Drowning in Tears

How many walking around us are hurting?  Choking back the tears hoping that they do not leak out of the corner of our eyes.   How many are hurting?  Are you?

95963B54-44B9-4F73-A094-39E9325160B8We all go through struggles, some worse than others and when it hits, it feels as though we won’t survive. We feel numb while only able to function by putting one foot in front of the other.  It takes much effort and energy that seems depleted.

It happens. It’s hard as hell but you keep going.  You must. Thankfully, your heart beats and lungs inhale and exhale and do their job all on their own.

When things are going well and manageable, it’s all great and feels like life is somewhat normal.  The feeling of, I’ve got this. It is when something within gets triggered, out of nowhere and unexpected and it is when you know you are losing control but trying your best to keep it together. This one day, just that, for me.

I was at my doctor’s appointment, and I knew I would be asked questions related to a specific matter, not medical.  I knew the questions were coming and was trying to maintain my composure but I felt the depression of it all hitting me from all sides.  When I try to fight off this emotional battle within, I tend to get stern and controlled. I’m not. When I am like this, I wish somebody knew me well enough and would just grab me and hold me so I can go ahead and get through it.20EA41E8-89AE-41A6-9BAF-E7B3EFEC4129

Earlier, before this appointment I was doing so well, I had a great morning and now my emotions were wreaking havoc. Ever have that happen? Emotions are real.

Trying to get a grip after I left my appointment, I did go grab a few groceries before my next appointment. I tried adjusting my mask to appear happy and to hide the desire to bust out crying like a baby. Please tell me I am not the only one that wears a happy mask at times. Really, I think we all do in certain circumstances. My former counselor and I discussed this mask wearing with me but odds are even she wears one.  What’s your thoughts?

As I stood still waiting in line to check out, I saw a lady in her electric wheelchair sitting by the window looking back at me.  I wondered if she could see the hurt in my eyes, the emotions about to burst like Niagara Falls. I had to wonder if she was quietly praying for me as I try to do when I see others unhappy, as such.  Lord knows, I needed her prayers right then. I gave her a slight smile as I left because it was her that kept my mind occupied while fighting back having an emotional breakdown right there in front of the cashier.

18A09F38-1F16-4EF9-8840-4B70322D7598A good cry, sometimes or even a scream within, asking the Lord to get through a period as such, definitely helps.  The tears fell when I got in my car and shut the door hiding behind my dark tinted windows. No longer could to contain the heartache.  Feeling numb as the pain was so great. I was fine and then I am a basket case.

Fighting thoughts that come when in this state and rejecting every negative one with the Word of God and positive comebacks, it is like a battle.  Because it is!  God is for us and Satan would like nothing more to keep us sad, depressed, sick, isolated and you name it. Kill, Steal and Destroy. That’s the game plan.

Knowing myself and the hour or so of this heartache, pain and battle, I would overcome but many do not.  If it lasts longer, depression sets in.  Been there.  Thankfully, I did not stay in this long but enough to scare me.  Once this battle was over, within the next hour, I remember thinking and smiling that my former counselor would be so proud of me, as I did not get stuck in this turmoil.  I did learn from her counseling.

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Whether people want to admit, depression exists and so do suicidal thoughts.  Don’t be in denial.  We do not know what the person next to us in line at the grocery store, passing on the street or even sitting next to in church of what they are going through. Offer a kind word, a smile if nothing else.  It may be the only thing they have to hold onto and give hope.  Many are holding back the tears and drowning inside. Many wear a mask, even those you think have it all together.

I know I was lost in my own garbage for that period that day and when it comes to our own, we become stuck feeling we are the only ones to ever go through these periods but not true. While feeling selfish of those thoughts and actions afterward, it’s normal. We all go through stuff.  We all have emotions.  Life happens.

So if you are going through some rough patches, know you are going through. You will not stay there although it may feel like it. Learn to take care of you during these times. Get some extra rest. Go outside and walk or just sit and enjoy nature.

Years ago, I would have blown you off, not believing any of these comments or wanting to do any of that but today, I do. I am taking care of me. Now, take care of you.

