Sunday, January 26, 2014

Danielle vs God SMACKDOWN

My head has been tossing around grief and trying to find a place to put it. I'm pretty sure, I've never had so much to cry and scream about happen all at once. For me, for family, for close friends, an entire community.

And where am I?
Plugged into a wall
Head hooked up
Hair jacked up
Begging my brain to malfunction.

I don't like to say things like this because they feel like "assumptions" to me sometimes.
This one I know is absolutely true. God has used this to take me down. And He kept me safe.

Leading horses to water, making them drink. Domesticating a wild animal. Getting a husband to do the dishes the right way... (I think that's just me) similar challenge to getting me to unclench and let go. I could control everything. Like a ring leader, just bring it here and I'll fix it. No, we aren't going to just talk about it, here is your plan. This will work. I can fix this, I can fix that, I can fix you. Now repeat after me... What did we learn here and how will we avoid it happening again? Dang it I said BRING IT TO ME!

I must tell you that doing this to yourself can cause hemorrhoids, jaw pain, cellulite and constipation. Oh, ha and seizures. I cannot tell you how many times I've realized lately that my jaw was locked and I was holding my breath. Just driving down the road. Knowing that I was doing a 3-5 day EEG study at Vanderbilt soon was not helping me to release. When I decided to let that become reality in my head I opened up and chatted with God about it. I asked him for the things I wanted. And the thing I was most reluctant to ask for was complete healing. I realized as I prayed that I was actually cringing. What was that?!? We know He can do it. Why don't I want it?

Magically, I'm not kicking out any seizures. Completely off the medicine for 5 nights and 4 full days (sounds like a nice cruise huh?). nada. A few weeks ago I could skip my medicine two days just in the morning and experience trouble.   My new (thanks to Carter for pushing me) neurologist wanted this study done. I don't think either of us felt like the medicine was correct and he wanted a team that looked at every second of my brain activity and see if we needed to change the diagnosis. One medication kept me so tired I was unable to stay awake. I love naps but I seriously shouldn't need to be asleep everyday from the time homework is finished until dinner is ready. (Thanks to Carter on that one too). And STILL be tired and go right to bed.

I had an EEG study done in December of 2012. Ahhhh that was a wonderful month. (Sarcasm font) Results came back that the two times I hit the button to indicate an event that my temporal lobe got off rhythm and slowed down. Then got back on track. Interesting thing, my old neuro office can't find that test now. They also said that I have only been there twice. Are ya getting the hint here about why I have a NEW Dr.?

Those results would have been nice to have to prove to my Dr. and this other expert Physician I have caring for here and his entire team that there were seizures before! I swear! I saw the squiggly lines on the screen. Then I spent time reading my "Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible".

Love these books by Liz Curtis Higgs. Seriously. And then I read them again and I see something different. What I got from Leah's story is probably not what other people get from it. I got what I needed. The part where you say "Yes, that's what I am going to repeat in my head!" Over and over!

So Leah... here is a little thing about her: click here

She kept trying and trying, after being rejected by her husband and mistreated by her Dad. She was not the one that was chosen. Or felt she had a choice. So she was given the gift of fertility. That was a big deal. Sons, even bigger. What more could a man want? 4 boys later Leah figured it out. Putting your needs and your desire for validation in the hands of man had failed her. How long she had worked to win his affection and attention. How hard! And still nothing. Son number 4 came with a desire to praise and thank the one that had been with her the whole time. God.
Not swearing this time that this baby, this dress, this many pounds, this job, this many activities, this successful hobby, this time it will make him love me!

"This time I will praise the Lord" Genesis 29:35

You see all this time while I'm trying to fix my brain problem:
Only work this many days
Don't forget your medicine
Let's increase the medicine
Add another medicine
Eliminate stress
Take more naps
Don't drive
Don't go anywhere

God has done the same thing he did for Leah. I didn't need to do a thing (ehh except learn this lesson). God sees my pain. God hears me. With no speaking, no problem solving, no analyzing. I just sighed when I thought about giving that up. Seriously. Just now. Big. Deep. Sigh. I mean it is my gift from God so I can use it but not to overthrow Him.

