Weird title but it kind of gets your attention, does it not?
This is going to be short…..because it is simple, but it’s not. It is a paradox. It is an easy concept that confounds many of us. Like all great truths. I had coffee with a friend this week and during that conversation I finally understood a concept that I haven’t been able to receive fully until recently. I am writing to myself as much to anyone who can hear this. It is a hard truth to accept and I mentally wrestle with it. We all struggle with us. If you don’t I applaud you. You are a lot further down the road than I am. I think embracing this truth is truly the only way to be free of much of what trips us up in life and causes us to suffer. My ego is not a fan but here it goes:
Being a victim of your circumstances is a mindset, not a reality. Jesus asked what can they do to you? They can only kill your body. You are not your body. (paraphrased Luke 12:4) In other words, you are a spirit hanging out in a meat bag for a number of years and you are only a victim if you mentally accept that role or ‘story’. Victim-hood, while painful, is a mental fabrication according to Jesus/Yeshua. Ouch.
A victim accepts ‘the story’ that he has no choices and in turn feels powerless. The story is generated by the ego a.k.a the flesh. That powerlessness he feels fuels his anger and his anger brings destruction to him or those around him. The victim, in time, always becomes the victimizer. Most of the time he will victimize himself with self destructive behavior, because it is more socially acceptable, or he will lash out and victimize others. This is the story of mankind, from the beginning, and is an easily observed truth, throughout all of history, all cultures and all religions. The truth is we all have choices. Three, in fact. Two will free us. One will enslave us. The ego/flesh would tell us otherwise because it wants to rehash the story it tells us to support said victim mentality. If two of the following choices are made then the story is defeated. The story ends. It’s teller is silenced, or at least this time, it will try again.
Make a decision to change the situation. Take action. Create a boundary or leave the situation. Most of the time this is possible, but sometimes it is not. Act, if it is wise.
Acceptance. Let go of the attachment to an agenda and or expectations and stop resisting, mentally. Surrender to Reality and stop ‘kicking against the goad’. There are some situations where this is the only option and the only way to become free. Rest.
Suffer. Resist or react to your circumstances. .
Well, that was enough to chew on this week. I am choking on this one just a bit.
It is funny how difficult it can be to get back into a routine after having time off. I recently had a 3 day weekend and it was so nice! I was supposed to have 4 days off but a co-worker needed me to cover her day for her so I went in yesterday.
Yesterday was set to be a 9 1/2 hour day but turned into a 10 hour day with no breaks. So I hit the ground running and today my body is feeling it. In addition to that, I am still getting over a cold and it seemed to be better but has returned some along with some Peri-menopausal unpleasantness. This is probably due to not eating as well as I should have in December. I am open book, so sorry if that offended anyone but if you know me you know better than to expect me to be anything but real with you. You will just have to put up with my kvetching for a bit if you don’t mind. Thanks. ♥
This is real life and it is real, not pretend. The last few days have been a struggle emotionally. I know what I am feeling is not real in terms of anything externally wrong. I know this is all virus and rogue chemicals but the experience internally feels real and frankly it sucks. Not every day can be a ‘victorious one’. That was one of the things about mainstream Christianity that I had a real problem with. Or maybe fundamentalist Christianity. Or maybe just our culture in general. Probably all of the above. I don’t know. I remember a friend and former mentor telling me, “just fake it hon, the devil don’t know the difference!”. What a load of crap. Sorry, love that woman, all due respect, but that is a lie. That isn’t real. That isn’t the human experience. I still have to live in this body last I checked and it has some issues. Some days are just a struggle. As adults we forget to be honest about that and it is inferred that we shouldn’t be and I believe that is why our struggles tend to last as long as they do and are even more difficult to get over. I believe that is one of the reasons we get angry and depressed. It is the same in any language and kids are honest….unlike most adults, sadly.