There is an old song we sing at church and it goes like this, ‘If you take one step, He will take two.’ He will. Faith believing everything will be and will work out. Tomorrow is another day.  Hang in there.

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Thrown Out to the Wolves

2C082FB0-2E80-42E6-BB9B-CD20F2D371D6Due to many weeks of building construction and using a side door to get to my counseling session, now many months ago, it was exciting to watch the progress and new facelift of the building be revealed.   I enjoy renovations.

It was during this construction and after my counseling sessions, my counselor would walk me to the side door, which was nice of her to do although uncomfortable. Knowing that she had to unlock the door to let me out and re-lock once out, I got that.  Plus, I liked that she was secure in a now empty building.

For whatever reason though, each time we walked through the hallway to the exit and usually I am tagging behind her a couple of steps, I felt a sense of dread.

Our session was over, so just random everyday talk while walking was awkward.  I could talk to her about my life, what my weekend plans were, etc., but hers could muddy the water as her personal life is off limits unless she opened up, which was rare and I understand that, too.  Once when on the walk to the door, passing the main office, she said the office secretary was a friend.  I get that, I do, but just another part of me not accepted to be in her life as a friend, because I am a client, rejection hit my heart.

I would love to be friends with her but I need her expertise in counseling.  Still the walk to the exit of dread, knowing she is her friend, I am not, my emotions of sadness and even jealousy smacked me around for a bit.

Oh the dreaded walk.  After the second time, I knew I could not do that again.  To have a few extra minutes with her was nice but not either.  It is like a kick of her foot on my backside of saying get out when at the door.  Odds are a childhood feeling and my adult life of not being wanted and triggered.  Imagine that!

The one good thing was the last words I heard her say to 6B450AC9-995C-471D-AD57-2804572B05B5me at our last session.  As we were ending our session, at the door to once again do the walk, I stopped and asked her to not walk me out.  Give me a couple of minutes and then lock the door.  My explanation to her was that I felt like she was throwing me out to the wolves.  That is how I felt and I could not take that again.  Her reply was, hesitating but then with a smile and feeling pleased I feel was, ‘you are taking care of you.’  We parted ways never to see each other again.

As much as I miss her and our sessions, that was a good parting of ways.  I am glad that the moment was etched in my brain of this ending.  I am taking care of me and will continue.  I feel the Lord is healing broken places within me, and I want. 534CC35E-E7FB-4D02-9504-0C4DE6425A32

Even though situations in life can throw us through some memories to trigger the feelings within us and make us feel unwanted, rejected, bring sadness, and whatever else, it is then that we must know that the Lord will never throw us out to the wolves.  He loves us.

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Do Not Cry!

A6F81475-ECE3-4F9F-AE52-53929BA045B9Is every family dysfunctional?  I just do not understand sometimes.  A lady I work with said once to me and we laughed as it hit home, too, but said, ‘If you look up the word dysfunction in the dictionary, a picture of my family is there.’

Each of us are unique and each family. We all have hang ups and quirks.  Life.

I have been recognizing and understanding my own life and family dynamics moreso the last several years while in counseling, has been eye opening.

Just over a month ago now, my older sister and I were on our way to see a movie, just to have some fun hanging out.  On the way, something happened that would change things in my life.  Disappointment and sadness gripped my soul.

77DA73C3-6C9A-4601-B3DD-C663390E84A7I normally contain my emotions with her, as that is one of the shameful things within our family. We must be able to be strong and controlled.  No crying or sign of weakness.  I could not.  I could not continue the outing so I took her back home so I could just fall apart of which I did.

Still to this day, no contact from her calling to check on me.  I find that interesting and even hurtful but then again understanding that concept of being strong and controlled, which she maintains and that I must, too.  Just the get over it mentality.  I cannot do that.  Plus, I don’t want that.  There is a time and place to be strong and controlled  in our emotions, such as work, but she could clearly see I was at a real breaking point emotionally in my life.

That situation, which was major to me, but nothing to her.  No empathy.   What devastated me so much, that situation was to disappear and no longer affect me.  It goes under the rug, never to be remembered or spoken.  That’s been my life.  To marry a man with the same concept of emotions, too.  I have hid my tears way too long.  Interesting, after writing this, I ran into her at the grocery store today.  Strangers as sisters.