He chose well. Ok yeah no one needs to read me say that. Duh it's God. It's perfect! Ugh, partial complex seizures are perfect!
Zapped my communication. 20 seconds is FOREVER! When you don't know what someone is saying. And if you open your mouth, no telling what verbal mess will come out. Couldn't read during them either. No way around it.
Medication - ZAP there went my ability to speak without playing "fill in the blanks" with everyone. Zapped my memory. THAT was bad! I couldn't remember names, forgot where I put stuff. Excuse me but that's my thing. I remember everything! Then drown me in exhaustion. So that I wake up every evening to Carter wearing oven mitts.

How do you take me down? That's about how to do it.
Take away my ability to control everything like a well-planned nice circus (it is what it is).
Make me give it up to other people. Argh! And THEN make me watch Carter do my job! Force me to say no and stay home. Let other people handle the things I cannot do.

I do not need that old EEG. I do not need to produce an episode for this recording. Panic set in, believe me. There is just no need to prove anything to anyone. Whatever this is. God hears me. God sees me. My book says it well "Nothing escapes his gaze". For the first time in a looooooong time I'm not clenching with God.
I can keep my big mouth and malfunctioning brain closed.

God hears me. God sees me.
Even if no one else does. And I've got my phrase for whenever I have trouble with this.


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mom, It's Not Her Fault

I go back and forth a lot on whether or not I am too hard on my girls. I don't think I am too easy on them in general. I may slack in specific areas but I'm not aiming to be Nazi Mom. That's exhausting. At times I feel like I embarrass myself and them with reminders and routines and discipline. Especially in public. For example, Natalie left the school gym while Cara was at basketball practice last week. She was with a friend that was allowed too. She was not allowed to. I made her sit with me for 5 minutes for breaking the rule. Two kids, same age, two parents, different rules. Sorry Nat. Your Mom is a meanie. I expect a lot out of my girls. They really are incredible kids. I do get a lot of compliments. They definitely have their moments though. It's not all good behavior that's for sure.

Last night was Cara's last basketball game in her HCRA league. Ok so we didn't know it was going to be her last game because it was the first in the tournament but they had not won a game all season so we kind of figured it would be their last. Surprisingly they played the best they had all season! But they still lost. Lol

Half-way through the game a typical possession change happened and Cara was ready on offense and one of the girls from the other team bumped into her running to get on defense.
Ok this would not be a Danielle story if I left it like that. Lol
The girl from the other team that impacted with her just turned 9. You would never believe it. This girl is about my height (I'm 4' 11") and she's not tiny. This girl can MOVE! She can also make half court shots. I'm not kidding! I don't even think they allow 3 point shots for 7/8 year olds. She is amazing. The first time we played that team my mouth stayed open almost the whole time.

All I remember seeing was the girl running into Cara and hearing Cara hit the floor ( it was loud) and seeing Cara crying. She was just crying that she didn't feel good and holding her arm. So I ran out there.  Nothing looked terribly out of place so I let Coach Daddy handle it until later when I noticed she wasn't calming down. Eventually she was fine and even played the 4th quarter like nothing had happened.

As I walked back to the bleachers the girls parents from the other team asked me if she was OK. I thought that was very sweet. I told them yes. I was still holding back a few tears because Cara was absolutely scared. More scared than injured. When the game resumed I noticed something. I heard the other girl's parents tone change. The way they were talking to her from the sidelines was different. They were being harsh with her. Disciplining her now. That's when I caught on that I needed to make sure they really knew, that I knew, that Cara falling wasn't their daughters fault.

Next break in the game I went to them and told them what a fan of hers I was. That she was an amazingly talented kid. I got a shocked reaction. They thanked me. Her mom went on to tell me that she had just turned nine and is predicted to be around 6' tall as an adult. Then she asked about Cara again. Going on to say that they have actually have had other parents clap and cheer when her daughter has fallen, made mistakes or had fouls called on her. "She has no malice. We don't teach her to play with malice. She's a kid". Then I really understood, they were afraid because other people had been jerks before. Their daughter had done nothing. They reacted by being more critical of her so she didn't do something like that again or mess up again.

