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.

820DD634-4A6F-4958-A127-BAE882DD21A4

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.

A3A37428-760E-4795-AC06-4F63CAE79C2F

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

Crumble or Conquer

154EA5E8-9E33-4A52-8EF0-E325816578B2What an interesting year, last year, it was for me, experiencing the ups and downs of life and holding on through it all. How about you?  As we are now over the holidays and the start of another year, how did you do and how are you holding up?

Remember, no mater what comes, we are resilient enough to move through struggles, heartaches, pain, tears, etc., even though it may not feel as such. The thoughts of give up, I cannot do this anymore or I have had enough seems to be constant thoughts or verbal outbursts at times, I know with me. Normal. Still, keep going forward as tomorrow is another day, and the days after that.1F08B259-AE97-4271-9041-FD6ADCABDEAA

Life can knock us down at times in many circumstances ABBBB1AB-2E23-46CE-88DC-1CC4DE4E6DDAbut do not stay down. Acknowledge within yourself that you have been through worse probably and are stronger than what is front of you.  Most importantly, put your trust in the Lord.  Walk and live by faith, not by sight.

Don’t crumble but conquer so that the joy in your life becomes evident to yourself and to others.  It’s there, sometimes we have to fight for it.0C19919B-E80B-47A9-9C32-62DC7F123320

 

New Year’s Resolutions

I do not make New Year’s Resolutions! Do you? C3FF064F-1E9F-4E95-9DAF-0B9A08B2A087

I have made plenty in the past and the majority, I failed. In that, making me feel like a loser, with the negative thoughts I already had of myself back then, which were confirmed and there you have it. Doomed for the rest of the year. I know that’s silly and not true, but I do not make resolutions for that reason.

How many will join a gym membership and be all gung-ho about going in the month of January and some will trickle into February and just maybe some will continue thereafter. Been there, done that and I have the t-shirt. If 396A4954-B400-4778-BB31-86C43D1278B8having and maintaining a monthly membership, because I just might want to go and have good intentions, I never darken the door. Month after month seeing that charge, while a low amount, it still is deducted from my banking account with no productive results. Now it is the new year and my reasoning for not going, as my friend said it the other day, is that it will be too crowded because of the newbies. Of course, I would basically fall into that group now. So, I’ll wait. Perfect excuse.

If I made a resolution last night to not eat anything sweet, I would have already lost, first day of January. There’s going to be some grouchy people in a few days, of no sweets.

Plan to do and be better than last year. Set some goals and work toward them while not being so hard on yourself. Do your best and take care of yourself.

Expect 2020 to be the best year ever and just keep moving forward.

Maybe I will see you at the gym. 😉 I am going!

BCECD1F0-2A11-4641-BA55-3C18BE8637B3

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/imperfect/2019/01/instead-of-a-resolution-try-making-a-micro-change/

Past Present Future

36859847-8A5A-4506-85AE-45C768209177Last night, as I stood at my kitchen counter cutting up vegetables for our Christmas dinner, I could not help but to think of how many others are doing just the same.  While some are celebrating Christmas already and the joy felt in these homes, with children screaming with delight DD51C1EB-378A-4FE8-A277-60E216708330or perhaps a child already crying over something while a mother and father are exhausted from putting the final touches for their Christmas celebration.

Thinking back of the excitement and anticipation of Santa from when I was a child and then with my own children, all of these thoughts helped me with the ache in my back standing there which seemed like all day, to be one step ahead in my preparation.

It was from joy and excitement in my thoughts to the sadness and the thought of many not feeling so joyous and depression knocking at their door or worse. Within this time span over my vegetable plate prepared, I went from past, present and future in my thoughts, somewhat like the Christmas movie, A Christmas Carol. 2FE8E5A0-AEE6-4AEE-AEA2-0642BDF58916

Sadly, I remember being in that state, too. No matter where each of us are in this vast array of emotions that exist, the Lord sees and knows our name and where we are. Some may doubt and question that with an undertone or outright anger of not so, how could He? Questioning His love and care. I understand that as I have been there also. While I knew different deep within, I sure did not feel anything, trust Him or anybody else for that matter. I was angry with Him, myself and with others and life itself. Definitely not a fun place to be.

E3539BCD-8F78-43EC-B951-77380D63FC33I did not understand the emotional pain endured for years and the isolation I put myself in while wearing a mask with work or public appearances. I definitely struggled, fighting through a depressive state. Thank God I had my children as they were my focus to hold on but even in that, I am sure they did not feel the true joy in my life, as their mother. Still, I managed and I am here, perhaps just for someone to read my own experiences and to give hope. Thank God, He did not give up on me.C9E4F7BB-A203-43A8-B2D8-B6A10C44C797

Sometimes life does not turn out to the expectation we had hoped for in our mind. I never thought I would go through what I did and have but I did, I went through. Is my life perfect? No. I can say that my mindset is a lot better though. I had to work on myself and trust God to get me to this point. I am with myself 24/7 as you are with yourself. If you want change, you need to change, not for anyone else.0EE32B92-F35F-43A1-B892-A24959108EDE

While I had my church and my faith in God, I pulled away  in the isolation of the depression hovering 6515C897-7ED1-4B84-B58C-82A4B6C554AAover my head. As the Bible says, the enemy is out to kill, steal and destroy. He wanted to knock me out.

