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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Do Over

I want a do over!

     I want a do over!  

          I want a do over!

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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

 

Lock the Damn Door!

30189D04-BCD5-4CB7-9D4F-1C00CCB0582EHow many times do I have to say or write a post-it note so that he will get it? This drives me absolutely insane. Perhaps that is the plan.  Hmm…

We live on a street with apartments and new people move in all the time, some of not so great reputation. While the last few months have been quiet, that was not always the case due to drug dealers, drug busts, fights, etc.  I have the pictures to prove up to ten police cars, fire trucks and ambulances at one time, at various times.  What fear it brings when pulling into our short, dead-end street to see all these emergency vehicles in front of my home and in my driveway, at times, too.

It has been nuts and one weekend, about a year ago, I placed heavy blankets on our front windows so we could move about in our own home. Not a good situation to live in fear within your own home.  Thankfully, that wild, drug-dealing group is gone.

The buildings are in bad shape, which is another reason rent is so cheap that keeps this situation reoccurring time after time.  The buildings cannot last much longer, although I have been saying that for years.  I have hope!  For us to move, we could end up elsewhere with same issues plus I like my house.

C214E6AF-EC51-44CA-B2F1-74F67FD3F799So, my husband goes out to mow and tend to the yard.  He goes out the front door, leaving it unlocked while working in our backyard. Nowadays, you do not leave your house unattended to, such as a garage, front door unlocked, etc.  This is not Mayberry anymore.  Still, today B50A5EDA-FB10-497C-B6CF-96915D61C3F9I just walked in, unlocked door, and he is in back mowing.  Fear hits, more times than others, of what could be or could happen. As many times as we have had this conversation, it is a lack of respect for me and my safety, I feel.

Having someone in my home back many years ago when I lived with my parents and while I was home for lunch, not knowing but gut instinct, it all started to add up days later with things missing.  I remember thinking my parent’s bedroom door was closed more than usual and thought that was odd.  Realizing later, he probably was behind the door.  It brings a violation of our privacy and fear.  My husband knows of this incident and of my concerns.  Still he repeats.

5D9C3255-3689-4DF5-8130-93BB076CF6CCAs you and I both know, drugs will cause people to do whatever.  While I may not have the perfect ten for a body and with my age but thoughts of rape are there, as I am still a woman and I have heard worse incidents of such.  To be hit and knocked out in order to steal, shot or even killed is not uncommon these days.  When I am home alone, I keep my doors locked. Not necessarily out of fear but just common sense.

There is a movie that I enjoy watching called, The Help. Odds are you have seen it, too.  The young girl opens the door and goes into the office for an interview and then when she leaves and the boss screams both times, ‘shut the damn door’ so I think of that scene and hear his voice each time I walk into my unlocked house but thinking or saying, ‘lock the damn door.’  In my frustration, humor is needed.

No matter where we are, whether it be in our homes, out walking or shopping, vacation, in the car, etc., we must pray and trust the Lord to put a hedge of protection around us.

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Back Off Girlfriend!

I realize people have a good heart and Christians want to witness and make contact with church members and/or friends/family that need to be in church and become a Christian. We are all to show ourselves friendly and to help others.

There comes a time though when it is wrong for a single, divorced woman to text me about my husband’s church attendance and if she can contact him and encourage him.  No! 3B8113F5-CED4-493B-A900-31D1501F8164What makes me crazed about this situation is that she should know better. We have heard the same messages at church.

How or what would you do?

There are many of us women (wives) that attend church alone, I see it all the time.

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I want to text her back and might at some point or see her at church and if asked, say that her requirement as a single, divorced woman should only be to pray for him.  For a woman to contact a married man is not okay in my books.  This opens up a whole can of worms, as they say.

Whether or not my marriage is perfect is none of her business or others; there is still a marriage license in force.

I’m just floored that she had the gall to contact me but I guess she feels we are friends, close enough that is to either get the scoop or my permission.  No!  If I was not so nice, I would rip into her.  If there is definite contact made, I will.

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Sometimes, I just shake my head and this was one of those moments.  Crazy enough and just like the Lord, I was questionning her a few months back about an interest in him, figuring it was just a fear on my part.  Now, I wonder if that was a warning.  No matter.  No!

Pay attention to your gut instincts!

If he goes to church with me or not.  None of your business.  He is a grown man, too, and he has choices of his own whether to go or not.  Not mine.  Not yours.

As Christians, we are to pray for others.

In passing, to invite to church is one thing.  There are other men in the church that should be reaching out to care and witness to other men, not a single, divorced woman. Same with women contacting other women with care and concern.  It’s conservative and respectful but for a reason.

Sometimes, I am just amazed at people and crazy enough, church people.

Line in the Sand

A72E248C-B0F6-4503-9306-84BA5BF15076While each of us are unique and different, which is a good thing or life would be boring, so are counselors in their sessions. With that being said, that also would be boring and definitely useless, if not.

