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.

D726C36E-3D05-4F69-B33C-E473732D58E2

 

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.

EF7C7F99-5B30-4D9A-9CDA-4C6326862B7A

 

Do Over

I want a do over!

     I want a do over!  

          I want a do over!

31F7A4DD-57BF-439D-82A4-A8C5D189784A

Thats my temper tantrum for today. Well, at this moment. They can come an go at anytime although I know how to grin and bear it just as much.  Life.

Life not what I expected.  I always thought that once the empty nest came, focus on the marriage and time together would be fun and enjoyable.

F9934A80-92E0-4643-B3EC-488EA25447B2Some say to leave, others know of that commitment made in a host of family and friends and above all, God.  You know the one, for better, for worse.  Hmmm…

While I have had a roof over my head and food on my table, etc., the Lord truly has provided.  I have great children that are independent and successful.  I have everything I need, right?

1C7F3826-D31B-4674-950E-32CF5D84EB99My life is boredom, only to be recognized and commented on by my counselor that all I do is go to work and go home (church services) and repeat.  How could I disagree with his statement but in my mind think, ‘We’ll thank you very much for that Mr. Counselor.’  Although, I have done a few fun things this year, so I have branched out.  Yay, me!

I want to plan a trip with a girlfriend to shop, talk and laugh for hours to celebrate my big birthday this fall but knowing we might need the money, I hesitate.  Selfishness on my part, I feel.  So I remain with my schedule of work, home and repeat.  It gets old.  Goodness, I am getting old.

Dealing with Aspergers in him, my energy level drains quick when with him or even in the house and I need time to recharge.  I can only take so much.  Small doses.  When too much, my mental and emotional levels drop and then affect my physical life.49C79EA5-8FDE-43D0-B06C-621FCECA9CE1

I have noticed this many times before, although dealing with it for many, many years.  Just today moreso, paying attention to how it affects me.  A few hours yesterday working in our landscape.  It’s our black/white talking (saying the same thing but differently), reminding him of what I just said seconds before (put birdbath here while tapping on spot but puts another place, saying don’t put rock here but does and this happening several times.  Like dealing with a child. Exhausting.  Today, I quietly walk within my own home to not wake him as he is in his tv room downstairs to go through the same or hearing him carry on a conversation with himself about whatever all the while whispering to myself, ‘Do not wake the dead.’  No more.  My cup is empty.  I look forward to going back to work tomorrow. 760F8DBB-5B03-463A-92B1-F9D3D5D1F8CFThen, there is my pattern yet again, work and home.

While I am sad, bored and lonely, I truly am happy and feel blessed.  It could be worse!

AD426E2A-61BD-4B20-AB4A-33426AC28840The Lord knows all about this and I have to put my trust in Him to help me through it.  Compared to years before, I have come through a lot, trust me, and I am getting through it still.  Just disappointing at times, as I want and need more joy and laughter.

Thank God I had enough wisdom and willpower to contact a counselor and go, now almost five years ago.  While she is no longer my counselor but was for four years, I gained so much in all areas of my life.  I still see counselors and plan to get through this life.

B48B6340-8519-45E6-84E4-CE840CED5124This pattern and not knowing of Aspergers when I walked through her door back then was making me crazy.  Had it not been for going for counseling, I do not know where I would be today.  This is a great book.  👉🏻

For now, my temper tantrum is less… until next time.  Thanks for spending it with me. 😉 ML

 

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!