In that moment I wanted to say or do something that would make up for every parent that had ever done that!!! They are just kids. Just admire how good she is! Don't hate! She is way bigger than Cara but that wasn't what hurt her.  The FLOOR hurt Cara! Had a smaller girl run into her the same thing would've happened. We all need to realize that just as much as that is our kid out there, that is someone else's kid out there.

There are some people that need to concentrate on making sure their kids are not playing dirty. Those are usually the ones that watch the other kids and blame them too much. Just saying.

Some of us need a reminder in the other direction at times. We need this when our good kids get in trouble at school. We need this when some old lady at the mall gives us a snooty look because our kid is having a bad moment. Need it when our kid comes home and a friend has said mean things to them about the way they act.

This is what I hope that Mom heard me say last night. "Mom, it's not her fault. You have a wonderfully talented girl. Keep going. Don't let mean-spirited people spoil what you know is true about your daughter".

Replace "her", "girl" and "daughter" with "his", "boy" and "son".  Use it when you need to.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Why Spouses Should Be Invited To Company Parties.

I worked full-time until Cara was one year old. In all that time of working during college and post-college I only attended two company holiday parties. I then joined the ranks of the stay at home moms with no corporation to celebrate Yuletide cheer. Relying fully on my husbands income, I've only been a guest at one company party. That's SEVEN YEARS and only ONE!!! Some years I could have cared less but this year I really could have gone for a night of dressing up and mingling (a cash bar would be a nice addition). I am thinking maybe they just don't know what they are missing by doing luncheons or neglecting it all together. It's time to tell them why.

Why I, the spouse, should be invited...
#1 Spouses are the reason your employee is available. 
Ok sometimes we mess things up but mostly, my handling of the home-front leaves Carter available to go above and beyond. Staying after hours, being on call, having a clear head for meetings, that is because I am at Kroger, making dinner or doing homework with the girls. You're welcome. Now feed me and let me dance a little. 

#2 I am your advocate/antagonist
I'm a problem solver psycho. When he comes home I suck the daily issues out of him. Ok so I don't do that much anymore because it is (A) not necessary, (B) annoying and (C) frankly it can just about kill me sometimes. I can't make him or you follow through with my ingenious solutions. Really, you all should listen to me. When I am given the privilege of positive and negative work tales, I can be your best friend or worst enemy. A chance to cut loose and eat banquet or buffet style (I'm not picky) would tip the scales in your favor. 

#3 Analyzing has begun. 
After hearing about you, I feel like I know you. Picking apart your personalities and work habits aids in my problem solving sessions. One previous employer owes me a weekend at a bed and breakfast because of the dysfunctional characters I tried to juggle. Holy moly they should never have wanted to interact with me. No hard feelings there for the lack of Christmas fellowship. I'm good. The best gift was his 2 weeks notice.
Give me a chance to form my opinions based on first hand observation. Right now it is all funneled through my husband. I promise to stop taking notes after your second drink.

#4 I've been told that I am fun.
Great asset to your party. I swear to keep all comedy within HR guidelines. There will be cheers of "Carter your wife is great!" the next work day. This is a bonus for Carter also. Endearing. As a matter of fact I am thinking he should take me on interviews too (side note: I am pretty sure we are finished with interviews. I'm way too fond of this place and my shoe discount).

Of course I know these events are costly and time consuming to organize. No, this will never change the mind of CEO's. I feel confident that a lot of employees despise these events.  This year I could've used a reason to let my hair down (or up depending on the outfit and hair behavior that day), find a babysitter and be at my husbands side. Just to have fun. This is why spouses (I) should be invited. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Just Nod and Smile.

A friend of mine recently said "Honestly, people should only get one stupid health thing and that's it." Appropriate response to my update to her and another dear friend after my last Doctor's appointment. Great idea, but I seem to be working on #2.  #1 of course is the random benign tumor that I have. At this moment #2 random freaky thing has not been completely diagnosed, but the guesses have been enough to throw me.

