What is it about clean, white sheets on a bed? To many, it means nothing more than clean, white sheets, nothing out of the norm. It is a chore many dislike, laundry.
As I was making my bed, my mind went through years and years of memories, of how I felt and where I am now. As I smoothed out the sheets, admiring the crisp look and fresh scent, I teared up, thinking of the past. White sheets. I can have white sheets.
When I go to my sister’s house and stay a couple of nights, I look forward to our visit but her white sheets make me feel special and loved. When I go to a hotel, which is very rare, and once I settle in of seeing no bedbugs (Thank You Jesus), I enjoy the white sheets for the night, it’s a treat. White sheets. I, too, can have white sheets.
My bedroom accent colors are burgundy and olive green, very pretty to me. I always had burgundy cotton sheets, which I loved as they matched so well to my decor and bedding.
Although, after many washings over the years, they were starting to look worn, tired, becoming worthless, just as I felt in those years that my memory was actively reminding me.
Awhile back, I finally broke down and ordered a nice set of sheets, supposedly burgundy but not. Burgundy is a color that is hard to match, it’s a must see item before buying, lesson learned. In that, I ordered white sheets. Unsure if I would like, as I had grown attached to my old burgundy sheets due to the blending of colors. Plus, I hate change. White sheets. White sheets are for special people or guests, not me.
Hesitantly, the newly washed white sheets went on my bed and I loved them. Now wondering why it took me so long to make this change. Just this simple change in sheets, I felt different. As I pull down the covers to crawl in bed, I feel a joy. Just a simple, nice set of white sheets made me feel like I deserve them in my own home. Years and years of feeling worn, tired, unlovable and unworthy, I have felt life returning, as I am lovable and I am worthy after years of counseling and figuring out who I am once again. Life can push one down so low, of no hope in sight. White sheets. I am worthy to have white sheets.
People say they lose themselves in life situations and I totally understand this, as I did. I was at a point of hopelessness and feeling so worthless. No person should feel this or get to that point but it happens. Thank God I had a counselor that spent session after session, for four years, helping me see through the dark days and of understanding myself, as I gave up on loving and trusting others and even myself.
No matter, I knew God loved me through it all. I reminded myself that He knew my name and where I was at all times, which was my go-to saying, sometimes of not believing even that truth. He said He would never leave me nor forsake me so I had to trust and believe when I had nothing left within me.
It has taken awhile to get to this point but just the mundane act of making my bed of all clean bedding, seeing the white sheets, I am so thankful and touched that He did not leave me. He has brought me to a place where I am today. I do have white sheets now, and I love them. I don’t think I will ever buy any other color. A small, insignificant piece in my life just to remind me where I was and where I am and to feel hopeful and worthy. It’s the small things in life that brings the big picture together. White sheets. White sheets are a must.
Perhaps reading this blog of mine, (man or woman) you may relate or know of someone of feeling the unworthiness, which can cause so many issues compounding upon other issues to where you might feel stuck and total hopelessness. Perhaps it is no accident that you read of my own soul-sucking life experience to know that I understand.
Just know and most importantly, never forget that YOU are worthy.
HE KNOWS YOUR NAME AND HE KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE. TRUST HIM
Sometimes you feel like a nut Sometimes you don’t Almond Joy’s got nuts Mounds don’t
Now you have that little jingle in your head. You’re welcome!
There are those days I feel like a rock. You know, it could be a bad hair day, or the gray hairs are sparkling and proving my age, the wrinkles look a little more deeper than the day before, the weight seems to increase and can make one feel hopeless, perhaps a sock gets a hole in the toe which can be annoying or perhaps the clothes or undergarments are just not comfortable. Those days I’d rather stay in bed with a cover of my head. On top of something like those mentioned, somebody’s mood or my own just makes the day even worse and then the emotions show up in tears. Those days are rough and hard to get through.
The next day, I may not feel like such a rock. The hair, the makeup and what you are wearing makes you feel good about yourself and nobody can get your goat and ruin your day. A bring it on attitude of confidence oozes from your glow from your face as your posture is upright while holding your head up and smile at the world. Those are good days and we all need more of them. Hopefully, for the most part, those days are more common than not.
Just recently, I had an opportunity in one of my Facebook groups to enjoy an online sale of geodes and rocks found and tumbled to make into jewelry. I have always found geodes fascinating and have always wanted to go mine rocks to set out and enjoy the beauty. While shopping is fun and it is easier to buy jewelry but playing and digging in dirt would be fun, too. As a child, if there was a mud puddle, I was in it standing and splashing or riding my bike through it and dirt splattered all over me. It made for a fun day or outside fun.
