Digging in the Ditches

I do not want to dig! I said, I do not want to dig in the ditches. It is too much.

As I scanned over my many writings, just the titles stir my emotions. How can I even go there without losing myself in the memories and feelings of those exact moments when things happened in my life and of my broken heart? I do not really know how to move past except to move through those times and put words in front of me as I feel and remember to share that you, too, can make it. Maybe it is for me to remember and to know where I have come from and what I went through to be right here at this right time, sharing my story.

A coach I had recently expressed all this as ‘digging in the ditches’ and so true, as it is digging through some bad, muddy times where I felt stuck. Throw me a lifeline please, I would cry out so many times under my breath, in my mind. Do you all not see I am struggling? Sadly, those words were on my mind while sitting on the church pew many times. I was invisible, I felt.

So, this is a start of my digging and thought I would test the waters. Unsure if I can dig tonight, as I write, but this is a start. How’s that?

Tied Up In Knots

Many years ago, while we were in the thick of the pandemic, I sent my son a wind-chime as he had the perfect place. I love wind chimes.

He had just moved into this place with a back yard that reminded me of Gatlinburg. It was in the middle of a big city but hidden. I always loved to visit and help clean up the yard or help him in the house, giving it a mother’s touch and food on the stove.

This was such a big change for him. He had never enjoyed yard work growing up, as most kids, but this place captivated him and his time, as we were all home bound. This was actually a move of God for him to be in this place at this time.

Prior, he had an apartment by himself and with his work, being able to work from home, he was isolated from people. He is a people person. Work was demanding and placed him alone in this apartment for hours at a time, getting overwhelmed and I knew depression was grabbing hold. He is a lot like me so I recognized what was happening. I have written about him several times in my blog here. The Lord has a calling on his life, he knows it. Sometimes, running away from such seems like it will work but it won’t. I have been there, too. You can run but can’t hide.

This big house and yard came available and two roommates joined him and it was perfect for all three. Again, a God thing. I feel if it had not taken place, especially with the stay at home ruling, I may not have a son right now. Depression sucks life from you.

I am proud of him to move forward but also seek help from a doctor. It’s okay to take anti-depressants, if just for a bit to get through whatever. Some may feel that is a lack of faith and place that condemnation on you but it is not their journey and none of their business. Take care of you.

The wind chime arrived and soon was hung up in the tree making the sounds that some love or hate. He was not so sure at first and him and a roommate had to put a cord around them, to stop ringing. We laughed over this but soon they enjoyed the sounds and how pretty it was in the backyard.

Things happen and another move to a smaller, better house and by now the ban from leaving home and restrictions were lifted. This house had no real place to hang the wind chime. A little tree in front had to do so it would not get tangled. It is a long wind chime, perfect for the other yard.

Time went by and it remained and ringing but either wind or the neighbors twisted it up and now it was jumbled up and not pretty looking or sounding. He threw it in the shed. I was saddened but understood.

Recently, he was coming home. I have a great yard and trees so I told him to bring to me and I’ll use and enjoy once I get it back to it’s purpose, so he did.

Oh my! It was a mess. I had no idea of how this would ever be put back together. As I watched television one night, I thought I would tinker with it, one tube under, another one over and continued.

It was overwhelming. I would work on it and put it down and try another night. A couple of times I was tempted just to pitch. Not worth my time. Looking at it though, the tubes were pretty, the string was strong but it was tied up so bad. I just wanted to give up.

Isn’t that just like life? There are things we need to do and conquer but it is too hard. Thinking there is no way it can happen. Hopelessness enters our minds and we stop.

I laid this out on the floor, which was for a good week. Each night I would move tubes under and over and I started to make headway. I’d get frustrated and stop. I knew I had to keep going and finish. I have come too far to end. Again, life experiences we deal with.

I finally got the tubes and string in order. What a fantastic feeling to conquer. While I still have to hang the tubes correctly, I will attempt. I will also go through the frustration and hopelessness of it not being right. Still, I will move forward. Soon, it will be hanging in my tree and I will enjoy knowing its history and the pain to get there.

Again, life. We have to keep moving forward and not give up. Many trials and misfortunes may come but soon if we don’t give up, there’s joy and a pride within ourselves that we made it through.

