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?

Missing Hugs

In this past year of social distancing, the huggers have had withdrawals of not being able to be themselves. They want to reach out and hug but are reminded not to hug by the face mask the other wears and of their own. No hugs! This causes a void in their daily life whether it be in social settings as in church or just running into a friend or family member.

I know of one lady that is in a public business, a funeral home, and this is her nature. In her personality, which is very caring in this role of a funeral director, the hugs given to those in mourning are an added benefit. After all the funeral plans and committal service, these people know that the hug will come from her in the days ahead. Her hugs felt safe and precious in a time of the darkest hours with a death in a family of our area. If you mention her name, they automatically smile and remember the hugs given and so desperately needed.

I have no doubt this caused a mild depression in her of not offering that hug to those needing one. Back in 1996 when my mother died, she became a rock for me, as I was lost in my grief. I have had family members pass away and friends but this was my mother. My role as a daughter had changed, I am now a caretaker of my father more so, after the funeral and financial ends were finalized. For a long while, I did not know how to process this. I was grieving but had to be strong for my dad, my children. Emotions were always hidden in our family growing up, you don’t cry, for whatever reason. Perhaps I was made to feel that way since I was seven years later and the older ones called me a cry baby. I learned early on to keep my emotions to myself, as a young child. So, I somewhat died along with her but became a robot of day to day living. Maybe they were all robots. During this time, my marriage was dying but even before, to cry on his shoulder or to be held, was also out of the question. Alone in my grief.

Two years later when my father died at home with my sister and I by his side, I was more prepared but still, it is like a rug was pulled out from me. Now I felt like an orphan. Another new role to take upon myself, as I dealt with the estate and a few greedy family members. That’s a whole other writing in itself. The morning my dad passed, I called the funeral home and it was not long until she was with me in my living room, knowing she filled a role in my life that kept me steady on a thin, raveling rope. Those hugs she offered and I accepted was a glue that I needed. Besides my boys, there were no hugs.

So that is her, a hugger of many and filled in a mother role that I needed. She allowed me to cry, she hugged me tight and stayed in touch with me, she knew of my marriage and family issues. Again, she was my rock, when I needed a boulder.

Many years have passed now and a lot has happened since. I was able to not need her as much in this role, as I have grown and adapted to my loss as in time we do, but she will always be special to me. We always have those hugs. Still and many times, gifts to and from one another are related to hugs, even now, texts will relate to hugs. I needed those hugs and I knew her two arms would tightly wrap around me, keeping me together.

So here we are almost a year since this pandemic started and the social distancing, limits all around and it is like a don’t touch sign on each person. It is sad. I decided to reach out to her a few weeks ago as I/we still do for each other. I know she is there but I don’t rely on her as much. Unselfishly, which was not always easy, others need her, too. In my text, I asked her how she was doing and how she was handling this pandemic and the rules. Again, everyone knows she hugs, that is just her. When she responded, she was happy to be asked and felt she could elaborate but had to get back with me. It was several days later and I did not think anything about it, as life happens.

Finally, a text but a different tone in her writing to me, as I started to read, which was unusual from her. I continued to read and was apologizing to me because she thought this would be easy to write about but found it was not. This lady is and has been a strong pillar in our community with the funeral home business but this stirred emotions in her.

Believe it or not, I have been thinking of you a lot after receiving the above request. SORRY to be so long in responding.

When I read your message, I really thought I’d get an answer back to you before the end of the day. As you already know, that wasn’t what happened.

You were requesting me to write you my thoughts, on how things have been going, and how I felt about not being able to socialize, or HUG during this crazy unfamiliar time we’re all living right now.

I didn’t think at first it would be so difficult to write, but I’ve been in solitary (like a lot of other people) for months now, NO hugging, touching, having anyone visit (I understand they are all trying to protect me, but I’m sorry to tell you at this time, I can’t help you.

I’ve also lost so many friends, and several family members since last March, it makes me sad to even think about it. Please forgive me. Maybe at a later time I’ll be able to help you, but right now I don’t want to talk about my feelings. I do Love you and hope and pray you’ll understand. ❤❤❤🙏🙏🙏”

I did understand. Honestly, I bet a majority of people, even you, feel the same. Our lives have been disrupted, a ‘Do Not Cross’ sign on our forehead of no touching, no hugging, no socializing basically. We are pulled from those that give us hope and laughter as a tight hug brings laughter and tears fill our eyes with joy. Now tears of sadness if we give much thought of those times together.

I have had to wonder how I would respond if I would run into her. Automatic hug or replaced with fear to hug, as we both struggle with none. I have wondered about this happening with another, my former counselor if we would run into one another. Upon leaving her practice, she said we could hug if we saw one another and I do expect it. I do know that had it not been for her and I to discuss why hugs meant so much to me and why I yearned for hugs from others, in those years together as counselor/client, among other things we discussed, I don’t doubt I would be experiencing severe depression during this pandemic. If and when I would run into her, how would the emotional side of me react, I wonder. Would it bring further grief, as I miss her? There are some people in my life and I am sure in yours that you want and expect those hugs. I do. I want. We all need them. I have been so blessed with many in my life, just like the two I mentioned.

