Knock, Knock

223454F7-CE60-42DB-AF8F-45F74A35061FI stand at the door and knock. Awaiting for my son to open it as this mother was concerned. I was not leaving until he opened the door and planning to camp out, if need be.  As my patience grew weak and my anger grew in intensity, I found the peace and just prayed. I had to pray that I did not lash out words of anger but of love and encouragement. How can he allow his mother to stand somewhat patiently in the hallway of his apartment building while finishing up a video game? My mind went to the disrespect and anger, which followed easily enough. While I am patient, I understand that ‘in the middle of a game’ with guys it is crucial. I have had too many boys hang out in my home over the years to know different so I patiently and impatiently waited. Still, feeling that bit of frustration. I was determined to not leave and he knew it. A surprise visit, an hour away from home does not happen often but when it does, you best be ready to open the door. Mama is here!  I knew something was not right.

E2938424-E21B-4B9E-8694-356CF263FC05How can I stay frustrated though when the door is unlocked, opened and I see his 6’3″ frame before me and not love and hug him tight with tears? He is mine! No matter how tall, how old, how aggravated my inside was experiencing, he will always be mine. My child.

In life we mess up, we fail, our walk is not perfect, disappointment in ourselves and others, etc.  In those times, we want to hide and keep the door shut to those around us and ignore life or what happens in our world.  The point of depression and isolation can come and knock us for a loop and unsure how to get out of this tailspin.

While I understand his predicament, I also have been there many times.  In all of this, the guilt will hit me and the enemy is quick to accuse me that it is my fault. My fault because he is like me, I was and am a terrible mother and fill in the 60C181D6-80B5-4E82-84D4-4F3F62CB2E8Bblanks. Yes, he is like me, I was and am his mother and while I have made mistakes, I was and am also a great mother. So turning those lies into positive and to get the enemy off my back and out of my mind is what I did and do often.  Lies and fear must go.

My former counselor calls that rewiring your brain, too. We need to flip our thoughts to the positive. In my case with my son and the lies, etc., it is putting Satan in his place and acknowledging that the Lord is in control of this situation. Until next time and I’ll do the same. Back off!  A spiritual warfare on my behalf and definitely for my son.

Just like God, He will not give up on you, me, us. He will patiently stand at the door and knock; awaiting for the door to open and for us to acknowledge Him.  The love of a mother for her child is deep but He loves us so much more.

1BD2ADD3-56C8-40E2-96D3-E3543E5513DEMy present counselor mentioned the other day that he was reminded of me while reading the Bible and various writings that all seemed to relate.  I had told him of my surprise visit to my son’s apartment, standing at the door knocking.  The verse, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:  if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”  He knew of my love for my son and the concern I had plus my determination of not leaving him until I knew he was okay.  I loved that my counselor told me that and how this reminded him of me doing the same, I stand at the door and knock.

How great it is that He will never leave nor forsake us.  He awaits to hear us call upon Him.  He loves me.  He loves you. ❤️

Never Enough

The background was always my place to be, even as a small child.  The observer, the listener and keeper of secrets.

The other night, while attending a women’s church service, what did I do? I went to the far left side, last row, and last seat. That was a normal, typical thing I do and have done. I don’t want to be in the way, bother anyone, just be there and take it all in. Perhaps, too, feeling intimidated, not as good as others present and just downright fear within. I noticed my mannerisms, my breathing which was shallow and sadly a photo was on Facebook with me in the background. In the photo, I was talking to a sweet lady, but you could tell I was having all these feelings and thoughts, uncomfortable.

138E7BB9-01E3-441E-9158-9D267684E0ADWhile now I understand this is typical of one who dealt with childhood emotional neglect, abandonment, shame and feeling unloveable, I understand myself more and am trying to do and think the opposite, although slow as Christmas, I feel at times. I did not stay in the furthest chair, although I did stay on the back row, I moved to the middle and others came around to sit. I noticed my pattern but changed it. Slightly.

To stand, sing, raise my hands in worship, there has always been a hesitation and lack of self-confidence of that I am unworthy to do so, plus learning of shame moreso recently.  My former counselor and my own research the past five years have opened my eyes to a lifelong battle of torment within.

834FBE85-E9B9-42FC-A0FF-56650D179ABAAs a young girl, and I am sure I am not alone although I felt alone, we go through those awkward years. I would never want to repeat those years, ever. Of course, we do not have to worry about that but touching upon areas back then while in counseling, brings it all back. If no teaching, direction or encouragement was given, it becomes overwhelming and the negative thoughts of not good enough, not pretty enough, smart enough and all the other not whatever phrases, get 27A69050-6846-4F56-8662-6DCDAD80B789heaped up and up to where you just exist. Questioning everything and everyone, being observant of it all, way too much at times.

