Happily Ever After… Maybe?

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A few years back I was asked if I thought all marriages were good ones, since I did not have one. I do try to look for the good and do try to think positive of marriages, as such, and of life. Although I am not in denial, there are many marriages struggling, as I know of many. Otherwise, it is not my business so unless you tell me or I see signs, I want to believe and wish the best for the couple(s), as in her own marriage.C1DE24B7-FA8F-46A9-A67F-050BD60EDFFF

The tone in the way she asked her question to me, I had to think that this hit a nerve and perhaps things were a little dicey at home. I don’t know and again, it was none of my business. I knew she would not tell me anyway but her comment and tone did raise my eyebrow and make me hesitate and to wonder.

0BB61D78-4519-4D5E-B1AF-C8894AEC6E87Today, I talked with a friend about his month-long stay in Florida with his wife and how much fun they had together. They have been married a good forty-five years, maybe longer, which is pretty cool. He mentioned that on their drive back home, a long twelve-hour drive, they stopped several times, of course, but he said they sang a lot. How sweet, I thought. I just love this couple and to see them enjoying retirement together. Do I know they get frustrated with one another? Yes. Normal. Still, he calls her Honey and tells her he loves her and they seem so 9D65F1B6-A2B7-45A8-B702-62EB1F741048sweet together. I love that in them and so wish I had that. So I do think the good of them and in most couples.

As he told me of their singing, thinking of their marriage, I had to stop and wonder just what that would be like. I don’t want to be jealous or envious of his or other relationships, but I do desire to have such a sweet, caring, loving and fun relationship. Normal. Any woman or man would want this to share their life with together.

Happily ever after is not a fairy tale—it’s a choice.
Fawn Weaver

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Sometimes as I sit in restaurants, I look around and watch couples. Perhaps observing others just like mine, helping me to feel not so alone in this situation and the hopelessness felt. Maybe getting lost in their time together in order to forget mine.DB8B8D81-5662-421B-A79F-A42FE023733F

It takes two to make the marriage work. When one is doing all the work, it is easy to give up after awhile. When the emotional connection is lost, it causes a sad, lonely existence in the relationship. Usually at this point, one or the other is just done.

AB314B86-A177-4DC3-9EC1-F71CD415B396Depending upon the circumstances, there could still be hope in making it all work and enjoying life together.

Marriage is to be with your best friend and enjoy life in all areas of life. Knowing full well that frustrations come, disappointments, etc., but if the two work together, they can walk hand in hand together no matter what comes their way.

So yes, I do think positive of marriage relationships and feel they do exist, which brings happiness. I have hope.

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Did I Fail Them?

The motherly guilt was alive and well recently, as I fought through the fear that I have failed my son(s). The ‘if only’ statement rolls in my thoughts, full well knowing that those ‘if only’ wishes will not change a thing. It only keeps me in a fear mode as worry tags along.87FD1186-60FC-4E84-AC54-27D751AC3628

When writing a recent blog and researching the childhood emotional neglect (CEN) yet again, reading the symptoms, etc., which I have had, panic set in for the boys, especially my youngest.

I know it is proven to be passed along through generations, which would be me, and if so, then I have failed them, too. Had I known what I know now, a familiar phrase spoken by many, whether a parent or not, while I did many things right, I would change some areas.

If what I have gone through and the struggles, I wonder if my sons are going to also. Will it be different with a son than as a daughter? I do not know the answer.

My years of them under our roof has come and gone, now they are too busy. The days speed by so quick and time is limited when visiting or in my life as my days are getting to be less.

Reminiscing of their childhood, I had happy babies. Looking at them, smiling and covering them with love, hugs, kisses and prayers as we rocked and read books. This was something I did not have growing up and proud that I did that with them.  Often I wonder though, do they remember?6EE54AA4-E2CB-4339-8940-062D151FB7DD

Through the years, these sweet boys brought me so much joy and even all those dirty clothes. They knew I would be their number one cheerleader back then and know that even now. The teenage years were interesting. The independence and pulling away from mom was happening with my oldest, I remember, which had me frantic at times but soon learned this was normal with boys. When the youngest did the same, I caught on and realized a new 03E2C037-9E09-4BE1-92ED-553848F43F47phase in their life was happening. Okay, I’ve got this. Even in these years, I wonder if they remember and have good memories of their mom. I was there for them, I always will be but less so they could grow into adulthood, loosening the apron strings