I am not the same person I was walking into my counselor’s door many years ago and drawing closer to the Lord in my relationship with Him.  Thank God.

It’s okay to have emotions and to not feel shameful for having them.  It is okay to cry, sometimes cry like a baby.    What is not okay is to dismiss the emotions whether in yourself or others.

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Just a few Bible verses on crying.  Most importantly, even Jesus wept:

“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance”  (Ecclesiastes 3:4). 

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).  

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry” (Psalm 34:15).

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled … Jesus wept” (John 11:33, 35).

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

“Put my tears in Your bottle” (Psalm 56:8).

Nothing!

0518437e-e078-4127-b784-db8ae8dcfe70-4006-000002db793c0401Here I am alone in my office and no desire to finish my work that can really wait until tomorrow, so I write for a bit.  The quietness in the office space far from everyone in the building, hearing the HVAC motors on the roof above me makes me feel as I am on an airplane ready for take off.  Anytime now, the flight attendant will be at my door offering up those yummy cookies.  Hey, I can dream.  Dream to take off in flight to somewhere exciting and yes those cookies. cb2b0a80-d041-46e4-877a-cb3a7c4cf0a9-4006-000002dbad019654 Tick tock tick tock, as I have two hours left to maintain this status until I can leave.

Even then, the boredom of life exists.  I joined classes and get regular exercise but my energy level and joy is depleated, as I just fall into bed.4b4d5133-5fef-4f5b-925d-25af21d5693f-4006-000002e1177629f6

Depression, perhaps.  Exhaustion, perhaps, Grief, perhaps.  Loneliness, perhaps.  Put those things and probably a few more it becomes overwhelming.

I know to keep moving and doing and not be isolated, but that comes so easy.  Vacation time is nearing so hopefully that will help, to get away.  A change of scenry, shopping and laughing with a dear friend although tears will fall, too.  Just to get away from nothing here and probably nothing there to really gain but a brief change and there’s nothing to lose.

a4f22023-0749-45cb-bf53-147ea2129562-4006-000002dc8f2ccc3aOh Lord, I need you.  I need your loving arms to hold me.  Only You know me like no other.  Give me strength to keep moving forward and be kind to others and to share your love and your mercy and grace. My focus needs to be on you, as you know my name and where I am when I do not even know myself.

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A Changing Heart

EA46BC12-7A8B-49FE-B638-1CA236B7E3B6On Sunday morning as I was getting ready for church in anticipation, as I truly love my late church service, I felt time was moving so slow.   What was I doing so different than other mornings, as each time I looked at the clock, it only moved minutes from the last observance.

As I drove toward church, with extra time, I went out of my way knowing the traffic from the earlier service would be chaotic due to a recent addition made so I drove around.  Time being available but also in hopes of passing someone that I had not seen for months.

07B036A7-ACE5-4A4C-9FC2-7045D831AEDDIn all that, I found my memories, thoughts and emotions were being affected. My heart becoming heavy and fighting back tears due to grief felt.  Aware of the sadness, as I found my seat, I tried to immerse myself in the worship once the music began.  I tried and did but it was a battle.

As I began to worship and realize that the Lord knows the hurt and grief within, I know He loves me, is healing broken pieces within me and has a plan for me.  He will not let this pain go to waste.

95CEFA90-2892-4F8B-83F6-46B49994BC3FIt was then when I felt light hearted and a refreshing come over me.  It was when I put my eyes, my thoughts and worship toward Him. I could feel joy.

To walk in heavy hearted and to leave light hearted, just within that time period was evidence and knowledge enough to know I am (we are) to look to Him and praise Him.   Acknowledge Him continuously in our daily lives, not just in church.  EDD028E1-1AED-4A58-89F9-3D7F31DF8F6B

People will let us down over and over, disappointments come and things in life just happens but perhaps and many times to push us toward Him.  A lesson learned and repeated but worth it.