Never knowing or believing I was pretty, smart, etc. When I voiced that I wanted to be a teacher, I was immediately shot down with, ‘If your sister did not go to college, you cannot go.” Those words hit me and I can still remember where I was at the time and how I felt so defeated and it stuck, proving I was not smart enough and not special enough for them to even care about me.  My grades took a nosedive and understandably so through graduation and I made it through, which was a miracle.

Some kids can be downright rude but so can adults, including family.  Words matter. If a child is already struggling, that just fuels the flame for hopelessness. To cope, you search out others that just might believe in you, offer a morsel of love whether verbally or a hug and hope that you will feel special, if just for a bit.  That little bit given and received can hold one in peace in order to cope of the memory or touch felt for days, if not longer.

Life went on and while I did manage to show them that I did have what it took for vocational school at least, I also was in sales and did quite well with both.  In elementary and throughout my school years, I would take a zero for a grade each time because I definitely would not stand in front of others and I did not care about the grade.  So to be in sales was a definite miracle, plus it pushed me forward.

It was not until years later, I was engaged and then married, when I should have seen the red flags but he loved me. Right!?  Somebody loved me. Before marriage and after marriage, time and again, I would become jealous because I would see him ogling another woman right in front of me. Before marriage, talk about an old girlfriend to me. Before marriage, it was sweet of him to go buy me an outfit, which was pretty but not my style, only to find out it was another girl’s style that he looked at and admired a lot. He wanted to date her but was stuck 31377879-EA5F-4DB9-A192-AB59F9A36DD8with me, I felt. Makes one feel really good. The honeymoon, we were fighting at Walt Disney because he was viewing half-naked women as they walked by, in front of his new bride. Now doesn’t that cause a real turn on in bed later. Years and years of this and to say each time to me  when mentioned that it did not happen, caused crazy-making thoughts to be built in my mind.  Or another fact in my face that I will never be enough.

Thank God, I was a Christian and knew to put my faith in the Lord, it is by His Grace I am here.  Thankfully, too, I had counselors at various points through this with my marriage. One counselor, right off the bat, saying to me that I need to get out. Of course, with small children then, I would not do that to them. I am stronger than this battle although I was emotionally losing the war.  Not to mention the spiritual side, doubting God and physical ramifications from it all.

Many years later, at my wits end, I finally went to a counselor that heard me and understood me and felt the anguish within. While she did not come straight out to say leave him, we spoke often of this scenario.  Counseling was mostly to heal me in the broken parts of my life in the years that followed.  Rarely did we discuss the marriage in our discussions after we pinpointed him as having Aspergers, which put some of the puzzle pieces together.  The ogling was just rude and disrespectful and would be to any woman.

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My counseling was to focus on me and healing emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically. I was about dead walking through my former counselor’s office door and she would attest to that.

It was probably in the third year with her, we hit some major roadblocks but breakthroughs came and I was different. I felt different. This battle has been hell but I am coming through. It was when I was in a small group class with church, actually three classes at a time, each week and they all related one to another, not as planned. That’s God. That was for me! My healing gradually was happening. I left those classes and after dealing with unworthiness all of my life and moreso with my marriage, I truly felt I AM WORTHY come alive within me.  BFD5264B-C658-4FE2-A63A-0676CBAA0035

To feel that worthiness and to know that I am worthy was like gold to me. I believed it, I felt it and I am continuing to grow in this worthiness of being God’s Child.

Someone may look at me wrong, I may think they are thinking negative of me or whatever and it may trigger something within, but I do not let those thoughts stay long in my mind because I am worthy to God.  What they say, think or do is their issue.  I will continue to be kind and care but I know my position.  It feels good, a freedom to be me, to be loved.  I know God loves me.

💕 I AM ENOUGH 💕

I don’t know where you are or your story but you, too, are enough and you are worthy. You are God’s Child.  He loves you.

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Don’t Quit

E679E712-8355-41A0-8890-1AB87F22F88DOn my way home today from church, I heard the man on the Christian radio station mention and encourage those listening to not quit.

Whether it be your job, etc.   Life can be demanding and we may not like where we are in a position whether that be working, a marriage that is dying, health issue or whatever it may be. Discouragement and hopelessness takes over to the point you’d rather die.  Sadly, some do to suicide.