Just recently while seeing my counselors, I have been observing more, such as their counseling techniques, office system/files with notes about me and their surroundings.  Somewhat, okay comparing my last one of four years to present ones.  While a lot deals with the OCD in my life and my organizational skills, one drives me insane. Do I say something or let it continue to make me question them. I believe I need to speak up or there will be a wall of distrust and chaos within. We have that right to do so, as clients, as there must be trust.

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I have had and a total of five counselors in my life. Each one was good in their field and just what I needed at the time and still. As a client, I also have a right to end counseling, which I did with my first one back many, many years ago.

At that time, I enrolled in a New Life Live, a Christian workshop for women. This weekend workshop was to help women understand and gain strength and healing due to issues in their marriage due to porn usage with their husbands and the betrayal felt. Maybe a one last-ditch effort to save their marriage and self-esteem which was slowly dying within myself.

As nine of of us women from all over the United States gathered in this small office area, it became evident we were all in a battle. I was amazed how many traveled the distance in order to survive.  Desperate housewives.

09321795-BA50-40AE-940A-E4196E4476B7Afterward, I was probably the closest in mileage, only forty-five miles away, I decided to start counseling sessions with the leader/counselor. I did, on a monthly basis, if not twice a month. Unsure if I really gained information to grow but at least I could talk freely and feel safe to talk. I had always kept my marriage problems silent to the point I was suffering. Shame. This workshop and counseling was my effort to take care of me, unknowingly because I thought it was more my marriage, that I now know.

After about a year, my husband was invited to join and reluctantly, he did. The first session, within minutes, sitting on her couch together but not touching, she asked him if he felt he needed anti-depressants. BAM, right out of the shoot. No doubt, I was shaking my head yes but if not, my mind was screaming, YES. This counselor has his number, so I thought.

Months went on with couples counseling, individual, etc. It was one session when she, the counselor said to me with him in the room, that any woman would love to have him. In my mind, it came a screeching halt and shock on my face, as in a movie scene. What? I knew at that point, I had lost the battle. He has won her over with his calm demeanor, his porn usage and lies. My self-esteem, confidence and desire to even exist became less than before. It’s all my fault, I am the bad wife, I caused his porn usage and continued heaping the negative thoughts.

As we went yet again and again, it was this one night that I had had enough. While I did not say anything, my shock and boundary came into play, it had to.  While discussing issues at hand and making himself look good with her, now I see he won her over more so and now she feels all motherly with him.  He speaks, saying, ‘I don’t love her and I don’t think I ever did.’  I just turned toward him and said, WOW! FA895C6C-FB8A-40F4-91D3-DC25E21DACBE

It was a long, quiet drive home filled with anger in the air.  Rightfully so. With that though, I found my voice, not in a screaming manner but authoritative. I am done. I will not make your appointments, do your laundry, cook for you (another story in itself), and whatever else. My focus was on our children from that point forward. He just could not figure out why I was so angered over that and threw it up in my face that I took it out of context. 800BDEF7-0FA3-48BC-AE93-2587C1A502E9Seriously?!? Just stab me in the back, I’d heal quicker. Those words should never be said to a wife.  Ever!

8CEF791D-3B26-491A-BAC7-7465D3F0A30FThe counselor on the other hand wanted to meet with me more, which I declined. Soon after, he left going to her, too. No push from me so he won’t; plus, he won.

He won alright, no real marriage. He can continue on with his selfish ways with porn, believing he is all that because the counselor said what she did to enforce his behavior.  I’m the bad one in this whole scenario and Satan played his games mentally with me.88e6b2cf-66aa-4544-8dee-66d3712a8abe.jpeg

Those were dark days and sadly years for me but… had it not been, I would not be where I am today. I learned that I was caring for me, even if I felt numb to life and was physically putting one foot in front of the other. I was setting boundaries, as I deserved more even while I battled negative thoughts that it was all my fault. Plus, courage to keep my head up and move forward when I would had rather died and be done with life. Through the mental torment, I had to trust the Lord but even then, I felt He did not love me either.  Unlovable.

Don’t give up, keep your focus and trust the Lord to carry you through the craziness of life. He knows your name and He knows where you are.  I had to fight, not physically but spiritually, mentally and emotionally.  9F612C2F-1B60-4EDB-9F23-3D203477A1A0

While my faith in a counselor wavered for some years due to that situation, I did not give up.  I picked up my big girl panties and found another, just for me.  I am better today and stronger emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually than ever due to help from great counselors and trusting the Lord.  My faith increased, as He was all I had to cling to in the midst of the battle.

The Lord will meet you where you are.  Trust Him. 💕7AEF5CAE-4893-4666-8CA6-716FB3CE222B

Journey of Life

947F91A9-B1D8-49C6-8138-5C2EEA15DF62Here I am, home from my counseling session and so thankful of having such great counselors as I deal with life. I would not be where I am today had it not been with each one.

