child of God, wife, mother, recovering anorexic who longs to see the beauty in herself that she sees in the world around her

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

owie!

i managed to fracture my thumb last week. yesterday i finally went to the doctor. i must keep it completely immobile for minimum of a week to give it a chance to heal. apparently my thumb didn't get the memo that life goes on and mom's have things to do like dishes and laundry and blog! ok, so unless i am going to emotionally explode, i'm going to rest from blogging until my thumb feels better. besides it sucks typing with one hand! maybe this is a chance to let my family help me. maybe God knew i needed help and would never ask for it otherwise.

OUCH!

have i said OUCH yet? just checking because it hurts REALLY badly!


be back soon friends, with 2 functional thumbs (i hope)!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

better than I thought

Christmas went better than I could have thought.  I had a really bad stomach virus on Friday and spent the morning throwing up and the rest of the day sleeping.  I know that doesn't sound like it quite goes with Christmas going well.  However, having the crud forced me to rest and forced me to let my family take care of me.  It also forced me to baby my stomach the next day.  Ok so I still couldn't eat a lot but Malt O Meal in the morning and saltines with pumpkin butter to snack on throughout the day. I had to eat something small every few hours or else I started feeling really crappy again.  I even managed a small amount of Christmas Eve dinner at my in-laws house without an overload of guilt.  I just felt too crummy to worry about feeling guilty.  And so, in a matter of speaking, having a stomach virus may have just saved my Christmas.

My Christmas Eve attitude started out great but turned sour.  My kids made up for how wonderfully they had behaved on Friday when I was sick by fighting with each other ALL DAY on Christmas Eve.  They were cranky and at times downright nasty with each other.  They were ugly and defiant toward me at several points.  It was just rough.  I actually had quite the fight with my middle child about putting on his shoes right before we left for church.  By the time we were all in the car, we were going to be late and I was so cranky that I figured we might as well skip church.  It didn't seem right to go to worship when I was just pissed off about life. 

But my dear Hubby, being the wonderful man that he is, knows that Christmas Eve service is my favorite church service of the entire year.  Nothing touches my heart quite like gathering with fellow believers, others who are broken but trust Him anyway, worshiping, and singing Christmas carols by candlelight.  There is something about it that grabs my soul in a way that nothing else ever has.  I hunger for this one service all year long.  Hubby knows that.  He didn't let me back out.  And I'm ever so glad he didn't!

I've been having a really hard time feeling the Christmas spirit this year.  I've just wanted to curl into a ball and sleep through Christmas and wake up in 2012.  Christmas Eve at church, I finally felt the first glimmer of joy for the season.  The church service was enough to carry me through the big gathering of family at my in-laws house.  I smiled like I was supposed to.  I made it through in one piece!  Yay for that!

We got home and my grumps returned.  I was annoyed with Hubby for something dumb like being tired after working back to back graveyard shifts and taking care of a sick wife, or some such nonsense like that.  I don't really remember why I was annoyed with him but I was.  After he went to bed, I stormed around the house wrapping the last of the presents, halfway hoping that my temper tantrum would wake him up.  My house was a disaster, like what you would expect after nearly 2 weeks of sick family and the last of it being the parents.  But it made me even crabbier.  I finally gave in and went to bed.  I was so angry and depressed when I finally went to bed. 

I fell asleep with tears in my eyes praying for Jesus to bring me the hope, joy, peace and love that this season of advent is about.  He did.  I woke up to a clean living room, courtesy of Hubby who woke up early to make sure I woke up to a pleasant atmosphere.  What a guy.  I had felt really like a jerk for being disappointed with one of my gifts from last night.  My in-laws ALWAYS give me a Starbucks gift card and this year they didn't.  I didn't tell anyone, not even Hubby that I was disappointed with the substitution because it just felt rude.  They really were trying to get something they thought I'd enjoy.  Hubby told me that Santa had brought me a stocking stuffer but my real gift is coming next week in the form of a spa day.  I looked in my stocking to see a $25 Starbucks gift card.  I seriously cried.  He was so confused that I cried over a gift card.  It wasn't the gift card that brought tears, it was that God was bringing me hope.

I managed through Christmas breakfast with the in-laws and Christmas dinner with my folks.  I still couldn't eat the fudge or drink punch.  BUT  I did indulge in a couple of my mom's cookies.  She made my all time favorite cookies because "it just isn't Christmas without butterhorns".  I told her that several years ago; she remembered and she made them.  I did feel guilt but it wasn't overwhelming like it would have been 4 days ago.  There was even something almost comforting about those cookies.

On the way home I asked Hubby to drive a little to look at the lights and I realized why the cookie was ok and why I had asked to look at lights and why I love Christmas.  Almost every happy memory I have of my childhood is in some way related to Christmas.  My mom slowed down a little, she was less demanding of my perfection,  she criticized less and life at home was just easier.  Then there were cookies galore that I got to "taste test" for her, making trips to the USO to deliver cookies to the soliders on either Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, dressing up for Christmas Eve service and walking into church on my daddy's arm feeling like a princess, opening presents on Christmas day, reading to my hearts content for 2 whole weeks until school started back up, songs and Christmas movies and Monopoly with my brother.  I haven't tons of fond memories of childhood, but I have very few memories of Christmas that aren't fond.

I made it through Christmas and was even able to find some of the traces of joy that I know Christmas usually holds for me.  I'm not super, but I'm way better than last week. 

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

where does my voice end and hers begin?

 I'm fine.

Lately the line between my voice and the voice of orange has gotten a little hazy.  It is hard sometime to know if I'm full or if orange thinks I've had enough to eat.  I know the voice above is orange simply because I feel like screaming it.  It is said in a poisonous way, filled with the venom of its hatred.  It has become a phrase that I have used multiple times with my dear Hubby, though not ever in the way it sounds in my head.  In my head it is snarky.  In my head it is angry.  In my head the voice screams, "I'm fine, quit asking!" every single time he asks about the amount of food I've taken or if I've had lunch that day.

That's not fine.  Fine has no problem telling him what I ate for lunch, because I did indeed eat lunch.  Fine doesn't resent him for asking.  Fine doesn't feel like tearing his head off for trying to take care of the woman he loves.  Fine would let me have a peanut butter cup without remorse, guilt or tears.  Fine wouldn't know how many calories are in each banana and each glass of milk.  *sigh*   I'm not really fine.

I'm not even sure when the line between our voices started to blur.  I only realized it was happening when I constantly felt like yelling "I'm fine, leave me alone!"  I'm not a yeller.  I usually can't stand the idea of yelling so when the voice in my head starts yelling drill sargeant style, I know it isn't my voice.  So the voice telling me I'm fine, can't be mine.  But the problem is that I'm not sure which voice is mine at the moment.  If orange keeps yelling, I'll know it's her.  By the same token, when she keeps yelling, it gets really hard to hear anything else. 

I'm thankful Hubby had to work an overnight shift today.  He didn't notice that I wore a belt with my jeans.  I tend to not be a fan of belts and he knows that.  They aren't that comfortable and they draw attention to the waist.  But today after the billionth time of pulling my jeans up, I went for the belt.  I has been months since I have needed a belt.  I don't feel like I have lost any weight though.  I don't feel like I am any smaller.  I don't feel like I look any smaller when I look in the mirror.  Hubby hasn't commented and neither had my mom-in-law.  Doesn't that mean I'm in the safe zone still?

Grrrrr.......I'm just confused and tired and well apparently not really all that fine after all.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

just count your blessings instead of.....

My all time favorite Christmas movie is White Christmas.  Yesterday I was tired and grumpy and I decided I was going to sit down and watch White Christmas.  I love the scene when Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby sing

When you're worried 
and you can't sleep,
just count your blessings
instead of sheep
and you'll fall asleep
counting your blessings 

I may have revised the song a little in my head last night.  

When you're worried
and you can't eat
just count your blessings
instead of bites
 and you'll eat your meal
counting your blessings

This mornings breakfast was brought to you by counting my blessings instead of bites.  I know I don't always remember how blessed I am.  In the midst of restricting, in the midst of punishing myself, in the midst of hurting, in the midst of hiding my lies, I am still blessed.  Breakfast this morning was brought to you by the following blessings:
  • the dear friend who months ago told me to count my blessings instead of bites
  • the baby she is carrying
  • snow on the ground that makes me feel slightly more in the Christmas mood
  • the kids being on Christmas break so I don't have to drive in said snow
  • my Hubby who is worried about me and trying to take care of me
  • hot water for my shower this morning
  • the beautiful faces of 3 little boys who call me mamma (even the oldest still calls me mamma, melts my heart!)
I'm not doing great but I did manage breakfast with my family this morning.  That is a start.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I lied again

I lied.  Again.  There is partial truth to my story about going to Jimmy Johns last night.  It's pretty pathetic when you start to lie to yourself too.  See when Hubby suggested either Chipotle or Jimmy Johns for lunch, I really did cringe.  I have longed for a really good sandwich and JJ's has the best bread ever.  But I've been terrified of bread lately.  So on my way to work last week I got Chipotle instead of JJ's simply because I was afraid the bread would make me cry and I didn't want to cry at work.