As I pondered what he said and knowing right now my son is in a place that is hard, wishing he could hear this brief message of encouragement himself.  I can see it, hear it and pretty well know he is struggling, as I am his mother.  My heart hurts for him. I know, too, that he has to work through this or I will enable him and that will not help at all.  I can pray. I have to trust the Lord through this process.  He has been through some rough periods before and while it was hard to endure, for him and for me, he did it.  I was so proud of him and he was proud of himself.  As we will be together this week, I hope to remind him of just that.  He can and will get through this, too.

In hopes of encouraging him, I remembered back to my own life and how I felt lost and hopeless.  It’s so hard. Actually many times, as I have had to deal with some issues that only the Lord knew about because I did not share with others.

5BA31D32-8549-4B04-8CA8-6AB0ACA545C6It was about twenty years ago, I did not care if I woke up when having gallbladder surgery.  I had a note prepared for my children and a cassette tape (so that was a long time ago) of my voice talking to them, just in case I did not come through surgery.  I remember the drive to the hospital and the hopelessness and sadness of my life felt.  My gallbladder was to be removed but my heart was so broken, I did not think I would make it.  I found myself so disappointed that I was still alive, and I can still remember that moment in recovery.  Talk about hopeless.  Nobody to share with, so alone and I was beginning to really doubt that the Lord knew me, cared, much less loved me.  I wanted to quit life!

Still, I did not quit, I kept moving forward. I was back to work the following week and just going through the motions there, at home and in life.  I was not happy.

Thankfully, I did not quit.  Has it been easy?  No.  Have I wanted to give up since?  Yes.  Many times.  Still, I know to keep going.  Sometimes all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and be thankful that your heart and lungs know how to function without your help.  Keep going.

794281EB-67AA-4107-916D-BCB5EF146274It was when I heard this song, “He Knows My Name” by Tara Jackson and played the song over and over for the longest time and still one of my favorites.  He does knows my name and He knows where I am. Thank God.

Days, months, years passed and I did not quit. Finally confiding in a Counselor, it helped get myself together somewhat but he moved out of state after a year or so of counseling.  Alone again.

It was six years later, I had enough and that I knew I needed help so I begin to ask the Lord to lead and direct me to the right Counselor.  He did just that with four years of counseling with one of the best that changed my life and helped me put my faith and trust back in Him.  He was always there for me but being so hurt, my attitude, anger and rebelliousness was there also.  Was counseling easy?  No.  Many times I wanted to quit.

No matter what I am going through, whatever my son is going through right now or you as you are reading this, don’t quit.  We are just going through. While life can bring some hurdles and sadness, there are blessings and joy, too.  Look for the good in what is around you.

Tomorrow is another day if today sucks.  Get some rest.

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I Need Your Arms

F197C556-6FB8-49EA-A438-9FEA9947885CAll I can gather is that the emotional toil on my life has zapped me more than I thought.  The past two months of losses with animals, loved ones, turmoil with my child of worry and the unknown of what is before me.   Exhaustion with it all plus the heat and humidity where I live has caused a lack of energy.  Giving myself grace instead of feeling all down, depressed and lazy is a big step for me though.  I have been through a lot of ups and downs.  It’s okay to have some up and down days, too.

Still, I find that I have struggled with the need to be loved. Is that wrong though?  Understanding and grasping why those thoughts come and desire to be loved is part of my childhood, called Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN). 612D9385-1AE5-45D1-A68A-A8F04AA06A92

While I was loved by being in the family, I was not loved or shown love through hugs or physical touch as a child should be given and a lack occurred in my emotions and how to acknowledge them.  Sad.  Realizing all this finally about four years ago after going through life and questioning what is wrong with me.  My former counselor was wise enough to recognize, help me see the pattern and how to notice what is happening in me when I get to the deep yearning of a motherly hug.  Mentally and emotionally inside, screaming, ‘please hug me.’  It usually points to the fact I am tired and now, exhausted.  I recognize and acknowledge now instead of letting this emotion of sadness of loneliness overtake me.  Apparently, I did learn from her.  She would be so proud.

0212DB89-3576-4696-9D57-D230B1A63FD8Instead of yearning for the motherly hugs from motherly figures around me or even from my counselor, which she gave me often upon leaving our session due to knowing my heart and feeling my basic heartache, I have turned more to the Lord.  Lord, hold me through this or I need your loving arms to wrap around me.  I need you. Hold me tight, don’t let go.  Perhaps learning while knowing, that was what He wanted from me anyway, which was to turn toward Him and allow His Love to fill my heart void of love.  No other can fill that void.

