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

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

yeah, I'm crazy

Would you think I was crazy if I told you there is a area at my work that scares me?  No, not the lunchroom, though that scares me for totally unrelated reasons that I have already covered here!  There is a place that I walk by and it brings back memories of attack. 

When I walk by it the anxiety feels visible.  If I'm playing it as well as I hope I am, no one can see the anxiety that I feel drips off of me like wax off a candle.  But I feel it.  I feel trapped when I'm near that area.  I feel scared when I'm near that area.  I feel not in control when I'm near that area.  I want to run, hard and fast.

Remember when I said something was on the edge of my consciousness that would have to be dealt with?  It started with a friend tagging her friend in a Facebook post.  There was his name right in front of my face.  The name I haven't heard in many years.  It wasn't him, someone by the same name with a slightly different spelling.  But it was enough. 

A few days later I walked past this area at work and my palms got sweaty, my heart started racing and the tears threatened behind my eyes.  Suddenly I was there again, being held down, clothes being ripped, my body being groped.  My mind tried to tell my body that I wasn't really back there but it was too late, my body was already reacting.

 Logic wasn't enough to convince my heart rate to come back to normal.  Knowing he wasn't there, that I wasn't in danger, that I wasn't about to be hurt wasn't enough.  And in my head right now I hear the article I read recently written by a counselor about PTSD, about how the body reacts no matter what the logic says. 

I just walked by the "scary spot" when I was getting my lunch.  I wanted to sprint again.  I wanted to hide.  I wanted to get away.  So I sit here eating my lunch and blogging so that my heart rate will return to normal, my voice won't shake and my palms won't sweat so that I can get back to doing my job in a few minutes. 

Silly really, that I react to something so simple.  How I wish I were normal enough to not freak out at work over things that in reality don't still have the power to hurt me. 

troubled heart

Yesterday was an uneasy kind of day.  You know, the kind of day where your soul feels like something is wrong in the world even though you don't know exactly WHAT is wrong in the world at that moment. 

My son fell while visiting the zoo with his friend.  It was a nasty cut, really deep.  The zoo staff wanted to call the paramedics but my friend was wise enough to know it was a big owie but not a hospital owie.  His knee bled for over 2 hours.  My kids have had some big ouches, like when my oldest cracked open his head and had to have it glued shut.  I'm a boy mamma, I can handle blood and bumps and grossness.  This one, however, threatened to turn my stomach in its grossness. 

Last night we heard yelling on our street.  I tried to ignore it but when the sound of the fighting escalated and I heard someone yell, "You're dead"  I decided to call police dispatch for my own peace of mind.  We weren't the first call they had had and the cops were on my street before I even got off the phone with the dispatcher.  Soon the voices died down but the police had called for EMS since the men were fighting so there was fire engines and ambulances, lights blaring, across the street.  I decided that was a good time to call my mom-in-law to let her know that the ambulance, though in front of our elderly neighbor's house, was not there because of our elderly neighbor.  I didn't want her to worry that he or his wife were ill, especially since he just recently had surgery.

I was grateful for the police.  Like I said, I was already uneasy before the fight broke out.  When the street was quiet again, Hubby flipping channels stopped on the news for a few minutes.  Good news, there are new leads in the case of the missing, killed and mutilated little girl.  Bad news that psycho is still out there.  Two more reported attempted abductions this week, both closer to my home.  I want to let my children live and I also want to smother them with severe over protection right now.  I don't want them to leave my house AT ALL.   I find myself hesitant to let my oldest sleepover at his friends house.  Silly reasoning, actually.  See he stayed over there the night the theater was shot up.  And he stayed over there the night the news broke that the body had been found.  I find myself almost superstitious, feeling that if he doesn't stay over there that bad things won't happen.

Of course I know that bad things happen and that my son's sleeping patterns have nothing to do with those bad things.  I also find myself hesitant.  At parent teacher conferences, they handed out flyers about student safety.  All stuff both my kids and I know, still gut wrenching that we have to reiterate it.

I went to bed off, still uneasy.  My mind raced a mile a minute while I laid next to my sleeping husband.  And I fell asleep thinking of the many times the Bible says to not let your heart be troubled.  I fell asleep hearing the words, "Let not your heart be troubled" on a replay track in my head.  Those words were my lullaby last night. 

God, help keep my troubled heart at peace.  Bring peace and comfort to my heart.  Help me to rest in the knowledge that you are in control.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

mind-maker-upper wanted

My house is quiet.  Hubby isn't feeling well and dozed off a couple of hours ago.  My kids are finally all in bed for the night.  And now I'm torn on what to do with myself.  Two of my very dear girlfriends are hanging out all night watching Twilight movies and just chilling.  They called and asked me to join.  I could.  Hubby even said I could stay the night and hang out if I would so like.

I would like to.  But I also have a quiet house and I kinda want to curl up in my sweatpants and grab a good book.  I've been a pretty lousy friend lately.  I haven't reached out much.  I want to go hang out and it would be good for my friendships for me to hang out.  I also don't want to leave the house.  I don't want to make the 20 minute drive in the dark.  I don't think I really want to stay the night over there which means I need to take the drive home into consideration as well. 