In this pandemic, there were a few visits with my son of no hugs. My heart was broken as I went back to my room and cried. The grieving of what we have lost in just the touch or a hug, being with others, my own child(ren). The seclusion can do a number on our mental health. Even though, we are resilient.

We are made and we yearn for touch and love. This pandemic puts a wall and the masks further isolate each of us from seeing the smile of those we care for in our lives or just in passing others in day to day life. The joy has diminished from faces and in life. Hopefully, not fully from their hearts. On the surface, we are adapting but we long for those hugs and the closeness in visiting.

Yes, we will get through this season of seclusion but knowing, too we have lost friends or family members with this evil virus. Perhaps this is a wake up call to know and be reminded we are not promised tomorrow, or our next breath. Express your love and appreciation for those we come in contact however done, either in person, phone or text, as it might be the last time.

“Touch is a legitimate physical and emotional need. It’s part of the human experience, and losing that and not knowing when you will get it back is hard.”

https://www.tmc.edu/news/2020/05/touch-starvation/

https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200615/how-to-cope-when-covid-steals-loving-touch-hugs

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

https://faithcounts.com/bible-verses-about-coronavirus-20-scriptures-to-help-those-feeling-isolated-and-discouraged/

https://tenor.com/view/running-hug-embrace-imiss-you-good-to-see-you-again-gif-15965620

OPEN and enjoy as many times as you need. ❤️ ML

You Are Just Like……

Stress and worry over this virus can cause such a panic, even if you do everything possible to prevent it from attacking. Nowadays, do we even know how to trace back to whomever, as many have not taken the necessary precautions and still feel like they are immune. I don’t want to believe it is real but it is. I have had way too many people I know in the hospital dealing with it and some as far as hours of being put on the ventilator.

This past week, I had a co-worker succumb to the virus. He was in an induced coma for a month, vitals were good, then a tracheotomy and days later a heart issue appeared. No doubt that is what made the final breath. A friend in Florida, the same.

Knowing I have A-Fib, my chances are high but we never know how it might affect others, even in good health. What an evil virus, it is.

This past weekend, I had plans to go hang curtains at my son’s new house, but it just never worked out. Everything fell into place but walking in the door. I found myself frustrated but I can only do so much. I went home, somewhat aggravated at my son and the whole situation.

Little did I know until two days later, he was asleep due to a fever. As a mom, my inner screams were let me in, let me take care of you son. All the precautions somewhat go by the wayside. It did not happen. Looking back, I was prevented from entering his home and plans were diminished, which I hope to think was the Lord protecting me.

Still, now knowing details, but my son was sick. To know now that he was sick and I could not get to him, I feel like a mom failure. Is it failure though or protective? If he would call today saying, ‘mom I need you.’ I’m there. I would take my chances. In that though, he is young and will get well, I’m old and could die. I know that he would feel guilty. What to do and what not to do.

We have stayed in contact and his older brother, just ten minutes away from him where I am an hour away, knows to check on him also. It definitely gives this mom some relief and less worry. I know when I am sick, I do not think to look up information or feel up to taking medication, ask for help, etc.

Knowing how I am, I guess others are the same, I don’t know. Just let me be. I have sent him locations near him to get the Covid19 test. Last night, I sent Urgent Care locations to go get an X-ray, shot, meds. Thankfully, an Amazon delivery arrives today with an oximeter, etc. Over the days of him dealing with this alone, I can tell him some things to do to help prevent pneumonia, which he gets easy, stay hydrated best with room temperature water, etc. All I can do and have done is give him direction and the tools to get through this. Will he?

This morning, I send a gif of a chest X-ray to remind him to go, trying to make a point but perhaps a smile of him thinking, ‘Oh mom!’ Please Go! Will he? Again, I can only do so much. While thinking and praying for him, which is good, it is my constant worry that I need to do more, be there, I need to help him, mom can make it better. No, I need to continuously pray but not worry and stay in peace. I need the Lord to touch my son and help and heal him. My son needs to call on the Lord himself. I have done and given without trying to be overbearing mom, I hope. He has to choose, he knows I want him to go get checked out to prevent pneumonia. Will he?

In life, besides this fever, he knows right from wrong. He is independent and a smart kid, but he is also very hardheaded. I will say stubborn also. Sometimes he pushes my buttons and causes me more gray hair. It is at these times, I sometimes think or say jokingly (not in a bad way as we both have good and bad qualities), ‘You are just like…. your father.’ I stop and realize and say more seriously, ‘You are just like…..me.’

He will and I will get through this and many other situations in life, as we have in the past. As our independent, hardheaded and stubbornness collides, I’ll still say he is like…. his father although I know the truth, he is more and just like me.

I love this child, both my children, and I pray for both, of course, but he keeps my prayer life active, as I told my sister the other night. She also has two sons and understands. The worry comes but it is when we put our trust and faith in the Lord to watch over our children, to protect them, lead and direct, where we cannot do them justice, as He can. We have to let go and let God.