"When did this start?" Usually this is an answer I have to guess or estimate.  Seriously, I don't chart sore throats and headaches which is usually what they are asking about. This answer, however, was heavily lined with major changes in my life and actually mentioned in my blog. No problem dropping the bomb of an answer "Almost 2 years ago." It's fun to make professionals use every muscle in their face when they react. Her look was part "OMG" and part "DUMMY!" Regardless, I had finally let this 2 year old cat out of the bag and it turned into a lion.  Who ignores serious "brain farts" for 2 years? Where everyone sounds like they are speaking some alien language? *Raises Hand*

I had only sprinkled this information around to friends and family. Only when necessary because it makes me sound crazy. That's exactly what I thought it was, mental.  I was under a tremendous amount of stress when this started.  Carter had just been laid off and we were still waiting for the next job to swoop in.  Then we moved to Nashville.  Who wouldn't feel a little nuts? I blogged about being frozen and I was during that time.  I guess I figured all of that clenching and freezing busted something up there and it was getting out this way. In the last few months it was getting harder to cover.  It wasn't just happening while I was watching TV, or talking to Carter, or alone.

Answering all of those standard questions for a pediatric sick visit a few months ago, I felt it.  It hit and the nurse was looking at me because it was my turn to talk. I knew she was talking about Natalie's prescriptions.  Tried to talk... nothing. Tried again to gather what she she was asking... nothing. Great idea, let's go around and look at her computer and read what she is talking about... oh crap, I can't read either! Panic doesn't help these episodes.  These things last anywhere from 5-20 seconds.  When I finally came back around I had to tell her. Her response "You really need to get that checked out." I'm OK with being crazy on purpose, people expect that out of me.  I had no control over this and it was weird. At that moment it stopped being a quirky thing about me.  I could not process any form of communication.

A check-up for my blood pressure became my forum for finally asking for help.  After my Doctor got her face back to normal she asked more questions. One of them, "Do you ever bite your tongue or urinate on yourself when this happens?" Uhhhh NO! I think I would've panicked before now if I did that. Duh.  I gawked a little at the question and then realized I was the idiot that waited way too long to look into this. So here we go, she throws out strokes (TIA), arterial flow issues, seizures and migraines (OK I threw in migraines for her because I had done some "healthy googling" and that was my favorite).  The first thing we had to rule out was the more immediately serious of the bunch, stroke and blood flow issues.  A CT scan and a 30 minute carotid artery doppler later I got the all clear from those causes.  Oh yeah, and brain tumors  That was in the back of my mind but I am sooooooo glad she kept that to herself.  For some reason hearing her say these things has more weight than when they are just floating around in my malfunctioning skull. No brain tumors, not going to join Dad and Granny in the TBI/Stroke recovery program at 34.  Cool. Next appointment please!

"You need to tell people".  This was after her heavy list of warnings regarding seizures. Partial-Simple Seizures are the suspect at this point. Letting the neurologist diagnose it is her plan but she has her mind pretty much made up.  The other thing on the diagnosis table would be migraines. These brain farts turned into serious business. Warning me that I couldn't be put on medication until the tests the neurologist would want had been completed, I was told when to go to the ER and what to watch for. I think the longest I have gone without one was 3 weeks.  Right now I am getting 3 days at the most.  A month ago I was having 2-3 per day for 2 weeks. Nothing seems to trigger them. Can't say that a headache proceeds or follows them. I have started to be able to feel them coming on.  I give Carter warnings and then I play a fun game in which I repeat the jacked up stuff I hear. So far I have always been able to get out "Hold on" or something like that during them.  Beyond that, I am afraid that I will start saying crazy things and really freak people out.  What I see is out of focus.  I am completely conscious and I am aware of it all. I remember it all. Sometimes the room gets brighter. I just nod and smile.  Lasting from about 5 to 20 seconds (by the way, 20 seconds is an ETERNITY when you don't understand what people are saying to you!).  I even had one day that I felt on the edge of one the entire day.  No multi-tasking for me that day.  Walking and listening posed a problem.  I was advised that someone at the school needed to know just in case they became more physical.  All I could think about was ending up on the floor there.  I joked quite a bit about it. I told a few that I was going to stand on a tumbling mat in the gym. Feeling confident that even though they had increased in frequency recently, but not in severity, it was humorous. I try to make everything funny, duh. 

