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.

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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.

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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.

Drowning in Tears

How many walking around us are hurting?  Choking back the tears hoping that they do not leak out of the corner of our eyes.   How many are hurting?  Are you?

95963B54-44B9-4F73-A094-39E9325160B8We all go through struggles, some worse than others and when it hits, it feels as though we won’t survive. We feel numb while only able to function by putting one foot in front of the other.  It takes much effort and energy that seems depleted.

It happens. It’s hard as hell but you keep going.  You must. Thankfully, your heart beats and lungs inhale and exhale and do their job all on their own.

When things are going well and manageable, it’s all great and feels like life is somewhat normal.  The feeling of, I’ve got this. It is when something within gets triggered, out of nowhere and unexpected and it is when you know you are losing control but trying your best to keep it together. This one day, just that, for me.

I was at my doctor’s appointment, and I knew I would be asked questions related to a specific matter, not medical.  I knew the questions were coming and was trying to maintain my composure but I felt the depression of it all hitting me from all sides.  When I try to fight off this emotional battle within, I tend to get stern and controlled. I’m not. When I am like this, I wish somebody knew me well enough and would just grab me and hold me so I can go ahead and get through it.20EA41E8-89AE-41A6-9BAF-E7B3EFEC4129

Earlier, before this appointment I was doing so well, I had a great morning and now my emotions were wreaking havoc. Ever have that happen? Emotions are real.

Trying to get a grip after I left my appointment, I did go grab a few groceries before my next appointment. I tried adjusting my mask to appear happy and to hide the desire to bust out crying like a baby. Please tell me I am not the only one that wears a happy mask at times. Really, I think we all do in certain circumstances. My former counselor and I discussed this mask wearing with me but odds are even she wears one.  What’s your thoughts?

As I stood still waiting in line to check out, I saw a lady in her electric wheelchair sitting by the window looking back at me.  I wondered if she could see the hurt in my eyes, the emotions about to burst like Niagara Falls. I had to wonder if she was quietly praying for me as I try to do when I see others unhappy, as such.  Lord knows, I needed her prayers right then. I gave her a slight smile as I left because it was her that kept my mind occupied while fighting back having an emotional breakdown right there in front of the cashier.

18A09F38-1F16-4EF9-8840-4B70322D7598A good cry, sometimes or even a scream within, asking the Lord to get through a period as such, definitely helps.  The tears fell when I got in my car and shut the door hiding behind my dark tinted windows. No longer could to contain the heartache.  Feeling numb as the pain was so great. I was fine and then I am a basket case.

Fighting thoughts that come when in this state and rejecting every negative one with the Word of God and positive comebacks, it is like a battle.  Because it is!  God is for us and Satan would like nothing more to keep us sad, depressed, sick, isolated and you name it. Kill, Steal and Destroy. That’s the game plan.

Knowing myself and the hour or so of this heartache, pain and battle, I would overcome but many do not.  If it lasts longer, depression sets in.  Been there.  Thankfully, I did not stay in this long but enough to scare me.  Once this battle was over, within the next hour, I remember thinking and smiling that my former counselor would be so proud of me, as I did not get stuck in this turmoil.  I did learn from her counseling.

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Whether people want to admit, depression exists and so do suicidal thoughts.  Don’t be in denial.  We do not know what the person next to us in line at the grocery store, passing on the street or even sitting next to in church of what they are going through. Offer a kind word, a smile if nothing else.  It may be the only thing they have to hold onto and give hope.  Many are holding back the tears and drowning inside. Many wear a mask, even those you think have it all together.

I know I was lost in my own garbage for that period that day and when it comes to our own, we become stuck feeling we are the only ones to ever go through these periods but not true. While feeling selfish of those thoughts and actions afterward, it’s normal. We all go through stuff.  We all have emotions.  Life happens.

So if you are going through some rough patches, know you are going through. You will not stay there although it may feel like it. Learn to take care of you during these times. Get some extra rest. Go outside and walk or just sit and enjoy nature.

Years ago, I would have blown you off, not believing any of these comments or wanting to do any of that but today, I do. I am taking care of me. Now, take care of you.

There is an old song we sing at church and it goes like this, ‘If you take one step, He will take two.’ He will. Faith believing everything will be and will work out. Tomorrow is another day.  Hang in there.