Yesterday when Hubby asked, I pulled away.  I cringed.  And then I did it.  "Can we do Jimmy John's?  I have wanted it but haven't been able to have it lately."  Why haven't you been able to have it?, he asks.  One word from me.  Bread.  Bread, sweet, warm, beautiful bread.  Is there anything about fresh bread that isn't comforting?  The smell, the feel, the warmth, the taste.  And yet I can't be comforted by it.  Somehow I can only feel terror. 

The really sad part is that the reason I told the story the way I did yesterday is because I couldn't admit that I had actually ASKED for bread.  I hoped by lying to myself that I would be able to lie to orange.  Hoping that she wouldn't make me pay.  I lied, in all of the places, here, where it is supposed to be safe.  Here where I spill my feelings instead of journaling because I'm too lazy to grab a pen and write.  And I am annoyed that I didn't even feel safe being honest with myself.  Orange is a bitch.

lies I tell and other nonsense

so much on my mind.  and yet I find myself inspired to write based on something else I read.

things I miss:
  • a batch of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies
  • comfort foods
  • telling the love of my life what is really going on

things I long for:
  • days with no alarm clock (thank God that my boys are nearly on winter break!)
  • no responsibility at all
  • finding joy in things that I know bring me joy but I don't feel right now
  • to be able to eat ONE Christmas cookie this year and to not experience guilt with that cookie

And yet I lie.  I saw some friends I hadn't seen in months.  I said I was doing great.  I'm not.  One asked how food was going, I told her fine.  I ordered food, everyone was watching to see if I would.  I even commented on how I couldn't wait for the food to get there.  But that wasn't true, it was for the benefit of those around me.  It worked, they were thrilled to hear me say that.  One of them continued asking me if I was eating.  I finally became a smart ass and smiled and said, "Well, I figure once every 4 days is pretty good progress."  Another lie, but at least that one was funny, or at least the look on her face was.

I even lie to hubby.  Tell him I'm doing fine.  All the while hiding the fact that I'm far from fine.  He caught me today.  He saw the longing look I gave Jimmy John's last night when we drove past.  He suggested it today since he knew I'd been wanting it.  I told him Chipotle would be better.  He's too observant.  He wanted to know how long it had been since I'd had a sandwich.  And then why.  I cringed and told him in one word.  "Bread."  He took me out for sandwiches.  I was still hungry when I stopped but I told him I was full.  More than half of my sandwich went to waste.  That seems like such a shame.  I passed a sign today that talked about how many people in Colorado struggle with hunger.  And I felt like the supreme jack ass for CHOOSING to struggle with hunger.

I want to hide.  I want to not have to lie.  I'm just so very tired.  I'm even ready for December to be over when Hubby will notice even quicker when I'm not taking care of myself.  Mostly, because I'm just ready to be taken care of and I know he will.  I lie and yet wish for my husband to see through my lie.  I guess maybe not all hope is lost after all, if I wish for someone to not buy my lie.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

round 3

Well, the score is cooties-3, my kids-0.  Yesterday the vomiting hit my oldest and tonight it hit my youngest.  At least it is a short lived bug. 

If you think of me tonight, feel free to offer up a prayer for strength!  Three nights in a row of being up with sick kids could make for a fun/challenging weekend. 

In the lineup for our weekend:
  • girls night out with old friends
  • Karl Mecklenberg autograph session
  • Santa photos
  • Broncos vs. Patriots date with the Mister!  (We were excited to get these tix anyway but with the way Tebow is playing now, um yeah, it's gonna at least be worth watching!)
Hoping to survive the weekend without drowning my sorrows in gallons of coffee :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

my house is a cootie factory :(

My head and throat hurt really badly.  Blah.  I hate not feeling good.  And it is worse because my middle child is not feeling good either.  He is awake, throwing up.  Fast times at cootie high.

I understand the drill sergeant, task master that orange can be.  She's been beating me up pretty badly lately.  I couldn't stand up to her tonight at a Christmas party so she won and I had only coffee.  I was too scared to even eat the fresh strawberries.  Lame.

I had an interesting conversation with my mom today.  And when I say interesting, I really mean disturbing.  I need to process.  I am annoyed with her but even more so a little concerned at her ready acceptance of all things with out cross referencing her sources.  Pretty sure my head would have exploded if I hadn't had to cut the conversation short to go pick up my son from school.

And I got an update on my niece.  She is still at the hospital because she has refused to go home.  She said if she goes home, she will just run away because she will not live with her step mom.  So since she is a minor, they are keeping her, meeting with a social worker and trying to figure out what to do.  You know it is bad when you are halfway hoping that she will become a ward of the state so they will pay for her to go to the home for troubled girls (at least for a few more months until she turns 18). 

I'm very weary tonight. I'm feeling crappy.  I'm awake taking care of a sick kid though I'd love to be in bed myself right now.  I'm worried about my niece. I'm just weary.  I just want to sleep and sleep and sleep. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

tired and isolated

I'm tired.  Seems to be the constant song of my life.  But this time it isn't exhaustion that wipes me out.  This time it is emotional.  I feel like I've been isolating.  I want to be with my friends, but I don't want to go through the emotional (and physical) energy that it takes.  I really love people and I really have good intentions.  But I find myself not returning phone calls.  I've been skittish about setting exact times to get together with people.  What if the time I set up comes and I don't feel like getting together?  Then I'd have to spend my day acting or think of a good excuse to not go.  And quite frankly that sounds like too much energy.  My kids want to have play dates and I've been trying to get one together for 2 months now but never end up emailing the mom back when she suggests a time.

I can get together with one friend.  I know that I don't have to fake it.  I know that if I'm feeling non social, we can just sit and its ok.  My son adores her daughter too so that makes it easier as well.  But aside from seeing her I find myself backing out of going places more often than not right now.  Even talking on the phone seems like a chore.  I have a friend who I try to catch up with on the phone weekly, or at least close to weekly.  I love talking to her but right now I just don't know what to say so it feels kinda weird to talk on the phone.  I'm glad she has a lot going on right now so we can chat about her.  (sorry, Love.  I hope you know I love you and this is all about me and being a dork not about not enjoying your company. You remain among my top favorite people even though I'm freakin insane right now!)

I don't want to expend the energy to go to the store and buy milk.  I'm tired.  I don't feel like leaving my house but I don't really enjoy being in my house either.  I am sitting here blogging rather than making my kids lunches for tomorrow simply because I don't feel like doing it.  I can tell my anti-depressant is helping.  I don't feel hopeless.  But I wish there were a drug that did more than ease depression but actually made it better.  It may be out there but with the many I've tried, I have yet to find it!

I'm trying to see through the eyes of grace and be gentle with myself (Jenn, that is in honor of you while you are on vacation and not commenting regularly to be gentle with myself!) but it is hard.  I just want to survive.  And for someone who adores Christmas more than anything, it sucks to feel like I want to just. make. it. through. Christmas.  Good night tired world, I'll be back soon.  Hopefully with something better to say.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

my niece

It has been a stressful couple of days.  I called my mom-in-law yesterday and learned that one of my nieces is in the psych hospital.  Again.  She called 911, said she felt unstable, like she was going to hurt herself.  The ambulance took her to Children's Hospital where she stayed for several hours before being transferred to the  mental hospital.  This isn't her first merry go round with this.  Her life's timeline could almost be told from trauma to trauma, from suicidal intentions to hospital stays to cutting to running away to hospital stays.

This time feels different to me.  Something about this time feels very disconcerting to me.  Something feels very, very wrong this time. I know some view her as just wanting attention.  I don't.  She is a hurt young lady.  Sure, I guess there is some need to get attention in all of this.  But I get angry that her parents refuse to see her hurt.  Her step mom insists that she is just an angry teenager with no legitimate problems.  Her dad  is clueless and will never see her as anyone more than the girl who annoys his wife.

