Did I Fail Them?

The motherly guilt was alive and well recently, as I fought through the fear that I have failed my son(s). The ‘if only’ statement rolls in my thoughts, full well knowing that those ‘if only’ wishes will not change a thing. It only keeps me in a fear mode as worry tags along.87FD1186-60FC-4E84-AC54-27D751AC3628

When writing a recent blog and researching the childhood emotional neglect (CEN) yet again, reading the symptoms, etc., which I have had, panic set in for the boys, especially my youngest.

I know it is proven to be passed along through generations, which would be me, and if so, then I have failed them, too. Had I known what I know now, a familiar phrase spoken by many, whether a parent or not, while I did many things right, I would change some areas.

If what I have gone through and the struggles, I wonder if my sons are going to also. Will it be different with a son than as a daughter? I do not know the answer.

My years of them under our roof has come and gone, now they are too busy. The days speed by so quick and time is limited when visiting or in my life as my days are getting to be less.

Reminiscing of their childhood, I had happy babies. Looking at them, smiling and covering them with love, hugs, kisses and prayers as we rocked and read books. This was something I did not have growing up and proud that I did that with them.  Often I wonder though, do they remember?6EE54AA4-E2CB-4339-8940-062D151FB7DD

Through the years, these sweet boys brought me so much joy and even all those dirty clothes. They knew I would be their number one cheerleader back then and know that even now. The teenage years were interesting. The independence and pulling away from mom was happening with my oldest, I remember, which had me frantic at times but soon learned this was normal with boys. When the youngest did the same, I caught on and realized a new 03E2C037-9E09-4BE1-92ED-553848F43F47phase in their life was happening. Okay, I’ve got this. Even in these years, I wonder if they remember and have good memories of their mom. I was there for them, I always will be but less so they could grow into adulthood, loosening the apron strings

Or do they remember me depressed from the dying marriage happening right in front of them with their dad while I am trying to appear strong and happy keeping our family intact? Even though I lost some precious time, I 9854A649-70A7-4ABC-BE1D-A3A0CA65BE88pushed my way through for them. Do they remember? Or do they remember and did they feel the underlying anger I had toward their dad? The dark days of depression added and being buried with much grief of not just my parent’s deaths, but the death of my marriage, a marriage I always desired but will never have, and most importantly time with my boys and us all as a family unit. Grief in all ways was surrounding me. Those were rough days… years. I hope they don’t remember. I would like to forget it myself.

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The ‘if only’ or ‘if I could do over’ days are over, there is no going back. While these statements brought worry and fear along with tears and all the negative thoughts that I failed them and not to forget that I was a bad mother, which are lies and from the enemy.

As a mother, I did the best I knew to do and still. I have to trust the Lord as I did back then, even though I wondered where He was at times and if He even remembered me. I must trust Him. My boys are grown adult 9E1E5E8B-6F88-480F-9BF4-4EFC6FCC7982men now and doing well. Will they need counseling one day to help in areas from childhood? I do not know but if they do, I will support them to do so. I want only the best for them. Perhaps with my own work in these areas, this will stop the pattern in generations to come.

I just hope they remember their mom’s love, hugs, kisses, support and prayers, especially when it is time for a nice, clean smelling nursing home. 🥰

I Love my Boys (Men). ❤️❤️

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So perhaps you have had the parental guilt yourself. The enemy wants nothing more to keep us believing the lies that we have failed our child(ren). All you can do is your best and trust the Lord

Parental Guilt: Forgiving Yourself For Parenting Mistakes

https://drjonicewebb.com/E92393B8-C3D7-4822-9013-4E9EC5F53B07

Word from Lysa Terkeust:  “Satan wants us to be afraid.

I’m not talking about the healthy kind of fear that keeps us safe. No, I’m referring to that horrible kind of fear that whispers worst-case scenarios.

While we’re distracted with fear, the enemy pickpockets our purpose, cripples our courage, dismantles our dreams and blinds us to the beauty of the Lord’s great plans.

Are you struggling with fear in any area of your life right now? Maybe there’s a relationship causing anxiety. Or a problem you’re facing where there seems to be no solution.

