Sunny Side of 60

5840BA30-3C3A-487C-95AE-5ECB4074C002Recently, when having a discussion with an older gentleman, we were discussing life and how he wanted to fulfill many things before he dies.  Knowing my age, he said I was on the sunny side of sixty, which I thought was funny.  Sunny.  Sixty.  That number!

3B5F512D-FB1C-437D-BB7B-4D222483541A

Sunny side I get, but this sixty number is affecting me the closer I get. How did this happen so quickly?  I, too, have things I want to do as he does before the grave.  I was twenty one day, then forty and now on the sunny side.

019413E8-ECC8-44E4-9DB1-4EE2DE46C9EDNo doubt many of you have felt the same through the years or as the birthday candles increase.

While life has not been too bad, many rough patches came and not to forget the many blessings.  Life.

7D696DB1-F04C-471A-A8FB-E13C3DC61CCCThankfully, I feel more alive physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually today than I did almost five years ago.  It has not been easy going to counseling and opening up and dealing with areas of life and those rough patches.  It has been healing though while understanding the whys, questions, and uncertainties as I had to trust my counselor and moreso God.

D2005A85-4FAB-43B7-9B80-F41739348ECCI do not know what the other side of sixty looks like for me but I’ll be aiming for the sweet side of seventy and will be laughing and having fun along the way.

Lets make the most of our time left here on earth and be a blessing to others.  Remember…

F54D0BD2-C228-4BAD-8010-DA7455390CA7

 

 

Forget Me Not

BAAB3740-FFE7-4AD1-819D-4F4B6AD5ADAAThroughout my life I have always dreamed of doing and giving to help others, which is a good thing, if only I had the millions of dollars to do so.

Still, I do what I can when I can and usually not on special occasions but out of the blue, just because.  Everyone needs to get a surprise now and then and plus it is fun for me.71799F7E-3E53-4D12-8FD0-B94D24337DD9

Realizing this pattern in my life, it was when my former counselor mentioned this to me.  It has been amazing how much she made me understand life and myself.  Asking me why I do this for her or others.

I find that throw pillows make a room.  I love pillows and found that you can buy pillow covers from Amazon to slip on and zip up to change the theme; so my life, in my own home, has been exciting.

With the pillows though, my counselor had purchased a new loveseat for her brightly, painted walls in her office, but I felt it needed a pillow to bring it all together.  I was on a mission and made sure this was done.  It made me happy 5CEE944E-BCBE-45A8-A0BC-74DFA8D7A6A1to do this for her and she accepted my gift, which I was unsure she would. It also settled my mind while in counseling as I could focus on the colors or rub my hand over the texture of the fabric to ground myself if in a deep, emotional moment.

Still, even though I no longer sit on that loveseat as she is no longer counseling, I see pillows that would be perfect and I just smile and think, that would be perfect.

With the pillows given through the years, to change out, I often wonder now if she still has them and uses and thinks of me, as I do her when I shop.896F8327-E201-435B-A212-4E1C958290A3

Her comment to me was asking why I give gifts.  Crazy enough, it is like how a cat shows its love by bringing a mouse to its owner, the cat is grateful and loves the owner.FCEF7A64-675E-40A5-8AEE-517720495064

It was when we had discussed abandonment in my life so much that she felt the gifts given were to remind her of me.  Leaving a piece of me with her so I would not be forgotten.  I remember that moment well and while shaking my head, I replied with, Yes.  Again, she understood me.  To be heard and understood, brings healing.0ACBF96B-DC5D-442B-AF24-CE7340C5CC0C

Abandonment, whether young or old, the lack of love shown through life will be visible to those that really care.  She did.  How could I not bring and give her gifts?  I was grateful for her bringing light to the dark corners of my life.  I love and miss her as my counselor, who knew me better than my own family and close friends.

Giving gifts is one of my love languages.  The five love languages are not just for spouses but in life and in all relationships.