After years of mental torment of unworthiness and everything else that I believed to be true, I went for counseling, this was five years ago. Best decision ever. Was it easy? No. It was worth my time, money and the emotional ups and downs of understanding myself and in healing many 8A5C9536-F5E4-41B6-A135-16B18934163Abroken areas of my life, which I am still working on and plan to continue. This was my past and is my present.

In the present, I am feeling excitement and joy as I once did in life or perhaps and honestly moreso. I am looking forward to the future to finish out my years with the same and more. It took one step forward and sometimes two backward to get here, and still, but I keep moving forward and desiring more, trusting the Lord. I wanted a change, and that’s a start from the past to be present now and my goal for the future.95C57C62-1A6C-4305-952C-7547691BC035

As we go into the new year and resolutions are made and many broken, do not let that hinder you, it happens. Still, set a goal for a healthier you because it is only YOU that can make this happen. You are worthy. Trust Him.

7ADCDD84-B292-4F8D-B92D-8FF0055EAEB9

4B3484FF-779D-4B44-81B3-50BA16805BF3

 

 

Christmas Slump

It’s that time of the year and for days and weeks, maybe months now, we have all been gearing up for Christmas. There is a sense of joy as we celebrate the holiday season, decorating, a time of gift-giving, paying forward is a common occurrence, cooking delicious recipes as well as making batches of cookies and candies, families and friends coming together plus seeing the colorful lights and decorations strung around wherever we go. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Right?

1B711094-D3B1-4607-A627-EDB5240EB7F1

It really is wonderful to experience the joy mention but sadly many do not. Many do not know the true meaning of Christmas, representing the birth of Christ.

In myself, I do enjoy the season and everything about it, wishing I had more time to experience the lights, shows, etc., and while I have done so more this year, there is also a dread underlying within me because I know how it affects me after Christmas.

Christmas Ornaments on Wood BackgroundIn the holiday season, the vivid colors of red and green while other colors are splashed around, the decorations that adorn homes inside and out for all to admire, the ornaments that are hung with care while many have a memory or a story attached to share and perhaps a tear or two wiped, smelling the cookies and desserts baked plus enjoyed. There are so many joyous moments and then it all goes away, quicker than it came. Months of building hope, joy and love and then poof, it’s over.

Soon after Christmas Day or maybe after the new year, everything is taken down and put away until next year. Now everything seems bleak and dull. I find it is sad. I know with me, it takes me a couple of weeks to get back in the swing of things and adapt to the norm, awaiting for the next holiday but nothing compares to Christmas of the beauty and happiness all around.6F5E347F-259A-436B-967C-F476AC1B1D78

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) exists in many whether it be for the holidays or winter months moreso than the rest of the year perhaps due to less daylight and sunshine.

Depression hits more in the holiday season as we miss those no longer with us, our emotions are touched and memories seem to be heightened of the past and being unsure of the future. Hope is lost somewhat in the hustle and bustle within many.

Remember to notice and know yourself enough and to get medical help if needed. This happens for many and normal to feel the blues at times but not all the time. Take care of you through the most wonderful time of the year but also all year long.  The holiday blues happen.

0F88B310-D4DF-41E3-93D7-8B1242901DE9While most of us are going through the season with joy and excitement, let’s pay attention to those around us that may not be. Whether it be now or throughout the year, too; sometimes just a kind word, a pat on the arm or even a smile is a gift to some.  Feel free to share, it costs nothing.

Merry Christmas and may the year 2020 be the best ever.

68B8A106-57FF-493D-97C8-7CE156C65EC0

 

https://www.verywellmind.com/holiday-blues-4771716

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder

F7F09DC0-E526-42AF-A6E8-9CBA05EF46C6

A Thanksgiving Production

DF277E5B-F9B8-42AF-9532-9C1260DA1F91It’s about time! Time for family and friends to gather at my home and I am sure yours also or the home you are hopefully going to and celebrate Thanksgiving.

As I was getting my last-minute items, I was thinking while driving home that this is like getting ready for a production. The spotlight is on me, my home, my food, my welcoming each one that comes through the door. There was a slight panic but I have no time to panic, as I must continue on and keep my thoughts together and get everything done.  Somehow, someway, it always falls together.