Enduring the "OK weirdo" (my interpretation not the actual feelings of the listener) looks, I started sharing.  Let's cover my self imposed job in this world here: I am passionate about encouraging everyone to share, talk, go to other people, speak up and finally, listen.  This is why I probably over-share.  No one should feel alone, ever.  If no one has experience with it, you will find someone who will listen and go through it with you.  I am incredibly blessed with family and friends that do just that.  Taking a chance on being annoying, I will normalize or help you with whatever I have to offer. If I don't know I will be googling it.  My family has experience with so much, every few years we hit something new. Yeah, this is a new one. Putting our heads together we almost become experts in these areas. Do we really want to add new things to the experience section of our life resume? No. What do you do with it? Lean on those that play on your team and stay open to be leaned on.

At this moment it is not serious and I never thought it was before.  Hearing the warnings and signs to watch for come out of my Doctor's mouth made this typically well composed woman crumble. I am super woman in almost ever other situation.  Lacking control...there is nothing I can do until I have my appointment with the neurologist.  The tumor thing I can take Motrin, wear the right clothing and avoid using my stomach muscles and frankly just suck it up.  Eventually we will have a solution to this, but it has been the few weeks in limbo after my last appointment that have been tough.  There is a chance I could walk in there and be told that this is just mental, in that case, I will take a purple straight jacket. That seems to be my best color. Migraines also could be to blame.  They don't seem to match as well but I'm not known for being "textbook". And there it is! Chances are, you won't experience one with me and even if you do I probably won't tell you ;) .  I've gotten pretty good at fudging through it. I should carry certificates for those who have seconds of their important rhetoric mutilated in my brain! Anxiously awaiting November 6 when I burst on to the Neurology scene. Until then I will keep laughing when my brain tells me "those aren't the lyrics to that song" and "you should rewind that Housewives episode because they are crazy but not that crazy" and "geez I hope I didn't just nod and smile and agree to something bad!" We will get this taken care of, and I will label myself an honorary specialist on this new subject soon. I just can't wait to stop worrying.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Let's Re-visit

Yes I have been slacking hard on blogging. 
I blog when I feel like I have something to share.  I share and open up in the hope that maybe someone else can relate and not feel so alone in this.  Normalizing is one of the most powerful things we can do for others.

A long time ago I read and blogged about reading Beth Moore's book on insecurity. Apparently that's a book you should never have out of reach. I started struggling again recently and in the back of my mind kept telling myself I needed to get another copy. My need to revisit stabbed me right in the heart yesterday and made it an emergency. 

On the very short ride home from school Cara was obviously excited about a toy that a classmate had. She hesitated and then said " I want to say how cute it is but I am afraid that Natalie will be upset". You know what I did next, hail storm of questions.
"Why would Natalie be upset?"
"Because if I say how cute it is she will think she is not cute."
Natalie chimes in, "yeah like if there is a baby bird and it is soooo cute, cuter than me, then I am not cute anymore. "

Where did she get this?!? She has no less than 10 people give her daily affirmations about how cute she is. The child is practically the Mayor of the school! If the whole school voted for a School President, 4th graders would elect this kindergartener! I was called "Natalie's Mom" for weeks when I first started subbing. Regardless of the grade! What in the world was this new development in her thought process?!
I talked with her and told her no matter how big she got or who else was around, they love Natalie. It's not just the cute-ness. While talking her through it I felt an elephant was on my chest and now it was sitting in the living room.

The elephant, well it was my conversation I had with Carter a little over a week ago (pretty sure he is wishing he married a girl that was mute right about now). There was no way Natalie heard it, but those words sounded like mine. Almost exactly mine! Did I pass this on without saying it? I feel like I never drop my guard. But these girls will see past it. And this was the first time I realized I had to attack this issue for them.