Stop right now and speak the name of Jesus. Proclaiming His name brings power, protection and perspective that crushes fear. It is the name above every other.”

https://www.lysaterkeurst.com/

I Cancelled Thanksgiving

5C2A1F8F-F0E8-4B04-B87F-AC23C8C8CD13This time last year, my life was going in all directions, feeling lost, abandoned, grieving, overwhelmed and well, you get the picture.

There was an excitement just months prior of me enrolling in a medical class, which was a big step for this old girl.  I finally felt empowered enough to move forward after many years of feeling hopeless.  Counseling for years was helping me cope and understand myself plus my faith knowing I could do this and my dreams and desires were coming alive. Wonderful.  Life was good.

It was in September though as classes started and my counselor of almost four years decided to close her office due to medical issues, of course, unexpectedly. While I understood and was concerned, I could not help but feel abandoned by her.  My heart was hurting and my emotions were everywhere.

I would work full-time, go to class in the evenings and when I left, I sat in my car and cried, the grief was too much.  This class was too much.  My life was too much. 6315B5C0-B00E-4882-B65D-6B42AD8F745AHow can I do this? Overwhelmed was an understatement.

Through all of this turmoil within, I also knew I had to put a Thanksgiving dinner together for my husband’s family and our own, although my oldest son, now married would be with his wife’s family several states away.  The month of November was one with my nose in the medical book, studying for finals the week before Thanksgiving, my house not ready and no desire to go forward, just managing the best I could. My surprise was to get a 94 on my final, which shocked me completely. The joy of the results disappeared soon after, as I was still falling apart within and now no counselor to counsel me, left totally in the dark.  Now the anger was more prevalent due to it all.

Being so overwhelmed and grieving, I cancelled  Thanksgiving.  I did. I was done.

Thanksgiving Day was lonely in my home, just like any other day.  My youngest son, living an hour away, decided to stay at his home.  I offered for him, me and his father to go out and eat but he had no interest. Loneliness all around with depression raining down on each of us.

Finally, it was late that night when I spoke to my son, instead of texting.  In the voice, a lot can be heard and discerned.  I knew he was sad over no Thanksgiving.  He probably thought that since his older brother was not present, he was not worth it.  Still, that thought brings 4BD339ED-93A0-4EE6-BECF-84F34CD16FEDsadness all over me.  I will NEVER cancel Thanksgiving or a family gathering again.  He did not know my circumstance and the struggle I was dealing with but I was wrong.

In our telephone call, with my motherly instinct, thank God, I told him to get ready as I am coming down to his house.  It was dark and late but off I went to be with him, I apologized and told him I will never do that again.  We went to eat, get groceries, do all of his laundry and went bowling at midnight.  We both had fun and I put a pot of chili in his crock pot to enjoy the next few days.  In the end, he received my undivided attention and his mother’s love. He needed me and I needed him.

This year we will have the family in for Thanksgiving and if I get the house clean, fine and if not, fine.  I learned my lesson.959C31B5-EC01-444A-AF14-044F96E476B1

Thanksgiving is the holiday where people come together. At least, that’s what most of us are conditioned to believe. While Thanksgiving has the potential to be the most inclusive and unifying holiday on the calendar — particularly for families — it also has the potential to generate the most loneliness.”

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-art-closeness/201511/4-reasons-thanksgiving-is-the-loneliest-holiday

Holiday Depression, it happens! 

https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/holidays#1

Self-Care During the Holidays, it’s needed!

https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-importance-of-self-care-during-the-holidays/

30 – 60

Next month marks two big events in my life.  I am unsure how to handle these occasions although they will come and go whether I like it or not.

2C0279E6-C4D8-48E0-B45C-04A63DC01C33Just yesterday I was in my twenties, thirties, forties and, of course, fifties.  Now, the BIG 60.  How did that happen so quickly? I also often wonder how I and/or we have made it to our 30th anniversary.  Wow!  30 years!389EAFA5-9581-4788-AF1B-6FC6D46B9E41

Thinking back, the twenties were me finding my independence and partying in the first part, being young and stupid. The second half, I realized that is not the life for me and because I knew, too, the Lord was drawing me to Him and needed to get my Christian walk straight. It was time to stop running, which I did. To have a complete stranger say to me one night, “You need to quit running from God” definitely got my attention. I knew that was a warning. Later, I met a man at church and we dated three years and married four days before my thirtieth birthday.

