Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Happy Birthday Christopher

Christopher would have been 27 today. I imagine that he would have graduated from college, gotten a job and still rides his long board to work. His brown hair tousled and windblown from the ride. Perhaps by now he'd be looking to settle down and start a family or perhaps he'd be adventuring around the world and exploring.

I also imagine that our daily reality would have been pretty harsh had he survived. Had he lived, I probably wouldn't know him either as we were set to give him up for adoption. I was only 16 and quite a mess, I wouldn't have been a great mother. Some of my roughest years were still to come. Often I've thought death was kinder to me than adoption would have been. I would have constantly been looking and wondering and trying to find him just to know that he was okay.

Please understand, I believe in adoption. I believe mothers and fathers who give their children to another family to raise are brave and show great faith. I do not think I could have been so strong.

This morning I spoke into the wind, knowing that the wind would take my message to Christopher wherever and whoever he may be now. I said, "Happy Birthday, I love you and still think of you often." The pain never fully goes away, it ebbs and flows. For me, acknowledging it is far better than ignoring it and pushing through the pain. I can speak into the wind and release the pain rather than holding on to it.

I love you Christopher and I always will.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The wagon is circling back!

Hello and Happy Monday!

The past few weeks have been rough at work. So rough that I've had days in which I'm not sure I can continue doing what I do for another year or so. This weekend my husband asked if I'd made it to the gym in the past few weeks. Of course, I had not been.

A hard truth is that when I go to the gym my mental health is greatly improved. Earlier this summer I had a few rough days that I went before work and then went after as well. It helps me to relieve the stress and frustrations. So why didn't I go in the past few weeks?

The other things I've failed to do in the past few weeks is eat gluten free. I've also shredded my nails. I've simply fallen off the wagon.

When did I fall off the wagon? After going to get my psych eval for the ordination process.

I think this was a major lesson in self-sabotage. The closer I get to what I really want in life, some part of me freaks out and stops taking care of me.  What is up with that?

On the flip side, I did call my shrink and set an appointment. I have recognized and acknowledged my behaviors.

This week is going to be another rough week both emotionally and work wise. Had my first child survived, he would be 27 on Wednesday. It's crazy to think about, even after all these years I have an image of him how he'd grow and change each year. Last night I was feeling down about this and  imagined him being in the midst of wedding plans and thought to myself--"Are you going to create a ghost family for Christopher too?" I'm going to try not to do that but what the hell, maybe I will if it brings me comfort.

My eldest baby girl turns 21 on Tuesday!  She's away at college and working, I can't wait to celebrate with her later.

On Friday I'm taking my middle daughter to live 10 hours away!  She's off to learn how to adult! 

My youngest has her first full week of freshman year this week. 

I'll be working 3 late nights. 

This morning I knew that what I need most is time at the gym and time to write. I had my gym time and it felt great to move and sweat. This writing is a little crammed but it's here so I'm counting that as a positive!

May this Monday bring you what you need!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hurt

My feelings were hurt. I didn't say anything because I understood the other person's perspective of why they had "disappeared." The only person I mentioned it to was Joel. He's a great sounding board and agreed that this person probably needed some time to lick their wounds as I had been unable to help them. That's all fine but I was still hurt, annoyed, and even angry that instead of talking to me directly that I was temporarily cut out.

This morning I was pondering what I should do. Do I reach out to this person or wait until they reach out to me? Do I act as though nothing has happened or do I acknowledge it? What does this other person want? Do they want the help I can give or is all of that too late?

On my way to work I remembered the DR asking me "Do you always take care of other's emotions?" He said that even in the psych eval process I was trying to take care of his emotions, gauging my responses based on what I felt he could handle. I owned it, "Yes." We spoke about how I learned this as a child as a coping and survival method. I developed empathy so that I could manage the emotions of the people around me. It kept me safe(r).

At what point is managing other people's emotions damaging to my own? I'm hurt and frustrated. I know the other person is as well. Is it my responsibility to keep my feelings to myself as not to further injure the other? On the other hand, I can feel my frustrating building. As a parent, as a manager, as pastor, in whatever instances we have the opportunity to exercise "control" or "power-over" another person we must be aware so that we do not abuse our power. We must be responsible, but when do we get to say "That hurt me when you said X or did X?" Or is that never appropriate?

I've had plenty of parenting moments in which I told my girls "I may be the grown-up but I have feelings too and that hurt." Or am I teaching them my empathy for the wrong reasons? Am I teaching them to take care of others versus taking care of themselves?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

It's been several years but here I am again.

I'm now in process to become an ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ!  It feels like I'm entering a period of renewal and getting back to my true roots and calling.

Thankfully I have a fabulous mentor for the process. She has given me homework. One thing is totally creative and not using words--only pictures to collage themes of fear and failure. The second piece is to journal about fear and failure. I've decided that it's highly unlikely that anyone actually reads this blog anymore since it's been inactive for years so it's as good as place as any to journal.  Plus I found a great community when I was actively blogging and my hope is to renew that community as well.

A few things for you to know, this year I broke my 40+ years of biting my nails!  This is HUGE and something I've tried to do most of life. Unfortunately, I have developed a new bad habit, I fiddle with my fingernails and often end up tearing them and so they are still really short. But I am working on it.

Back in February I started working out at a kickboxing gym called 9 Round. It kicks my butt and I absolutely love it!  My start was sporadic but over the summer I was going 4-5 times a week and feeling fantastic, feeling like I could do anything!

Back in January a doctor told me I might have Celiac's Disease. To get the actual diagnosis you have to have stomach biopsies. I chose to skip the biopsies and cut out gluten and stay away from dairy (that is nearly impossible for me! but I've been pretty fair at skipping it).

A few weeks ago I went on vacation and turned off my work emails from my phone. I felt like a self-care rockstar! Then I went to my psych eval for the UCC process. The DR asked what had changed that I was worthy of a week without work (I seriously think it's the first time I had real time off from work for an entire week in 3 years!). I went on to describe how great I've been doing this year and we spoke about the horrendous year I had in 2015/2016. He suggested that I experienced a sort of brokenness that put me through far more stress than I've ever had before and therefore I had to learn how to take care of myself.

So what does this have to do with fear and failure? The past 2 weeks since my vacation and psych eval I have completely fallen off the wagon. I've worked out once. My nails are the shortest they've been in 2 months. I've eaten both gluten and dairy on a few occasions. My self-sabotage has kicked in on high.

What the hell is that about? Is it fear of success? Do I not deserve to feel good and look good?

I'm not sure so I emailed my shrink to see if I can get back to work on these issues. I want to use this discernment time, my time with my mentor, this time of my life to be healthy. I want to be physically, mentally, and spiritually in good health, the best health of my life as I move forward towards ordination and I know that I can't do that on my own.

Ciao!