Mental health awareness has been quite visible lately in the news and on Facebook of not denying or keeping your head in the sand that it does not exist. It does. Look around and listen to the news, there is mental health issues of all levels around us. Some being hidden by a mask or fake smile and those that are down right out there and may cause issues.

Why is there such a stigma of counseling and sadly in the church making people feel shame in going? Many years I secretly went to counseling almost an hour away to avoid my church and members from knowing I needed help. You know, those that will say I did not have enough faith in God. Those that will bring shame, which is why I went out of my way to go. No more!8DDBBD6E-CF15-41B4-BEFC-5BD3D2AC9032

I found myself, as I was leaving my counselor’s office the other day and several women were in the waiting room. I couldn’t help but think about them and wonder why they were there, too. Did they feel shame being there or did they just accept that they, too, need help. For a moment, and to be honest, I felt a judgment of them, just as many would and have in the past and/or in our experiences. Wrong! I captured that thought quickly realizing I just walked out of a counseling session. I am no better than them and we all need to support one another. It’s that stigma that latches on.  I’m sure others have had that of me.  While that quick lesson allowed me to see both sides, I politely smiled and wished them a good day. As we make these appointments and deal with life, that is self-care and much needed for me, you and others.  It’s okay!

We all have issues. Even counselors, doctors and so forth. I totally recommend seeing a counselor for issues or just to stay in tune with life and healing for yourself of past, present and for the future.  In my case, it started with marriage but nowadays it is to help me grow and heal some much-need broken places in my spirit, soul and body. I am a better person with counseling. Not having a spouse to relate to and cry on his shoulder or my close friends that do not live near, I have my counselors. Yes, counselors.

For this period in my life, I started with one to help me get over my last counselor of four years that left due to health issues.  We were dealing with abandonment issues in my life, yet I was abandoned by her. While not her fault, still it was and is still hard some days. Talk about a double whammy! Plus, I have another counselor to help me move forward in life, not so much focus on past counselor. Both have been good for me in my journey right now.  It’s been a good thing.

A2D1DCB8-345F-4FBF-9E47-A34CDC8843BAJust with my last appointment, she said that a poem reminded her of me of my past counseling experience, which I will share. Perfect. Again, I have had the best and thankful for what each one has done to help me grow, understand life, and even understand myself.

So, if you are considering to go see a counselor, do it. Give it time so each one can get familiar and build a relationship.  If after a time and there is no connection, change your counselor but do not quit taking care of you. There are some really good ones out there. Just know YOU MATTER and YOU are worth it.DE7BECC3-28B7-4B8B-83B3-C9265B356DA0

Just FYI, there is a lot of information on Pinterest regarding mental health, groups on Facebook and Google searches, too.

Lost Love?

 

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The other day, I got off the telephone at the office with an attorney about a case but ended up talking about our families, etc.  Knowing he has small children and having a busy law office covering many counties in this area, we got on the subject of taking time to breathe but also making sure his wife, the mother of his children is taken care of, too.  In his honesty and regrets, saying he has failed in this area while building his law firm.
I find it funny how many people and professionals such as this attorney will call into our office and this happens.  Perhaps they just need encouragement and the Lord is allowing me to do just that, which I like doing.
I know from experience that mothers lose themselves as they tend to the children, the school work, the groceries, cooking, housekeeping and you can AF45D6F0-AAB1-42D1-BBA8-E70BFCC8B7B9name a lot more I am sure, too.  They go and go and give and give and soon they are bankrupt, nothing to give at all  As the children grow and become more independent, it gets somewhat easier but then worry sets in moreso as they are driving and making decisions, etc.
B1069B56-9333-4128-A77F-96A5ECC798E6Just with this nice man who has been great to deal with in our business relationship to where we can talk about our families and such matters, I encouraged him that he needs to dote on his wife more.  It is time to take date nights that have fallen by the wayside.  Take the children to a family member or friend and maybe trade off times with other couples to do the same.  Anything!  Make it happen. A Google search has all kinds of ideas, from no cost dates to very fancy and expensive.
From experience, I was the one who made all the plans and did not want to bother anyone to watch the children or money was tight or whatever excuse and our marriage was hindered.  The kids left for college and we are left looking at each other like strangers.  The status of, I do not know you anymore and I am too tired to care to know you.  No interest was shown and now no interest to try on either side.
I have heard this over and over of how couples will lose themselves.  The wives with the children and tending to the home, etc., while the husbands are working and involved with sports.  Both are great things and necessary to do but if you forget each other during the process, what good is it.  One night a month, take those kids to a sitter or hire one and go out, if just for dinner. Your marriage relationship is worth it.
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Life is hard and pulls each one many ways but you must, whether you are the wife or the husband, pull yourself back in and grab the other one, keep the relationship real and alive between you both.  It’s not just about sex, it is time together.  Too late for me right now and others in the same boat but maybe not for you and your marriage.
If you have advice or tips on how to make marriages, especially with children better, please comment so others can read and get ideas.
To love and to cherish.
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