it’s so hard to care . . .

Tonight I am writing this blog and giving thanks to my therapist Andy who has truly given me the vision and encouragement to write about something that is so hard to write.

I was reminded that  “The truth will set you free”  no matter how hard or how bad it feels inside.

This entry is actually one of the hardest, and I am thankful that I was given the strength to help write it.

I have started this entry, I have deleted it, started over, I have edited, and I have stopped and I have cried. I have shut the computer, I have walked away, came back to it, had more tears, deleted more, added more! and here I am.

This quote speaks truth to my writing tonight and that is – “To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.”

This photo above reminds me of my mom. It reminds me of the one time that my mom was a mom. It painfully reminds me of what could have been, and what is not; what I wish for, but will never be.

This photo above reminds me of the walks we took in the woods on the way to downtown Lowell to go shopping at Macy’s and have tea at the corner tea shop. It reminds me that at one time, I had a mom.

My mom is back in the hospital, it seems she has done a lot of damage to her organs when she tried to take her life two and a half months ago before Christmas.

She took 30 of her pain meds (oxycotins) to try and end her life. She was tired of living and fighting in pain.

My mom has been in bed most of my life. It’s the way it’s always been. There was a short period of time when it wasn’t like this, but this is the life I had. My time with my mom consisted of going into her bedroom, and sitting on the side of her bed. That is what a visit looked like, that is what time with mom looked like.

I was neglected when I was a child. My mom would put me in my room, throw food in, and lock the door while she slept all day. When she was working I was in the hands of the abusers. My dad worked the opposite shift as my mom. When my mom wasn’t working, she was sleeping. On the weekend she would always be taking a “nap”. I lived in a house full of fear and loneliness.

Going to family functions consisted of embarrassing lies to people who would ask “where’s your mom?” Danielle and I would take turns as to who would break it to the family that my mom was not going to be there yet again. Truly embarrassing to be at family functions where everyone else’s mom was there, but not ours. NOT MY MOM!

School functions when I was a kid were much like the same. Excuse after excuse. Seeing other kids moms being there, but my mom was home sleeping. When she did show up to any kind of event, there would be chuckles from other kids laughing at her weight. Kids would say “your mom is fat”! My heart broke into a million pieces because I loved my mom. I would run to the school bathroom and CRY that someone called my mom fat.

It got to the point that I started to become embarrassed. I loved her, but deep inside I was starting to become embarrassed of the mom I had, vs. the mom everyone else had. I hated making the excuses, I hated not having a mom to cuddle me and be there for me like everyone else’s mom was.

Time with my mom out shopping consisted of her having to sit every 10 minutes because her legs would give out, or she was too tired to last too long. She would want to go back home and go back to bed. Fun times out only lasted a little while until it was back home where she got into her nightgown and went to bed.

As time passed by, it got worse. My mom started to gain even more weight, she started to retreat and not take care of herself, and she pretty much gave up. Today, here we are, she has been house bound for 17 years, and bed bound the last 3 years. She has become so consumed to her space that she developed agoraphobia (afraid of the outside).

The doctors always said that she never took care of herself.. and she didn’t, she never did take care of herself. She just consumed within herself, and I have tried to help her many times to no avail. Alot of people have tried to help, she just made excuses after excuses.

It’s hard to have compassion and care for someone who has never been there for me like she should have. My mom was abusive as well. She did things to me that I never thought I could forgive her for doing – but I still loved her, because a daughter needs a mom, and that was a huge void that was in my heart. I was willing to take whatever mom she was, just to say I had a mom.

One of the most painful memories of my mom and her neglect towards me was when I was sick at the age of 8 throwing up. Instead of her being there for me and comforting me, she handed me a towel to clean up my own mess. I sat there on the wooden floor, throwing up, while cleaning up my own vomit!

Today I suffer a fear of vomiting because of that. I suffer from anxiety when I am sick because I never had anyone to take care of me, I took care of myself, I had ME and that is all I had. I took care of myself, and that is all I knew.

2 months ago, when I went up to NH to face my past, and to see my mom in the hospital after her attempt to end her life – I walked into her hospital room, and I walked over to her bed, and I cried into her shoulder and neck. I cried not because she was in the hospital or tried to end her life, I cried because I was grieving the mom I don’t have, and the mom I wish I had.