So honesty it is. Feeling rough today. Hoping it will pass soon. I might cry in my eggs for a bit (I am a “Paleo eater” after all) but in the end I will pull it together, get on with it and do what I have to do. That is the great thing about honesty. Once it is out, it’s out. I think she made it to kindergarten and had a better day, don’t you?
Back on track diet wise. Feeling crummy so no exercise today. I will get there. One foot in front of the other.
It is very interesting to me how our minds concoct a story around who we we are, based on past stress and trauma, and when we try to change that “story” or alter it in anyway it can be a little like trying to free one’s self from quicksand. Our story can limit us and stunt our growth as a human beings and prevent us from being a blessing to others and functioning in our calling. Our story keeps us in the past and unable to move forward. It keeps us from embracing and enjoying now and as a result we miss life!
I went out to a movie and lunch with my little girl yesterday. Afterwards we walked through stores at an outdoor mall. Simple things, like this, four weeks ago, we could not do unless we wanted to pay a price. You have to understand that this wasn’t just something we were able to do, for most of the past decade. We tried but her brother always made it chaotic so I stopped trying, for years. We pretty much didn’t leave the house unless we needed to because every time I had tried, over and over again, it mostly ended up in disaster of one sort or another. This is a child that thrived on constant chaos and created it where ever we would go. He is getting the help he needs now and we are learning to get used to a new “normal” which we have not known for a very long time.We ate at 5 Guys and I could swear I had never done that before, ever. I have no memory of it. My husband told me that he and I had in fact been there before. That is so strange to me. Perhaps the memory lapse is from stress? It was such a treat none the less. It’s fun experiencing something for the first time, again, LOL. 🙂
So I found myself relaxing and enjoying our time yesterday and just moving freely through stores with no fear of someone stealing anything or misbehaving to get attention. We just enjoyed ourselves. We were relaxed. What a concept! It felt really good to not feel “on guard” and be in a public place. I could feel a little panic rising up in my chest and my breathing becoming shallow, for no reason. “The story” was trying to come back, but I just kept breathing and it passed, eventually. It was a lie. My mind was not easily releasing me from the quicksand. But I see “it” and that is 1/2 the battle. I know what it is or rather was.
This was my old story:
Married mother of 4 kids, 2 biological and 2 adopted, struggling very hard with 1 of them.
Traumatized from that experience, almost daily.
Trapped and unable to live normally (can’t shower, use the bathroom or leave the room without an alarm set at home and in public places needed to be on guard and very rarely leave the house for that reason).
Almost totally isolated (no one understands this, we don’t even understand this, and we have very little support). Isolation is unbearable at times.
Lost my religion. So disillusioned with people’s behaviors that I spend years searching for the truth and dismissing a great deal of what I once believed based on my discoveries. A bit angry over what I discovered and having been lied to.
Unable to take care of myself because this child demands constant attention. Every attempt is met with retribution.
My weight skyrockets. My adrenals are barely functioning.
Depressed and having panic attacks daily. Food and drink are used to numb out from the constant emotional pain.
Had kitchen incident, after being distracted when son was acting out at the table during breakfast one morning, and I partially amputated a finger on my poor husband’s birthday. Finger no longer straightens and I cannot feel it. It is irreparable. It still hurts from time to time.
Closed successful business after lower back gave out (probably from the stress) and now unable to work outside the home because there is no one to watch a child that is now old enough to take care of himself because of severity of behaviors. So, even more trapped.
My husband and myself have become soldiers in a unwinnable war together. Although this has grown us and forced us to become closer it makes it difficult to be a normal couple.
My sister disowned me for reasons I still don’t understand. That was a very painful loss and after 4 attempts to reach out to her and reconcile were met with rejection, I gave up.
And the list goes on and on……
I am tired of the list so I made a new one. I changed my story!!
Here is my new story and I expect it to keep changing, for the better!
Married mother of 4 children. 3 of my children are wonderful people and revealing how amazing they are daily. One is very sick and no longer lives in our home and likely, if we can swing it, won’t again. We do not have what it takes to care for him any longer and that is OK.