Or do they remember me depressed from the dying marriage happening right in front of them with their dad while I am trying to appear strong and happy keeping our family intact? Even though I lost some precious time, I 9854A649-70A7-4ABC-BE1D-A3A0CA65BE88pushed my way through for them. Do they remember? Or do they remember and did they feel the underlying anger I had toward their dad? The dark days of depression added and being buried with much grief of not just my parent’s deaths, but the death of my marriage, a marriage I always desired but will never have, and most importantly time with my boys and us all as a family unit. Grief in all ways was surrounding me. Those were rough days… years. I hope they don’t remember. I would like to forget it myself.

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The ‘if only’ or ‘if I could do over’ days are over, there is no going back. While these statements brought worry and fear along with tears and all the negative thoughts that I failed them and not to forget that I was a bad mother, which are lies and from the enemy.

As a mother, I did the best I knew to do and still. I have to trust the Lord as I did back then, even though I wondered where He was at times and if He even remembered me. I must trust Him. My boys are grown adult 9E1E5E8B-6F88-480F-9BF4-4EFC6FCC7982men now and doing well. Will they need counseling one day to help in areas from childhood? I do not know but if they do, I will support them to do so. I want only the best for them. Perhaps with my own work in these areas, this will stop the pattern in generations to come.

I just hope they remember their mom’s love, hugs, kisses, support and prayers, especially when it is time for a nice, clean smelling nursing home. 🥰

I Love my Boys (Men). ❤️❤️

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So perhaps you have had the parental guilt yourself. The enemy wants nothing more to keep us believing the lies that we have failed our child(ren). All you can do is your best and trust the Lord

Parental Guilt: Forgiving Yourself For Parenting Mistakes

https://drjonicewebb.com/E92393B8-C3D7-4822-9013-4E9EC5F53B07

Word from Lysa Terkeust:  “Satan wants us to be afraid.

I’m not talking about the healthy kind of fear that keeps us safe. No, I’m referring to that horrible kind of fear that whispers worst-case scenarios.

While we’re distracted with fear, the enemy pickpockets our purpose, cripples our courage, dismantles our dreams and blinds us to the beauty of the Lord’s great plans.

Are you struggling with fear in any area of your life right now? Maybe there’s a relationship causing anxiety. Or a problem you’re facing where there seems to be no solution.

Stop right now and speak the name of Jesus. Proclaiming His name brings power, protection and perspective that crushes fear. It is the name above every other.”

https://www.lysaterkeurst.com/

Arena Seats

A2557CBC-A7FF-4DDA-B4F3-86309D05D9ABI really do enjoying going to plays and sporting events but through the years I withdrew going because of the seats. When younger, it was not a big issue but when marriage, children and weight gain, I was unhappy in my marriage and the emotional eating took reigns over my life. I hid and was very self-conscious of my weight and my hips, a pear shaped body.
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I am sure others can relate as weight gain causes many issues, the emotional toil that unhappiness brings and in whatever circumstances.  The hopelessness builds and soon no desire to be in the outside world. Just hide.

F9C8F1F1-6089-4C58-8DA1-0DEFB441A8ECI was thinking back when my former counselor discussed my hesitancy for me to even go to the grocery store, I would put it off and cringed as I walk through the store hiding behind the grocery cart. My hiding became worse when my boys went off to college because I had no need to be in the outside world, other than work. Home to work, work to home and hibernate in my bedroom until the next morning. I knew I was depressed but I knew I was also unhappy in my situation and had been. The empty nest wrecked havoc on my life, more alone than ever, no joy and now no laughter existed.

My oldest was to perform in a large football stadium with the college band, he was the lead percussionist. I will go out on a limb for my children and push myself while freezing of fear inside. Enjoying but falling apart inside.351BB8E9-C777-489D-8B02-85D36BB936BB

My boss gave me two tickets to go see my son perform, which I thought was so thoughtful. Two tickets. I knew one was for me and one for my husband. My thought immediately went to two things, one that I had to take my husband and at that time in my life, I hated the man.  The other were the seats, wondering if I could even fit. Anxiety to the max and making me feel worse than I was already.  How would I deal with this nice gesture from my boss, was always on the back of my mind counting the days down of the event.