My thirties, well our first year of marriage was not enjoyable, to be honest.  Several days before our wedding, with all plans made, etc., I remember standing in the church parking lot looking at this man with the thought to call off the wedding.  Of course, I did not.  Thinking, it was just cold feet and nervousness.  Was it?  It did get better and even more so with my first and second child born in the next few years, they were and are my life. I loved our little family.

145F47B7-AD82-4284-AD28-7B1F1C3F5147As I was busy with toddlers and caring for my aging parents, things changed in those years. My parents passed within two years of one another, then dealing with the estate and family issues.  Sadly, my marriage died, too.  Alone within and being private while wearing a mask of us all being a happy Christian family. Taking this all upon me, as it was all my fault, accepting the lies and rumors being spread that I am a bad person, etc., was weighing heavy upon me.

I remember my fortieth birthday, like it was yesterday.  My small office had cream colored carpet that I had just moved into but it was dirty from the traffic pattern of the other person walking in and out.  I wanted a nice, inviting office with clean carpet. We were slow that day so I got on my hands and knees scrubbing the carpet, 4718957F-EA4C-495C-A61C-C9DD39DDC3D5thankfully not a large space.  While scrubbing, I remember thinking I am just like the fairytale we have all read, Cinderella.  As for much of the forties, I do not remember, as I lost myself in those years.  My focus was on my children and my energy went to them, otherwise depression was overtaking me.

In trying to better myself, I had a short stint of counseling before he moved his practice out of state.  I felt I was gaining ground trying to find myself but only at a snail’s pace. The sudden death of my brother and dealing with his estate and the same family members that stirred up strife before but now more hateful, which got the best of me. I allowed their words and anything and everything negative rip me to shreds.

Finally when turning fifty, I was attempting to get myself out of the pit by taking care of me by having weight-loss surgery.  Looking back, I dealt with emotional eating and I still do at times but I recognize it now, but I had gained well over one-hundred pounds in twenty years of our marriage.

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We are now both feeling the effects of having an empty nest.  We are two strangers in the same house, both working full-time jobs and just going through the motions. I know I was dreading my home life and feeling stuck and feeling the craziness of it all. Too much! Everything went to the wayside, isolating myself from the world around me.

I knew I had to reach out for help. It takes courage to do that so if you find yourself in this loop of hopelessness and despair, please reach out. I found and was blessed with a wonderful Christian counselor five years ago to help me see light again and have hope, when all hope was gone.  Had it not been…ADFEB088-C85D-43CD-BFEC-2B40D3DC6411

I am about to hit my Big 60. I can truly say, I am happier today than I have been for such a long time; by understanding myself and working on my issues? I cannot control others and had to know deep within and to hold onto the fact that God said in His Word that He will fight my battles. Is everything perfect and did everything fall into place? No. I have had and still have some rough moments, but I know not to let it all get me down for long and to pull me down into a pit of despair and depression. I am moving forward. I am stronger today in my faith, as counseling has held me together and I know that the Lord has a plan and a purpose for me, even at this age.

I am expecting that the Lord will use me to glorify His Name and bring hope to others as I continue to grow older.  I want that.  Trust Him.

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I’ve Been Warned

BBB80A59-D2BF-498C-82F4-7120309FCD86I had the pleasure of being a mother to two awesome boys. When I was growing up, I always thought I wanted a girl. I knew with my husband being from a family of all boys, the odds were pretty good for another boy.  I decided against a third child due to caring for my parents while having toddlers. I was overwhelmed. Two was plenty and a joy but also hard work, as they keep you on your toes.  I was responsible for these two and I hoped and prayed I would be a good mother.

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I enjoyed each age and stages in their lives and so proud of them as they grew up, and still.   Both are grown and successful in life with their professions.  My oldest is married, celebrating their second anniversary in several weeks.

The other night, I again had to deal with the fact of being asked to watch their dog while they go do something fun with her parents this coming weekend. This was not the first time. While I do not mind, I would enjoy time with them, too.  I had to laugh as I remembered my boss warning me 96AFF840-1BBA-414C-B2F5-E73ADC6354B3before their marriage that I will lose him as a son and he was correct. Still, it hurts.