Hey, I can't say that if I were in her shoes right now that I wouldn't have made the same call.  She's hurt.  She's lonely.  She's unloved and unnoticed at home.  They don't want her.  They say she is just trying to get attention.  And you know what I think about that?  I say, hell, if the girl is attempting suicide to get your attentions, then maybe you should pay attention to her!  Now, I do believe there is more, much, much, more to this.  I believe she wants to die until she starts to and then gets scared.  I believe her intentions are real and based out of a crappy hand that life dealt her.  But then when she thinks about actually dying, she is afraid she will let someone down or hurt someone or that she just gets plain old scared of dying.

And here is where it gets hard for me.  I get it.  I know what it is like to live life measured from one suicide attempt to the next.  I know what it is like to be a teenager drinking myself to sleep at night to escape the pain of being me.  I know what it is like to hurt my body simply because it hurts less than the emotional pain.  I know what it is like to hurt my body just to see if I can still feel anything.   And yet, I want to see her want to get better.  I can't make her better.  She has to decide on her own that this isn't working for her and take the steps to make her life what she wants it to be not what she was dealt.  And it puts me in the hardest position of anyone in the family. 

I know her hurt all too well.  Sure things have been different, we have dealt with different painful experiences but we both have known very deep pain.  I'm the only one who completely validates where she is at emotionally.  I also know that she is almost an adult now.  In a few short months, her parents will kick her out and she will be left to figure it out on her own.  She is pretty much at the point now that life is going to be what she makes of it.  And I find myself angry that no one has prepared her for such a life.  Her parents think only of how quickly they can get her out, it's all they have thought of for years.  They say she is lazy, but they never taught her how to work. They get mad that she has no coping skills but they have neither modeled them nor helped her find to a professional to help her learn them.

My niece is about to enter the world as an adult and she is terrified that she doesn't have what it takes to make it.  So she threatens suicide and gets a warm bed, 3 meals cooked for her and doesn't have to listen to her step mom berating her all the time.  Doesn't sound like too bad of a gig to me.  Hey, I'm a functioning adult and have days that I miss the hospital and having no responsibility in taking care of myself. I think that maybe that is why it bothers me so much more this time around.  I think it is sinking in that she is nearly an adult but doesn't know how to be one.  I think she is terrified that she will not be able to make it in the big girl world and it seems easier to opt out before the time comes to face it.

Of course, I also think there is a little bit of a jab in there at her parents who don't want her.  Of course, I do think there is some "NOW they'll pay attention" in there.  I do think she could kill herself but I don't think she will, at least not yet.  And it breaks my heart to say not yet when referring to my niece.  It breaks my heart to see her depression spiraling out of control only to be told that she is fine and just trying to get me to feel sorry for her.  I see her pain, probably better than all of the family combined, and I can not help her other than to tell her she isn't crazy and that she can make it through this.  I feel really helpless.  And I know she does too.  You can only feel helpless for so long before you either fight back or give in. 

Here's to praying she fights back instead of giving in.  I sure do love that little girl, she has had my heart from the first time I ever met her .  I wish I could make it all better and it breaks my heart that I can't.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

forgiven

Obviously on Monday I blew it big time.  Yesterday was only slightly better.  I spent my morning feeling sorry for myself.  I spent my afternoon feeling guilty.  Food was not high on my priority list.  I was too busy beating myself up for giving in to my addiction.

See this is how orange works.  Doing well.  Doing well.  Then the voices.  You really don't deserve that nice meal that you just had.  Food is for sustenance not for fun.  Your husband shouldn't have spent the money to buy something special for in house date night.  It is frivolous.  How dare you enjoy that food?  You don't deserve to be taken care of.  You don't deserve to eat. The lies keep attacking until finally in a sheer panic, I give in and try to purge.  Maybe purging will shut them up. But it doesn't.

Then the next morning when I cannot swallow without feeling raw scratching in my throat, I realize what I've done.  And the voices start again but this time even more accusatory.  Look at yourself!  Look what you've done.  You know better than this.  What is wrong with you?  You're a worthless piece of sh*t.  You spent your night trying to get rid of food that your body needed.  If you aren't going to try to keep it down then why on earth should you eat it?  You have to pay for last night.  No you can't have breakfast.  How can you trust yourself to not go running to the bathroom to get rid of that breakfast?  No, better to not eat, at least until you can trust yourself again.  See, it's true, you are not capable of recovery.  You will always mess it up.  Just give in to it.  You aren't going to beat me so why not just surrender to me? Just let me destroy your body.  You are stuck.  You are mine.  You will never be free from my grip.  Even when you think you want something else, I will always be here waiting to hold your hand and take you back.

The lies of orange attacked me so viciously that I couldn't hear anything else.  I shivered my way through a miserably cold night at work.  I joked with my customers that it was ok that it was only 54* because shivering burns calories.  Who needs exercise when you work in an icebox?  They laughed.  I ached that I had seriously just said that.  I had hoped for time with a good friend after work but in God's grace and wisdom, she didn't get my message asking if I could come over for a bit. 

I decided as I neared home to turn on the radio.  Once again God used music. The only song I heard before arriving at home was Forgiven by Sanctus Real.

I love the end that says, "When I don't measure up to much in this life, Oh I'm a treasure in the arms of Christ."  See that is the amazing part of grace.  I blew it.  But God gently calls me back.  He reminds me that I don't have to carry the weight of what I've done because He has already carried it. As I thought of this, I remembered a verse that was very dear to my heart during my first go round with recovery.

Micah 7:8 (NIV)

  8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
   Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
   the LORD will be my light.


Though I have fallen, I will rise.  Though I gave into darkness, the Lord will be my light. I blew it but He redeemed it.  I can't say I'm feeling perfectly fine right now.  But I can say that I am allowing God to minister to my pain and my guilt and my self condemnation.  I don't know how to do this but I do know that God knows how to carry me through this.  I know that His grace is sufficient to cover me.  I know that sometimes the lies will win in my heart but I know that His truth is bigger and can break through those lies.  If I know nothing else, I know this
HE IS FAITHFUL.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

the morning after

It is late afternoon and my throat still burns when I swallow, though not like it did this morning.  I had forgotten the morning after feelings.  The feelings of a sore and raw throat.  Knowing it burns because of my own actions not because I'm fighting a cold.  And mostly the overwhelming feelings of guilt.  Guilt that I listened to orange again.  Guilt that though I know what is truth, the words in my head are still orange.  Guilt that I know what I need to do but for some reason still act out compulsively at times.  Guilt that today I sat at MOPS and affirmed how important it is for moms to take care of themselves also all the while hearing the orange rant in my head insisting that I don't deserve to be taken care of. 

Will I ever get this?  Will the voices ever shut up?

Monday, December 5, 2011

good news bad news

In case you wanted to know, it doesn't matter how far I stick my finger down my throat, I cannot throw up.  It doesn't work with a toothbrush either.  I have a faulty gag reflex.  I have proved that once again.  Sometimes the panic just gets to be too much and I have to try.  I still can't purge.  I guess that is the good news.

The bad news is that it is still an urge, one that tonight I couldn't make shut up no matter what I did until after my fingers had been jammed repeatedly down my throat.  The bad news is that orange just won't get out of my ear tonight.  The bad news is that in my shower tonight I contemplated scrubbing my skin till it bled like I used to.  I wondered if I could find an area to cut that my husband wouldn't notice tomorrow and ask me what happened.   

I wonder why these feel so strong tonight. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

random pictures

my boys are so blessed to have him for a Daddy


hanging in our kitchen and the kids say should be at Grandma's house too (ouch!)


ways to kill time and make Hubby smile all at the same time :)

lest there be any doubts of my team loyalty, me as a ridiculous hot mess after cheering the Cardinals on to win the World Series!

lurking and growing up

The tears are lurking again.  I can feel a weight behind the happiness.  I had the realization a couple of days ago that I was only 3 years older than my son is now when I tried to commit suicide for the first time.  I felt so grown up, like a very old soul, at the time.  But the reality is that I wasn't.  I was 12.  At 9 I was praying that I wouldn't grow up to be fat like my mom.  At 12 I was swallowing pills and truly it seemed like I had endured far more than a measly 12 years of life.  At 14 I had begun to starve myself.  I felt so old and yet I was really so young.

Thoughts like that scare me about my kids getting older.  My son has a crush on a girl at school.  He doesn't really understand his feelings, just that they are big feelings.  He drew a heart on his leg with their initials drawn in it.  He gets all smiley and goofy at the mention of her name.  He is growing up.  And I am glad he is growing up.  I hope his teenage years are much more like his daddy's than like mine.  I hope that thoughts of suicide never plague him.  I hope his little comments about not needing to lose weight yet, and rarely wanting breakfast before school don't turn to haunt him with a life of ED.  I read stories about the Penn State scandal and I pray he never has to understand abuse.