To add onto the matter, my other son had an event the same day and time, at another location. I cannot do both and neither could their father. As I weighed out the D0047B2E-21FB-413C-ADAD-5637BA452CD5matter, it came down to my weight and the fear of the arena seats. I had my sister go with my husband to the arena with my camera and instructions to take many pictures. My sister and my husband got along great, actually she is the only one in my family that tolerates him, and still. I went to my younger son’s performance. All is well. My sister took many pictures and one was absolutely perfect.

I felt like I disappointed my boss though, as he bought those tickets for me. Now another task I need to concern myself with and that was how do I tell him that I did not go.  How do you tell him that I did not want to be with my husband or feared I would not fit in the seat? Knowing one day I will share with him but it is not time yet. Thankfully, he knew of my predicament with my other son and the time constraint but I am sure disappointed.  I was, too, for that matter. In more reasons than many realized.  It’s done, over, let’s move on.DD0C4332-F319-47C7-862C-B7711E9C395A

In other events, with other arena seats, I could not avoid. I made the best of it but uncomfortable.  Uncomfortable sitting and the pain within of depression. Once settled in my seat, I would glance over and see another large woman squeezing in her seat. My thoughts of I understand plus wondering if she, too, was struggling with depression, probably so; were they happily married, I do not know but doubtful. It kept my mind occupied while avoiding the close quarters of my own relationship. To escape mentally but wanting to physically.

BB92CBBB-9814-4F5D-B347-229926993A3AWe never know what the next person to us or in our paths are going through. Nobody knew my situation for a long time, even in mine or his family or our friends. I wore the mask well.

To see my picture recently from back then to now, side by side, I look so different. Not even the same person, which is good. I could see the sadness in my puffy, fat face and remember what struggles I went through and endured for years. It’s sad to even look at honestly, such a difference.

F568FC4E-EC16-484E-9DAB-1532498C760COftentimes, many look at heavy set women, and men, think that they are lazy. Perhaps they are but underneath the layers of fat are layers of pain. Physical pain as well as mental, spiritual but most will be emotional pain. They need hope and encouragement. It is none of our business to have all the details what made them that way, but there is a story behind the emotional eating.

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While I have made some changes in my life in all areas right past five years, it feels good. I feel good, better than I did, maybe ever. It has not been easy but I knew I had to take the bull by the horns to be in this place. As the old saying goes, don’t forget where you came from, is a wise one. As with me, I did not go through all of my pain of a sad and lonely marriage, wearing a mask to appear happy, fear of arena seats, weight gain, depression, just to name a few. Plus, 901D9BA0-FE77-4F49-8933-23D227800906turning it around with weight loss, hours and years of counseling, pushing myself out of my comfort zones, involved in church, groups, etc., walking in 5K  marathons, but most of all acknowledging and knowing that I AM WORTHY and that God loves ME no matter. I never could grasp those words and now I do not want to let go of them.

Do I still dread the arena seats? Honestly, I don’t dread as much but I do dislike. I may fit somewhat better now but going down memory triggers a depressive state within for a period, memories I would rather forget.

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We all go through situations in life. Oftentimes, our pain and experience is to help others… to go through. We do go THROUGH! Don’t give up. Trust Him!

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View at Medium.com

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.Romans 8:28

Don’t Waste Your Pain

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Invisible Me

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Our memories can run a mile a minute and mine did just that this morning. While reading a post written by another wife dealing with her husband’s Aspergers. With that and remembering myself years ago feeling the same, I could totally relate, in her saying, “I could not deal with being and feeling invisible any longer” so with her young child, she will leave the marriage. Of course, other issues were present but this one made me go back to a period that was just unbearable for myself. C7FC683F-16B3-4C97-B635-F41E30E36E6A

My boys were young, too, perhaps eight and ten. This one instance that is etched in my mind is one where we all left church to go get lunch at our favorite pizza joint.  As I remember, that whole morning and church service was uneasy. I would mention something and he would deny, like before, over and over. This was an ongoing dialogue between us. The craziness of that day in and day out was enough to tip me over the edge. Trust me, I wanted to jump many times, no tip needed. I stayed for my boys and dealt with the circumstances.