I know I am not the only one that gets sad in this scenario. Am I?  As I tried to talk myself out of the pity party I was having, I thought I would just write about it.  I was warned not just by my boss but my sister also having boys.

9C7CD8FD-00D4-4C6B-9794-9F05ED099623In having boys, I have to wonder and sometimes fret over my age, if I will need care or a nursing home.  What will happen? I certainly hope my daughter-in-law loves me as much as I love her. I am in the role of watching others in this position and if the boys step up to the plate in caring for their aging parents.

So, if you have boys, you’ve been warned. lol

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I’ve Let You Down

2882C63E-A26B-4CFB-B27E-C73C99843A33I have sat on the loveseat in my counselor’s office week after week, year after year trying to understand life as an older, adult woman and realizing my childhood held a lot of the keys to the confusion felt.

Why has it taken me this long to ‘get it’ as my years are getting shorter and feel I have missed out on so much in life due to situations somewhat out of my control.  The rush against time to fix areas and acknowledgement plus receive healing seems to be at one moment delightful and then the other overwhelming.

1169C66D-A717-4B98-B4F9-3CFBD0B16D96As we discussed my own childhood issues so many times, I felt the burden and so often while reading about emotional neglect and abandonment, the burden that I let my own children down.  I have failed them.  How do I make that right now from their childhood?  They are both grown adults.  They seem well adjusted, confident but are they really?  Will they ever express to me where I failed?  Could I handle it, if so?  I want to ask them but I am fearful to know, too.  Will they even know until they also might be sitting on a counselor’s loveseat trying to understand life as I am and realize the damage done.  The cycle of life as we all fail in one area or another or more.

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Not just in my own circle but as I look around at the families nowadays and everyone is on their cellphones.  In due time, that will affect the children, soon to be adults.  The lack of eye to eye contact and communication is almost gone.

BD34D33B-6F71-4B2E-9CB2-EB531553027EIf only…. how many times we all say that.  If only I could do some things over, I would still fail my children. So when the burden or guilt overrides my parenting, I know that I must remember I did the best that I could with what I knew. Today, and always, they know I love them.  My time left on this earth and our time together, I do know that they will have a more happy, healthier mother before them.

I have let you down in many ways but I will always lift you up and I hope that is enough, my child.  Mom ❤️

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The Singing Stops

E4A8B0EB-0790-4BE7-88F1-FC5DC2C6B87BTonight as I am home alone and in my kitchen cleaning as I am getting ready to leave town for the weekend, I sing and there is joy. Joy, not just because I am leaving for a few days but not inhibited or embarrassed. Nobody is here to hear or see me. Typical of my life. I feel freedom when alone.

D3B9CFB2-506A-4139-B618-E2B2065945E5Remembering tonight though, mostly my Mom through my own singing. As a small child, I would hear her sing, whistle or hum as she cleaned and smelling the freshness of our home. I always enjoyed that, as there was peace 29EE2683-4E8C-4D69-9090-14B575152DD3and happiness and it was felt. As a child, I would swing on my old metal swing set in the back, side yard with my neighboring girlfriend and we would sing as loud as possible. Nothing held us back, no embarrassment or care in the world. Happy times.

Crazy enough, not long after, I remember thinking that there is no more singing in our home. Of course, I did not know why not or reasons behind that thought but I knew enough that things changed. It was like a switch turned off the happiness to unhappiness. Children do notice and sense things. They may not understand the dynamics but are aware, I feel.

Just as in my own life and marriage, I am singing tonight because he is not home. Once he walks in the door, I become quiet once again and the doldrums return. Sad.

I know in my own situation, I have been made to feel stupid and ugly or have the eyes look at me with no expression of joy and complete blankness, no joy or delight to spark in return. Perhaps the Aspergers in play or rude behavior in action, I do not know. It happened the other day, in fact, and literally made me cringe. I determined that day, I would not let that pull me down.

Don’t worry, I have been patient and I am but I am also working to get myself healthy enough in many ways. Thank God for my counselors past and present. Most importantly, the Lord knows my name and where I am. In my hope and anticipation, He knows where I am going.