The 2 words that changed everything for me in that moment was when she said “Don’t cry”. When she said those words, I lifted my head and looked at her, and that is when everything changed inside. It was that moment that I realized I was going to come back to Georgia and turn my healing away from them, and onto me.

Those 2 words made me see the lies I have lived my life behind. Those 2 words made me see the very reason why I couldn’t cry at my Nana’s funeral when she died. Those 2 words made me see that I needed to walk away, and heal for ME.

In that moment I realized that nothing is ever going to change. My mom is still going to be the mom in bed; the mom who puts herself first, and the mom who will never allow me to feel how I need to feel.

When that happened I texted my therapist right away and said “things are going to change when I get home”. He was a little excited by the text, didn’t know what it meant until I got home.

I sit here today, 2 and a half months into changing my healing towards ME, and I get the phone call that my mom is back in the hospital. What hurt the most? I almost didn’t care. When I realized I didn’t care, that is when I broke down! I realized that I really am on my path towards me, I am not running towards my mother or my family like I used to.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am the most caring and compassionate person out there. I will do anything for anyone. I care so much about other people and their feelings, but when I was given the phone number to my mom’s hospital room a few days ago, I just couldn’t bring myself to call. It hurt, and I cried about it. I cried in session saying “Why don’t I care? Why am I not calling her?”

Deep inside I know why. I just cannot do it anymore! I cannot put myself 2nd; I cannot have any more hopes given to me that my mom is going to get better. I cannot continue to hope for something that is not there, it hurts too much.

When I came home from NH after seeing her, I shifted my healing towards me, and I swore I would never look back. I have suffered; I have cared for far too long. I have cared more than I should have given the life of neglect I was given.

When I was asked to call her, I prayed about it. I talked to my support about it, I left the paper on my desk for days!

When I prayed about it, God kept saying to me “do the right thing”. I called my mom yesterday. I upped my voice, I put a smile on my face, I put on the optimism, I opened my heart and I said “Hi Mom, How are you? Are you doing OK? What do they plan to do? Are you comfortable? I want you to know that I am going to say a prayer, and I love you. I want you to know that I am having the church pray for you too. I hope that they will be able to do the surgery and get you well again, I love you mom“.

I hung up, and I cried! I did the right thing. I am a child of God, and I opened my heart to do the right thing for my mom. But when I hung up, I knew no matter what the DR’s fix, no matter how well they get her, no matter how many operations they plan to get her to where she can be healthy again, it will never change who she is.

My mom is not the mom she should have been, she will never be the mom I need her to be, and sadly enough, she will never be able to fix it. My heart is broke

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lifted and restored…

I woke up this morning and felt like I could breathe a little easier.

I felt a sense of goodness like I am in the right place, and that what happened yesterday in “being with my emotions” was what needed to happen.

I always talk to my therapist about “waiting for the day to be done this journey in healing”. Waiting for the day that I come in maybe once a month to check in, or waiting for the day that I am on my own path knowing that I am fully healed and I am fully ”restored”.

There have been times that I would sit there and say “by the end of the year I want to be done therapy, I want my own path, I want to be healed and move onto the next chapter in my life, no matter where life takes me.

Yesterday, I actually listened within, and listened to my therapist when he said “we need to slow down and honor what is here”.

I always want to keep going, and keep running to the next thing to get closer to my own path no matter how hard the works is. I am always thinking about the next step, even though the first is not finished. I get excited when I can move through things no matter how hard or how heart wrenching.

I want more than anything to be done this part of my journey. This is hard hard work. It’s not easy showing up and doing all the healing work that I do. It can be painful, it can be frustrating, and it can be confusing at times. However I know deep within that this is where I need to be, that I am at the right place, and I cannot rush the process.

I cannot rush the healing. You can’t pick the scab of a wound and expect it to heal quicker, and I am trying to see that and honor that – but when you have a day like yesterday, both honoring and hard, you wonder how you will have the energy to show up and work hard again.

I woke up this morning feeling lifted, but a little anticipated and anxious about what the day will bring.