EC56EC75-49C9-4481-9718-9D487C1E7C85As the boys and my husband were enjoying the pizza buffet at the table, talking among themselves, I am sitting there being totally ignored. To remember, I feel and sense the sadness after all of these years still, just a lighter degree from then, thank God. I am eating and on the verge of crying but what good would that do? I sat there alone, emotionally distraught, feeling like a homeless person with my family. Exactly my feeling and I remember that thought so well, and the pain within.

A blanket of doom and gloom of this marriage was choking life from my body. This was about twenty years ago, as I write, and I had no inkling of Aspergers then or up until five years ago.

As I met with my former counselor who alerted me of Aspergers, that seemed to fall into the scope from my sessions, I felt the blanket lifted from me and the craziness that Aspergers can cause in a marriage relationship, which is a sad, lonely one. 37D69AF2-625B-4852-BC9B-01D6E0BC01BB

In our many sessions, of course, my childhood was discussed.  A lot of adult problems are unhealed childhood issues, which I have heard over and over again from my Pastor, in his messages. As a child living in an alcoholic home, not realizing it then as it was just my life, but I was present while I listened to conversations and observed my surroundings.  I remember my counselor commenting that it was interesting that I was invisible as a child and now as an adult in my marriage. I guess interesting although I understood what she was saying, more depressing than anything. I was invisible and had no voice.

Now, just recently, I did my two weeks, the eighty long hours required in clinicals for Phlebotomy certification, 53BB793C-649B-4518-ADF0-D6C80AB37DFDthe worst two weeks of my life. I remember a couple of times when I was alone in the lab office area, I held my hands up and moving like a Mime stating, am I invisible?  I did all I knew to do, and I am trying to help them and understand the process, as I was their legs to save them time but the training I should have had was weak in each of them, a waste of my time. When there was time to ask questions and time for them to explain this or that, they each had their nose in their cell phones. I was at a loss. I was being ignored, not trained properly and I felt invisible, yet again. Although now I know the role of being invisible, so I am there at this point to get my hours and required sticks, ignore me if you want. I am doing my time and I am out of there, just learning to hate a profession I thought I would enjoy.

So to read this mother’s woes of feeling invisible brought me this point of my writing.  Perhaps to remember what I came through and to treat others as they truly matter, that they are not invisible at all. Even the homeless matter. My heart is bigger knowing and feeling the pain that I dealt with and in that I do not regret what I have grown up with, my marriage and this past experience.

Each one of us need to be aware of those around us. We never know what they might be going through. Just a smile, costs you nothing, but can bring hope to a person who has none.

Thankfully, we are not invisible to God. He knows each of our names, where each of us are and the number of hairs on our head. Trust Him.

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She [Hagar] gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi [the”well of the Living One who sees me”]. (Genesis 16:13-14)

Invisible

Millennial Counseling

Sometimes I just do not understand things in life. Surely I am not the only one.

DB086997-9FE1-4DE9-8257-69EE4E0773E6In regard to counseling, years ago and even today, others think you might be crazy to go for counseling or perhaps have a lack of faith in God. Trust me, I have experienced both of those situations. I know with myself, it is nice to have someone trusted and knowledgeable to talk to and gain advice by looking at them in the eye and knowing they are there with you, there’s a connection.

Back in 2002-2004, I went at first and finally insisted that my husband attend counseling so that we could get help 3F17B921-C853-4F57-8608-E331CA7B84D7for our marriage. Mind you, we were both active at our church and this did not look good if they knew we were seeing a counselor, the lack of faith part. We drove one hour to and from in order to avoid anyone knowing that our marriage was crumbling. I was too embarrassed and actually numb as to what was happening so this seemed to be the answer. It was great for awhile, things were improving between us. It was the fall of 2004 when it all went downhill.D2A19302-87E0-4F0E-BD9F-11542A8221E3

I was just done. Done with him, our marriage and done with that counselor.  Being betrayed by him, now the counselor. What do you do with that? I was slowly inching my way into a deep, dark hole of despair and depression only surviving by tending to my children and struggling to do that. While I was there for them physically, the rest of me lacked and, therefore, they lacked having a mother truly happy and whole. All of which I regret as I dealt with anger toward their father of what was lost in our family realm due to his choices, basically grief in the midst of it all. 

