A Mother’s Guilt

Does it ever end? I really was a good mother, the best I knew to be but I feel I failed in so many areas, too. Don’t we all though? The ‘if only’ I had known or could do over sometimes rolls over in my mind, even though they are grown adults. I needed more time with them to do this or that, teach them things that I overlooked and so much more. Time runs out.

A mother of toddlers and as they grow, it is exhausting but the best reward in life ever. It is not an easy job being a parent. Today, I wonder how the parents are relating and dealing with what is before their own children and family, as the world seems to be spiraling down to a deep despair of ungodliness.

I remember the time when my boys were old enough and to the age of puberty and here comes Clinton having office sex with his staff attorney, being discussed on tv. I felt I was at a loss. Now all the drag and pronouns and senseless behavior. It boggles my mind.

All I know to do is realize deep down and STOP the mental fight that I was a bad mom and did not do enough. My sons are doing quite well, but I know also I failed them in many ways. We learn. They learn. We all learned. Our parents did not do everything right either, I know mine did not. They did the best they could at the time. I must forgive them. I must forgive myself. To dwell in the depths of despair is useless and causes the rabbit hole of mental anguish to deepen.

What I can do today, from this point forward and each day is to be a better mom. To be me and know that they have a path to walk and to keep my eyes on the Lord, knowing and truly believing that He has prepared a path for them. They get to choose and make decisions. I have been out of the picture for a long while now, but I will always be a landing pad for them, if needed. They know that and they know, too, that I love them.

The guilt comes to all of us parents. It is the point of stopping the guilt and acknowledging that our prayers have been heard and that the Lord knows their name and He knows exactly where they are in life. Sometimes, we want to help the Lord. Just stop and let Him show them the way and that they be open enough to recognize the way. I did my job and probably you have, too, or are in the midst. Just because they are adults, they are still our children. Our way is not their way. We let go again and again. Let God.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/verses-to-pray-over-your-children.html

Dread and Disappointment

I am one of the biggest procrastinators ever. Do you ever deal with putting things off and just dread certain things? I should win an award.

I do believe it is just the fact of being overwhelmed, not sure how to start, wondering if I will finish and all the mess in between. So, I do nothing. Then, I get discouraged and am disappointed at myself. A spiraling rabbit hole of despair. Ugh!

Just the other day, Sunday morning, I have been working on a project, for weeks. I would start and be ready to get it done. Not a chance, as other stuff happens and in this case the heat, sun and humidity take its toll on me. I try again, but the same. My husband made a comment asking if I wanted him to bring in my yard tools and rolling garden stool. I knew it was getting to him, although it was nice of him to ask. My reply, no I’ll finish but I will wait until a morning when it is cooler and shaded. I could almost read his mind; she is not a morning person, and this will never get done.

Sadly, trying to do just that, finding a good morning to work outside when not going to my office to work, means another weekend. I was overwhelmed, frustrated and just not into it. A slight, adult temper tantrum, I don’t want to do it.

There are times I just want to stay in bed, cover my head and ignore stuff like this. I can’t! I realize when this happens, I feel a bout of depression enter. I have felt just that, recently. I do not want depression latched upon me but so disappointed in myself. Besides the yard task I started, I have other areas inside the house to do, my work, taking time to write on my book, upcoming knee surgery, etc., that is weighing on me. Screaming within, I cannot do it all.

Recognizing and to acknowledge what is holding me back does help. It is then you do one thing at a time, I have learned over the years. There is a quote on my bulletin-board at work, it has been there now for fourteen years, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” It is funny and sounds easy enough, right? Still, it can be overwhelming. An elephant is huge, I cannot do that, so even with the elephant in my thoughts, I feel overwhelmed.

In all of this and what is before me, that morning I was up early. Typical, as the cats will annoy me until fed, but I crawled back in bed afterward. Knowing full well the temperature was perfect outside, and the flower garden area was in the shade. No! I want to sleep. I laid there but there was no sleep. I pondered what all I needed from the garage to finish this task. Ugh was my thought. The fight within.