I like to analyze myself and then try to fix it.  I spent a lot of time this fall reading books on women in The Bible.  Picking out the bad things about myself in the "bad girls" and the good things in the"good girls". Seeing myself in Jezebel was a horrible moment! Catching a glimpse myself in Sarah was a high note. Suddenly I hit a wall.  I was spinning my tires in the mud trying to be a perfect wife when I couldn't fix any of the things bothering my husband.  If I had been allowed to go every where with him and counsel him through it, I would have.  Changes I was making in myself were not being recognized like I wanted them to be.  He didn't see the things I was doing, what I found to be valuable, for him.  I let that kill my sense of worth.  My sense of worth had no business being rooted there. Beth told me that a few years ago, but it slipped my mind.

Today I made a point to go get the book so I could read it again.  Lucky for me, it was on sale too. Got home, opened it up... the tears started on page 5.  How did I get so far away from what I had learned before? On page 10 she started in on another problem I have.  Kicking myself for being foolish or stupid enough to let these things bother me.  OK, yeah that does not help solve the problem! At the bottom of page 10 she says "We can think we've murdered that monster once and for all, and then it rises from the dead and it has grown another head". Yep, it's got a few heads now.

In my honest conversation with Carter he turned to me and sincerely said "You've got to do something to feel better about yourself". My reply "I know what you are thinking and none of that works".  I could start working out and lose a bunch of weight.  Go get implants, or my teeth whitened.  Carry the latest Coach bag, or go back to school and finish my degree.  But it's not there and I know it.  That has to be the worst feeling as a husband.  He can't control it or fix it, but he has to listen and watch me struggle with it.

If any good can come from watching these "Real Housewives" shows it has been this: I have watched an openly God fearing woman with a lot of money, blonde hair, purchased boobs, an incredible figure and 3 great kids stumble with her insecurity.  What does that prove? That none of that works!!! You can be feeling great about yourself and then whoops, there is a woman in front of you with brown hair, real boobs, 4 kids and more money unintentionally making you feel lesser.  It's all in your head, not your bank account, job, workout routine or mammaries. If it is there, it needs to be relocated to a safer venue.  That is not where your confidence belongs. 

Chapter 1 was tackled today. This is my second go at trying to make progress. I have to do it for my girls.  I can't accidentally pass down my issues to them.  They need to know right from the start how to handle this.  How can I help them when most of my brain is thinking the same thing? Once Mommy gets a grip on the tools, I can pass them on so they can have them in their belt. This book is going to stay next to my bed for a very long time.  I will re-visit it as many times as necessary to regain my security and keep putting it back where it belongs.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Struck Dumb

Ask my husband - I can "win" just about any argument by the shear speed of my words.  He can't keep up.  If I slowed down - he would win.  I used that a lot as a teenager.  A quick sharp tongue could lash the most undeserving and the deserving.  Using that on anyone at any time has escaped me as an adult.
 Maybe it was pregnancy that zapped my brain cells (although I was quite a bear during Cara's pregnancy). Maybe it is just having children around in general. Could be that my language has been watered down to "stinky" and "tushy"?  I don't even say "hate" unless I want to get a look from Cara (that's just one of my things, doesn't have to be yours).  I think there is another possibility. . . I am momentarily Struck Dumb.

Have you ever left a discussion and thought of one million comebacks that you could have said? Struck Dumb.  How about finding no fault in a new friend but then all of the sudden seeing what is really there? Struck Dumb.  Ever felt insulted but only in hindsight? Struck Dumb.
Being insatiably thirsty for information right now, I have set my sights on the Bible.  Focusing in on women in the Bible, I have devoured 3 books.  I hit a wall one day (well, end of the shelf) at the library in my search to continue learning.  Scanning the shelves (side note - there is no way they should allow a Shannon Doherty book that close to literature about my Savior!) for a book to satisfy my general need for knowledge popped out.  "100 Most Fascinating People in the Bible".  Feeling the need to fill in the gaps felt while reading my last book, I checked it out.  The book I read before this one made references to things that I did not remember.  Obviously the author was assuming that I knew the Bible front to back. I don't, yet.  So when you say things like "He was like Elijah" and leave it at that, I am lost. 
In Alphabetical order - this book is hard to follow. It is really more of a reference book.  The "J" section is incredibly long. From Jacob, to a bunch of Joseph's and John's of course you can't skip JESUS, I was working my way through them when I hit John the Baptist.
Elizabeth and Zechariah were "elderly"  and childless when the angel Gabriel told Zechariah that they would have a son. He would be named John (known as John the Baptist) and would, among other wonderful things, ready the people for the coming of Jesus.  (Luke 1:8-25).  In verse 18, Zechariah questions the angel in what must have been more like true disbelief than pure confusion based on what happens in the next 2 verses.  In verse 20 the angel says "And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” That is exactly what happened. He came out of the temple and could not speak.