One of the best things about this healing journey I have been on is being able to tell my therapist when I don’t want to work. I remember a while back ago, I came into session and said, “I don’t want to work today” and he said “OK let’s not work, let’s just talk about whatever it is you want to talk about, anything that makes you happy, your thoughts or about your boys, or about your church, or talk about God or the bible, – its’ your place in this journey, whatever feels good for you and I want to hear about it“.

I sometimes found that those moments are the most healing. I never had choices in my life before. I always did what everyone else told me to do. I never had moments where people cared about what I wanted, or wanted to hear anything that I wanted to talk about. In the work that I do in therapy, I can show up and say “I don’t want to work”, and it will be honored.

It’s very rare and in between that I feel that way, because I always want to get to the next chapter of healing, and looking to find another foothold, but I know that I cannot rush this healing process as much as I want to sometimes. I have to sit and observe what I have been through before moving on. I need to reflect and honor, and breathe in the moment that I had yesterday.

I feel lifted and restored today. I feel I have more energy to move forward, but not today. Today when I show up, it will be another day I say “I don’t feeling like working, let’s talk”.

I want to bask in the fact that I actually had a moment yesterday where emotions did not bring me fear, and that is a lot to honor. I need to sit with that for a while and talk about how GOOD it made me feel instead of running to the next wound.

All those years of holding the abuse is not going to go away in 5 years. I may want to be on my own path right now and be healed, but I know my time is coming. I can feel it, I can see the light to my path, and I can see my own path being laid out for me. I just need to take my time getting there by honoring what I am restoring.

Today I feel lifted and restored, and that is good enough for today. It’s another part of the healing at a slower pace, and I am going to honor that.

So – later today I show up, and I will say “I don’t want to do the work” and today I will talk about whatever it is I want to talk about, and that too shall be healing.

 

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gathering strength to move forward

This morning, when I woke up to get ready for church, I had a text on my phone from my support, and one of the things said, was:

I wanted to take a moment to remind you that in a place of taking a break from the flow of powerful, you are gathering more strength to move forward

I sat with that for a few moments and wow! That was pretty powerful words, and I have to admit, came at a perfect time.

Last night I had an emotional conversation with my sister on the phone about the past. We really touched some hard moments. It was a sister moment that left some really intense emotional feelings – for the both of us.

When I woke up this morning, I felt this heaviness – until I saw the text. It reminded me that this weekend was about “honoring how I feel, and being with those feelings; not trying to work against it.

I was also reminded that I don’t always have to be so strong all the time, and that sometimes we just need to rest in the weakness – to gain strength.

I have to admit, I really had no idea how I was going to do that. I don’t know how to “be” and let it be “OK” that I am not feeling so strong. I didn’t know how to rest in the weakness – until this morning.

I went to church, and for the first time ever during Mass, I wanted to get up and leave. I wanted to up and leave the Mass because I felt emotions and anxiety coming on around the conversation that I had last night with my sister. In that moment, I remembered the text from earlier that morning with the words “gathering more strength to move forward”.

I remembered our conversation Friday afternoon about “resting in the weakness” “rest in knowing it’s OK however you feel”. “It’s OK to not feel strong”.

If I had left the mass, I would have reverted to my old ways. I would have gone to be alone, isolated maybe, but I chose to stay, and stay connected. I chose to be and not work against it. I let myself sit there and just feel, instead of using all my strength to figure it out and make it better.

When I left Church, I felt a sense of relief. I felt relieved that I didn’t give into the old messages to run, isolate, be alone, or fight against the feelings. I stayed and heard the liturgy of the word. I stood and sang, and I took the Eucharist and prayed to God for his support and strength.

I went home, relaxed, did some writing, and I even allowed myself to be pampered a little; even though the emotions were still sitting there.

Today I was resting in the weakness, and I have to say it felt good to not fight against it. It felt good to not “figure it out” and allow myself to be in the moment.

I later on sent an email thanking him for the powerful and supportive words, and explained about my “not so good” morning, and I was told “it’s OK, your loved, supported and connected by all”.

Tonight, I am sitting here on my bed, laptop on my lap, candles lit, the house is quiet, I’m having a piece of pizza, with the windows open, enjoying the cool breeze, AND I am feeling sad tonight – and it’s OK.

I know inside that I am connected, and I am resting in the weakness, gathering strength to move forward in my healing.

I am right where I need to be.

 

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