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Grades of Grief

1CC51986-2CC6-456F-BCB2-98B5AF2690B2     I have had my share of grief in life and no doubt, you also.  It, of course, can come from a physical death of a loved one or friend but grief is shared among other losses and the pain is there.
     Growing up and probably until my own mother passed away, I dealt with deaths and the visitations, funerals and family gatherings afterward never wanting to lose touch with cousins and extended family members, but you do.
     It was when my mother passed that it all became real, the grieving of what was and what will never be.  While we were not the mother-daughter connection as pictures show and memories are made of, still she was my mother.  Sitting at traffic lights looking up at the beautiful sky and seeing the clouds, the tears would flow were my usual bouts of grief.
     Just a few years later, while trying to maintain my own home but also my father’s home and all of his financial and medical affairs, my marriage was dying.  I could feel it, I knew things were not right. I blamed myself as I was being pulled in many directions and apparently neglecting him.  While that was all true of caring and doing for many, I am not to accept all the blame and I will not.  Still, grieving the marriage of what was and what will never be.
F36661FC-75AE-4792-88F7-1F4EFB5ACE0E     Through the years, I have lost friendships for whatever reason by job change, moving, etc. no doubt, you have also.  Realizing their friendship was just for a season, whether it be their season or mine, it still hurts to lose the closeness. Depending how close we were, the grief can become intense, not just uncomfortable for a bit.
     With that I found myself to be distant with some because of the hurt, the grief of losing them. They are still alive but not there. Just recently, I went through this with someone very special to me. Every level of grief was there still and I knew it. Even today, I now teeter between the depression stage and acceptance.  This can last for a bit.  When sadness hits, I cry and then I get back up accept what is. Thankfully the anger has lost its power but it was there and normal.
     Whether it is a person, a pet or whatever to cause your heart to ache, it is normal.  It just shows you are normal and have a heart and love within that you shared.
Looking at the chart of the many levels of grief, I recognize each one and understand when it hits.  One of those, ‘been there, done that’ quotes.  No matter what your situation, grief is hard and exhausting.
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     Understanding the levels of grief in whatever you are facing, it will help you through it.  Normal.  Cry if you need to and then carry on the best you can. Some days you will need to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other.  Normal.  Will life be the same?  No.  A new normal will form and you will adjust.  One day, your experience will be encouragement to another; you made it and they will also.
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So Done, So Stuck

B55D7BA5-C109-42D4-90E4-EBF70E1617E4Tonight, when going out for a walk, I was reminded just how blah my marriage is and has been. Returning from my walk, him sitting on our porch reading his sci-if book, the same. No nothing! No joy, no expression, no emotion, no comment. Nothing. Like a living dead man.  In his own little world. I realize I deal with Aspergers with him, which I learned about just over four years ago from my former counselor.  To know that, helps knowing I am not crazy but living this way, can make one crazy. It is a sad, lonely life. For better or for worse, the wedding vows echo and will be told, while trusted ones that know my situation say, leave.

If you are wondering why I stay. Financially, I stay, as most wives do. Before and still, it’s because of the kids. Stuck.

To daydream of having a man to talk to and share that will understand, have empathy, to touch my face and wipe tears as they fall, to laugh and act like kids sometimes, to grab me and kiss or hug me for no reason at all but because he enjoys being with me, loves me and tells me so. Fun, I want fun and I need laughter whether in daily living, at an amusement park or in bed. Is this being unrealistic? Marriage or any relationship has its good and bad days but… every day, every year?

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To daydream about walking out the door and never return has not come for awhile but tonight it did. Leave it all. Just get in my car and leave. He can have it all, the house, savings, full benefits, bills, etc. Realizing, I have spent too many years to help build what we have and I am entitled to fifty percent of everything, I won’t just leave.  The thought of preparing to split everything fifty-fifty, sell our house, etc., I will have to do it and arrange all the details, as he won’t.  Nothing!  My body just aches of the thought of the burden I have carried and will carry to make this dream come alive. I’m tired.  So, I sleep and another day comes of the same.  Easier to dream of leaving it.

To daydream of just being free. I can breathe.

I have held on this far and I will continue. I have to trust that the Lord is allowing me to heal in areas to get strong within myself and one day, make my dream come true of having nothing of a marriage to having a life free of being and feeling drained.  I am taking care of me in my own life spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally.  It has taken me years to be where I am.  Life of joy and purpose is returning to me.

Lord, hear my cry, see my tears, read the words in my writing, I know you know my name, where I have been with this and where I am. I’m tired. There has to be more.

A great book if you or someone you know is dealing with Aspergers.

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Thrown Out to the Wolves

2C082FB0-2E80-42E6-BB9B-CD20F2D371D6Due to many weeks of building construction and using a side door to get to my counseling session, now many months ago, it was exciting to watch the progress and new facelift of the building be revealed.   I enjoy renovations.

