans.
Other questions I have are those regarding a God we believe that will watch over us. Psalm 121:7-8 will tell us that he will keep us from all harm, just open a newspaper, and turn on a television read the internet. Is this true? The Word promises that the only role God plays in the verse is in Psalm 91, which is that death itself is deliverance for Christians, removing us from sin, pain, suffering and sorrow. Is there proof outside the Bible that God cares about us? No, there are claims of proof. Is God under any obligation to answer our prayers? It is said that God is under no obligation to hear and answer prayers of those who have made themselves strangers to him. However, the Word also says that God cannot lie, nor break his promise. Therefore, with the many prayers for peace, safety and love why is the world is such dire shape.
Psalm 121: 7-8 The Lord will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
What we do know is that there are about 40 authors of the books of the Bible, there are anonymous writers too. The Bible has been translated into languages from Hebrew Aramaic and Greek, with approximately 670 languages. The New Testament alone has 1,521 languages and some stories into approximately 1,121 other languages.
What I do believe is that God created the first human-type parents and all creatures, and that they were highly complex organisms. That we have bodies that will age and souls that will go on to a place of beauty. I believe that humanity began with a miracle, Using reason and revelation I believe that we are people of many faiths. With so many authors, translations and languages that created the Bible and as a writer I believe that we live in a mysterious world where we want to believe that some if not all of the “Word” is true and that my friends is called faith.




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A Piece of My Mind

The is a new blog written by my son Charles Roy Murphree. He is an activist on mental health, an educator and a young adult novelist. Congratulations on your new blog.

Grandpa’s Jug…#104

Image result for grandpa's moonshine jug                                   “This is my Grandpa’s jug and remains in the family”


Grandpa’s Jug…

On a cold southern night, I was about six or so and reading under the covers by a “coal oil” light, grandpa’s piano and laughter ringing in my ears. Serenading grandma both had a bit too much “cheer”. I laughed so hard I pulled up the tail of my flour sack gown to dry my happy tears; Ma could not hear me I had nothing to fear.

Suddenly there was the smell of smoke; Ma came in giving my covered shoulders a poke. It does not matter to me she exclaimed, you may want to get out of bed before you go up in flames. Through the burnt hole in my quilt I could see, smokes rising through it like a wilderness Tepee. Grandpa tossed a bucket of water at me from the door; it missed the bed and hit the floor.

Grandpa jerked the quilt off the bed, folded It ever so gently and pristine, then through
It out my window that had no screen. My aunt walked in laughing so hard she peed,
Then said to the others, “Don’t yell at her; be happy that she knows how to read. I thought I was in trouble, and then everyone begins to laugh. Drying her tears grandma said, “Well, it isn’t as if she’s committed a crime. She will remember this night for a very long time”. I ran to the outhouse thankful for their “cheer” with the help of a little Old jug of “moonshine” I had nothing to fear.


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