This online Facebook sale is of many in the family I have followed through the years, as each one was involved in one thing or another and I feel like I know them personally. I found it interesting that this father-daughter duo would go rock mining and come back home to show them off while both actively washing the rocks to prepare them many ways. I did not know until that morning of their online sale, which was a must.
The daughter, Cindy, was holding a geode and telling of the online sale. She also held and talked about how we sometimes talk negatively about ourselves or even another. The outside of the rock is full of cracks and crevices and not that pretty, which is what we see. Not good for nothing, it’s a rock. We see the bad parts of ourselves, the wrinkles, gray hair, etc.
With this geode, she turned it over and showed where her father, Pop, cut it in half. The inside of this geode was beautiful. Cindy went onto express how this is how God sees us and that we are inside. There is beauty and a lot of intricate pieces within that makes us unique and special. Not her words exactly but you get the gist or perhaps how I heard her and I am trying to express.
The geodes mined are all different, you and I, each person, are all different. We have good and we have bad or of days of how we see and feel about ourselves or life itself. We have a choice. Do we want to just be the outside of the rock and sit there until we die or do we want to open up and show the beauty within of the gifts and talents, the love, care and kindness to share of what the Lord has given us?
He made us to show up and show off what He has done, as we are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Lord. To understand the smallest and intricate details of our lives occur according to the plan of the Lord, how can we not bring Him glory and praise? When we know and do this, we love ourselves and exemplify His love in us so that we can give to others. They see Him in us.
We may experience some days when we may feel like an old ugly rock. May you and I always know and remember that deep within, we are beautiful.
To love yourself was always hard for me to grasp, as I could only see most the rock formation due to circumstances in my life. Plus, I did not want to be stuck on myself as I have seen that happen. I found it easier to love others and see and even express their worth and beauty, but not my own. I’m sure my counselor wanted to throw a rock at me and say, “Why can’t you grasp this?” Still, as I am better in this of caring and loving myself, I cringe. Just writing that, I did. Even though, I know deep down I am made in the image of God, He made me who I am, He has given me gifts and talents and no matter what I look like on the outside or feel on the inside, He Loves Me. In that, it is all that matters. He loves me so much that I can love myself and I wish that for you.
So sometimes we feel like a rock and sometimes we don’t.
Interesting that this blog came about this weekend with Easter. As I held my geode in my hand and turned it over and over to look at it, the thought of the tomb. The stone, it was rolled away.
As I walked into the kitchen the other morning to get my coffee, to start my day and knowing I had curlers in my hair, which is very odd for me. During this pandemic, I have let my hair grow, which was always a short pixie style but now it flows down my neck and gets in my eyes on windy days. Hey, it was 2020 so why not shake up some things even more. It is actually shocking that I did this, as I do not like change. I had this short hairdo for years, like twenty-five years approximately. I always felt the short hair would draw attention to my face, my eyes, or just my upper body since my weight had increased over the years due to life, depression, pregnancy and again, depression.
Normally, I am alone in my area of the house and no issues of crossing paths with my husband in the way our house is designed, which is actually perfect. It’s an odd set up, it’s an odd relationship. Still, that morning with the curlers, this would be one morning that he may come up the steps and see me. A cringe, embarrassment and fear struck me. How sad is that? He would see me. In that moment, thinking and feeling, the Ugly Duckling blog was born.
I never felt pretty to him, was never told I was in all these years. The closest I got was that my looks do not matter, as I have a good heart. Really?!?! I should have known early in our marriage, with those words spoken, things would not go well or that I would fully understand this man I married. So, I have a kind, loving heart and that is a good thing. Still, a husband is to admire their wife and make her the most important one in his sight. To love and to cherish, I heard those words in our vows. Maybe I had this whole thought of a marriage relationship out of balance, and I expected way too much, now feeling fake and non-existent. Perhaps I believed in the fairytale of it all.
“When a woman feels loved and cherished by her man, she feels more secure, not more insecure.”
Whenever in my kitchen, I keep a pair of readers on my windowsill for those instructions on cooking, ingredients, etc. It sucks getting old. While I wear a different pair now, actually I have a cheap pair in every room. A year or so before, while preparing for a holiday dinner of a gathering for his side of the family, I had these thin readers on that my sister had given me. He was over by the refrigerator looking at me and I heard him snicker. I could have cried but I did not have time. As I write this, I still have those little, thin readers now in the back of my cabinet, hidden. Hidden, just the way I have wanted to do so often while in his presence.