4305C053-1C2E-477E-A0C6-3F21D27FBD68

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

 

Play Dead

2F8555C6-80C8-4770-8A15-43CA9D4A83CBLife has a way of throwing one for a loop sometimes.  For the most part, it is good and a happy, fun time but other times, it can make you shake your head and stop you in your tracks.  Just overwhelmed.
For whatever reason, I gave thought the other day of the load I have carried for many, many years and while now it is easier due understanding many areas, but I was weighted down.  The stress was too much. Probably typical of each person as responsibility and burdens comes and increases due to all types of situations.    Apparently, that day I was feeling the load of stress and of life in all areas.8312B0AB-877A-43E4-8E96-918D3FA704E5
Back when I was in a counseling session with my former counselor, we went through this several times of looking at various little hard-rubber animals sitting on the table near to where I was sitting (frog, raccoon, beaver, opossum and a couple of others) and I had to figure out which one represented me.  As crazy as it was, each time we did this, it was the possum.  The reason being, it was the load I always had to carry and still.  Many of their characteristics, I can relate to. Today, I’d still pick the same.
Although we never discussed in counseling what these silly animals represented and why we played that so-called Therapy game, I will always wonder why, her thoughts and the reasoning behind this task in counseling.
Just a month or so ago when writing this, dealing with a final decision of a serious matter, as I normally have to make because I knew my husband would not make, it was on my mind.  Plus, recently dealing with my son being overwhelmed and crazy enough, I felt it today myself.  Frozen in the anxiety of it all.  Do you ever feel overwhelmed?
63D69FAD-7D0E-456F-A846-3CCD4F8D774CSo at those times, when over my load limit, overwhelmed and all, I guess I just want to play dead as the  possum will do. I’m tired, I cannot go much more, etc.
Just as an ole possum, it gets back up and continues on with life just as we all do.  Just life!
3AB4BF1E-E8BC-4E59-B753-31CABD66A70FSo no matter what is before me, my son or if you are overwhelmed take a break and then get back up and continue on.  It’s just temporary.
You’ve Got This!  😊

 

Bogged Down

Stress! Stressed! Who me? Who you? We all go through it.

Stress Man

Life just has a way of throwing more on us than we want or need at times. I have someone very dear to me that is in the midst of this stressful period.

Sometimes as it comes, the process of working through it is tedious but manageable. Other times, it is so overwhelming that the mental chaos is too much and shut down occurs. Time to find a balance and regroup. Life.

Knowing I have been in this place so many times and seeing and feeling the weight of it on my son as he builds his business is so hard. As a mother, I want to help, take it 3A8A5AF4-C1FA-4B45-81E4-D3DB85BE7D18off of him and help him maneuver through the chaos but I cannot. All I can do is encourage and support him as he stretches his independence and capabilities. He will get it and be all the better but the heartache grips my soul. He knows I am his biggest cheerleader and he can always lay his head on my shoulder and will have my hugs and prayers.

Overextending oneself is prone to happen and when it does, you think I will never allow that to happen ever again. Well, you do. Each time through that, you do learn a lesson and at some point you look back and realize you did make it through and sometimes laugh at this mountain before you and others in the past were molehills. The pushing through of these times happens and part of growth but feels like hell.

So many times I have been there. I am sure you have, too. I cannot go anymore. I STOP everything. I do not want to see anyone. I do not want to do anything. I do not want to go anywhere. Shut down and hide from the world. I understand where my son is and what he is going through. PUSH!

Usually through these periods, we have forgotten self-care, to enjoy life and play along the way. It happens. We give and take and do for others and we forget ourselves. Then there are times, we play too much and really get in trouble at our own fault and now we must work through and chop away at what is before us. Balance. Get your plan of action together and sometimes a quick swift kick on your backside is what you need. Again, life!

A5F89032-A917-4AE7-9DA4-E286C5C08370Just do not stay down and give up. Never! My favorite saying is, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” That is so true. If you have to visualize sections of that huge elephant before you, an ear is smaller than that leg. Gone. Then attack the next and so on. Whatever works, do it. Chop away and soon it will be such a sign of relief and the heavy weight of this so-called elephant is off your shoulders. Until next time.

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Don’t forget yourself. Remember to balance between work and play. Don’t give up. Ever!

When stressed, just turn it around. Desserts. Yes, I think I will.ED03C310-7FDA-438A-B5A0-F9BB9E159610