For me to receive gifts, it is not easy although nice, but it is a joy to give.  I’ll take touch (all the hugs, mostly sincere, tight motherly ones I can get) and words (so I can write them down and repeat over and over to myself and be reminded of spoken love toward me).  Due to abandonment and emotional neglect, this would be typical in my situation.

Where do you rate in the love languages?

77BFFB2C-80B3-4687-B92C-56F2333FBCE1

Not Perfect

After years of counseling due to marriage issues, personal issues and realizing childhood issues, I realized it is just called LIFE. We all have it, in some form or another.

Just a bit ago, I was going through some emails of which I am behind in either reading or deleting and had to smile because I am so far behind on many things right now. Before that would have stressed me to the max and while I feel it somewhat, it is not keeping me up at night. My have things have changed. Even other insignificant things whether at work or home, if I do not do it perfectly, it is okay. While it is not 110% in my book, it is still 99.9% so I shrug my shoulders and move on.

01786893-AB4E-450A-84BB-197253DDC4EDRealizing childhood emotional abuse can cause children to try and be perfect just to get noticed or praised and not to forget to feel and be loved, they will go over and above to gain those things. I did as I needed all those things. Even up into adulthood.

I want my boss to know I have his back and will make him look good, a lot at my expense while working late and making that report look great, etc. Odds are, nobody is 00F8C389-8885-49B6-9146-0D8223FFDFF3going to measure the margins, etc. I would. That’s how detailed I have been in life with such for one instance.

Having a task for another boss years ago, I worked tirelessly on this to make the ending of this study lesson perfect. To realize later, another co-worker, I am sure at the boss’s request added an appreciation to me at the end of all the work put into this endeavor. It threw off everything and I was livid. Now my work was off and now my name is posted. Those words of appreciation were never felt, as it was not perfect anymore. I was no longer perfect and now everyone saw that. Panic.

Since recognizing the whys in my life and understanding what makes me push for that so desired love, it has taken pressure off of me. It has been a good thing. I am thankful I had a counselor to help me understand this in me. While I still give my best, it does not need to be perfect, enough to make me lose sleep or cause me stress. The other day, I read a blog recently written and a word was wrong, should be taking and not talking, it is still there. When I find myself in this mode of perfection and needs to be done now, etc., I stop and recognize what is happening. It has been a lifetime of performing this way to be somebody.

News flash! I am somebody. You are somebody.

CAEFEE85-B8E7-4C21-B166-F4D937B1F674

Those we live with, work with, associate with are all important but so are you, me and each of us. You do your best and let the Lord promote you, accept His Love and He will always have your back. He is all that matters anyway.

629128EB-F7ED-466C-9B82-279E002D9903I tend to shrug my shoulders a lot more in life as a reminder I do not need to be perfect.

Do your best and move on.

3540A365-7FCA-4401-A151-09F68A03261D

Line in the Sand

A72E248C-B0F6-4503-9306-84BA5BF15076While each of us are unique and different, which is a good thing or life would be boring, so are counselors in their sessions. With that being said, that also would be boring and definitely useless, if not.

Just recently while seeing my counselors, I have been observing more, such as their counseling techniques, office system/files with notes about me and their surroundings.  Somewhat, okay comparing my last one of four years to present ones.  While a lot deals with the OCD in my life and my organizational skills, one drives me insane. Do I say something or let it continue to make me question them. I believe I need to speak up or there will be a wall of distrust and chaos within. We have that right to do so, as clients, as there must be trust.

0BB06ED6-09A3-4143-99A9-898C68538D44

I have had and a total of five counselors in my life. Each one was good in their field and just what I needed at the time and still. As a client, I also have a right to end counseling, which I did with my first one back many, many years ago.

At that time, I enrolled in a New Life Live, a Christian workshop for women. This weekend workshop was to help women understand and gain strength and healing due to issues in their marriage due to porn usage with their husbands and the betrayal felt. Maybe a one last-ditch effort to save their marriage and self-esteem which was slowly dying within myself.