Let's go back to my "100 People" book and the "J" section.

My book has different wording to describe what happened to Zechariah. On page 41 in the opening paragraph about John the Baptist it says ". . .his father doubted the angel's words and was STRUCK DUMB as a punishment".  This made me laugh.  The wording is hilarious to me, but very simple - "struck dumb".  I am sure there are more interpretations of the words used to describe his condition but this one seemed so true as an explanation for my inability to connect my brain and mouth when I feel they should be raging!

To clarify, no I don't think God is punishing me by striking me dumb.  I don't think there is any real relationship between my experience and Zechariah.  I believe mine is more like training.  God has used my choke collar a few good times and tightened so I could feel, over the years, Him leading me to hold back my speech. 

There is a relationship between the wording.  That is exactly how I feel after an incident that enrages me only after I have taken 4 steps away from it.  Had that person needed my "guidance" at the time, He would have released my dumb-ness.  Recently, there was no other explanation for my lack of wits and words except for being struck dumb.  My children were being insulted and corrected by someone that I had just met.  You can mess with me but you will not mess with my kids.   If you love my kids and have been in their lives for a long time, you can feel free.  But you do it out of love or the need for safety - not because you are spreading your "children should be little adults" rules all around and mine were in your path.  Seriously I felt like (without ever having really experienced one) I had a seizure.  I stuttered, my face froze, mouth wide open, I was in shock.  When I finally got my words back I decided it was time to make an exit.  I directed it at Cara and gave them the 5 minute warning to clean up. 

WHY GOD?!?!? Why didn't you let me lay into this person!?!?!? I know there is a good reason! I have not sought another attempt to put myself in that situation again.  I know that my brain is already way too full of sinful words and plans for me to control on my own.  Some days I think it would just feel really good to have my power of explosive words back! Don't you ever have really bad days and you think "the next person to even look at me wrong is going to get it".  Seemingly daring people with your eyes to even look at you the wrong way.  I felt this way at Target a few weeks ago.  No one even looked at me in that aisle.  No eye contact.  Wow, I thanked God for them, because they had no idea!  Now, I thank God for the work he has done in me (still a work in progress) that allows people to view HIS love through me.  It is genuine, cannot be faked, and not forced.

Following your next meeting, outing or family gathering that results in a tirade of killer words and thoughts only 5 minutes too late. . . grab your coffee, your stress ball, and consider yourself Struck Dumb.  Its' a good thing.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Should You Handle The Truth?

Maybe I watch too much TV. Maybe I need some fast acting anti-anxiety patch to apply, but there are definitely times when I get this feeling.  A feeling that there is something out there, something big, that I don't know. Of course there is a lot out there that I don't know (don't tell Cara and Natalie though).  I mean something like a major dose of dishonesty, a back stabbing moment from someone you trusted, or a major ground shaking revelation.  Should we know? Could there be something out there that is just a smidge past the plain nose on our face that we don't see? 

We all curse poor Eve every time her descendant Aunt Flo makes an appearance.  Even more cursing begins when the oxytocin (or pitocin for those of us that need a nudge) starts flowing and the pain of bringing another life into the world hits us ladies.  It is, in many minds, her fault that this world is not perfect and painless.  She got the wrap but I guarantee if she had not done it, someone else would have.  She was just the first contestant on "Don't Eat From That Tree". A lot is debated about this event: Was Adam there with her the whole time? Was it an Apple or a Fig? Where was that dang tree? Why did she do it?  One thing we know - her wants over took her obedience.  Who wouldn't want to know EVERYTHING!?!? Or are we better off not knowing?