Healing from trauma, daily, and very, very thankful!
Not trapped!!! I can move freely about my home. I can sleep in if I want. I can use the bathroom and shower, without an alarm set, and likely now everything will be OK. I can go out in public and enjoy the experience of everything out there!
Able to connect with people and spend time making new friends and loving on the old ones that stuck around. They are gold! So grateful! Not isolated anymore!
Lost my religion but I am finding the Kingdom, within! I am not attached to outcomes or people’s opinions or misinformation anymore and I have no resentment about their poor behavior or lack of character. People can only behave at the level of their consciousness and most of us “only see in part”. I love them, where they are and for who they are, now, and I have no bad feelings if they choose not to be part of my life anymore. I let them go. This is love. No attachment.
I have freedom to care for myself and slowly I am learning to do that.
I have lost 20 lbs. I am sleeping mostly through the night now and when I wake up, I am actually awake! I am healing!
Not depressed. That seemed to decrease when the attachments did. As I let go of people, outcomes, plans etc. the depression lifted! Growth has occurred. I see things I never saw before. Love this freedom!!
I can live with the finger and barely notice it now. It doesn’t stop me from doing what I want to do.
Thinking of all the possibilities! I am going to find a wonderful job. I may reopen my business at some point. I think about writing and pursuing my art. I am not focused on the “how” anymore. I am focused on the “why” and finding my passion and calling. This is a new way of thinking for me and I am excited to see where it takes me! This is not the end, it is the beginning!!
Learning to have fun with my husband again and not have to be in a “war” together.
I wish my sister well, where ever and who ever she is. I am not angry with her and I am not sad anymore. I want only the best for her and I let her go. I respect her freedom to make her own choices even if I do not understand them.
In fact I pretty much feel that way about everyone.
So that is my new story that I am adding to, in a good way, daily.
What is yours and how does it need to change?
Shabbat Shalom, Happy Sabbath and Happy weekend to all! (I think I covered everyone 🙂 )
So at the beginning of this week I was catching my breath from a few weeks of drama and about a decade of extreme stress and trauma. I’d like to say I am all recovered now but I don’t think it is that easy. I wish it was. None the less there are little improvements all around that I used to take for granted before this all began. It’s not over but I am able to come up for more air now in a way I haven’t experienced in a long time. I am “more” in my body and cognizant of what the results of reacting to the stress has done to me. My body is sore, all over, especially in my upper back and shoulders. I am very fatigued. Every day the pain lessens. I see this in terms of our flesh mirroring what is happening in our soul. And our soul truly being the only reality of who we really are. So with that in mind the physical is simply reflecting and giving clues about what is really true. And what is really true is that I am healing right now.
So I have been thinking a lot about leptin resistance. “In leptin resistance, your leptin is high, which means you’re fat, but your brain can’t see it. In other words, your brain is starved, while your body is obese. And that’s what obesity is: it’s brain starvation.” I think this might be the case for me. So I am going to be looking at an approach that will address this and the adrenal fatigue beyond just a simple keto way of eating. I think that keto is a crucial piece of the puzzle but not the entire solution to this. I think these two factors, leptin resistance and adrenal fatigue are central to what is tripping me up.
The most pressing issue I think is the stress and that is finally being dealt with beyond meditation. I finally “acted” and that was the first step. Sometimes you have to let go in ways you’d rather not to keep from being pulled under and that is what had to be done. For me and for my family. I think my adrenals will improve now and my body will allow fat loss but I am feeding my brain with nutrients that nourish it because it thinks it is starving when clearly it is not. That message needs to be corrected and I am doing some research into how to accomplish that.
I will be weighing in again on Monday, which no expectation and with the intention of kindness towards myself rather than the usual self loathing. And I will begin, again.
Today, however, is a day to rest, refuel, be with my family and tomorrow to address my badly neglected house.