As nine of of us women from all over the United States gathered in this small office area, it became evident we were all in a battle. I was amazed how many traveled the distance in order to survive.  Desperate housewives.

09321795-BA50-40AE-940A-E4196E4476B7Afterward, I was probably the closest in mileage, only forty-five miles away, I decided to start counseling sessions with the leader/counselor. I did, on a monthly basis, if not twice a month. Unsure if I really gained information to grow but at least I could talk freely and feel safe to talk. I had always kept my marriage problems silent to the point I was suffering. Shame. This workshop and counseling was my effort to take care of me, unknowingly because I thought it was more my marriage, that I now know.

After about a year, my husband was invited to join and reluctantly, he did. The first session, within minutes, sitting on her couch together but not touching, she asked him if he felt he needed anti-depressants. BAM, right out of the shoot. No doubt, I was shaking my head yes but if not, my mind was screaming, YES. This counselor has his number, so I thought.

Months went on with couples counseling, individual, etc. It was one session when she, the counselor said to me with him in the room, that any woman would love to have him. In my mind, it came a screeching halt and shock on my face, as in a movie scene. What? I knew at that point, I had lost the battle. He has won her over with his calm demeanor, his porn usage and lies. My self-esteem, confidence and desire to even exist became less than before. It’s all my fault, I am the bad wife, I caused his porn usage and continued heaping the negative thoughts.

As we went yet again and again, it was this one night that I had had enough. While I did not say anything, my shock and boundary came into play, it had to.  While discussing issues at hand and making himself look good with her, now I see he won her over more so and now she feels all motherly with him.  He speaks, saying, ‘I don’t love her and I don’t think I ever did.’  I just turned toward him and said, WOW! FA895C6C-FB8A-40F4-91D3-DC25E21DACBE

It was a long, quiet drive home filled with anger in the air.  Rightfully so. With that though, I found my voice, not in a screaming manner but authoritative. I am done. I will not make your appointments, do your laundry, cook for you (another story in itself), and whatever else. My focus was on our children from that point forward. He just could not figure out why I was so angered over that and threw it up in my face that I took it out of context. 800BDEF7-0FA3-48BC-AE93-2587C1A502E9Seriously?!? Just stab me in the back, I’d heal quicker. Those words should never be said to a wife.  Ever!

8CEF791D-3B26-491A-BAC7-7465D3F0A30FThe counselor on the other hand wanted to meet with me more, which I declined. Soon after, he left going to her, too. No push from me so he won’t; plus, he won.

He won alright, no real marriage. He can continue on with his selfish ways with porn, believing he is all that because the counselor said what she did to enforce his behavior.  I’m the bad one in this whole scenario and Satan played his games mentally with me.88e6b2cf-66aa-4544-8dee-66d3712a8abe.jpeg

Those were dark days and sadly years for me but… had it not been, I would not be where I am today. I learned that I was caring for me, even if I felt numb to life and was physically putting one foot in front of the other. I was setting boundaries, as I deserved more even while I battled negative thoughts that it was all my fault. Plus, courage to keep my head up and move forward when I would had rather died and be done with life. Through the mental torment, I had to trust the Lord but even then, I felt He did not love me either.  Unlovable.

Don’t give up, keep your focus and trust the Lord to carry you through the craziness of life. He knows your name and He knows where you are.  I had to fight, not physically but spiritually, mentally and emotionally.  9F612C2F-1B60-4EDB-9F23-3D203477A1A0

While my faith in a counselor wavered for some years due to that situation, I did not give up.  I picked up my big girl panties and found another, just for me.  I am better today and stronger emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually than ever due to help from great counselors and trusting the Lord.  My faith increased, as He was all I had to cling to in the midst of the battle.

The Lord will meet you where you are.  Trust Him. 💕7AEF5CAE-4893-4666-8CA6-716FB3CE222B

Journey of Life

947F91A9-B1D8-49C6-8138-5C2EEA15DF62Here I am, home from my counseling session and so thankful of having such great counselors as I deal with life. I would not be where I am today had it not been with each one.