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Winds Are Blowing

FB12F8C0-B7F0-4FA7-83ED-75D40CD61625As I listen to the winds blow outside for hours now, hearing creaks in this old house of mine, the clanging of my wind chimes, I am reminded of the winds that blow in our own lives.  With wind, there is no control, it’s going to blow and with each burst, in hopes the structures are able to sustain the force.

Many times through such storms, I have curled up in my chair listening to the force outside or feeling the force within me, wondering if either can stand through it all.  So many times I have thought or said, ‘Lord, calm the storm’ or ‘Peace. Be still.’

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Amazingly enough, we are stronger than we think we are.  Even if my house falls in the midst of the winds of the storm, He will be with me to rebuild.

It comes down to, for me anyway, that He will help me no matter what circumstances are before me.  I have to trust and have faith in that and mostly in Him.  I may struggle to get there for a bit… but I do.  As in most struggles and trials in life, the worst is when alone, at the midnight hour. ACEB5344-6FB1-417B-A354-0FAA1BF3D956

Lord, calm the chaotic winds within and around my very being so I can be a testimony of your faithfulness.

If you are facing storms in your own life, Trust Him. Easier said than done, I know, but He is our peace.

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Another Dead Box?

7A0A61F6-70A2-4336-B5CD-7C83579C9A26While I am not a hoarder, I do keep things; each matter in their own box, somewhat organized and stored in the eaves of my attic.

Through the years of dealing with the estates of my parents and brother, they each have their own box of what I wanted and needed to keep after their passing.  Sadly, this is all that is left of their life, a dead box of memories, keepsakes and possessions.  There is guilt that comes of that but you cannot keep everything, you have to let go.  I had to.

I tend to keep my notes, journals, calendars, etc., and have since a child, never knowing why I held onto them. They have proved to come in handy and really do not take up much room, just a few storage boxes, of my own life.

With mine, I had to dig deep within them this last bout with my counselor, back to my childhood.  With that, I learned a lot of what I had lacked as a child and how it has and is affecting me today.  Sometimes, I thought it would be easier to keep my head in the sand just knowing something was not right than poking at it, which we did, but deep down I wanted to understand me.

Putting names with areas of emotional distress (attachment, abandonment, trauma, shame, childhood emotional neglect, just to name a few) opens up areas I never knew before.  They are all real and felt.

As my counseling ended recently, there is an overwhelming feeling of many of those emotions being triggered.  To the point of wanting to run and put my head in the sand.  Perhaps like a test.

B2A81AF4-884E-42BC-AC09-C84360FA0F85Realizing before, I felt this way or that way but to now understand, have a name for what I am experiencing or feeling, I am thinking it has been harder.  I am aware and the intensity of the pain has been quite disturbing at times.  As I was exhibiting this or that and to my dismay, I recognized what was happening.  It’s a new way for me, to recognize, express, name and grasp to hopefully heal in these areas.

So through the pain, just the feeling of the abandonment being more intense, I could grasp that is what it was.  It was safe for me to cry and to give myself time to grieve and I will for awhile.  I can say, too, that I am angry with the way it ended, as I feel it could have been handled differently, basically more respectful, especially her knowing me.  That’s rough to say but truth.  Now leaving me with several questions that may never have answers.  Feeling all of these emotions, naming them is good but not easy.  It’s normal to grieve a relationship lost.

As much as this situation hurt, I feel I am coming through it easier just knowing and realizing what is happening, how it is affecting me and what I am doing.  Being mindful.  Tears come and they are also normal.

536CF7B6-D31E-4899-8895-5AAB8B9390F1While I have a storage box full from our years of counseling of notes, etc., it sits untouched right now but still in my sight, not stored.  There was too much invested in my life through her.  Some but not all healing in me is complete to put this box aside and ignore.  I know in time, I will and can still go through the many notes, copies of research done, open up and remember our sessions and still grasp many golden nuggets to continue for growth and healing.

F5B28577-7295-4887-B8A9-1575BBD83E09Maybe I need to name this box a Treasure Chest instead of another dead box because of the time spent in the many hours of counseling over four years. Even through the pain now, I’m thankful and feel blessed to have had her in my life. Everything within that box has brought me to where I am today and I believe it was orchestrated by God.