Years have passed and I thank the Lord that the boys have done very well but damage is there, as they also suffered, silently.  In many articles, discussions, etc., many argue whether is best to leave a bad marriage than stay and in my case, it was best that I stayed, so I did. Easy? No!

Finally, in 2008, I met with a male counselor for a year before he moved his practice out of state. Enough to get my mind calmed from the chaos of family estate issues on top of everything else. Also I learned that I had a stroke, probably due to the stress of it all. At least this counselor was only fifteen minutes from my home.

A new job for me, my son graduating, another son nearing graduation and mixed in with some friends that I could see trouble ensue and also a husband losing his job of twenty-two years, due to an offshore situation. Still dealing with a few family members and the hatred of me, being the Administratrix of now my brother’s estate, carried over from my parent’s estate, due to greed. How much more? Actually, I was afraid to ask how much more could I go through.0327EB99-60D1-4BFF-9F82-763285A949FC

Fast forward, life got busy as the boys graduated, college, moving to and from dorms to apartments, work, etc. Enough to keep me busy and my mind occupied of the issues and feelings stored within. The empty nest syndrome was alive and well causing now an emptiness along with a loneliness in my home. Each day was like the next while existing and lost in knowing who I was.

7F945197-238E-4E04-9046-7C1219A7A939As in my writings, I share that I saw my former counselor for four years and she was only two miles from church, if that, back in 2014. It did and does not matter any longer to be concerned in what others think, wondering if I was crazy or if I had a lack of faith. I was taking care of me. I had to. I still see counselors, as I find it helps me and I know I have come a long way.

AFC8DA0F-A4D9-4C90-A649-8F5447CEFE5ENow, I am dealing with a son, in the millennial age group, that could use counseling. I mentioned to him and have sent him leads of many in his area that would be good for him to go talk to. He knows I see a counselor, he never asks why but I have no doubt that he can see that he has a happier mother, and I am. Taking care of me so I can them, when and as needed.

Why is it that these millennials nowadays feel that going to counseling is not needed by going and sitting across from one another. It was when he said he would get counseling online. I just cannot grasp that. Perhaps if in an area that is remote but not where he lives. How can there be a connection? I would miss this closeness of meeting and talking, feeling safe to talk about whatever under the sun. I have loved my counselors, even the first one, even though we had an issue that was not handled properly.647E8292-1776-46F8-A84F-0552A21654D0I discussed this with my present counselor recently while trying to ‘get it’ in my head how this would help him or anyone. Trying to imagine myself in that online counseling, there’s no way. Those four years, my former counselor could pick up of me closing in due to depression, lack of self-worth, many physical signs and help me understand myself that a monitor would not do, I feel. I realize technology is the way of life nowadays and while I love it also, face to face counseling is important.

In all that and my thoughts and opinions, it is just that. Whether it be my son or others considering online counseling, that’s their decision. My son is an adult and he makes his own decisions in life. Still, I am his mom. I just have to pray for him, love him and trust the Lord to cover him in his daily life. I must have faith, as He knows all about my son.

 

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I Do Not Know

Time is the utmost importance to my husband, a routine for everything in his daily life. Through the years, I could tell you what time it was without looking at a clock, and still.

1273D36A-7EBA-4A65-86F1-18124B059B36As I think back to our first apartment together as husband and wife, his closet of suits, shirts and ties were organized in a way that made me squinch my eyes, thinking what is up with that, especially for a man. It was interesting but it worked for him and I did not touch his system.

Sometimes, I have heard laughter about socks, pairs of socks that were separated in two drawers, the right drawer and left drawer, for socks of the left and right foot. If we had the room, I would expect just that.

A little quirky but aren’t we all? I would leave it at that but still sometimes shaking my head of, whatever.