I got up and got dressed to work outside, gathered the weed eater, blower, a bucket holding other items needed. Off I went, lowering items down from my deck. Knowing full well, everything I took down along with what was already there plus now having three garbage bags of pulled weeds and thinned out plants had to be brought back up to the garage. I needed it all done and I wanted it done. Can I do it? Focus. Focus. One bite at a time.

All of this time, it has taken me weeks to finish, and I did in forty-five minutes. Done! Everything is back in its rightful place. How did that happen so easy? Why did I put this chore off? I tormented myself basically.

Now comes the place where I kick myself because it took so long to finish. Still, there is an excitement within. I did it! It’s done! An accomplishment made, which makes for a good day.

Just small hurdles as such can encourage yourself that you can do it. The push within, a bite here and a bite there, soon it is over and done. The old discouragement and depression that was weighing on me is not as heavy right now. I can conquer the world. Well, that might be extreme but a reminder that we have to trudge through the stuff we don’t want to do in order to get what and where we want. This flower garden will be beautiful soon and it will be a reminder that I can do anything I set my mind to and not allow depression to take root. This or whatever.

Hopefully, knowing I deal with procrastination, discouragement, disappointment and depression, it will help you know you that are not alone. Just knowing others experience the same, it has been helpful to me in past years. I’m not alone. You are not alone. We all have things that tend to bog us down or we must deal with but the inner child within us wants to throw a fit.

Now, get up and do something that you have been putting off, if just a small thing. It all adds up.

I did all that just this past Sunday morning, time to write this blog and get ready for church plus go a graduation party. I felt it was going to be a good day.

Now that the day is behind me, it was a good day. I felt proud of myself. Celebration!

Psalm 20:4

“May he give you the desire of your heart
    and make all your plans succeed.”

2 Chronicles 15:7

“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

No Calls, Please!

What It's Like to Be Afraid of Talking on the Phone | The Mighty

What is wrong with me? A typical phrase I have asked myself all my life. Not knowing until I went to counseling and she pinpointed this was shame. All my life, all this time I have lived with shame in one way or another. It makes me sick, more ways than one. As hard as it is to realize this was the cause of so many issues, I still struggle. I’m old.

I am just years from retirement although I do not plan to retire if I can help it. I like working and what I do. If I fall over dead out of my chair, I completed my job. As long as my mind and my body holds out and I can manage the office and keep it running in tip-top shape, I will do so.

Even though, I am near to filling out Medicare paperwork, it means that I have been at this type of position for a long, long time. I have always been in a position of secretary aka office administrator, office manager, legal assistant, etc. I know I can do this and do it well, with years of experience under my belt. I find it fun to organize, to do excel charts is my favorite or whatever else to make the office perform at its best and to make the boss look good. What I do not like are the telephone calls, either receiving or making them.

Phone Avoidance And Avoiding Answering The Door | Avoidant Personality

Now, how could I have managed to do this job for many years but fail in this area? I often wonder myself. I really have to be ready and organized to get the call made, feel confident. It does not come automatic. To answer the phone, I panic within.

Many will never know this of me but I know.

I have managed but I have noticed, too, the older I get, it is worse. Perhaps having an assistant for years to answer the phone and then to transfer to me, knowing who it is and why they are calling, does help. Through this pandemic, I don’t have my assistant. Plus, I had some dental work in January and had a flipper to fill in a missing tooth while healing and managing through the pandemic of my dental office closed. I really had some anxiety of a lisp or actually choking from panic. Even with my new crown, I still suffer from this ordeal. Once I get through the answering or calling, I am fine to talk but I am too old for this. No matter what age, we all have issues and perhaps panic attacks of different situations.