Mental health awareness has been quite visible lately in the news and on Facebook of not denying or keeping your head in the sand that it does not exist. It does. Look around and listen to the news, there is mental health issues of all levels around us. Some being hidden by a mask or fake smile and those that are down right out there and may cause issues.

Why is there such a stigma of counseling and sadly in the church making people feel shame in going? Many years I secretly went to counseling almost an hour away to avoid my church and members from knowing I needed help. You know, those that will say I did not have enough faith in God. Those that will bring shame, which is why I went out of my way to go. No more!8DDBBD6E-CF15-41B4-BEFC-5BD3D2AC9032

I found myself, as I was leaving my counselor’s office the other day and several women were in the waiting room. I couldn’t help but think about them and wonder why they were there, too. Did they feel shame being there or did they just accept that they, too, need help. For a moment, and to be honest, I felt a judgment of them, just as many would and have in the past and/or in our experiences. Wrong! I captured that thought quickly realizing I just walked out of a counseling session. I am no better than them and we all need to support one another. It’s that stigma that latches on.  I’m sure others have had that of me.  While that quick lesson allowed me to see both sides, I politely smiled and wished them a good day. As we make these appointments and deal with life, that is self-care and much needed for me, you and others.  It’s okay!

We all have issues. Even counselors, doctors and so forth. I totally recommend seeing a counselor for issues or just to stay in tune with life and healing for yourself of past, present and for the future.  In my case, it started with marriage but nowadays it is to help me grow and heal some much-need broken places in my spirit, soul and body. I am a better person with counseling. Not having a spouse to relate to and cry on his shoulder or my close friends that do not live near, I have my counselors. Yes, counselors.

For this period in my life, I started with one to help me get over my last counselor of four years that left due to health issues.  We were dealing with abandonment issues in my life, yet I was abandoned by her. While not her fault, still it was and is still hard some days. Talk about a double whammy! Plus, I have another counselor to help me move forward in life, not so much focus on past counselor. Both have been good for me in my journey right now.  It’s been a good thing.

A2D1DCB8-345F-4FBF-9E47-A34CDC8843BAJust with my last appointment, she said that a poem reminded her of me of my past counseling experience, which I will share. Perfect. Again, I have had the best and thankful for what each one has done to help me grow, understand life, and even understand myself.

So, if you are considering to go see a counselor, do it. Give it time so each one can get familiar and build a relationship.  If after a time and there is no connection, change your counselor but do not quit taking care of you. There are some really good ones out there. Just know YOU MATTER and YOU are worth it.DE7BECC3-28B7-4B8B-83B3-C9265B356DA0

Just FYI, there is a lot of information on Pinterest regarding mental health, groups on Facebook and Google searches, too.

I Am Worthy

I Am Worthy!12BE7E16-A8D2-49AE-8B6F-B93188D0496F   You Are Worthy!

It has taken me years to get that in my thick skull to understand and feel I am worthy. I am sure I have wrote about this before, at some point.

At times regretting it took so long to get here but on the other hand, a relief that I am finally here. I am ME. The Lord knew me before I was even born, He had plans for me and what I was to face in life, never leaving me but loving me, just as I am.

25C9C74C-4032-4844-912D-F00358AAFA33So many times, I looked to others for my worth waiting for a compliment or to know they cared in some, small way or the hugs I craved. When received, my hope and worth in life became alive and joyful. Somebody cares for me. Sadly, short lived. The memories of that moment of high feeling that may last for days, comes down to trying to conjure up the memory or that same, sweet feeling and hearing words said directly to me. While I can remember, it is not the same. Sadness overcomes my soul for I need another fix. Somebody please tell me you care for me, hug me please as my mind is screaming, pat my arm so I can feel that touch again and burn it in my memory, I am desperate for connection.

I would never share those thoughts or words with anyone, always knowing I was desiring and screaming on the inside. In hopes one day, I would be loved by somebody and find my worth.