Riding home from work in the car one day I was listening to Dr. Laura. She is known for her very conservative opinions and advice. What she said that day shocked me.  She told someone NOT to tell their spouse about an affair.  Her * (asterisk) on that comment was, if it was a one time thing, and not going to happen again and you did not get caught, don't tell.  Telling would be to relieve the guilt of the offending partner and serve no purpose to the victimized spouse.  So if you learned your lesson, kick some kitty litter over it, jump out of the litter box and keep going (<---my metaphor, not hers).
I started thinking... I would want to know! That would KILL me if there was someone else out there that knew, even if it was just the "other woman".  I would die if others close to me knew.  I should know something like this. Or did Dr. Laura have a point? Do we need to know EVERYTHING?

New Years Day 2003 I woke up in terrible pain.  That aforementioned descendant of Eve had arrived and in different fashion.  Carter I had been trying to get pregnant for a year to no avail.  The days leading up to the new year I was feeling some pregnancy symptoms. One was definitely a sign for me because it had been one for my sister.  On New Years Eve I took a pregnancy test... negative.  I still did not drink that night with my dinner at Outback, planning to retest in the morning.  The next morning I could barely stand.  I called off our plans for dinner with my family. I called out of work the next day.  I went to my regular doctor, they had no explanation.  Life went on and I did not know what to think of it.
You see, I went through a "phase" early in 2003 where I cried every morning in the shower. Finally after going through this for a few weeks, I asked for help. I started taking Prozac and my irregular cycles became miraculously regular for 3 months.  I thought prozac was a magical gynecological healer. Again, life went on and I did not know what to think of it. . . . . until after I had Cara.

A little over a year later on February 9, 2004 I finally got my two pink lines. First positive test I had ever seen. After she was born in October I suffered from what started as Baby Blues and turned into full on depression complete with "I'm not taking medicine I don't want to feel better" RED FLAG!!!  One thing in my life was constant, my cycle, for 3 months, like clock work.  2/9/2004 was when I got my first two pink lines but it was not my first pregnancy.

Would it have been better for me to have confirmation on that one test I took that New Year's Eve?  How would I have felt knowing what I had just lost?  How freaking nuts would I have been not getting pregnant again until a year later?!?!? I can answer that one! I would have been a complete lunatic! Each month! For an entire YEAR! In between Cara and Natalie I did suffer two confirmed miscarriages.  The 2nd one they offered testing to see if there was an explanation.  The results were - no explanation.  Then my OB looked at Carter and I and said "Do you want to know if it was a boy or a girl?" Before I could get out the sound the letter N makes, Carter said Yes and the Dr. answered with "It was a girl".  Did I need to know that?  Doesn't matter because I did know and there it was, information that hurt too badly to process.

I truly believe there is some information that we are spared for very good reasons.  With technology, we are able to go out there and get a lot of it, are we meant to know?  On Facebook, excessive sharing comes to mind.  Did I need to know that person was at PetSmart?
In the Beth Moore book I read, she shared a story about a young lady that had finally ended an engagement that she felt was bad.  She had suspicions that he had been seeing someone else or at least being inappropriate with another woman.  So she used her knowledge and busted into his email.  She found what she was looking for.  Did that feel any better? To know specifically what was going on?  She could have spared herself the self-worth damage and just trusted her instincts and her God that she did the right thing.

Would we really like to know what is said about us behind closed doors? Things possibly said in anger and frustrations. Things that they did not mean to say but it came out anyway?  Untruths that could kill our self-esteem that are not intended to make us a better person? We know that we can be frustrated with someone and go from mad to over it in a matter of hours.  Can we just accept that they got over it?

There has to be a balance between being a sitting duck and digging beyond the knowledge we were meant to have.  It is a struggle for me when I get these feelings.  I still want to know but I know that when it is time for me to know, I will. And the time will be right and I will be able to handle it.  I'm not saying there is anything to know.  At times there does seem to be a sixth sense but it is not always correct.  I would feel like a fool if there was something going on right under my nose and I did not see it.  Could I be spared of that foolish feeling if it was not something I absolutely had to know? Of course we CAN handle the truth, but should we?