Well, almost everything. I have learned through the years that if it is not perfect, it is okay. It does not need to be A73AB2C1-2C78-4EE2-9DD7-89399A60B732perfect, I do not have to expect perfection out of myself. What a relief. Actually, I forgot salad dressing. Before, I would stress and push myself to go get, adding onto my to-do list. This time, I contacted my daughter-in-law asking her to take care of this for me. My goodness have I changed, counseling has definitely paid off. For that, I am thankful. It’s okay to ask for help.

This time tomorrow night, everyone will probably be gone and another Thanksgiving is over. It is not worth being stressed although there are moments, of course, but to be in the moment and enjoy those present, that is what I want and need to do.  We all do!

Take time to enjoy and the others will also. My saying always is to make yourself at home. I hope they all feel welcome to help themselves and I think they do.

May the ones that walk through my door, feel the love and joy being thankful for all that we each have, as we are blessed. May the Love of God and His Peace cover each one that they know Him, to place C26128AA-8021-4D13-AA1D-56E2CC00CCBBChristians in their pathway to lead them and help where perhaps I can’t; put Angels all around each one as they leave and protect them. That would be my simple but heartfelt prayer.

1755A7CE-E14E-4D16-87F2-12DB9DF148F6

🍂 Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family/friends. 🍂

DF4C1041-A47A-4D44-8949-10883E582076

Tears from Nowhere

This morning I had an appointment early to get my D171077C-9EA4-4CB8-AB0B-4889C4CE7CFDhaircut and was looking forward to a nice, productive day afterward as I prepare for Thanksgiving like many of us are doing.  A good morning overall even though the weather was not cooperating with a lack of sunshine.

C97D4E0A-7459-4C06-9CDA-E09FFE79966CHere I am, sitting in the chair and my sweet stylist doing her magic while we talked and laughed. In the background, Christmas music was playing and the song, Pretty Paper by Willie Nelson came on. I stated I had not heard that for a good year, since last Christmas, of course, making a joke. I knew with that comment, I could not hold back the emotions and the tears started. Where did those come from and why? It’s funny how memories are stirred by music and our emotions are affected.845A8C81-4406-49F2-ACF5-B6ECA5E16D32

Each tear we cry has meaning to our Father God. He keeps track of all our sorrows just as carefully as if He were gathering each tear and placing it in a bottle for His remembrance.” Jennifer Rothschild

Later, when home alone and starting to clean, I turned on the Christmas music, louder than normal with my sound bar and woofer level elevated, hoping the neighbors don’t E3BD3AFE-6084-492C-8935-E9854AE06A2Bcomplain. lol  Believe it or not, the first song was Pretty Paper by Willie Nelson, yet again. What is up with this song today? Just because of how odd and what happened earlier, I texted my stylist and told her. Her text back was that it was playing right after I texted her. Knowing we are not playing the same channels but for this to coincide, interesting for both of us now.

Christmas music is wonderful even when the tears start flowing. The lyrics go deep and touch our hearts. Once they start, they usually continue off and on for the day for me and sure enough today has been one of those days.

74B50E97-29BC-4AD3-B579-ABBD8C4298C3The holidays can bring up memories of our past, good and bad, the grieving of those no longer in our lives whether that be in death or an end of a relationship, being overwhelmed with many things going on in our lives, or a mixture of it all and the tears flow, but not necessarily depression.

When my son moved out of state after college, being five hours away that year, I found the song, I’ll Be Home for Christmas a definite one to make the tears flow, which always reminds me of him still even though now an hour away. This song is not so good when driving to work and tears fall like a dripping water faucet. Why did I even put on makeup?

Feeling sentimental, as many of us are if not all, at this B4A63AF6-4D68-4D8D-AFF2-FDCA03F448D3time of the year, is normal. It is a time for families and friends to come together. With the Birth of Christ recognized, our worship and joy felt can also bring tears of thankfulness. Let your heart feel, allow your emotions that apparently are needed to cleanse and heal some areas within. It’s okay to cry, even in your hair stylist’s chair. I grew up feeling shame and embarrassment of crying in front of others, even my own family. Thankfully that has changed in understanding myself and the whys through counseling.

123F5BD4-90B4-423D-887E-FF3299488885If you find the tears are more than not and on the depressive side instead of sentimental reasons, please contact your physician, a counselor, a pastor, a friend. Reach out! It does takes courage but you can do this.

If more serious and nobody is available or you want to remain private, as many isolate during this time, please get help by going to your nearest hospital or call the suicide hotline. You are worthy and God knows your name and where you are and most importantly, He loves you. Trust Him!

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org  👉🏻 Telephone 1-800-273-8255  24/7

3 Ways God Responds to Your Tears

The Story Behind Willie Nelson’s Christmas Classic, ‘Pretty Paper’

A8A5ABF8-A5D4-44A0-BE9D-92BB238C452F