In the Thicket of Storms

As I have mentioned once or twice before in other posts I didn’t have the ideal childhood growing up. I dealt with a lot of hardships, heartbreaks, and difficulties. I have been reflecting recently on one incident in particular, a hardship that clouded over most of my 14th year of life– my mom tried to kill herself.

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My main motivation in sharing my side of this story is the fact that I want to take away it’s last bit of power over my heart, for this causes a lot of heaviness for me to think about. Second I want others to know the affect that a decision like that has on the ones that love them. Lastly, this incident haunted me for a good portion of my life, I was severely traumatized by it for years. I was able to start healing after an incredible treatment called EMDR, which I received from my counselor. If you suffer from any kind of trauma I cannot recommend EMDR enough to help.

After a particularly hard breakup that my mom went through she became quite depressed. She started drinking even more (which I didn’t think was possible!), and she didn’t want to get out of bed most days. It was really tough situation to see my mom so sad when I couldn’t do anything to help her. I remember I had gone into my moms room to say goodnight to her before going to bed. When I walked in her bed and her were covered with blood… I had no idea what to do. I ran to get a towel or washcloth to stop the bleeding. It didn’t work, the washcloth was quickly covered with blood as well. I was worried my mom was going to die and 14 year old me didn’t know what to do or how to make the bleeding stop. I called 911 because I didn’t want my mom to die.

From that point it was such a blur. I sat with my mom trying to comfort her and to make sure she stayed awake until help arrived. As soon as the ambulance got there I started crying, and an officer put their arm around me and took me out of the room to talk to me about what had happened. I told them as best as I could my side of what had happened. They ended up needing to take my mom to the hospital, and she was put on suicide watch. She was admitted to the hospital for two weeks. During that time I went to a friends house, and I don’t remember much of what happened past that point… I was in shock.

When my mom was released from the hospital I was so happy,  I secretly hoped she would stop drinking and taking drugs (she didn’t), and things would get better. I watched her and tried to be super supportive and helpful, mostly treating her with kids hands because I thought she was so fragile. That is mostly the only thing I remember of being 14, it was a thicket of storms that didn’t part quickly.

 

When I Was 10…

Oh to go back to the days of simplicity! No bills to pay, no responsibilities, and minimal worries. When I was 10 I wanted to be a singer, and boy was I determined! I would sing for each and every person that would listen. I idolized Mariah Carey, and I would sing along to every song of hers! The guys my mom dated would indulge me and let me sing songs for them… I’m sure that was fun for them (HA!) Back then I figured if I didn’t make it as a singer (which I was pretty sure I was going to be) I had a back up plan–I would be a model. Anything that would get me in the spotlight and make me famous was my plan.

I am not sure why I was so determined to be famous back then. Maybe the glitz and glamour of those that were famous appealed to me. Maybe I thought it would be an easy out. Or perhaps it was because I thought if I was famous I wouldn’t have to be poor. Who knows the motivations or thoughts of 10 year old me! It is fun to think of those dreams and aspirations of then compared to the now.

As an adult I would NEVER want to be famous (rich yes but not famous). Living with fame or popularity does not appeal to me now. I have 6 little people that are constantly surrounding me and vying for my attention, I couldn’t handle thousands of people. I am happy to live a life out of the public eye. I still love to sing, I just do so at church now! I am thankful that 10 year old me didn’t get the chance to make all the plans for adult me! I suppose that’s the thing about growing up, you learn so much and you see things from a different perspective.

Out of Place

Anachronism (noun): an error in chronology; a person or thing that’s chronologically out of place.

Is it just me or have you ever felt out of place, like you just don’t belong even in your own life story? I sometimes just feel like I am just not fitting in, which is weird considering it is my life! I don’t know what causes these feelings, and I am unsure of how to make them go away. During these times I feel like I can’t say anything right when communicating with others. I just feel out of place–like I don’t fit in anywhere.

Even now as I write these words I am questioning each and every single one of them! I’m almost certain I am not the only one that feels this way from time to time. What I have learned during these times is I am usually growing.  I have learned, after I come out of these awkward moments, is that I am defining myself more and more. Realizing who I am a little more each time. At least I hope that is the outcome of these times when I feel especially delicate.