Knowing I dealt with this and knowing, although minor, years ago, I mentioned to my counselor. We did not go indepth of this but a time or two she requested that I call her, perhaps for a scheduling issue, etc. Once I told her no I will not call. I did not want to hear she was rescheduling, I could read it but not hear her, I would be emotional. I would have felt rejected and abandoned. In reading her text, I could feel the same but the silent tears would flow and she would not hear my voice crack from sadness. If I can put off answering or calling, I will.

We have a landline still in our home due to my husband’s work. We had a phone on the main floor and the lower level, his office. I removed the main floor telephone, it is in the cabinet. If you know me well enough, you have my cell phone number and can contact me with that, preferably by text.

It was yesterday, I gave no thought to calling my son, although I texted several times. We were to get together and for me to hang curtains in his new house. My texts were not being replied to and I just could not grasp why. I found myself frustrated with him. I love him to death but why can he not reply was in the back of my mind. Time was getting late and even if he was asleep, normally he would reply, as I know his cell phone is right next to him. Anyway, no curtains were hung.

We went on home, I was done. Stick a fork in me. This child of mine is a nightowl so I know his sleep pattern is all over the place. Once I got home, an hour away, he texted. Asking in a text, why I did not just call him. It was from that question, this blog was born even though I have always wondered why I had such a hate of telephones. I enjoy talking to him and I do not know why I did not think to just call. My husband, with me, did not even suggest or try, which is no surprise. What is wrong with me, again? I missed my son. I felt like such a failure of a mom.

My conclusion was of being rejected, being an annoyance and in the end feeling abandoned. Growing up, I felt that from many occasions so I gave up trying to call others. Not calling or putting forth an effort brought loneliness but I did not like the other feeling much more. I hate telephones.

Perhaps he needs to know about his mom and that she also has anxiety and it will help him understand me. My boys know that my cell phone is open for them to call 24/7 if they need me. When it does ring, I do gulp and wonder if anything is wrong. Fear. I hate that. Usually no issue, thankfully. A relief will come and we continue to talk and I enjoy, sometimes for an hour.

What is funny, while writing this, my sister calls me and she lives hours away, her husband and my brother-in-law has Cancer so I immediately answer and I could not tell if she was crying or laughing. My heart stopped, afraid of bad news. Thankfully, she was laughing as she hit the wrong button. Was it an accident or just to prove my point of fear and anxiety? I survived. They both are doing fine. Relief!

I would never survive in telephone sales. I do love to hear from others and I enjoy talking to our clients that call at the office and I will help them as much as possible and they know that of me. It is just an area in my life that I struggle with and have and probably always will. I found it interesting that there is such a thing of a telephone phobia so I am not the only one. With the information below, I can understand a little more of why I deal with such and perhaps another will also, as it is such a thing for some.

What causes phone phobia?

While performance anxiety is the most common reason for telephone phobia, some people may also develop an irrational fear of telephones because of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD causes the suffer to avoid triggering situations and events, which bring back memories of a past trauma. These include: Full blown panic or anxiety attack. Feeling terror.  

What happened to you if you have Telephonophobia?

Telephonophobia can lead to a variety of physical and mental symptoms both at the thought of making a phone call or receiving one. These include: Full blown panic or anxiety attack. Feeling terror.

Why do I have social anxiety?

People who have an overactive amygdala may have a heightened fear response, causing increased anxiety in social situations. Environment. Social anxiety disorder may be a learned behavior — some people may develop the condition after an unpleasant or embarrassing social situation.

How do I get over my phobia of phone calls? Coping Strategies

  1. Smile. Before making and receiving calls, put a smile on your face. …
  2. Reward yourself. …
  3. Visualize success. …
  4. Ascertain availability. …
  5. Don’t overthink it. …
  6. Prepare. …
  7. Let it go to voicemail. …
  8. Try another communication method.
You will reject me, so I will not call.
I will annoy you, so I will not call.

https://www.verywellmind.com/afraid-making-phone-calls-tips-3024317

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7)

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-zesty-self/200905/what-we-get-wrong-about-shame