I want the life for him that I didn't have.  I want him to know safety and security that I pretended in my mind but didn't think existed when I was his age.  I hope when he is a teenager that he doesn't drink until he passes out simply because it hurts to live his life.  I hope he tells his wife of fond memories of when he was a child.  I hope he smiles at his kids and laughs as much as his daddy does. 

I know I can't protect him from all hurt.  We all get hurt.  Hurt is part of life.  I wouldn't want to either, it would be living in a delusion for me and cause even more hurt for him and for me.  But that said, I pray his hurts never carry him down a road of self loathing.  That they never carry him so far that he forgets he is loved.  That they never carry him to needing to cope with the after effects of molestation, eating disorders, or suicidal tendencies.  In short, I pray he never has to live my life.  I hope so much more for him!

Monday, November 28, 2011

reprieve

God has graciously given me an emotional reprieve.  For the last several days, instead of bringing up more of the junk in my heart to work through, He has just showered me with grace.  I love how God knows when we can't take anymore and then cares for us. 

I know this time of just basking in His love is temporary.  I know this simply because my heart still has a lot of refining to do.  Not that He stops loving us, please don't hear that!  It is just simply different right now.  I know the hurts will still be there when I need to keep pursuing healing.  Right now though, I am enjoying laughing again.  Right now my brain knows there are things to work on, but my heart is not heavy.

I am thankful for a break in the hurt.  I am thankful for the opportunity I had today to laugh, fully and loudly.  I am thankful that for this moment in time, even if it turns out to be just a moment, that my heart doesn't hurt so deeply that I swear it could fall out of my body at any second.  It isn't a chore to smile today.  There aren't unshed tears lurking behind my eyes waiting for a chance to spring on me.

I have to blog this today.  I have to remember that God is gracious to me, that He gives me periods of rest in the fray.  I need to remember the next time that life feels unbearable for a period of time so long that I have forgotten what happy feels like, that peace and grace and smiles and laughter will also mark my journey. 

A week ago, I wondered if I'd ever feel joy again.  I wondered how long I could feel like a hot iron was searing into my heart.  I wondered if I was ever going to do more than cope.  And today I know, that though the battle is not over, I still have capacity to feel something besides hurt and lonliness.  And that brings me hope!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving

I made it through Thanksgiving with my emotions in tact.  I even didn't think I was going to die from the food.  Ok, I did have to stop thoughts of wanting to purge before they could become a full blown obsession.  It wouldn't have helped anyway, I was blessed/cursed with the inability to throw up.  I would have just gotten more mad at myself that I can't even do that. 

So all in all, it was not the worst day of the year.  I'm alive, I ate and I never considered slapping my parents!

How did you fare this year for Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

something worth recovering for

God must have known I needed encouragement.  My little guy "had-ed a bad dweam" and only Mommy's arms seem to make it better.  Isn't he worth the pain of recovery?  Isn't he worth working through the crap so he can have his mommy healthy?


Um, yeah, can't postpone feeling until after Thanksgiving afterall

Tonight on the way to work, those feelings hit me full force.  Yeah, those yucky ones I haven't known what to do with.  Yep, those are the ones.  My anger actually graduated to rage for all of a few minutes, but then I arrived at work and had to pull myself together.  I don't know if that raging moment felt unbelievably good or if it felt absolutely terrifying!

I did the good girl thing I always do.  I pushed the feelings back and settled for just plain grumpy and annoyed.  My body feels very awkward to me.  I feel like the pounds are packing on around my middle.  My clothes all feel uncomfortable to my body.  My son got in trouble at school today.  A professor was rude to me tonight at work.  I had other customers who were thoughtless tonight.  I came home to 2 of my kids still awake and had to put them to bed.  I ran a hot bubble bath but ran out of hot water before I realized it so my bath was warm not hot.  And throw in what seems like PMS symptoms and you have my night.

I'm so hungry.  The tiger is clawing at my tender insides (read this amazing post from Jenn, you'll understand what I am saying) but the pain won't let me give in.  How long will this hurt?  I feel like every time I get through one hard thing, within days something new comes up in my heart.  I have a day, maybe two where I can breathe, then WHAM something else hits my heart and mind full force.  I'm tired of feeling like I always whine.  I'm tired of feeling like orange is winning, or at least that she is not losing.  I hate the days of feeling hungry and not being able to give in.  I much prefer those handfuls of healthy days or even the days when I'm just sick, no hunger, no arguing with myself, and no guilt.

It is a sad day when my desire is to still be sick so that I wouldn't have to hear the dialog in my head.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

handling it

Hubby asked me yesterday how I was handling everything with my parents right now.  I smiled and said, "Oh, I'm not.  I'm not even trying to handle that right now!"  He is wise.  He already knew that answer but gave me the chance to tell him anyway. 

It is nearly Thanksgiving.  I have to spend time with them on Thursday two different times and then again on Friday.  I don't need to keep digging into how I feel about them right before having to smile and pretend everything is just peachy.

So I pretend anyway.  I choose to not dig up or handle how I feel.  It is still pretending.  But it is a different type of pretending.  It is pretending that something is not there rather than pretending that something is fine when it isn't. 

I ate 3 times today.  Not huge meals but still, it was food. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

I play the game

Things are getting under my skin more than normal.  I think it is because being frustrated is about as comfortable as I feel with my anger right now.  Occasionally things will make me angry but not the type of anger that makes me feel scared of my feelings.

One of the things I'm mad about right now is how well I can play the e.d. game.  Yesterday when I was talking with Hubby about some stuff, he was concerned that in taking care of all of the things that need care right now, that I will not take care of me.  But I play the game.  I smile and tell him that won't happen.  All the while knowing that I'm not taking care of myself right now.  I hide my lie well.

Like yesterday when Hubby took me to McDonald's for breakfast, I had the sandwich without even blinking.  Inside I was cringing but couldn't let him know that.  I smiled.  I pretended.  What he doesn't know is that while I faked it , smiling the whole time, that a mocha and a bagel rounded out the rest of my food for the day.  The bagel was a last minute thing simply out of respect for my pregnant friend who I was on the phone with.  Didn't seem fair to her for me to not eat when I know she doesn't feel like it but has to.

And usually my body will give me away but now even my body is playing along.  Rather than losing my sex drive, it has practically doubled.  So he can't tell that way.  When I'm hanging with him, I eat.  So he can't tell that way either.  I'm tired but that isn't really that abnormal.  I am playing my lie well.  I eat, just not enough.  That should make everyone happy right?  I mean they see me eating so they are happy.  And I know that I am not eating as much or as often so I should be happy as well.

But it makes me mad with myself that I hate dishonesty but live a lie.  Somehow, knowing when and what to eat to keep my stomach from betraying my secret by growling has come back as easy as breathing.  Somehow, smiling and pretending has become second nature again. I am doing the minimal amount to maintain.  I'm doing enough to keep questions and worries at bay but I'm not actually wholeheartedly pursuing recovery like I should.

What is the big deal?  Why does food feel like it is the enemy?  Why can't I just get my schtuff together and just do what I need to do???????  My brain can be mad all it wants, it can reprimand me, it can try to tell me it is no big deal.  But my body just can't seem to listen.  That is frustrating.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I need him

***** I just found this post from May that never got published.  I didn't realize it would publish with today's date if I published it.  It's old news, but I like it :) ********

I need him.  I always have.  It looks a little different now than it did. My needs have morphed over the years.  In the early years, I needed him to help me learn how to not be everyone's door mat.  I needed him to to explain football.  I needed him to run a hot bubble bath and watch 90210 and Party of Five with.  I needed him to take a bus to work so I could drive the car.  I needed him to tell me that I was not at fault when my mom had a grapefruit sized tumor removed from her ovary. I needed him to hold me so I could fall asleep.  I needed him to get upset on my behalf when my boss was being a tool.  I needed him to sleep beside on the super uncomfortable 70's style fold out couch in front of a tiny window air conditioner that was the only cooling source in our tiny apartment.

I needed him to light fires in the fireplace.   I needed him to appreciate my awful cooking.  I needed him to help me not take myself so seriously.  I needed him to be silly with.  I needed him to remind me it was ok to be sick.  I needed him to take me to the hospital for iv fluids when I had the flu and got dehydrated.

I needed him to bring me the baby for an early morning feeding.  I needed him to tell me I was still beautiful even with the baby weight that I just couldn't lose.  I needed him to force me to stay down when I was on modified bed rest and wanted to help out with dinner.  I needed him to be by my side in awe as I delivered our third son myself (in a hospital with a doctor present!).  I needed him during pregnancy to make a no phone calls after 9 pm rule.

