Tag Archive | past

Wounds hurt, but they don’t define

Been dealing with a lot lately that has been bringing on the pressure and opening a well of old memories I would rather just never come back. Been up most of the night due to a migraine and a 9 year old who just can’t sleep no matter how hard we tried. That means I have had time to think. Watched a couple movies to keep the thinking at bay as long as I could, but decided at some point I just got to let the thoughts flow so I can process and work through them.
 
One of the things that came up strongest was my disabilities and the way life has been forced to change because of them. On the outside, I may look to some like I’ve got this living with disabilities thing down. I may look strong, resilient, tough, full of faith, and ready to laugh off anything this life can throw at me. Sometimes I am those things. Sometimes I am merely attempting to convince myself that I am capable of those things.
 
Reality is that it’s a deep fight within me to keep pushing forward. A lot of prayer, a lot of suppressed tears and anger, and even fear. I refuse to give up, but there are times when I can’t run from reality… where reality instead smacks me a good one in the face. It hurts, but it’s real, and I have a great and loving Father in Heaven that holds me up, or pulls me back up off the ground if need be. He never gives up on me and helps me to not give up on myself. I will be forever grateful for that. Especially after moments like what I faced yesterday. To the outside looking in it was small, probably insignificant. Nothing I haven’t had to say or admit before; no new news to swallow. It still stung though and I fought hard to avoid facing the moment I could see coming from a mile off.
 
Without revealing the personal surrounding details, I basically found myself being faced with someone who was questioning and borderline challenging my commitment to do what needed to be done. My independence, my “work ethic” vs laziness so to speak. She went after my disabled status and finally forced the moment I was trying to avoid when she tried to push once more that I just wasn’t wanting to try and included a comment along the lines of “Why won’t you work? You can’t be disabled 24/7”.
 
It was in that moment that she ripped open one of my most painful wounds. One that has resulted in a lot of trauma, a lot of loss, a lot of change. One that I still can’t look at straight on without tears in my eyes and fire in my heart as the memories flood back to that first time waking up in a foreign hospital in Germany; the last thing I remembered being trying to walk down the hall to greet my husband who was returning home from work. That day was the start of a life changing nightmare of questions, mysterious illness, my body betraying me one system after another with no understandable reason as to why at the time.
 
After a couple of years of fighting, finding answers I didn’t like, trying to pretend I was ok even though we all knew I was only getting worse, and trying to force life to go back to “normal”, I found myself sitting in front of a judge. Sitting there, fighting back the tears and attempting to keep a straight face as I felt my back dislocate and my hip fall out of place, knowing that meant I would not be able to stand up when it was time to do so. Reading the judgement that came in the mail not long after… effectively forcing me out of the workforce for my own good and banning me from returning.
 
All of this and more came flooding into my mind and heart as I heard that woman utter those words… “you can’t be disabled 24/7″… Unfortunately… yes you can. My response to her was that I was forced out of the workforce by a court judge because I am THAT disabled. For her, that was end of that. Conversation took a different turn and she backed off in that area. For me though, the wound of the past is sitting here staring me in the face once again. I need to learn to quit being so fearful of facing it. Like it or not, it’s a part of me now. It doesn’t need to define me though. Thank God in Heaven that it doesn’t need to define me.
 
The world sees me as broken, past my prime, cast off. Being disabled is the end of the line for general society; they don’t tend to look past it well. Once you can’t fit their mold, or do all they think you should, what you still can do doesn’t amount to much in their eyes.   God however tells me I am beautiful, his daughter, a masterpiece in the making, and that I have a future worth being here for. Best of all he promises that He’s got a plan and will not let anything go to waste. Even an old wound that has caused so much damage and changed so much, can be used to help make a beautiful future if it is handed over to God. ❤

A Daughter’s Heart…

In a little over a week, my world is about to change. At first I tried to convince myself it wouldn’t have that big of an impact; that it wouldn’t bother me much and that I would adjust easily enough. I tried to push back the tears and bury the sense of fear that was trying to climb. Old memories came flooding back against my wishes and fought with current realities for my attention. Sadness and regret pulled on my heart… both for things in the past as well as dreams left unmet in the here and now.

Grandma comforting David

Grandma comforting David

Truth is… my world is about to change and it’s not going to be in a small way. My mother is leaving. A short time ago she lost her job in a round of layoffs after having just gotten back to work after months of medical leave. When this happened, she found herself facing a big decision. Should she stay and struggle through? Try to get her job back? Maybe a new one? Or should she move somewhere that offered her a new start and a place to stay until she was able to get back up on her feet?

She made a wise decision to choose the latter, but sadly that means she will be leaving for Oregon soon to move in with my sister and start a new life for herself half a country away. I couldn’t offer her the same kind of help as my sister. My sons and I don’t have the means or the resources to take care of her while she tries to rebuild her life. I don’t even have the power or privilege to offer her a room to stay in my home as it’s not mine… I rent under a government aid program as my own disability, and other things life has harshly dealt out, has left me in need of financial aid in order to support my two sons and myself. Where as my sister has a home of her own with a room to share, as well as the finances needed to help support my mom in her time of need.