Am I making excuses?  I know I'll have fun if I get off my bum and go.  I'm also freakin exhausted and don't want to work up the energy to get off my bum.  And now is the time that I wish I had a commitment one way or the other.  I suck at making decisions, even more so when both options sound wonderful.  If my family needed me to be here it would be a no brainer.  If I had already planned this and my friends were 100% expecting me, it would be a no brainer.  But neither NEEDS me and I want both.  I need a mind-maker-upper.  Anyone know where they sell such a thing? 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

me too people

The people I connect with the most are part of the "me too club".  I think that is who most people connect with on a deeper level.  I read blogs of people who say what they are feeling and are honest about it.  I get bored and stop reading when it is simply to instruct me in all the ways I fall short.  I connect with so many of you because you say, I had a great day as well as saying wow, today really sucked the life out of me.  I connect with you because you read my stuff and you say, "Hey, me too.  I know what that is like."

I want to be a me too person.  I don't want to be someone who has it all figured out.  I want to experience it with others.  My pain, their pain, my joy, their joy, to walk side by side and experience life together.  And yet at the same time, I'm a little afraid to say what's on my heart because I feel certain that no one will say to me, "yeah, me too".

I can lay it out here on my blog.  I can say, hey world this is who I am.  I've made some very dear friends through my blog.  I just have a hard time taking that into real life.  I love to hear others stories.  I love to know what makes them tick.  I love to see their lives in action, especially in the nitty gritty.  But then when it comes to me, I don't want to show them the nitty gritty.  I am afraid that in the real world that I won't find the kind of me too people that I have found here on my blog.

I love to hear the stories behind others tattoos.  And yet I find myself at work being cautious about asking the significance because then I open myself up to someone asking the significance of my tattoo.  I want to know why one woman at work picks her food apart and doesn't eat as much as the anyone else.  But then I have to admit that I have noticed it and open myself up for her questions.  Most people wouldn't notice that she does it.  It is very subtle.  But I notice, and if I notice that, why when no one else does? 

I heard Lisa Terkheurst speak yesterday and she said something that I know and yet struggle with.  God gave us emotions so that we can experience life not so we can run from it.  I feel like I experience it here, where it is safe, where few actually know me.  But I'm still afraid to experience life and emotions out there in the real world.  I really do like the safety of my blog.  What happens if I take the safety here and become a me too person out there?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

being intentional and finding grace

With Hubby currently not working, it seems that in the morning when he takes the kids to school is the best time to blog.  I'm trying to be intentional.  Mostly, I am trying to show up for myself and to get over whatever this "hump" is.

Hubby mentioned to me a few nights ago that this month I've had food issues.  Then he corrected it to say that issues makes it sound like it is a problem again and he doesn't feel like it has gone so far as to say I'm in trouble.  We agreed to say that issues can mean struggles not problems.  He's right.  He is far too observant.  I have not been over the top.  I have not been intentionally indulging in my eating disorder. 

But I also haven't offered much grace to myself.  I didn't eat one of the cookies brought in yesterday for "Bosses Day" week (yes, we celebrate it all week long at my work.  I love my bosses so I don't mind celebrating them every day at 2pm, I just mind having a cookie.).  I haven't been taking seconds on dinner, even if I'm still hungry. 

Last week one of my bosses read a verse at staff prayer.  It has ministered to me over and over this entire week.  This is what I am trying to dwell on for today;

"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. 
 He will take great delight in you,
 He will quiet you with His love,
 He will rejoice over you with singing." 
 Zephaniah 3:17

This is what I am meditating on.  I am resting in the knowledge that God takes great delight in me.  I am bringing my turmoil-filled heart to Him that he may quiet me with His love.  I am trying to feel rejoiced over.  And when the feelings don't come, I remember that I believe in spite of what I feel.

Monday, October 15, 2012

7 almonds a.k.a. screw the new health class

I swear that if I hear one more person tell me that you can only eat 7 almonds for your liver to function properly, that I will scream!  If I hear one more conversation in the lunch room about sugar grams, fat grams, appropriate forms of protien, I may pull out all of my hair! But hey, at least I could make bald a new fashion statement, right? 

I think that for the next 6 weeks of this stupid health class I will be enjoying lunch anywhere but the lunchroom!  Sitting at my desk with my oatmeal and facebook suddenly seems like the best option EVER.  I want to scream at the top of my lungs.  I want to tell people that sometimes there is such a thing as "too healthy".  I want them to know that sometimes people like me take knowledge of health and distort it and use it as a weapon against my body instead of a tool to help my body.

I still read labels.  I still refuse certain ingrediants.  And I also am trying really hard to balance that with moderation.  You know, the kind of moderation that says it is ok if someone brings in cookies to work to have one in spite of the fact that there is no label for me to read.  The kind of moderation that that knows that homemade veggie lasagna is still a healthy option, even though it has noodles in it.  The kind of moderation that has lacked in my life for a while now.