 I needed him to carry me to bed when I just couldn't keep my eyes open.  I needed him to take me mini golfing.  I needed him to go to the park and swing with me.  I needed him to tell me his corny trademark joke, that I refer to as his best pick up line ever.  I needed him to hold my hand.

Last year the dynamics changed.  I needed him still but I was now needy.  I needed him to make me call my nutritionist when he did the math and realized my weight loss was already 11% of my body weight.  I needed him to talk me down when my nutritionist and doctor both agreed that I needed to go to the Eating Disorder Center.  I needed him to make sure I was at least attempting to eat.  I tried to hide the clumps of hair, the skeletal looking hips, and the fact that I had also started (unsuccessfully) trying to throw up.  I needed him but didn't want him to know it.

I needed him to come and pick me up at my friend's house and drive me to the local hospital.  I needed him to sit for 9 hours in the emergency room, holding my hand and even climbing up on the e.r. cot with me to hold me while we both tried to sleep.  I needed to see him in our car following the ambulance as they drove me to the mental hospital.  I needed him to hold my hand the whole way up to my unit and to tell me it would be ok, even though I know he wasn't sure.  I needed him to call my pastor so that my pastor could visit me in the hospital since he wasn't allowed every day.  I needed him to call into work for a week and be full time dad while I was in the hospital.  I needed him to make me go to my follow up therapy after the hospital.

I needed him to pick up my slack and take on most of the housework.  I needed him to be the prominent parent for a while.  I needed him to work his 2 jobs, take care of me, take care of our kids and handle the house as well.  I was just plain needy.

Last night I was up late looking for our new license plate stickers when I finally sat down in the middle of the floor for a good long sob.  As I was crumpled up on the floor, I was thinking that it seems so unfair that when the kids are having a rough night that someone can carry them to bed but who was going to carry me?  For a few minutes I even thought how nice it would be if he woke up and came out and, just like he used to do, carry me to bed.  Tonight I realized this, I still need him.  I have needed him to be so many deep things lately that I am missing the little things.

I have needed him to help me in my recovery and sometimes by gently tough with me.  Now, I am ready for the corny jokes, being carried to bed by arms much stronger than mine, playing cards while talking, dancing to a good song just because we want to.

confused

I grew up in a home where anger was repressed and hurt didn't exist if you didn't acknowledge it.  Now I'm an adult and you would think I would give myself permission to feel whatever the hell I want, but sadly no.  I am so confused about how I feel. 

On one hand I know God created every emotion within me.  On the other hand I'm pretty sure that I think somewhere deep inside of me that my emotions are still not ok.  I grew up on this.......

James 1:19-20  My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,  because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 

Ephesians 4: 31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 

Ephesians 4:26-27  “In your anger do not sin.  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,  and do not give the devil a foothold."

One will tell me that because of the last verse it is ok to be angry as long as you don't sin.  Another will tell me that anger is a sin because of the verses that say to get rid of anger.  And I'm confused.  I hear my parents in my head telling me that my anger is a sin, that it is unjustified, that I'm just too sensitive.  I hear in my head that I'm not allowed to feel.

But then I also know I need to feel in order to heal.  And God created me and my emotions.  He must have intended that I would feel those emotions if He created them in me.  Right?  So why does it feel like a betrayal to myself to feel angry? 

The anger has been ebbing and flowing.  I'm not sure how much of it is natural progression and how much of it is being uncomfortable with the intensity of my emotions and stuffing them down again.  Anger scares me.  It scares me when I see it in others and it TERRIFIES me in myself.  How do I get angry and not sin?  I've been brought up to believe that anger in and of itself is a sin.  Where is the line between being angry and sinning?  Is it wrong that I am starting to feel angry now? 

Hubby tells me that there is a lot of anger that I suppress.  When I tell him I'm frustrated, or even when I graduate to anger, he is never as surprised as I am.  He can't believe it has taken me this long to get angry over some of the things that I realize I am angry over.  He also says that of course the feelings are overwhelming; I've been denying them my entire life and now they want out! 

What's a good girl to do with negative emotions?  Why do they still feel so wrong to experience?

painful realization # 3,762

So yesterday some more issues at the core of my heart came to light.  My entire life I have held my mom indirectly responsible for the abuse that happened to me.  I have absolved my dad from any guilt.  What little girl wants to not see her daddy in a hero light anymore?  Last night I realized something.  I am angry with my dad.

This is a very new feeling for me.  I have defended my dad fiercely for my entire life.  And now I am realizing that I felt just as unprotected from him as I did from my mom.  My dad is a great guy but he has not much in the line of a backbone.  My mom rules her house.  He is not the head of his house.  She speaks, he does.  Sometimes begrudgingly but none the less his hatred of conflict outweighs mine and he always does what she wants. 

I told Hubby last night that I was frustrated with something my dad did.  Hubby validated my feelings.  I thought I was being sensitive.  Hubby told me it is my dad being insensitive, not me being sensitive.  I started to feel angry.  I felt uncertain of the strength of my anger.  It has been repressed for so long that I was shocked by the intensity of my feelings.

I am at the difficult reality that my dad is not perfect.  He is a good man.  But some of the hero status has left him.  I would continue to live in denial if I did not acknowledge that he too played a part in this.  I am hurt by his actions, both now and in the past.  I am hurt that he never listened to what his gut was telling him and didn't stand up to my mom when she insisted that I go over to the abusers house.  He never liked those people and yet he couldn't stand up to my mom and defend me.  As a matter of fact, they would have been my legal guardians if anything would have happened to my parents when I was a child.

It is a painful realization to know that my daddy isn't perfect and that he too shares in the responsibility of not protecting his daughter.

Monday, November 14, 2011

feeling betrayed

Maybe it shouldn't bug me.  Shouldn't bother me at all. 

but. it. does.

None of my business if they want to remain friends.  Doesn't affect my life.  Doesn't mean I have to be friends with them.

so why does this hurt like hell?  why do I feel so betrayed? 

maybe it is none of my business, but I still feel like I just don't matter to them as much as what others think of them does.  Others opinions and keeping up a good appearance matters more than I do.  It always has.  I should be used to it by now.

sadly. I. am. not.

Friday, November 11, 2011

temperamental life coaching

I just spoke with a life coach about my "friend".  Yes, I talked to him about me.  And, yes, I am that big of a weenie that I didn't tell him we were talking about me.  I'm pretty sure he knew though.  I thought if we were on the phone, he would buy my story as my friends rather than my own.  Now I chuckle at myself.  We were on the stinkin phone not face to face, why on earth was I scared to tell him that it was my life that is so messed up, not my friends?

I've been studying temperaments a lot lately.  So far, the person I have resonated with the most has been Ray W. Lincoln (click here for his website).  In doing the temperament test, I am a NF.  In a nutshell, that describes me better than I ever could.  I am part of only 4% of the population who have this temperament.  It is characterized by deep introspection, perfection tendencies, idealism, and deep sensitivity.  As I have been studying the 4 temperaments (NF, NT, SP and SJ), I began to see some patterns. It seemed to me that the NF has the most to lose emotionally from deep trauma and has the hardest time to moving past it, so I emailed Ray and asked if this was true. He agreed.

My next question was how do you help anyone recover from trauma but especially a NF who internalizes it more than the others.  In telling him my "friend's" story he told me that my friend probably needs some professional help.  While I could help to raise her spirits and that would help on a temporary level, she needs more.  She needs help continuing to see hope for the future.  When she doesn't see a calling, a passion a hope for the future, she will spiral into deep depression.  The cycle will continue.  Giving her a break from her atmosphere, bringing beauty to her life, and helping her to see hope for tomorrow will help but only temporarily.  The trauma must be dealt with so that she can be who God created her to be on the inside.

I know this.  I live this.  I do better for a time, then I spiral out of control to such a dark place that I forget what light looks like.  I guess I had hoped that someone would tell me an easy way to do this.  I guess I had hoped that someone would just say, "Oh yeah, you can do this.  No big deal, you'll make it through on your own."  Somehow that is not the case.  The universal consensus from everyone I talk to is that I need help getting through this.  My psychiatrist says I'm looking better than the last time I saw him but still recommends that I seek professional help in the form of EMDR, counseling, or coaching.  My PCP recommends that I get professional help.  So I know that I need to get help, why am I dragging my feet so much on actually doing it?  What am I so afraid of?