So a lot of drama earlier in the week, then stillness and then busyness. Life goes on and it’s time to get back on the proverbial horse and go forward. I, after all, have some things to pay for. No bitterness intended, OK, maybe working through a little of that, if I am honest. Understandable, if you are in my shoes, but unacceptable to my soul and my body.
People ask me how I am feeling. That is difficult to sum up in just a few words and honestly, being a little numb, I am trying to figure that out. So for starters, tired……..
I feel tired. I feel like I have been carrying something very heavy and cumbersome for miles and miles and years and years and finally have permission to release it and put it down. My body actually feels tired and achy. Exhausted.
I feel hopeful. Hopeful that we will heal. Hopeful that I can salvage a little of my life, improve and grow. Hopeful that we can have joy here once again.
I felt really tense for a few days and I would cry for no reason at all and unpredictably. I felt like a bomb was going to go off near me, any minute, and I needed to duck and hide somewhere safe and there was no place to hide. That is fading, a little. It happens at unpredictable moments.
I feel like I can breathe. I feel like I can fill my lungs with more air.
For now that is all I can articulate.
Practically speaking, I need to get back into the game. MFP a.k.a. My Fitness Pal have had a parting of the ways for about a week. I couldn’t deal with reporting every morsel that I put in my mouth and juggle all that was going on. In a day or two I might be ready to check back in. Shark week happened to come at the same time as all this and going near a scale would have been more counter productive, stress wise and health wise, then helpful. So I took a break. But, I need to re-employ those methods and others. I did Pilates on Tuesday and walked yesterday. I have Pilates tomorrow as well. So, slowly getting back into the groove of self care, exercise and attention to my diet. I ate very little on Sunday because of all the travel and stress. I hope that fasting was helpful although it didn’t occur to me then.
I don’t know how much I will blog in the coming days. I know it will be frequently but I don’t know if it will be every day. I believe (hope) I will be employed here soon and I am not sure how I will be able to juggle everything. I do know that writing is really good for me and sometimes helpful to others so I will not stop writing.
Well, got an interview, so I better run!
Yesterday we were on the road all day. Headed to the airport, caught a flight, flew to a city almost 3 hours from our destination, drove almost 3 hours to said destination, got our son settled in a residential treatment facility and checked him in with the owners (wonderful people 🙂 Very special people. I don’t know how they take care of so many of these RADishes. I haven’t been able to handle the one very well. ), drove back almost 3 hours, caught a very tight flight, drove home, noshed on some hot wings from Zaxby’s and turned in. Extremely long day and my body is testifying to that this morning. I am very physically and emotionally spent and for a variety of reasons.
Here is what is different about this morning. It’s quiet. There is no white noise machine running to keep my son from hearing me so I can shower and get dressed in the morning without his running a muck. It is hard to imagine unless you have a child with RAD but simple things like taking a shower, using the bathroom or just leaving the room are not things you can do on a daily basis without due diligence and planning. I have to get up 2 hours prior to his waking if I want a shower or really accomplish anything without him by my side. To nonchalantly live my life without carefully planning would mean to open up our family to theft, destruction of property, the abuse of our younger child and all sorts of chaos, daily.
So here is what has changed for us, so far:
No white noise machine running.
Younger child can talk rather than whisper while getting ready in the morning an doesn’t have to worry about making too much noise and stirring him up.
I slept 30 minutes longer than I usually do and probably could have made it an hour.
I don’t have to escort anyone around the house. There is freedom to roam. For all of us!
I don’t have to be in the room with anyone all the time.
I don’t have to check pockets, back packs or shoes.
I don’t have to worry about being baited into constant arguments over anything and everything first thing in the morning when I am barely awake.
I don’t have to worry about that in the afternoon either.
My butter knives and anything with a point can go back into the utensil drawers.
I can sleep in at least once on the weekend.
I can sleep deeply knowing that no one is going to be ripped off, have their property destroyed or hurt in the middle of the night.
Our younger child will have to learn to function in a home not on lock down and also learn independence skills she is behind on because of the way we had to live.