This hopefully will be something that will strengthen you or my son’s ability to keep moving forward whenever times get tied up in knots and it seems there is no way out and feeling like throwing our hands up in defeat. A story his mom has written, understanding him and how each one of us struggle at times. Life experiences. Life happens.

Don’t give up.

It all falls together

Where Would I Be?

I recently wrote an answer on Quora about a therapist giving a client a hug, with someone asking if it was okay to do or not. Many are dead set against any hugs, physical touch, etc. How sad that we live in this place and time, that such care or touch can be threatened and taken the wrong way. My son is a teacher and when he walks down the hallway with students, he crosses his arms in front of him to prevent any negative recourse that could happen. How sad. Sadly, this is where we are in our world, which makes it hard to have contact or feel at ease talking to the opposite sex or nowadays, same sex without being criticized. Being cautious is necessary.

So as I wrote my answer and just re-read it, it made me think back of where I was when I walked into my former counselor’s office back in 2014. I was at the end of my rope and the knot was unraveling as it was. Please help me! This was my last-ditch effort as I was becoming so hopeless and I wanted hope, which I had lost over the years due to situations. I felt there was no use to try anymore, I was exhausted.

My counselor and I covered a lot of stuff in four years together, some not so easy and there were times I wanted to walk out and not come back. Although, and most times, I could not wait to get back to another session. It was like a battle digging through the trenches of life and the battle fatique of it all was felt by me and I do believe her, too. Thank God she fought with me and for me.

As we have just gone through this world-wide pandemic and all the craziness and confusion, there is light at the end of the tunnel nowadays but it has not been easy for so many. I have several people I know personnally who have passed away or have been in the ICU for weeks. Covid19 is real. I am not here to go on a tangent about this matter though.

A Mothers Hug Lasts Long After She Lets Go (SVG Cut file) by Creative  Fabrica Crafts · Creative Fabrica

In my counseling, we discussed many times about the hugs I so dearly wanted and needed from others, mostly mother figures in my life. There were only a few that I depended upon and clung to, hoping that I would get the care and love from them, plus that tight hug that made me just melt, feeling as though my emotional pain disappeared for at least a minute. There was a void within and as much as I tried to pray and work through this issue, it would not leave. I felt as though I became a professor at hugs, as there are hugs but then there are real hugs. Those ‘real hugs’ did not happen very often but I desired them, where I felt I was actually loved. This was a part of my life, since a child. I could never understand why I hungered for love from others but not my own mother. Why can’t I get that from my own mother? A question I could never answer but my counselor helped me grasp the childhood emotional neglect, rejection and abandoment I often felt and little by little, I understood. It made sense to me.

There was love as we were a family and I was taken care of with a roof over my head, a warm bed, clothes and food but never loved as a young child and grown adult that should have been received. It causes a void. No child should go without hugs and not being told that they are loved. The child grows up questioning everything, trying to figure it all out. Starvation of love is just about as bad as starvation of food, both causing death.

"Hug Quotes"

In my answer I mentioned that I made, was how my counselor took time to understand me and helped me understand myself while she listened to the words and the inaudible words not spoken as I sat before her. She also heard my silent screams of needing her hugs. It was hard to express my heart and the fact of telling her my heart’s cry for that hug, which was an embarrassment. Plus it was not a one-time request. Please Hug Me! Please!!

While she was my counselor, I did not see her as a mother figure actually, as we were near in age. Still, she saw that little girl within me starving for love and compassion and that ‘inner child’ within me did reach out for her motherly care and compassion. It’s an odd place to be and describe but thank God I was given this opportunity and I had just the right counselor. God’s Timing is perfect. Looking back, she made me work through this period and others, as we discussed in detail, but I had to ask her for that hug, it was not just freely given. Please Hug Me! I knew she cared for me.

hug me tight | Tumblr

Those many sessions with her over the years were worth every penny and my time invested, determined of not giving up. The hugs given when leaving were very nice and some weeks I was fine, I did not need a hug. In my whole life though, I was always tangled up with the desire that I had never spoken of this for someone to love me and hug me, as I opened up to her. This inner, emotional pain was hidden, as I did not know how to deal with a deprivation of love. How sad is that. Would I ever get over this desire and need? Honestly, I saw no hope. It felt like a til death do us part basically in my life and in that, a sad, lonely death.