I'm interested to hear what temperament types others fall into.  If you feel like taking the temperament quiz in the link above (it takes about 10 min), would you mind sharing with me what your temperament is? (to get to the test, go to the this link.  Add the temperament test to your shopping cart, IT IS FREE.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

new day, new mercy

Lamentations 3:22-23
 22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness. 


I blew it yesterday.  And today is a new day.  Today He gives me new mercy.

Psalm 143:7-8
7 Answer me quickly, LORD;
   my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
   or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
   for I have put my trust in you.

Show me the way I should go,
   for to you I entrust my life.


Lord, help me today to honor you with my body and with my choices.  Let your love keep me from being consumed with the hurt and hatred that try to overtake my heart.  I am so glad that You remain faithful even when I am not.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

intuitive eating

The concept of intuitive eating is a really good one.  I like the idea of eating when I'm hungry, giving my body what it asks for and stopping when I'm full.  Here's my problem, I have ignored my hunger cues long enough that I don't think my body always does know best.  Today for instance, I haven't been hungry at all.  Ok, take that back.  I did feel a little hungry earlier, but it felt AMAZING!  I guess it is hard to trust my own body because I like the euphoria I feel right now, a euphoria induced by having not eaten today.  I need to take care of my body, but I just don't feel like it.  I know this won't keep feeling good, but it does now. 

I feel somewhat guilty that since I'm not being checked on that I haven't been keeping my promise to Hubby.  I rationalize it away but deep down, I know that the promise to eat was not a temporary one.  My meals have been inconsistent and I know that.  I need to want to eat for myself.  Eating out of desire to make my family happy and not worried is only going to take me so far.  At some point I have to be able to eat without being monitored.  I usually do for a time but it is so easy to fall back into old habits and addictions.

Monday, November 7, 2011

when profound thoughts wound

****Blogger is pissing me off tonight, changing some of my stuff and rather than ensure the post is the perfect way I want it, I'm deciding to say screw it and post anyway.  I guess we'll just call it a step toward beating perfectionism..... *****


Today I had a very profound thought, one I'm not so sure I like.  I could tell you all the steps that led to it but then you would have to follow the incoherency of my thoughts as I put them together.  The end result is this...

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

 

This is a verse that brings me much comfort.  While I was still lost in sin, Christ came for me and died for me.  He came because He loved me enough to want to save me from the wickedness of my own heart.

 

And today this same verse brought me much grief.  While my attackers were still sinning against me, Christ died for them.  Someone on the radio mentioned the book The Shack.  I haven't read it yet so I don't know if this is a spoiler alert or not, but she mentioned that God loved the victim and God also loved the perpetrator.  I am so glad that I left my youngest at home and was not quite to my older kids school yet when I realized that God loves the men who hurt me.

 

That thought made me really angry.  God, how could you love them?  Didn't you see what they did to me?  How can you love me and hurt with me and yet love the ones who hurt me?  This isn't right.  This isn't ok with me.  How can I believe that you love me when you love them?  How can you love us both?  I felt like my breath had been stolen away.  It couldn't be possible.  Of course, I believe that Jesus came for everyone.  Of course, I have always been a person who believes He can redeem anyone.  And today, He asked me to believe that He came for those men just as much as He came for me.

 

 That is a big pill to swallow.  Angry and hurt I said out loud, God loves........but I couldn't even finish and say his name.  I tried again with the next one, God loves.....but I still couldn't finish it.   I spent some time alone this evening.  In my car I kept asking how God could love us both, it just doesn't make sense.  I felt like God was telling me that they are His children too.  I wouldn't stop loving one of my children if they hurt one of the others.  I tried to argue that point.  My boys wouldn't do this to each other.  But if they did, wouldn't I still love them? After a bit of driving, questioning and arguing I came home to my family, still ill at ease with a God who could love me and yet still love them, especially  him

 

Sadly tonight, God did use my boys to illustrate.  I left the room for a few minutes and suddenly my middle son was knocking on my door crying saying his big brother had punched him in the eye over and over again.  His eye looks it.  It is red and puffy and has the possibility of a black eye in the making.  The oldest tried to tell me it was an accident, he was stretching and his brother was behind him and got hit.  No way in heck this was unintentional. There is no way that someone simply stretching could make a mark like this.  

 

 I took care of my little boy, got him ice for his eye and comforted him.  And then I comforted the older one who was now crying "I'm the worst big brother in the entire world."  Was I mad that the older one hurt his brother? Um, YEAH!  Was I hurt for my little guy who was crying?  Absolutely, no mother could not hurt for her child when he cries in her arms.  I was hurt and angry that someone had hurt my child.  But did my love for my oldest ever lessen?  Not for a second.  I was angry with him, I was hurt for his brother but I never stopped loving him.


 

Somehow, I have to come to terms with the fact that these men are just as much God's children as I am.  Somehow I need to reconcile inside of myself that God loves them.  Even though He was hurt and angry that they hurt me, they are still His creation and His love didn't wane though His anger flared.  Somehow I am needing to absorb the knowledge that God was never ok with what happened to me and that I am not the only one that He never stopped loving. What a painful reality this is.

 

God, give me the grace to walk through this.  Minister to my heart, it is bruised and battered.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

weight gain *dislike*

Thanks to Hubby's "and" rule, I just had some peanut butter and milk with my banana.  I didn't exactly feel thrilled about that.  I have scoured the leaflet about my latest medicine.  I was convinced that I would find weight gain as one of the side affects.  But, no, there is not one word about weight gain in any form (even by increased appetite).  If anything the opposite should be true because nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are common side affects.  I have no vomiting or diarrhea.  I have no increased appetite.  I do, however, have more around my middle than I did have.  Not liking that!

I had been eager for my period to start this month because it always cures the "fat blues".  Unfortunately, this month when my period came, the pooch didn't go away.  I'm convinced that I look pregnant, though everyone else is too kind to agree.  It didn't used to be about my body looking a certain way.  It used to be about hurt and control and numbness.  It still centers on those things but somewhere along the way, how my body looks and feels has also become a bigger issue.  It used to be just to cope.  When did that change?  Why did that change?

I'm in the low phase of my "body bi-polar".  Body bi-polar,you know, when one day you can look in the mirror and say, "Ok, if this is as good as it gets, I'm ok with that" vs. "I can't live in this body.  It feels so foreign to me and looks so hideous!"  I'm in the second one.

I just can't get past the line in the song I shared that says, "Those damaged goods you see, in your reflection.  Love sees it differently, love sees perfection."  How?  How can love, that of my Savior and that of my husband see perfection?  Wish I could see what they see.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

music for the soul

I love music.  It speaks to me.  It soothes me.  It heals me.  I have, however, stopped listening to it for the most part.  Somewhere along the line I began to prefer the quiet.  I think that for a while, music touched me too deeply.  It made me so aware of the fact that I wasn't whole.  Music would touch my soul but I was too hurt to dance so I quit playing the music.  If there wasn't music, then my emptiness somehow felt less.  Somehow I could pretend that my heart wasn't breaking if I could avoid music and its beautiful power.  Every so often I would listen to a song or two.  My morning alarm, a link sent by a friend and random things like that. 

Last week we had our first snow here.  I discovered last week while I was driving home from work that my car feels far too quiet inside while driving in the snow.  The silence was actually distracting so I turned on the radio.  It was pleasant and it was shallow, perfect.  The snow melted the next day (as usually happens here in Colorado) as did my desire for "noise" in the car.  Guess what?  It snowed again tonight.  My car was eerily quite and I turned on the radio.  Talk, commercial, not really in the mood for that song and finally KLOVE. 

The music was fine for a snowy drive and so far, still shallow.  But right as I was nearly home a song came on that touched my soul.  There was a strange ache to feel moved by music again.  So tonight's YouTube playlist was
  • All of Me by Matt Hamitt
  • Strong Enough by Matthew West
  • Remind Me of Who I Am by Jason Gray
  • Nothing is Wasted by Jason Gray
  • Rest by Downhere
  • You're Not Alone by Downhere
  • Beautiful by Mercy Me
And then this one........


I had heard this song live on the radio before the single had even been released.  I cried then.  And I cried tonight.  And I cried a little more.  And I cried a little more.  And I realize the reason I've been shutting out music, it makes me feel things I don't like feeling.  It brings things to life in me, some of those things I prefer to keep buried.  Tonight I will listen.  Tonight I will feel.  Tonight I will let music heal in the way that only it can.

Monday, October 31, 2011

confronting my mom

So the other thing that I have done recently is confront my mom with the way she crossed boundaries with my kids.  I was really dreading it so last week when I saw her number on the caller id, I did the complete immature thing of letting it go to voice mail so I could know what she wanted before I had to talk to her.  She wanted to pick up my youngest from school, have lunch with him and then hang out with him until the older kids got out of school and then pick them up and bring everyone home.