Bedtime was and still is a major time issue, even after thirty years. No matter what is happening or who in the house, it is his bedtime at 10 pm, leaving me, boys, 15833DC3-EE4F-49DC-BB01-957B5AA88CDCcompany, etc. If we’d be out later than usual, he would shut down at 10 pm. Since we had children, especially our first, after 10 pm, I am on my own with this child and basically needed to keep the baby quiet or could receive a look. A baby will cry, we all know that. When there was no consoling this bundle of sweetness, this child would become velcroed to my breast for nursing. I was exhausted while he had his precious sleep. After awhile, anger starts to build within due to lack of sleep and my F493BF8A-EDE7-4AE4-8C3A-19EF65D030A9own self-care. This continued with the second child, two years later also. Thankfully, I was a stay-at-home mom, feeling like it was my duty, but I also enjoyed my role as a mother. He is the one working and bringing the money home so I just have to deal with it and know my place.

As the boys got older, they would all go out to play, leaving me at home, most times. That was my time. Sounds great. My time consisted of cleaning, catching up on laundry, etc. Still, to this day, the mailbox is all mine, as I am to get the mail, because back then, that was my only outside life, it felt like.62A2C657-7F89-4F6C-8252-CAB865005A2C

Just odd moments through the years of not understanding the disconnect. I did catch that we talked black and white after many years, as we were both saying the same thing but differently, while shaking my head in confusion. I still have to stop and see through the mumbo, jumbo. Maybe it is me, something is wrong with me, was an often thought, I’m just stupid. Knowing he is intelligent, and he would tell you that, too, top in his class.

Funny how family members picked up on his oddness, especially my one sister, asking why I was marrying him. Years in our marriage, many of my family and friends  learned to dislike the man.  My older sister, living several hours away, suggested that I do not bring him back. I never did and that has been maybe twenty years ago or more. When I visit her, I make it sound like it is a girl’s weekend to transition this traveling together, never questioned. I’m sure he is relieved also to not fit into their world or routine. Everyone is happy.

The seven-year itch of marriage, was what a friend told me that I was experiencing when I mentioned something did not feel right, at that point in our marriage, a gut intuition, later to be on-point.

In this period though, I had some heart issues and was in the ER a few times. When I notified him at work, this one time, as a friend took me, she actually heard the 5C1AC260-F677-444E-8670-4F5495801AF5conversation. It was him questioning me. How long will you be there? I do not know. When will the doctor be in? I do not know. What are they going to do with you? I do not know. Will you have to stay over? I do not know. It continues, never asking how I was. Waiting for him to 5C1AC260-F677-444E-8670-4F5495801AF5ask if I was going to die. I do not know would be my response, of course. With that, and other things, I knew there was an issue.  What gives?  What is wrong with this man? Still to this day, he is never to be in the ER room, or when being prepped for surgery or in the recovery room with me because I have to answer his general questions with I do not know over and over again. One surgeon was upset with him on one occasion for not showing up and was hesitant to go forward with my surgery.  With him, I 5C1AC260-F677-444E-8670-4F5495801AF5had to say let’s do this, as I do not know where he is. The surgeon did so but was not pleased with my husband.

Life goes on and I just deal with it but by 2014, I am convinced I am the crazy one in this relationship. Wonder why? Family and friends, if I had talked to them of matters, would just say he was odd, leaving me quietly suffering, as they would not understand the extensiveness of this situation.

I finally started with my former counselor and realizing before we met, she knew marriage issues for years was the topic from our telephone call.  My first words were, as I sat in her office was that I think I am going crazy.

It may have been about two sessions with her, as it did not take her long at all to pick up on the possibility of Aspergers with him. Suggesting such, I always thought it was a childhood diagnosis, he is a grown adult, so I discounted her theory.  The following week, again 9A2FC821-A6D3-47AF-B77A-0992C5BF3B27discussing the chaos and her stating, the Aspergers, repeating for that month, I finally understood and went searching for information, books, etc. I believe she was onto something and the more I poured myself into research, talking to her and that I finally felt heard, I realized I was not crazy after all. It is the Aspergers that I had been dealing with in him, for many years.

All of these years, my married life, I thought it was me, being stupid and all. There was a freedom in knowing I was dealing with Aspergers and it ALL made sense. The lightbulb moment.

Did that make life easier? Not really. It was just knowing what I was dealing with and having facts in front of me to grasp why this or that is done or said. The many years of struggling, I gave up on our marriage and due to other situations.

My counselor back then went to a conference and Aspergers was a topic, how perfect was that. Two couples, one married for years and the wife was was just done, as in my case. The other couple was newly married and aware of Aspergers, knowing right off the bat what they were dealing with, and had hope. Interesting. I believe she heard that at a time needed for me, my life and situation.