For the record, work is very orange enabling right now.  I could count my almonds like they recommend, or I could trust that my nutritionist knows what she is talking about when she tells me that 1/4 cup is a serving and to not measure or count but instead trust my intuition.  My health depends on trusting my nutritionist right now and not letting other voices interfere with the plan that she has laid out for me.  That is so much easier to say than to do.

walking throught the muck with my kids

Friday the news broke that the body they found was indeed the body of the missing little girl.  Friday my son spent the night at a friends house.  Friday the friend's mom told my son that the girl had been found.  Friday she told him that the body had been dismembered.  Saturday I had to pick up the pieces of a very broken little boy.

Wouldn't you think that maybe it isn't ok to tell other people's kids big news like that?  Or maybe send me a text if he was asking questions to ask if I minded if she talked to him about it?  Or at minimum, TELL ME that she talked to him so that I know what he knows so I have a starting point when he breaks down in my arms? 

We believe that our kids should hear from us whenever possible the things they need to know.  We tell our kids hard things because we want to be able to help them process their emotions in a safe place.  We would have talked about this with him.   We talked to our kids about the theater shooting.  We talked about the little girl being missing and the reasons we have certain outside rules in place.  We talk about sex and answer uncomfortable questions.  We answer all of their questions when we are asked, even if the answer, like this time, is "I don't know.  I don't understand either." 

Maybe that is why it made me angry that someone else handled it.  I know it will get talked about at school.  My son is in the same age range as the little girl was.  He and his friends have been talking about it.  I just wanted him to hear the big part from me and dad.  I wanted him to be in a safe place that he could completely loose his temper and punch his pillow and scream and cry and do all of the things that he did when he got home to the safety of his room.  I wanted to be there to hold him when he asked through his sobs why someone would do that.

This morning  I asked his little brother what they talk about at school.  He told me at lunch that they talk about the bad guy who broke into the theater.  He told me they talk about the missing girl.  I told him the missing girl was found, that someone had hurt her, that someone had killed her.  He asked me why that person would steal her if they were just going to kill her.  I told him I don't know.  He doesn't have the same details that his big brother has.  He doesn't need the same details that his big brother has.  But he knows that he can ask us questions if he has them.  He knows home is a safe place to feel what you need to feel.  But it isn't affecting him in the same way as it is affecting his brother.

This parenting stuff is hard.  Helping my kids to feel the emotions that they need to feel and to walk alongside of them as they process is important.  It is also hard.  I understand why some parents choose to not talk to their kids about issues.  It is painful.  It hurts to see pieces of your child's innocence taken away.  It is a very helpless kind of feeling to have your son break down into gut wrenching sobs in your arms and know that you can't make it better.  It is very humbling to have no words of comfort and to only be able to pray that the Lord will bring us His comfort.

Monday, October 8, 2012

sleepless nights

I didn't sleep well last night, I was really restless.  Maybe it was because I didn't want to fall asleep because the night before I didn't sleep well either.  The night before, I had a nightmare.

In this nightmare, I was in a house that apparently I was familiar with and I heard someone yelling.  After a minute or so of hearing it, I realized that I didn't know where my youngest son was.  I started looking around the house and realized finally that the yelling was someone yelling AT him.  The yelling escalated to screaming at him.  I was trying to get to him but suddenly there were boxes and piles of papers and clothes blocking the hallway and I couldn't get to him.  The screaming escalated to hitting.  The person was beating my son while he whimpered and cried and I couldn't get to him.  I needed to protect my child and I couldn't get through the hallway to the room because more and more things were blocking my path.  Finally I screamed, "NOOOOO!" and lunged but the stuff still held me back.

There is no worse feeling in the world than feeling like your kids need you and you can't help them.  There is no worse feeling in the world than the one I had in my dream of listening to my son being hurt and not being able to stop it.  Thankfully, Hubby was awake for some unknown reason.  Apparently I whimpered and he woke me up.  My son was safe.  It was a dream.  No one was hurting my family.

Now I will tell you the real reason it bothered me so much.  The person hurting my son was someone who loves him.  It was someone who he loves.  It was someone who should never hurt him (and who in real life would NOT beat him).  It was my mother who was attacking my son.

I know all of the psychological reasons that I had the dream.  I was hurt and angry with my mom over something else that had happened in the day which is why she was the aggressor in my dream.  And I feared for a few minutes for my sons safety at a pool party when he went into the restroom with another little boy who has before made a point of repeatedly showing his "man junk" to my son.  The combination of wanting to protect my son and being hurt with my mother created this dream.  I know that.  It doesn't make it any less disturbing though.

My head hurts this morning.  Probably from lack of sleep this weekend.  I should be getting ready for work, instead I sit drinking coffee and typing.  I wish to insulate my heart from the world, but mostly from my mom.  I've been trying not to cry since yesterday morning.  My heart is very troubled today.  Pray for me today, friends.  Pray for God to wrap His arms around me today and for Him to bring healing balm to my wounded heart.