I called her back and told her she could pick up the little guy and have lunch.  I said we had some errands to run so I would just swing by on my way and pick him up.  I could hear her disappointment when she said, "But I was going to just hang out with him this afternoon and then take him with me to pick up the big kids."  From somewhere deep inside of me, I heard a voice that I know is mine but sure sounded a lot more sure of herself than I felt, say, "Well, I have to ask the middle child if he is ok with that.  I don't know if he will want you to pick him up."

I heard her exasperation when she said, "Is that boy really still holding a grudge?"  And then my floodgate opened.  I never yelled.  I didn't even cry.  I stood my ground.  And still sounding a whole lot more confident than I felt I told her everything I had experienced for the previous 2 weeks in regards to the kids and their feelings toward her.  "Mom, when I got home, no sooner had hellos been said, I had a sobbing child sitting in my lap wanting to know why his grandma doesn't like him.  And I didn't just hear it from him.  All the kids have said you yelled all weekend long.  The oldest informed me that he got tired of listening to you yell and so he went and hung out with grandpa for the rest of the weekend.  The consensus was that there was a lot of raised voices and interrupting and harshness.  I have to talk to them and see if they want you to pick them up because I'm not going to have them surprised by it and feel like I didn't look out for them emotionally."

There was quite a bit more said, it was over a half hour of being on the phone.  Man did it feel good to lay it all out there.  It felt good to know I was protecting my kids and no longer being manipulated by my mother.  Hey, maybe that is the cure to mother manipulation.  Wait till she messes with your kids, suddenly you don't care anymore if she is happy or not!  Sorry, tangent. :)

She had been completely oblivious to how her words and actions had affected my kids.  She actually felt remorseful.  She insisted that she had to talk to them and let them know she was wrong.  Say what?  My mom actually admitting that she was wrong?  That is like getting a good burger at McDonald's, it just doesn't happen!  Now I happened to be already at the kids school when this conversation took place.  Don't worry, the kids were at lunch and I stepped outside when they came back in.  So I asked my middle child if grandma could pick him up.  First he said no.
"I think I'd rather you pick me up, Mom."
"Ok, but it would be Dad because I work tonight."
"Welllllllllllllll, I guess it would be ok for grandma to pick me up then."

I called her and told her she could pick up the boys.  We talked for over an hour.  She completely doesn't understand my middle child.  She doesn't understand why he takes everything so personally.  She wants to help toughen him up so he doesn't carry a victim mentality.  I told her when dealing with him, to think of me as a child.  She actually groaned!  Thanks, Mom, glad to know I was that hard to parent.  "Oh, yeah.  Over emotional about everything.  Feelings so easily hurt that you didn't know what was ok to say...."  She kept on like that for about a minute.  All of that time I wanted to revoke the privilege of being able to pick him up from school from her.  She always felt, without ever hiding it, that the way I was was wrong and it was her job to make me right.  My emotions were wrong, I should be logical like her.  I shouldn't be intuitive or sensitive because it was different from her and therefore wrong.  I had to keep a tight reign on my emotions when we were talking about his temperament being so similar to mine.  I wanted so desperately to shield him from feeling like his emotions are wrong or that he needs to be "fixed", as if he were broken!

In the end, she did pick up the kids.  She took them to a park.  She apologized.  Well, my youngest is convinced that she didn't, which is kinda funny story.  He told me that grandma did something wrong and didn't say sorry but he forgave her anyway.  I, shocked, said, "She didn't say sorry?"  I had to stifle a laugh when he very solemnly looked at me and said, "No, Mommy.  She said she was wrong and asked if I would forgive her.  I did forgive her, even though she didn't say sorry.  Was that nice of me?"

The kids are young enough that sorry still makes things better.  I wish I had gotten one too.  After all, I am the one who held my crying son and comforted him.  What mother could do that and not be hurt too?  But I am grateful that she apologized to my kids.  Even that is a huge step further along the road than she was when I was growing up.  Sorry is not a word in her vocabulary when it comes to me and my brother or even my dad.  I'm thankful that it has become a word in her vocabulary for her grandkids. 

It's not all better, but it is better.  I still feel very guarded with her.  I still feel very protective about my boys, especially my middle child.  But I do think it was eye opening to her to realize that she has a chance of damaging her relationship with them permanently if she isn't careful with her actions. I think it shocked her to realize that I won't force them to see her alone if they are uncomfortable.  I think she may think a little bit before she lashes out, at least I hope so. I hope that this will, in the long run, make all of our lives a little easier.  It is a lot easier to cross a line before one has been drawn and now one has been clearly drawn.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I did it

So many thoughts so little time.  So what do I share and still get my backside to bed to recover from no sleep last night thanks to staying up with a sick little guy?  While there is a lot on my mind, I guess I should update on the life events that have happened over the last month. 

I decided at a point that I was ok with Hubby touching me.  Not thrilled, mind you, but accepting of it.  He was wonderful, as he always is, and did nothing until I made the first move.  There is something about being the one in control that takes some of the fear out of "the event".  My body was no longer hyper sensitive and he had been patient.  I didn't want to take advantage of his patience just because I didn't feel like it.  Not being in the mood is quite a bit different from being traumatized.  So I kissed him a little longer than I had been and I wrapped his arms around me.  That is my sign when it is ok to touch me again.

And you know what?  That man was so very gentle.  And somehow being intimate with him was healing not damaging.  Somehow being with him made me feel safe again.  I can't even explain it because to me it doesn't make much sense, but it was like giving someone a broken vase and receiving it back fixed and filled with flowers.  It was a mental effort for me, a HUGE mental effort.  I had to recenter myself several times.  I had to force myself to stay in the moment, there with him, instead of retreating to my mental happy place.  It nearly made me cry once or twice to stay present, but I did it.  When my mind tried to shut off, I somehow reminded myself that this wasn't the men who hurt me and managed to bring myself back.

And it does help (sorry if this is tmi!) that while Hubby is wonderful about satisfying me, he doesn't get his feelings hurt if I don't "get there".  For a couple of times, I didn't want to get there.  That meant losing control of my body and that was just too scary for me.  I redirected a little, didn't get there and he wasn't offended by it.  Even in the deed, my body was mine.  He once again, ever so gently, brought my heart out of hiding.

I did it!  I rode the wave of emotion and didn't die from it!  Ok, so I thought I was going to at times.  I spent days crying or sleeping.  I refused to cook or clean.  I barely ate, I wasn't even hungry.  My dreams at night were riddled with suicide attempts.  I'm not sure that I wanted to die, but I didn't really want to live either.  I wanted to not exist.  But the point is, I did it.  I felt the emotion.  I didn't stuff the emotion, even though I really wanted to.  And in the end, I actually do feel somewhat better.  I made it through another emotional hurricane, and yeah maybe lost some windows and downed some trees but it didn't wipe me out.......this time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

coming to terms

I am realizing that I am coming to terms with my feelings.  The grief is still there but it is not all consuming like it was last week.  I guess it is true that in fully feeling this that I am starting to see some relief.  I'm a far cry from great but I'm not emotionally floundering either. 

A random story..... the other day someone told me that due to global warming, in a few years there will be no more coffee.  My response?  Well, I guess that gives me a couple of years to figure out my issues and find a new coping mechanism :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

physical sensations

I'm still struggling with my body.  I'm still not quite ready for Hubby to touch me.  My body physically tingles.  It is not the same as when my body tingles with desire for my husband.  It is a different kind of physical sensation.  I don't even know how to explain it.  It is definitely in my physical body but it is different from desire and passion.  It is a sensation that makes me feel vulnerable rather than desirable. It is a sensation that makes me feel like everyone else is as aware of my body as I am.  Is this unique to those of us who have experienced sexual trauma or do others sometimes feel like their body would cringe at the touch of a man?  Not indifference towards sex, just not in the mood, too much else to do that you forget that sex actually would be nice, like every woman at some point feels, but rather complete and total aversion to sex.  I know this feeling is one sexual trauma victims understand, I just wonder if it is normal for all women. 

Has your body ever tingled with disgust rather than desire?

Monday, October 17, 2011

reassurance

It is gonna get easier, right?  If I keep feeling, I'm really not going to feel this forever?  Just checking.

difficult conversations

Boss Man J is Hubby's boss.  Over the time of working together they have become really close friends.  Saturday I sent Boss Man J a text.

Hubby said he's worried about me but hasn't said anything beyond that.  How worried is he?  How much of his stress is worry for me and how much is the stressful upcoming work week?