Life as a neurotypical (NT)  with one having Aspergers (ASP) can be challenging for sure. 72933A83-FF48-45E5-836B-921F02C15E9C

Actually, I am one of the lucky ones as he is a great employee, as he diligently works in his computer analyst position of coding, etc. A position that other employees hate because it is so detailed, tedious and routine. Is he a good husband, father, brother, friend, etc.?  He is actually, as good as he can be.

A few weeks ago, I was telling him when he got home from work, of course, at the exact time as every work day, that our son was coming home to visit. While I was excited to see our son, the questions began. When will he be here? I do not know. How long will he be here? I do not know. What is he coming up here for? I do not know… perhaps just to visit. These would be non-ending questions so I walk away. I do not know how to deal with him much more, otherwise. It is okay because those are my boundaries. Otherwise, I do not know how much longer I would be there or I could take it.

Life is fun! Right? Don’t tell me, I do not know. 🤣

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Please know, this blog is in no way bashing my husband or those with Aspergers but to allow others dealing with the same of a spouse, child, family member, friend or co-worker an insight of the black/white relationship, knowing you are not alone.  

Just that can mean the world, you are not alone. 3456A58D-FE6B-4725-AEE1-695869C2F613

Often I read in Facebook private groups (there are plenty available) tonight of wives that have an Aspergers husband. It is common to read their frustrations over and over again, many wanting to run for the hills out of desperation. 

So, if you think you or someone you know might be dealing with this, as something is just off, it is worth looking into. Look up Aspergers (Google search or Pinterest). I was blown away with the research and thank God I did, and I had a counselor to recognize the symptoms I described in my own desperation and hopelessness, after twenty-five years of marriage. 

This book was my favorite. 

Detrimental effects on Neurotypical Wives

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A Slap of Shame

While driving to work the other day, my mind was busy just thinking of this or that, what to do once there, thoughts of what recently happened, etc., as normal.

Apparently, there was a song that came on to trigger a memory but what it was, I do not know now. What I do remember is how I had to deal with this periodEC3DC5C1-9754-4D5C-B8F1-0E6F3B56699B of driving and stopping at traffic lights as I made my way toward the office.

My oldest son, years ago, was working in Tennessee and was five hours away. This was way too far I loved the location, it was beautiful and he had a nice apartment. This time in his life, he definitely matured and had to deal with matters on his own because his parents were not near and he did it, I was so proud of him. Thankfully, he was back the next school year in Kentucky. This mama was happy.  Letting go is not always easy, as most moms can attest.

A70136AA-0AB2-439A-90CC-323FD8543761It was in the winter that year especially, that his distance from home I found more depressing for me. Those Christmas songs that start way too early did not help matters. The song, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” was the worst, or perhaps it was and is the best. I could not get through it without crying and even remembering that still while sitting at a stop light, I felt those tears well up ready to flow down my face.

This past Christmas, my oldest son and his wife were in Florida visiting her family. I adjusted very well, as I knew that was only right to share them. It was when my youngest son decided not to come home for Christmas. Although, the day before, he told me he would be on time for dinner and seemed excited and, of course, I was so happy that he would be home for Christmas. My son is coming home.

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On Christmas Day others were late arriving, which is typical in this family but it got be very late and my son still was not present or had we heard from him. Of course, concern was trickling within my mind while I was hosting Christmas for my husband’s family. I want my son. I want him here, he is my son, he is my family. Where is he? The questions turned into worry as the time passed.

Finally, we heard from him. Oh to be young and carefree, with a sleep schedule that is all over the place. He overslept so now he has no interest to come home. Seriously?!?  My heart dropped and I was so hurt. I wanted to just sit down and bawl my eyes out. There was no way that I could keep a straight face of how that affected me and I really did not care. While I did not cry, I DF6007CA-2358-4586-B112-0F22CB8BDE3Fdid express to his father that I was not happy of his decision and they all heard me. How could they not know that? I think they heard my heart drop. I was just done. In my mind screaming, just everybody go home, as I want to fall apart and now anger was becoming a part of my emotional turmoil.