Oh, but years of having a deep desire to be held in an embrace of a motherly hug so tight that my emotions would drain from me was always present in my mind. 06A77E96-8D39-458E-8387-E0C4863D86EC

Throughout this process and understanding, the yearning for the love of motherly figures lessened.  Then to lose my wise, sweet counselor due to closing her counseling office,  I was beside myself and even angry at her with the way it ended.  Although, I am sure and have no doubt that she, too, needed the Love of God through the process and decisions made to close her practice.

Recently, questioning if I am grasping everything we discussed in counseling for years in this area of CEN, as I do not require the hugs nowadays or perhaps I have stuffed my feelings down more-so because I felt hurt yet again by another and especially by her, the one who understood me and knew me best next to God.  The walls we build to protect our heart from hurt, they can go up quickly. Pondering this for many months, probably both at times but when I realized I was calling on the Lord for His Arms to hold me, hug me and to feel His Love, that is exactly where I need to be. A2F942F1-4A41-4D61-88F9-D77DA177C0DFPeople, whether, friends, family, church, even counselors, etc., will let us down and hurt us.  Normal.  Our focus should be on God and know that He truly loves each one of us.  To truly grasp that from one growing up feeling unloved, just existing, and love not shown, it is easy to question.  Also normal.

He Loves Me!  He Loves You!  Isn’t that great!?

Grasp it, hold it and yearn and allow His Arms to hold you in whatever you are going through.

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Childhood Emotional Neglect – Dr. Jonice Webb https://drjonicewebb.com/

 

 

Despondent

How do you reach out when someone won’t let you reach in to help them?

I don’t know. I am a loss of how to do this with my own independent, grown child. I know there is something going on for him to be so distant. Breaking down the wall is like hell. I have tried to encourage him, expressed my concerns, hug him, pray for him and that is ongoing. The spiritual warfare in his life that I believe is happening, too, is pushing me in emotional bouts many times and fear that I have to constantly fight off and rebuke.3946f751-ac17-4c3c-912b-e2fc8617dc1c-580-0000001b98a7d097

Knowing full well that he is so much like me, I find myself angry at myself.  I understand the wall and isolation.  I know what it is like to be despondent while I work out issues.  I know what it is like to feel overwhelmed.  I do understand him and this is not a very easy or comfortable place to be.  Thankfully, I know I have to turn it over and ask the Lord to help me but does he?  I can pray and comment of just that but until he is ready to do that, the struggle remains.

As a mom, we will fight through hell and high water for our child(ren), taking a toil on us but that is a mother. Still the thoughts come that we are not doing enough and guilt is thrown in our face of not doing enough, have being a good enough mother and every other negative accusation possible. That is definitely the enemy at work. Bind and rebuke. Although it gets tiring, we must fight and push through.  Keep pushing through mama! While writing this to maybe encourage others, reminding myself, too.

I am unsure what all my son is dealing with but it must be a mountain to him. I feel it. I hurt for him. Knowing he can get through this, I wait. My faith and trust in the Lord to do what He must do in this situation, I wait.

I will reach out but my son has a choice to reach back out to me. He has a choice to seek the Lord and call upon Him.

I can nag, point my finger, show my Bible and demand church attendance but that would even push me away, even now as an adult but I can pray. I can and I do, sometimes begging the Lord to change the circumstances, as something is wrong.

Independence in life is needed and normal and I know he knows I am always here for him, his biggest cheerleader. The balance of enough to not enough contact is tricky, as I do not want him to feel forgotten, far from that.

As long as I can remain in peace feeling that the Lord has this, I am good but continue to pray. Always. When the enemy starts his game plan, I get in there and I fight. This spiritual warfare is on. I am not letting go of my son, my child.

Parenting is a blessing but can be so hard. It does not end at the legal age of eighteen but a lifetime of care, concern and prayers.

3738cb1a-bf6c-4bc1-a047-a65b0fd4a10d-580-0000001af60e7147Pray for God’s hedge of protection around them, their jobs, finances, friendships, etc., daily, wisdom, knowledge and the Favor of God to be upon them.

Do they know just how much we love them? A reminder that we need to remember how much God loves each one of us. ❤️

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The Battle

89147F07-4824-4232-9126-8B1356ECBF98I feel the battle is on. A spiritual warfare that a mother will fight for her son (children), in my case a grown son, at that. My gut instinct for weeks proved right when an unexpected visit from me after much avoidance. My determination was to knock and stay at his door until he came home, opened the door or possibly call the police if need be.  Fear overwhelmed me for days, not knowing if I would find my son alive or dead, especially that night. Not what a mother needs to consider but was a possibility.