This message sparked an hour long texting conversation.

He's worried about you and your middle child and money and work. 
I wish I could make me better so I wouldn't have to be one of the things he is worried about.
Dawn, that man loves you and his family more than most people realize. And I think he feels such a strong sense that he has to provide and protect his family that when something is out of his control, he doesn't know what to do.
I know.  I feel just as out of control and I am just as scared as he is.
Is everything ok?


Well the conversation went on like that for a while.  Boss Man J asked me to not keep big stuff from Hubby.  Hubby being concerned about me has started to effect his work performance, minimally but nonetheless it is still taking some of his concentration off of his job.  The conversation was basically, DO ME A FAVOR AND JUST TALK TO THE GUY!  HE REALLY WANTS TO HELP YOU AND DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO!

So I did.  Saturday night Hubby and I sat down and I told him what had triggered me and why.  It took 10 minutes just to get the words out of my mouth.  I told Hubby some of the details of the abuse that I haven't ever talked about, even in my journal.  He is AMAZING!  He told me I'm a fighter.  I laughed at him.  "Tell me who you were dating 15 years ago."  I answered the boy I gave my heart to but then I realized it was the abusive boy who I was engaged to.  "Yeah, people who aren't fighters don't have the strength to get out of those relationships.  If you weren't a fighter you would have married him or even the other boy who used you for your body and to look good on his arm.  You wouldn't have waited for a man who would die for you without hesitation if you weren't a fighter."

He was there for me, loved me and comforted me.  And then he kicked my butt.  "How does not eating help?" Well that's easy to answer.  When I'm not eating I have something physical, something tangible to put my energy into so I don't really have to focus on the emotional.  And here is why he is a great husband...... "Well, when you don't eat your emotions go more haywire.  And then you don't sleep because your emotions are haywire.  And then you don't want to eat because your emotions are haywire.  It is a vicious cycle.  I know it is hard and it hurts but I need you to eat.  I don't ever want to bring our kids to the mental hospital to visit their mom again and when you don't eat or sleep, that is how you spiral to the point of being in the hospital."

So as a promise to my husband, I am to be in bed by midnight and eat 3 times a day (minimum).  He said even if I just need to eat "and".  Huh?  You know yogurt AND a string cheese.  Or apples AND peanut butter.  I hate doing it.  But I love him.  I hate that I made that promise.  It is hard to keep.  And it keeps me in the present instead of letting me check out so I am very aware of the pain.  I want to check out.  I do not like feeling this! Right now if feels like the pain will never go away, that I will be forever trapped in the sea of overwhelming emotions.  I have a great man beside me encouraging me to feel,  to do the work it takes to get better.

I hate food!  I know I am not eating enough but I am keeping my promise and eating SOMETHING. I'm grateful for Hubby who wants me to get better not just get over it.  I'm grateful for the friend who knew I needed a break and took me out for girl time yesterday while her husband watched the kids.  I'm grateful for the friend who talked with me on the phone for 2 hours last night.  I grateful for people holding my arms up right now because I really am tired of fighting and don't know that I could make it without them.  I'm tired.  I'm tired of having to fight.  I just want to lay down and give up but I have people who love me enough to not let me.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

rambling to figure it out

I'm going to babble.  It may be coherent, maybe not.  I counted calories again this morning.  Haven't allowed myself to do that in a very long time.  I hate my body.  I hate the curves that make my body desirable to men.  I am very aware of my breasts today.  Today I long for the body I had a year ago in which my breasts had nearly disappeared.  I am painfully aware of my body in every aspect today.  I have hips, thighs and breasts.  I have a stomach that, in my opinion, is no longer flat.  Maybe my definition of flat is concave.

I want my Hubby to not worry about me, therefore I want to fake it.  I want to eat enough for him to not question or worry.  I don't want to eat a thing.  I slightly miss the hospital today.  I could sleep and cry and not have to take care of anyone else.  I didn't have to cook or think about food.  Someone else was taking care of my needs and no one touched me or needed me. 

I love the innocence of my children.  And I feel resentful that I didn't have that.  My children live in a world of safety.  Simply being near me after a bad day still makes their world right again.  I am so grateful that they are innocent, that they love life and that they want to be with me.  When I was their age I was screaming into a pillow that I hated my mom.  I wish I had the security of just being near someone making my troubles melt away. 

I feel very lonely and isolated right now.  I want to be loved and feel unlovable at the same time.  I want to be held and yet don't want to be touched, even in the slightest way.  I want to belong and yet feel like I will always be the window shopper watching through the glass as everyone else has a great time buying beautiful dresses.

The ache in my soul runs deep today.  It feels like a fault line in my heart, it could be fine for centuries but then one day, out of the blue, it causes a devastating earthquake.

Friday, October 14, 2011

big emotions

Something happened.  It triggered a very intense memory.  Overwhelming shame, intense hurt, unfounded guilt and huge sense of vulnerability have flooded over me like a tsunami.  I'm so far from ok.  I don't even know how to get to ok.  I have occasionally thought of this memory.  I never in a million years thought it would be triggered though or even that it could be triggered.  And now I sit here a broken heap of raw emotions.  I don't want to feel this.  I don't want to do this.  I don't know if I can do this.  I don't think I can fake it through this one.  But I also don't want to talk about it.  I don't want to even tell Hubby that I'm not ok because that would mean talking about it.  I want to crawl under a blanket and not exist.  I want to not feel.  I'd rather feel depression like a weight sitting on my chest making it difficult to breathe than feel this.  I'd rather feel the sad I felt this morning than feel this.  These emotions are so intense.  I wonder if they won't just sweep me away in their wake. 

sad

I'm unbelievably sad today.  It's not the kind of depression that makes me so low that I nearly feel numb to life around me.  It isn't the kind that feels so hopeless that I cannot function.  It is just the kind that longs for a bubble bath and a really long cry.  The problem is that I don't even know what I want to cry about and I don't feel any tears behind my eyes waiting to slip from my eyes to roll down my face.  How can I feel an overwhelming sadness and not have a reason to be sad or a way to let the sad out?  Oh the joys of major depressive disorder and the effects it has on living life.  And the really sad part is that my medicine is actually helping and yet I still feel this way.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

full moon

I pulled out of the parking garage at work tonight to see a full moon.  Ahhhh, suddenly my evening made sense.  I'm not one for superstitions but having worked much of my life in retail, I have to admit there is something to the claim of the full moon.  People get strange during the full moon.  Drivers are a thousand times more distracted and people in general seem to just lose focus on everything.  Somehow strange things really do happen during the full moon.

My night was insane.  I had a couple of guys who were talking to each other rather loudly and they made a rather racist comment and then a rather crude comment.  I wonder if I looked a bit uncomfortable because all of the sudden the guy who was standing at the register looked at me and said, "Oh, sorry, Dawn.  That was inappropriate.  Earmuffs!"  It was nice of him to apologize.  Sometimes wearing a name tag is not my favorite thing in the world though.

I had a transaction that seriously took over 20 minutes.  This lady was interesting and her transaction just kept getting more and more complicated and frustrating.  Finally the transaction was finished and before my register printed the rental agreement for her to sign, my computer crashed.  I had to pull it back up and reprint her receipts.

I had a guy come in to buy a stuffed animal monkey.  He told me his son's room is decorated in monkeys.  I told him my son loves monkeys too.  Nearly every day he asks if I will by him the monkey at my work yet.  The guy asked how old my son is.  I told him the age of my youngest.  He told me his son is 3 months old.  Making conversation, I asked if the baby was his only child.  Yep.  And he asked me.  Nope, mine is the youngest of 3. 
"You have 3 kids?"
"Yeah, all boys."
"Wow.  How old are you?"
I answered.
"Well dang, you wear it well.  I totally wouldn't have guessed that or that you have THREE kids!"
I'm shallow enough to have reveled in that comment.  But it was still a weird conversation and not one I would have thought would have happened.

I arrived home to find my oldest, who should have been in bed asleep, wide awake.  His toe nail fell off the other day and now his toe is infected.  He was crying and moaning.  His toe was swollen and red and white.  Good times.  It was 11 before I could finally get him back to bed.

I'm exhausted!  It was crazy at work all night.  I didn't sit down once.  I came home to craziness as well.  I'm ready for a good night sleep and the full moon to be gone!

Oh, and this morning I played this word search game that is going around Facebook.  It is supposed to be a psychological type of game that the 1st 3 words you can spot in a word search are the ones that describe you.  You wanna know what I got?  Broken, funny and fat.  Really?  Seriously? Yeah, ready for this day to be over!