Knowing the singing stopped in my childhood, the same in my children’s lives in our home. I feel so bad about that for them and can get downright sad and feel guilty to allow it to happen but it did. I have no doubt they felt the unhappiness in our home turn off just as I did. I stayed for them and while some say it is best to go ahead and divorce, not in my case, as the outcome would not be what it was. I pushed through and made our home as stable as possible. Having them, pushed me to remain in my right mind although many days I questioned it.

10C5E00A-03B8-4D2E-AFD7-D5D7023BEA10It is my hope that one day they will call me blessed.

My parents are deceased. Tonight as I had all of this on my mind, I would love to talk to Mom and ask her just why her singing stopped. No doubt, my Dad did or said something to cause that divide. Just as my husband did. Probably not the same but enough to break her heart as it did mine. Living as husband and wife and the love stops, you just exist.5A13D819-183F-4F63-84E6-D29E0DE2891B

With this or in any situation, marriage or others, we have a choice of how to handle it all. My parents chose alcohol to deal with life. Sadly, that pushed this young little girl to figure out life for herself. One thing I did learn through that ordeal, is that I did not want alcohol to rule my life or be present in our home. Still, without alcohol, my children had to deal with some matters I am sure on their own, but I was there for them loved them with hugs and all the support I could muster up while struggling within.

So many wives stay in relationships due to financial reasons. My friend and I call this the BOAT (Because Others Are There). Many around you and me, in relationships, are struggling but wear a mask making it all appear good. Sad again.

All I can say is that I/we have to depend upon the Lord. He knows how my marriage issues affected them and that He keep watch on them. Just like He kept watch over me from my parent’s marriage issues.

Thankfully, I am moving forward and becoming healthier in all areas and feel life and joy within that I haven’t for so many years. Happiness replacing unhappiness. I will sing a new song of praise.

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Despondent

How do you reach out when someone won’t let you reach in to help them?

I don’t know. I am a loss of how to do this with my own independent, grown child. I know there is something going on for him to be so distant. Breaking down the wall is like hell. I have tried to encourage him, expressed my concerns, hug him, pray for him and that is ongoing. The spiritual warfare in his life that I believe is happening, too, is pushing me in emotional bouts many times and fear that I have to constantly fight off and rebuke.3946f751-ac17-4c3c-912b-e2fc8617dc1c-580-0000001b98a7d097

Knowing full well that he is so much like me, I find myself angry at myself.  I understand the wall and isolation.  I know what it is like to be despondent while I work out issues.  I know what it is like to feel overwhelmed.  I do understand him and this is not a very easy or comfortable place to be.  Thankfully, I know I have to turn it over and ask the Lord to help me but does he?  I can pray and comment of just that but until he is ready to do that, the struggle remains.

As a mom, we will fight through hell and high water for our child(ren), taking a toil on us but that is a mother. Still the thoughts come that we are not doing enough and guilt is thrown in our face of not doing enough, have being a good enough mother and every other negative accusation possible. That is definitely the enemy at work. Bind and rebuke. Although it gets tiring, we must fight and push through.  Keep pushing through mama! While writing this to maybe encourage others, reminding myself, too.

I am unsure what all my son is dealing with but it must be a mountain to him. I feel it. I hurt for him. Knowing he can get through this, I wait. My faith and trust in the Lord to do what He must do in this situation, I wait.

I will reach out but my son has a choice to reach back out to me. He has a choice to seek the Lord and call upon Him.

I can nag, point my finger, show my Bible and demand church attendance but that would even push me away, even now as an adult but I can pray. I can and I do, sometimes begging the Lord to change the circumstances, as something is wrong.

Independence in life is needed and normal and I know he knows I am always here for him, his biggest cheerleader. The balance of enough to not enough contact is tricky, as I do not want him to feel forgotten, far from that.

As long as I can remain in peace feeling that the Lord has this, I am good but continue to pray. Always. When the enemy starts his game plan, I get in there and I fight. This spiritual warfare is on. I am not letting go of my son, my child.

Parenting is a blessing but can be so hard. It does not end at the legal age of eighteen but a lifetime of care, concern and prayers.

3738cb1a-bf6c-4bc1-a047-a65b0fd4a10d-580-0000001af60e7147Pray for God’s hedge of protection around them, their jobs, finances, friendships, etc., daily, wisdom, knowledge and the Favor of God to be upon them.

Do they know just how much we love them? A reminder that we need to remember how much God loves each one of us. ❤️

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