Joshua and Grandma

Joshua and Grandma

I am happy for my mom, I truly am. This move will be good for her. I am happy for my sister and my niece too as I know they have missed her and they will be blessed to get to have her so close again. The whole thing still weighs heavily on my heart though… and it’s not just because of the impact this is having on my two sons, who live for their time with their favorite Grandma and who are already broken as they understand a little better each day that she’s going somewhere that they can’t follow… They have been left and hurt so many times by so many people they should have been able to count on and the only two people in their life that provided them any kind of stability at all have been me and their grandma… and now they are losing her as well… At least in their minds and hearts that is how this all seems.  I am trying my best to get the to understand differently though.

My mom and I don’t have the greatest past. We don’t even have the greatest present to be honest. There has been a lot of pain on both sides and a lot of scars as a result. But… she’s still my mom and my heart still breaks at the idea of saying goodbye. Especially since just in the last couple of months we have finally had some talks that have brought so much understanding and healing.

David and Grandma at play

David and Grandma at play

She also has been a staple in my life from before I can even remember.  Being one that craved independence I admit that I hated having to need her so much, but all the same I was still grateful to have her help when she could. She even helped me take care of my oldest, David, after he was first born and I was so sick and weak I could barely move. What I treasure most about that situation though was that she loved me and David enough to not try and take my place either even though the situation would have made that a very easy thing to do. Instead, she helped me be there for David and filled in the gaps where I physically was unable to. As a result, even though I was chronically and seriously ill, I was still able to be blessed with the special and irreplaceable time of bonding with my son, and David was double blessed by being able to have that time with two people that loved him unconditionally with all of their hearts. My mom and David have always had an inseparable bond between them as a result too. One that was at a level most grandmas and grandsons don’t get to treasure together. ❤

David and Grandma playing in the snow

David and Grandma playing in the snow

I have other memories of when my mom stepped forward in my times of need too. In fact, as I look back at my life, for every scar formed and every moment of pain, I can more than balance it out with separate memories of love, encouragement, and support. Our lives and relationship may not have been perfect, but I know she loves me as much as I love her and that we both did our best and will continue to do so. I may not have always been able to see this truth, but I do now and it’s what I am clinging to right now as I watch my mom pack up her things and get ready for her move.

I am going to miss her… the tears are flowing already even as I write this and she’s not even gone yet…

I know we will have phone calls and letters and the occasional vacation/visit, but it won’t be the same. And as much as my heart yearns to pack up and follow her, I know I can’t do that for a number of different reasons.

L to R: Me, David, Joshua, my mom

L to R: Me, David, Joshua, my mom

I am going to miss her help and support. My life will get notably more difficult without her here to help with the boys or help fill in the gaps when my health fails me like it tends to still do from time to time. But none of that is what I am going to miss the most… what I will miss the most is the friendship that we were finally starting to solidify. One that has been in the works for a long time and has seen some major ups and downs, but has finally gotten some much needed boosts recently that I don’t think either one of us expected or even realized we needed until they happened.

David and Grandma at the art show

David and Grandma at the art show

In a little more than a week I will be losing more than just a member of my family… I will be losing more than a mom, or even a grandma to my boys… I will be losing a woman who was becoming my best friend and who has been my most trusted confidant for a long time. Given all our hardships, my mom still knows more about me, my heart, and what makes me tick, than anyone else ever will. And a lot of that has become true in just the last few years…

It is with a heavy heart that I offer my sincerest well wishes and blessings to my mom on this new chapter in her life. And with tears, I say my goodbyes but also pray that she finds happiness in this new adventure.

And mom? If you are reading this, please know that you have my heart and always will. I love you, I’ll miss you, and I wish you God’s best in this new journey of yours. ((hugs)) Keep in touch ❤

Thinking Back…

busstation_stretched---printMy husband and I first met over 8 years ago.  We met in a chat room designed to be a place for people to chat about and share pictures of their favorite things to collect.  Our relationship started with a brief yet meaningful note of thanks from a simple Kansas girl to a soldier currently stationed in Iraq after a comment was made about his current location.  This led to a conversation, which led to an acquaintanceship, which led to a friendship.

After months of keeping each other company over the computer and hanging out on chat and messenger, and even a few calls when he was given the chance to, we started to agree we wanted to see if our friendship could be something more.  He got to come home that January and we finally got to meet in person.  I remember that first evening as if it still just happened recently vs years ago…  We had some differences and a few minor disagreements here and there which we knew were bound to happen but at some point in the night, when heading back from a store, he hit a curb on accident in the rain because the road was hard to see and he missed the actual turn.  He pulled the car up into a nearby parking lot to check on the tire only to find out the wheel rim was bent up.

100_2205Long story short, while he was struggling with trying to switch it all out with the spare from the trunk with minimal tools and while getting drenched in the rain, I was standing there next to him despite him telling me repeatedly to go ahead and just get in the car.  I was shielding him from the pelting as best as I could by being a barrier between him and the direction it was all pouring down from due to the wind.  We both agreed that I was a “stubborn little thing” but that he was too and he eventually managed to get the job done just in time for the rain to finally slow down to a light sprinkling. lol  Go figure that right?