Perhaps it is just the ebb and flow of life. Nonetheless, what do you do during those times when you tend to question each thing about your life and where your future will take you? What do you do when you you don’t feel like you quite fit in, even in your own skin? I suppose for me it is figuring out what is most important for me and my life–getting back to basics if you will. Putting aside the distractions and non-issues that tend to cumber us from time to time. Realizing these moments may come and go, but it’s what we make of them that helps shape us as we go through them. What say you?

Learning to Connect

When I started this blog I had a purpose and a direction, and I knew what I was hoping to accomplish. I wanted to share some of the thoughts and experiences I had after living with an addict. This is not to say I didn’t have bright spots, reprieves, and times when I wasn’t with my mom and all the issues that were present during my time living with her. I did have other family and friends that I spent time with and because of those people I was able to get a break of taking care of my mom. The majority of my growing up years were spent living with my mom though, and the overwhelming feeling that I was her sole source of support. That was a heavy burden to bear during my formative years.

Through those experiences that I had growing up, I wanted to share some of them with others around the world. I wanted to do this as a way to offer hope to others, so they know they are not alone. There were many times growing up that I felt utterly alone due to the fact that I didn’t know how to get out of the environment that I was living in. On the one hand I desperately wanted to get out of living with my mom, but on the other hand I felt totally and utterly responsible for her care and well-being. She relied on me heavily for support and comfort. This was quite an undertaking for a minor–to feel responsible for an adult at such a young age.

As a young child, and I was just a child, I tried to make everyone happy. I placed a lot of pressure on myself to be better, until I eventually broke. I often felt like I was being pulled under by the pressures of making sure my mom stayed alive (one time she came  exceptionally close to dying–but that’s a story for another day) and all the other pressures of adolescence and growing up. It was a lot placed on me, to try to please everyone, when really I just needed to be saved. I always wished someone would come in and tell me they were here to rescue me and everything would be fixed.

So here I am! I survived the worst of it for the most part (hopefully), and while things aren’t always perfect they are getting better. I am still learning how to live a “normal” life (whatever that means!) and learning how to cope with the trauma I endured as a child. Through all of this I am hoping that, with this blog, to be able to offer support and hope for others. When I started this my greatest wish was to allow others to know they need not be defined by their upbringing, challenges, or hardships they have had to endure in their lives. We are worth much more than those things that may try to define us, and we deserve better. I am hoping to make a connection with others as an offer of support and help.

Connection

Beauty Around Us

Morning

This picture was taken in probably my favorite state to visit–California! I love waking up in the mornings and being close to the Pacific Ocean and the mountains so close. I just don’t posses enough words to describe my love for California, so this picture will have to do for now until I can visit again.

Thoughts on Praise

Praise

When I hear the word praise I think of a few different things, with the first being the praise I feel for a loving Father in Heaven. I think of His infinite love for me and my family, and all the ways He has helped me to be where I am. I think of how far I have come from the childhood I had, and it is because my Heavenly Father thought I was worth saving. I cannot praise Him enough, but I will try each and every single day. I am especially grateful for His wisdom and guidance to help me along this path when I feel inadequate to handle the day to day stressors that sometimes present themselves in this life. It is also through Him that I know what true unconditional love is, and that is a blessing.

When I hear the word praise I also think of the praise I should offer to others more freely in my life. I should be much more generous in praising those I love and care about so they too know how much they mean to me. My husband and children to start with, and then others as well. I think this world could use more kind words and praise towards one another to help squelter the negativity that seems to surround us. How much of a change could occur in our society if we offered praise to one another more freely?

Lastly, I think of the praise that I should give myself from time to time. Not in a boasting or proud way, but in a way that would help me build my self esteem somewhat. It seems that too many of us tear ourselves down for being human.When in reality, if we are trying and doing the best we can, we are truly what we need to be doing. Perhaps if we offered ourselves a little more credit and understanding it would go along way for us to have those same feelings towards others as well. Those feelings tend to start from within ourselves, not the other way around.