I will have to get a good paying job. RTCs’ are not cheap. I have no illusions. I am fully aware life is not going to be all sunshine and lollipops. We have a long road ahead of us.
So I have stepped into a whole new world. He will be back in a year but I am not sure that he will stay. Honestly I am not optimistic or expecting that he will. If we can’t function as a family he will go into another RTC or appropriate boarding facility. We won’t live this way again. We are done. I will no longer be abused, nor will I allow anyone in this house to. I am firm about that and I understand this is the not the end of the struggle. But it is a step in the right direction. My family is going to have some time and space to heal from a situation that has been filled with trauma for 9+ years that most people can’t fathom or honestly even begin to understand. People should try to understand. They will encounter these people in their lifetime and won’t know what hit them when they do. We don’t think human beings, especially children, are capable of such behaviors, but history attests to the contrary. The world is full of damaged people that will go around damaging others unless people become more aware and draw a line in the sand.
So if you are curious and want to understand what Reactive Attachment Disorder is below is excellent video. You very likely know some adults that have Reactive Attachment Disorder and are not even aware of it.
tr.v.ap·peased, ap·peas·ing, ap·peas·es
“Truth without love kills, but love without truth lies.” Eberhard Arnold
Good morning peeps. Hope you all are doing well out there in cyber land.
It has been quite a week. There is a lot I have to get done and a lot of change is on the horizon. It is rather consuming to be honest and probably will be for the next few weeks. Change always involves adjustment. It is a hard change that is coming but a good one as well.
I am hoping that with the stress level subsiding in the next few weeks that the scale will move downward. I don’t think that the caffeine is helping and I will probably start to reduce it, if not eliminate it, entirely in the coming weeks. Right now it is keeping me going. I am typically a “cold turkey” kind of gal, when I get rid of things in my life, but I think I am going to take this slower this time. I think I am going to take everything a little slower and be more gentle with myself. I have been through a lot and I need time to heal and being hard on myself isn’t going to help that happen. My adrenals are on high gear right now and that is not good. I can’t take any more beating. I think with time and rest I will not only heal but weight loss will naturally occur.
Harsh. I think I have been downright harsh with myself and demanding. It is time to accept and love myself “warts and all”! We do the best we know to do in this world and if we would have known better most of us would choose to do better. I sometimes wish I had a time machine but if I did I wouldn’t have learned what I have learned.
I have to run. Kids to get off to school and preparation for the Sabbath. So glad it’s almost here. I need a rest.
A decision has been made.
So yesterday we found a therapeutic boys home for our son to go to for a year. Our youngest son has Reactive Attachment Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder. These mental/emotional illnesses stem from his time in foster care and neglect he endured prior to our adopting him at 3 1/2 and his younger 1/2 sister at 16 months. The fact that he is also drug exposed is probably not helpful either. He came to our home very damaged and despite trying everything we knew to do to help him he hasn’t not gotten better. The kind of behaviors that he exhibits are some of the following: Continual lying, charming people to get what he wants or frame his “innocence” when caught, manipulation, night wandering, destruction of property, theft, violence towards other children, triangulating adults, an attitude of entitlement, blame shifting, causing extreme chaos, disrespect, and a constant need to be in control all the time. For 9 1/2 years our family, the other 5 of us, have been put through the ringer. We have to have 3 alarms on his door at night to sleep and keep our youngest daughter safe from him. I have no idea what he is capable of anymore because he keeps raising the bar where these behaviors are concerned.
I am not developing any expectations for his return a year from now. If he chooses not to get better he won’t and we will have to figure that out in a year. This has been an extremely difficult decision but enough is enough.
I am looking forward to rest, much needed healing and hopefully, finally, some peace in our home. And now I need a job to pay for his care. I am looking forward to being around other adults because it’s been kind of lonely for Rapunzel up here in the tower. I haven’t been able to work because he can’t be left unsupervised and most employers are not real keen on you bringing your child to the workplace, especially those with criminal tendencies.
Thank you for your prayers and support during this difficult time.