While he was putting things back in the trunk we started laughing about the whole night together while I playfully rung out my soaking wet hat on him and then switched it out with his.  After about a minute of just laughing and being silly we kind of just stopped and looked at eachother and ended up sharing our first kiss.  Right there in the parking lot, with the rain still sprinkling, and with me being so much shorter I had to stand on my tiptoes to reach him.  (When he noticed that, he put me on a curb lol)  It was nothing big, just a simple innocent one.  The fireworks were sure going off though and my heart was definitely melting.

100_2332After that night, I knew I was in love.  I knew I had found the person I wanted to spend my life with.  And no.  It wasn’t based on the kiss, I promise.  We started dating “officially” the next day and were married towards the end of July.  The wedding (which was originally planned for April) was rushed due to a deployment schedule he received that had him heading off to Germany for 3 years starting in August.  His commanders he had at the time knew we had gotten engaged and encouraged us to go ahead and get married so I could go with him on his deployment.

Now… almost 7 years after we were married… I am sitting here with a heart that is shattered, broken, and trying to heal and a home that has been missing a crucial part of the family for almost the entire marriage.  Even though he was released from the army just shy of 2 years into our marriage so he could come home and be here for me and our then 6 month old son.

What happened?  I had fallen ill.  Very ill.  And it has permanently disabled me as a result.  It also brought to light some underlying issues (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome for one) that I didn’t even realize I had until I suddenly fell so ill.  Then our children started struggling too.  Autism we have now come to find out.

Life got hard, the road got tough, and the bachelor life started calling.  And sadly, he answered that call.  Repeatedly.  I tried to hang on, I tried to make it all work and to heal our dying marriage and he would come back from time to time.  A week here, a month there…  In reality though, he didn’t want it.  He was done and no amount of me wanting that to not be true would change that fact…

It’s been almost 3 years since I last saw him now… outside of the sudden showing up around Christmas back in 2010 after having been missing for almost a year.  He promised so much that Christmas.  He gave a broken and crushed heart so much hope… A part of me still wishes he had never come home that week.  It just made everything harder when the cycle played out yet again and it was obvious he wasn’t really getting “help so he could come home”.    And now… I am looking at a life where I am single by all means except paperwork (I couldn’t afford it and the local legal aid was of no help).  He has moved on, he’s meeting new girls, he’s making a new life for himself.

And me?  I am trying to heal.  I’m picking up pieces and doing my best to make a new life for my children and me.  I’m holding my sons, working on healing, pushing through life, and standing in the rain at least enough to keep the tears at bay for the most part at least.  Silently hurting, silently struggling, silently suffering… And trying to remain strong at least for my boys if not for myself too.

At first I fought and prayed for my marriage with everything I had and all of my being.  Now I just pray for the strength to move on, the grace to heal, and the mercy to find closure on the past and a chance at a happier future.  I still don’t hate him.  I will never be able to hate him.  That’s what makes all this so painful…  But I am done trying to fix it.  I do hope he has found happiness in his life somehow though and, for the kids’ sake, I honestly hope he someday comes back and at least picks up the father role…

Here we go…

girl at windowI’ve been struggling a lot emotionally lately and have kept most of those struggles beneath my hat as much as possible.  I have a painful past, most of it connected to being abandoned and the resulting failed marriage, but I have never truly felt welcome or even comfortable really get out the pain and the struggle that I am having to work through because of all of it.  Sure a bit of surface talk here or there, enough to meet “requirements” or to quiet down the questions, but outside of  a precious few times, I haven’t really shared the bigger picture.  The pain behind the smiling face so to speak…

I started to share a post here that poured a bit of my heart out, but I will be honest in saying I couldn’t find the courage to hit the “publish” button so it could be seen.  It’s sitting in my drafts section actually…

SadAnimeGirlThen, a friend shared a quote that made me think of that old and priceless hymn and I managed to share a brief window into some of the painful memories that grip me from time to time.  To be honest, I was scared to hit publish on that one too but somehow found the courage.  Thank-you to those of you who have liked the post and commented.  Both here and in messages.

Tonight was my support group that I go to.  The lessons taught there and the people I have met have truly been instrumental and key to me coming as far as I have so far.  Sometimes though, I just can’t bring myself to fully share what’s on my heart.  Especially in the area of past memories and the current pain coming from them…  A friend that I talked to tonight after group encouraged me to keep sharing here.  To give myself a voice.  To give my heart a voice…  And I think I am going to take her up on it.

There will still be some lighthearted and unrelated posts here and there.

1) I can’t completely focus on this stuff or I will fall into depression

2) Even though this part of my life weighs heavily on me, it’s still not all there is to me.  Especially as I continue to heal from it all.

And of course there is also still my main blog that focuses on my son and our life with Autism so there is obviously going to be some variety over there.  I’m taking on a lot of writing. lol  I know this will be good for me though, so I am going to do my best to go with it and see where it takes me.

Also, I will be sharing more music on this blog.  Music can sometimes speak my heart more clearly than I ever could…

To those of you willing to walk along side me (or at least my blog) in this journey, I thank you.  Here we go…