Normally, if and when hurt or in this predicament, I would just escape within myself and become quiet, not mentioning my hurt or show emotions. I wore a mask very well through the years and I could have won an Oscar. Thankfully, I am not the same person so I was not going to crawl into a shell. I did express my displeasure calmly. While I did not cry, I had to walk through the house, taking our grand dog that we were watching outside because he needed fresh air. Right? It helped the dog (and me) because when mama is not happy, nobody is happy, which was now a joke somewhat, when I returned, but true. The day continued and was fine although I had AFD3135B-1C35-4C74-8C01-BE1AB96B7E25neither of my sons at home, there was a void on Christmas.

Everyone is gone, what food was not taken by others is now all put away and dishes are done. It’s amazing how quick clean up can be done if upset. I was ahead of the game and I was ready to settle in for a long winter’s nap.

Forget the nap, my son appeared finally. The atmosphere in our living room was a little cold with our visit, at first. I knew he was uncomfortable, as I was and upset. We were all uncomfortable. He is an adult and even when younger and at home, rarely had we had such moments.  Maybe we should have had them.

Finally, the atmosphere was easing. I love my son and I know he loves me. I understand being young and doing such careless things, I really do.  Maybe, I wondered, if this was a payback to me of wrongs I did to my parent. The karma phrase many use, what goes around comes around, although that can be in bad or good but many see it as bad and want the worst, which is a whole other writing. 55D68B9F-327F-4219-BF0D-FD90DE0ADA20

Anyway, after his father went off to bed, my son and I talked. I expressed my hurt calmly and that I felt it was disrespectful of him to do this, especially on Christmas. This was not just for me but his grandparents and whole family, it is a time for all of us to be together. I wanted and needed my son at home. Knowing, too, this might be the last Christmas with the grandparents due to health issues. Also, one day he will regret the decision he made when I am gone, too, wishing he had more time with his mother.

Now that was all over, the new year is upon us and our relationship carries on and while helping him this past weekend at his new house, we had fun. Perhaps, that period and discussion brought us somewhat closer than before. He got to see his mom cry and hear the hurt of my heart, probably something that a son does not want. I was being real.4CDF2457-50F1-48D3-8846-EA6CCCF8B46C

As I mentioned before, and when they were young and at home, I wore a mask even with them, pretending that our home was a happy one between their father and myself. The mask is off more than on nowadays. I am better and happier, as it is quite nice taking care of me for once instead of hiding the sadness.

Now, with all that, while at the stop light, fighting back the tears as I could hear the song in my mind, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” a battle began.

It was a period of feeling like a no-good-for-nothing mother, I was wrong to express my feelings to him, he was going to pull away and never come home and that I was worthless and… WOW!!!

I caught all that and felt like25053267-F9F6-47CB-B438-38F24FA2119A a slap of shame was hitting me on one cheek and then the other and back again to make me crawl back into my hole of despair, feeling like a loser. NO, I WILL NOT!!!

All those years in counseling paid off at that point, as I could turn those negative lies around because I knew this was shame being hurled at me. I am a good mother, I have been a good mother and I always will be a good mother to my boys.

I believe that my boys and my husband and others have noticed that I am not the same person, but better. I can be direct and calm if I need to, in respect instead of hiding and them wondering if they need to walk on eggshells. I am not worthless, I am worthy to be their mother. The slap of shame had to stop.4E64CA34-5C75-4730-AD6B-4EF93158684D

Shame can and will erode any and all positive attributes in each of us. It makes us feel less than and the enemy will make sure we take that as a hook line and sinker so that we will not be all that we can be and have joy.

FEDBD51B-3170-40F7-8680-2F217B2EEBE9It felt great to know that I could acknowledge the shame and how I felt slapped from one traffic light to another. Once I grasped what was happening, turning these negative thoughts around. I was told and taught in counseling many times as we discussed such scenarios, the rewiring our brain, etc.  All of which sounded far-fetched, honestly for a long time, but I got it and I did it.

Shame, you are not going to slap me around anymore, not if I can help it.

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Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self, withdrawal motivations, and feelings of distress, exposure, mistrust, powerlessness, and worthlessness.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/intense-emotions-and-strong-feelings/201104/shame-concealed-contagious-and-dangerous-emotion

https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/shame

https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/neuroplasticity