To finally have the door open after hesitation on his part, I was lost in emotion as I hugged him.  A mothers heart will do that, fall apart from happiness and even anger. As I sat next to him, saying what I felt, he promised to stay in touch but day after day, his word failed yet again.  As I sat next to him, he did not hesitate to lay his head on my shoulder.  He needed his mom just as much.  As we sat there talking, he shared just enough with me of what was he was dealing with due to pride and independence.

315095BC-9F72-4024-8A48-CD9E920035EBI just have to pray as tears flow still, fight the worry and thoughts that pop in my mind, as I try to trust the Lord fully.  But, Lord, PLEASE!

As a mother, we have to cut the apron stings, which is normal and with mileage in between our homes, that was necessary. He is grown but he is still my boy.  It is probably a good thing with the distance but it feels as though he is a million miles away.  We each have our own life of work, commitments, etc., to tend to so I cannot helicopter parent him.  Of course, that is not normal.   I have to keep my faith in God.  So hard to do at times.

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Being a parent is such a blessing, all ages, but so hard at times.  God wants each of us to look to Him. Perhaps that is where we are in this matter, my son has to make a choice.

5F96671E-FD72-43F9-9232-BDCB2FD7134COf what I know with what is before him, he has to work through this.  I cannot do it for him.  We had a rough patch a few years back and he did get through it and learned a valuable lesson in the process.  That’s life and how it should be, and I was so proud of him.  I’m always proud but the anguish is overriding.  We are at the crossroads again, I feel.

Faith ▪️ Hope ▪️ Love

 

Talk Therapy

E6E1AFF8-2975-4BC1-A816-7D9FB63713F2Oh how I miss my former counselor but feel blessed with my present ones.  They are all so different with their techniques and process of therapy. I know at this time in life, this is were and what I am to do. I’m just unsure where it all will lead.  One day (session) at a time.  It seems we just talk, or I talk.  Just that is a growth in me though because years ago I normally would not talk much in sessions but listen, grasp the words from her while understanding my past and present, glancing into the future.  It was as if she turned a light on for me.  In looking at and organizing my storage box of four years recently of my notes and of my own research done, we covered a lot of trauma, abuse and emotional baggage.  Not easy.  Being aware and becoming enlightened, brought life to my spirit, soul and body.

E9F4DB66-DDBC-42E9-BE3E-23F237FB8225Seeing this photo yesterday on a post (info noted below), it is so me whether words were spoken or just my many thoughts tossing around in my mind, I was everywhere.  This is a great post and page to follow on Facebook. Hope you enjoy. Thank God for counselors and in my case, Christian counselors.

Perhaps if you are in a place that needs direction, consider making an appointment with a counselor.  The stigma of counseling is still a major negative with so many but it is your life to make that final decision and not care what others (family or friends), the church, etc., think or say.   I know I am a better person today and happier.  God is still and always will be my focus.  I was just at a place I needed someone to see me, hear me, and understand me.  Just that brings healing to a wounded heart and mind.  Life happens!

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I feel He opened doors for me to have my specific counselors. That’s God!  Honestly, I don’t know if I would be here right now otherwise as all hope and desire to live was pretty low many years ago.  So, I have come a long way and by the Grace of God.

He knows my name (your name) and He knows where I was/I am (you are).  Trust Him.

8571872E-63A2-4FCE-9BC3-8455241DDB9DWith my former counselor of four years, and this may sound selfish, but I really feel He prepared her with all the education required, training, etc., just for me.  He knew I would need her.  I did!

Hopefully, my writing will encourage you if discouraged and push you toward finding a counselor.  This is part of self-care and needed, not selfish as you are worthy.  Do this for you.

Or perhaps express my appreciation of those in this field as a counselor/therapist helping others.  Thank You!  This field is not one to take lightly.  A small fortune to go through the years of education, training, internships, continuing education, building your business, etc.  Let’s not forget the emotional toil it takes to listen to person after person of heartbreaking, life situations that brought them to through your door.  Your own self-care is needed and required.

As you can tell, I support counseling.B4B00A52-0CB6-4198-B075-42DFD60F6C85

“I don’t know…I’m rambling.”
“Sorry, I’m all over the place today.”
“Does any of this make sense?”
I often hear these types of statements from my clients.

E9F4DB66-DDBC-42E9-BE3E-23F237FB8225I love this image because it accurately shows my process as a therapist. As a client speaks, I listen and categorize and organize what is said with the information that I already know about them, or for new clients, things that I am getting to know about them.  I’m rarely “lost” or overwhelmed with information, and any new information that doesn’t fit into an existing ball starts a new one.

▪️Credit to Re-New Psychological Services, LLC