So many years I have seen this man gwak at women in my presence, not just a glance, I mean up and down and back again. Always denying this while I would stand and just watch him. So many discussions of just this over and over again and even in the church, it happens. Never admitting his viewing when mentioned. I am observant but I have learned to be through this, because it cuts to the core of a wife, I am his wife. How could he do this but not realize he is doing it? Years and years and many tears.
There comes a point to when you feel crazy with his denial and seeing things but the reoccurance was so often, how could this not be real. Maybe I am crazy, I thought often. I do know it was hurtful. Stuff like this, who in the world can you talk to about and hopefully they not think you are crazy also or defend him, he’s just a man. If I did make a hint of such or slight comment, I was informed of how nice he is and such a good father and everything was true. It was between him and I that they did not truly see, it’s not their relationship. It was not their place to see that and how hurtful it made my heart just ache. I quit having friends and family over due to watching this gawking in my own home. I do not deserve that and soon, the house was empty with nobody knocking on our door or over for dinner or is out to dinner, as couples. Was it my fault? I was just exhausted of having the same, deadend conversation that proved I was nuts, that he did not gawk. He did.
“He’s just a man. All men look.” I have been told this but hey, I am just his wife and this hurts, is disrespectful and is killing our marriage. Your invalidation that as a wife, I must accept. No! No, I don’t.
So this morning as I walked through my kitchen with my coffee, somewhat hurrying and cringing of the fact he might see me, I relived all the years that I was made to feel as an Ugly Duckling to my own husband. He still has no clue and will still not admit of his gawking back then and possibly now. Now, I really do not care as we go about life separately but that remembering the way we were together, I never want to experience again. No woman deserves to be treated this way, unknowingly or not.
It was in 2014, walking into my former counselor’s office and my first words was that I felt I was going crazy. It was not just the gawking he was so good at but so many other things that just did not make sense. What is up with this stranger in my house? Thank God she realized after weeks or months that he has Aspergers. I was not sure of Aspergers or if that was fact. I did my research and the book I found, it was like he was a textbook example. His name might as well have been written on every page.
Now understanding him more so and why he did the things he did and now still does, it helps but the relationship is dead. It is just a legal-binding marriage license on paper that keeps us existing under one roof. In the way he is, he is nice, very calm and patient to a point, plus denial holds a place in his mind that we are a happily married couple. He will make it sound like we are when talking to others because we did this or that or went here. Going to Home Depot is a date, he thinks. He will hear enough of what I am saying to my sister or another, and share like he actually knows me. He does not know me.
We have no vacations together, my choice, as I will not place myself in the same position of watching him gawk and deny. I don’t need that in my life or to be stressed over. We may go and pick up our own grocery items, visit his elderly parents and perhaps go see our two sons and a daughter-in-law. For the most part, I drive down alone to visit them, and odds are they notice and sense that their mom is less stressed and more fun.
Even in the short stints together, I can handle. Same for him, as his routine, that is part of Aspergers will come to the forefront and he can only handle so much before he changes. In the home, 10:00 pm lights out, not just for him but when the boys were growing up and myself. Now, even the cats in the house know what happens come 10:00 pm. Yes, the cats know they must settle down. It is the strangest thing ever. A routine, a timetable is a daily ritual for this man. At times, it’s fun just to mess it all up for him, just because I can. Life is boring without fun and laughter, for me anyway.
News Flash!!!!! I am not an Ugly Ducking. I am Worthy. I am made in the image of God. He loves me. My appearance, my approval from my husband is not required anymore. There comes a point of healing the broken pieces of a good heart and person, whether it be trusting the Lord, seeing a counselor, taking care of one’s health (physical, emotional, spiritual) to become a better you. I will never change him, but I can change me. When I am strong enough and get my ducks in a row, seeing that I can move forward in life, as I deserve more. I am getting closer. Taking care of me. Same for you, if you are in a familiar place that I have walked. There’s more to life than feeling like an ugly duckling.
It’s a sad to have a marriage relationship that is more like a business partnership, brother/sister and sometimes in this case through the years, as mother/son. My three sons, is my life.
This is not just my life but many that we may know and may not necessarily know, as pretending to be a happily married couple happens. My situation may not be the same of gawking as another but other issues, where marriages are crumbling behind the closed doors. Looking at the link earlier of Leslie Vernick, noted below, the comments tell exactly the same story but in different words and situations.
If this is you, do know that the Lord knows your name, He knows exactly where you are, He sees and collects each tear. He loves you, you are His Child, and you are worthy. Trust Him when all hope seems gone and in the midnight hours.