It was during this construction and after my counseling sessions, my counselor would walk me to the side door, which was nice of her to do although uncomfortable. Knowing that she had to unlock the door to let me out and re-lock once out, I got that.  Plus, I liked that she was secure in a now empty building.

For whatever reason though, each time we walked through the hallway to the exit and usually I am tagging behind her a couple of steps, I felt a sense of dread.

Our session was over, so just random everyday talk while walking was awkward.  I could talk to her about my life, what my weekend plans were, etc., but hers could muddy the water as her personal life is off limits unless she opened up, which was rare and I understand that, too.  Once when on the walk to the door, passing the main office, she said the office secretary was a friend.  I get that, I do, but just another part of me not accepted to be in her life as a friend, because I am a client, rejection hit my heart.

I would love to be friends with her but I need her expertise in counseling.  Still the walk to the exit of dread, knowing she is her friend, I am not, my emotions of sadness and even jealousy smacked me around for a bit.

Oh the dreaded walk.  After the second time, I knew I could not do that again.  To have a few extra minutes with her was nice but not either.  It is like a kick of her foot on my backside of saying get out when at the door.  Odds are a childhood feeling and my adult life of not being wanted and triggered.  Imagine that!

The one good thing was the last words I heard her say to 6B450AC9-995C-471D-AD57-2804572B05B5me at our last session.  As we were ending our session, at the door to once again do the walk, I stopped and asked her to not walk me out.  Give me a couple of minutes and then lock the door.  My explanation to her was that I felt like she was throwing me out to the wolves.  That is how I felt and I could not take that again.  Her reply was, hesitating but then with a smile and feeling pleased I feel was, ‘you are taking care of you.’  We parted ways never to see each other again.

As much as I miss her and our sessions, that was a good parting of ways.  I am glad that the moment was etched in my brain of this ending.  I am taking care of me and will continue.  I feel the Lord is healing broken places within me, and I want. 534CC35E-E7FB-4D02-9504-0C4DE6425A32

Even though situations in life can throw us through some memories to trigger the feelings within us and make us feel unwanted, rejected, bring sadness, and whatever else, it is then that we must know that the Lord will never throw us out to the wolves.  He loves us.

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Do Not Cry!

A6F81475-ECE3-4F9F-AE52-53929BA045B9Is every family dysfunctional?  I just do not understand sometimes.  A lady I work with said once to me and we laughed as it hit home, too, but said, ‘If you look up the word dysfunction in the dictionary, a picture of my family is there.’

Each of us are unique and each family. We all have hang ups and quirks.  Life.

I have been recognizing and understanding my own life and family dynamics moreso the last several years while in counseling, has been eye opening.

Just over a month ago now, my older sister and I were on our way to see a movie, just to have some fun hanging out.  On the way, something happened that would change things in my life.  Disappointment and sadness gripped my soul.

77DA73C3-6C9A-4601-B3DD-C663390E84A7I normally contain my emotions with her, as that is one of the shameful things within our family. We must be able to be strong and controlled.  No crying or sign of weakness.  I could not.  I could not continue the outing so I took her back home so I could just fall apart of which I did.

Still to this day, no contact from her calling to check on me.  I find that interesting and even hurtful but then again understanding that concept of being strong and controlled, which she maintains and that I must, too.  Just the get over it mentality.  I cannot do that.  Plus, I don’t want that.  There is a time and place to be strong and controlled  in our emotions, such as work, but she could clearly see I was at a real breaking point emotionally in my life.

That situation, which was major to me, but nothing to her.  No empathy.   What devastated me so much, that situation was to disappear and no longer affect me.  It goes under the rug, never to be remembered or spoken.  That’s been my life.  To marry a man with the same concept of emotions, too.  I have hid my tears way too long.  Interesting, after writing this, I ran into her at the grocery store today.  Strangers as sisters.

I am not the same person I was walking into my counselor’s door many years ago and drawing closer to the Lord in my relationship with Him.  Thank God.

It’s okay to have emotions and to not feel shameful for having them.  It is okay to cry, sometimes cry like a baby.    What is not okay is to dismiss the emotions whether in yourself or others.

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Just a few Bible verses on crying.  Most importantly, even Jesus wept:

“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance”  (Ecclesiastes 3:4). 

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).  

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry” (Psalm 34:15).

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled … Jesus wept” (John 11:33, 35).

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

“Put my tears in Your bottle” (Psalm 56:8).