It was this past year, 2020 when the six-foot social distancing and masks became part of the norm for all of us. Do you hug or do you not? Do you pat someone’s arm for encouragement or do you not? The physical contact became non-existent between everyone, from friends, family and even our own children. To leave my sons with no hug was beyond heartbreaking. Fear, sometimes, as I fight fear anyway and now this, fear that I would get sick from my boys or I would make them sick. God help us all!

Kendall K Where Would I Be Without You Lyric Video - YouTube

Several months into this pandemic and calming my own panic attacks by deep breathing, EFT tapping, prayer, refinishing furniture, painting, etc., trying to calm myself down and mind off of the unknown to get through another day of the unknown. Or thinking the dark cloud of this virus was going to get me, like a boogeyman. After awhile I realized my desire for those motherly hugs was diminished. While I missed my counselor, my church family, sisters and others, I was not missing the hugs. How could that be? I had to wonder if I had put up a wall of not wanting to be hurt due to what I had just gone through or if I had just finally overcome the need for such and can live freely in my mind and body of not being overwhelmed with the need for that hug from a motherly figure. Could it be? Who am I? I put myself in places either by thinking or in the six foot distancing space, viewing Facebook of them or photos, where I was with those I had wanted hugs before just to see how I was responding. I was doing fine, I did not need their hug. With the restrictions, it would not happen anyway but I could walk away peacefully, not crying within of not receiving and sit in my car and cry. That’s huge! All my life this was a struggle. Now, it’s a foreign part of me.

Many times, I have written about my former counselor. Sorry if you get tired of reading about her but she is and will always be a part of my life. I knew in early 2014 that I wanted the end of my life to be better and that is when I started searching and praying about the ‘right’ counselor. September, 2014, I walked into her office and walked out four years later, not the same person. There was some tremendous pain at the end of how our sessions ended, but I survived. I do miss her. Had it not been for all the muck we went through and her pushing and tugging at me to bring me to safety and breathe fresh air, I would not be where I am today.

Learning to love myself and care for that little girl within me, which sounds goofy, and she helped me understand this of myself, but she, the little girl within, is still present and still needs love. Only I can give.

It feels really good to know that the screams within me for hugs, most of my life, have been quieted. I cannot imagine going through 2020 otherwise, as I don’t know if I could have survived. Seeing the past, where we were last year and where I am today, you cannot tell me that God does not exist. He knew I needed my counselor back then and way before 2020 and to live the rest of my life to the fullest. His Timing… had it not been, I do not know where I would be, today.

Even writing this blog about the hugs, my neediness all through my life, I still felt the pain and knew the torment I had experienced. In writing, I had to wonder if I was sinking back into this mode or do I sincerely feel a change has happened. I don’t want to experience such heartache ever again. Do I miss hugs from many, I do, but I am fine. If I would see my counselor out one day, do I want her hug, I wonder. Time will tell but odds are, yes, who am I kidding. If she needs a hug, I’ll hug her. lol Now, I’ll make her ask me. We all need hugs.

I have learned through reading blogs or other questions asked and replies on Quora, it is that I am not the only one that has dealt with this lack of love and needing hugs. We all need love, to give and receive, no matter our age.

I am sure you can look over your life, you can also say, “Where Would I Be” if it had not been. Count the Lord’s Blessings and see that your outlook on life and your happiness increases with joy and thankfulness.

Willow Tree® Close to Me Mother Daughter Figurine - Figurines - Hallmark

“Healing the mother wound and recovering from the emotional absence is a process and takes time depending on your mother wound and experiences. It is a journey of becoming the person you are meant and want to be and the healing the wound can set you free from self-criticism, self-doubt, reduce anxiety and depression, improve your relationships and benefit you in many other ways.”

Healing the mother wound – Part 2: 10 Steps to healing from emotional absence

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tech-support/201304/7-common-wounds-daughters-unloving-mothers

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tech-support/201810/7-things-someone-who-grew-unloved-needs-adult?