Thankfully, I had a counselor that heard the cries within and speaking of them with her, I no longer had to carry them alone. The Lord truly knew my heartache and allowed her to intervene. To share them brought embarrassment and shame but brought healing each time.

0917CC9A-78AD-4BC9-9154-22ED5C8E3B30The cage I was in of desperately wanting love and worth of others can only come from the Lord.  Releasing others from their attention and love that I required and hungered for only comes in small doses but receiving at times sometimes unexpectedly is so much sweeter.

I know without a doubt that joy, my sense of love, feeling special and worthiness is all from the Lord.554B51EB-EC85-4756-89E0-6041796A6FB7

When I don’t feel and know that within, my attention has wavered to people, not God. I always knew that deep down, but I thought it was easier to get and receive from those I can see and touch.

His Love is forever and ever.  It is where my love is focused upon that determines the outcome.

84B218E9-EF43-482F-8AA2-4F67C645FC4C

 

870 Days

652B2586-29F0-48E6-A4E4-AB1FB25A3117I can honestly tell you, I dislike a part of the code of ethics between a counselor and client relationship.  I totally understand that the counselor’s personal life is private while the client shares their life and deepest, darkest secrets.  That’s fine because that is why you are there in counseling.  

While I do understand the boundaries during the process of counseling, I also understand it after counseling has ended between both but I just don’t like it.  The connection is no more, as if it never existed.

As I started counseling over four years ago, it recently ended due to health issues of my counselor.  Jokingly, although some seriousness in me, I have wondered maybe I caused her to have burnout. Possibly!?

With our time together, I found her to be one I could confide in and be honest with and that is exactly what you want in a counselor, a connection. While she maintained boundaries in her profession, I still considered her closer than my own sisters. I could talk to C16F158F-ACF3-4CF3-B616-32E1C8C0E1E6her in complete confidence, truly feeling she cared for me not only as a client but as a person. To be listened to, heard and understood, brings healing.  I have to say, she was one of the best.  I feel blessed to have had her in my life, when I needed her the most.

The word, had.  I had her in my life. Now I don’t. It’s that code of ethics that comes into play. Again, I really do understand but I really don’t like it. Okay, I am having a temper tantrum, and I’ve had a few.44590330-BB3A-43DD-86EE-727802A14440

At one time, a brief comment was made between us that no friendship relationship while counselor/client. Okay, fine. It was when she made her decision to close her office, it all became real and quite upsetting. Hoping now, at least we can become friends on Facebook to stay connected, was my hope. Nope!

Okay, now with that, a real temper tantrum because not only can we not be friends on Facebook, but no contact for three years. Three years!  As of today, that will be 870 days, but who is counting? Ha 6062824E-20AB-4CA3-93C2-A01347B364F0

Again, I do understand and I respect her in this matter. I just don’t like it. It’s like the song, ‘It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.’ Well, this is my blog and I’ll complain if I want to, while working through it all and having fun, too.  Getting through the grief.  It would not surprise her to know I have a countdown timer on my iPhone.  I also have one of my retirement date, which is definitely more days than I want to be reminded.  It works for me.

In three years, I guess the reasoning is that the facts spoken within her four office walls will be forgotten, she will forget me and I will forget her and life goes on as if we never knew one another.  Can that really be true?

For me, not possible. On my end, she will always be a part of my testimony. While I am adjusting to the abandonment part of this situation, I still have my moments of grief and missing our talks.

So, perhaps this will help somebody know of what to expect when considering counseling.

Even though we both go our separate ways, I feel the Lord led me to her at the right time. He prepared her in this area for me, others clients also, but He knew I would need her many years before I even entered her door.  That’s God!

8E1FED02-9CEB-4A34-A7AE-D82DB646EA89The Lord knows and will put the right people in your path.

I really miss her.  Sometimes I hope she reads my writings, perhaps to know I care and appreciatative but be encouraged, too, because she helped me be who I am today.

62DC819E-C582-45AF-9DE1-63FF5B3B0B39