The Tsunami of Destruction and The Grief of a Forgotten Past

Grief for the lost places of your past

I remember the day my adult world began.  It was the day my grandmother (VaVor) had died.  I was twelve years old, and the shock of the loss of any security of childhood seemed to be a distant memory.  My grandmother was my security blanket in which I ran to, to make everything alright again.  But the cancer had spread to her brain and she was gone too quickly.  The sense of reality, in life moving on after the certainty of death, was overwhelming to my growing mind.  Yet moving on was the only option.

Life changed dramatically in one year.  My childhood was gone to me.  I moved from my secure environment and familiarity to where my grandmother once was.  I was now living in her home, though nothing was the same.  I began to extend to the outside world of that area that once was so secure.  The neighborhood, friends, city, schools, were a harsh dose of scattered, unfamiliar areas that were new.  Nothing had the same safeness or embraceable warmth that had been a prominent factor in my life.  I was now dangling from a limb and holding on while searching for love and security.  Some sort of familiarity.

I met my ex-husband at the age of thirteen, one year after my grandmother’s death.  He was close to four years older than me, but I fought to be with him.  He gave me the attention that I desired and I so needed at that time.  And our closeness and love grew quickly.  It was a young, inexperienced love and bonding, but I believe that we both needed that closeness and security in our lives.  I was still struggling to find a solid foundation, and he needed true compassion and a belief in him.

It became clear quickly that my ex-husband’s foundation was built on tumultuous land that needed more empathy and caring.  Watching my ex-husband and his father in a fight trying to choke one another as I ran from the situation in horror only strengthened my belief in this concept .  This example along with many other truths of harmful, out of the desired caring scope of parenthood, were talked about and experienced in my twenty-five year time span with him.  This type of emotional harm cannot go without effecting someone in someway.  He unfortunately brought forth some of these intolerant practices in our own family life.

By the delicate age of fifteen, living as a woman in a child’s body, I decided that I had a craving for a baby.  I wanted to give my complete love away to a child that needed me.  I wanted to have a reciprocal love that I believed was lacking in my life.  My ex-husband, though scared and ambiguous (and horny), obliged.  Almost a year after my daughter was born, we married.  I was sixteen, and he was a few weeks shy of twenty.

Within a few years, I was still a teenager and a mother of three beautiful children.  I always took my responsibilities unconditionally with the love, guidance, and care that was so deserved.  My joy of being a mother was my first priority in life.  And due to the differences in my ex-husband and my childhood backgrounds, I was guarded with fear and protection at all times.  My childhood and beyond with my parents was filled with love and guidance, and protection.  On the other hand, my ex-husband’s childhood lacked in those aspects.  So our parenting skills were at odds frequently.

By the time my life hit the Tsunami of a breaking point, with the department of social services one minute knocking on my door, and the next minute them asking me to undress the kids to see if more bruises than the one on my son’s eye existed, life up until that bruise and the after results was contained and kept as happy and fulfilled as possible for the children.  After that time (very near mother’s day) life completely changed for me.  Within a few months I had my first breakdown that included psychosis, delusions, hyperchristianity, bulimia, and more.  Fear and protection was still there, but a new and hyper-vigilant theme existed in the household.  And the inexcusable lack of acknowledgement of responsibility for the state authorities inspections by my ex-husband throughout our entire marriage hurt to the core.

This was another stepping stone in life for me.  There was complete lack of ability on my part to give entire care and responsibility for the children to my husband.  My trust had been crushed, and though efforts were made with some counseling to restore that trust, the anger and behavior that caused the problems always won out until the day I left him, and after.  It was engrained in his being.   I stood married to him until my last child was already to move into his college dorm, and I had finished the final financial paperwork for his school.  I suppose the fear of supporting my children alone kept me with my ex-husband.  But God opened that door spontaneously for me to run, and get out.

Though I do not regret any of my time parenting and the raising of the best children possible, at times in the past I have grieved the loss of my childhood and teenage years.  My teenage years were completely non-existent due to my own actions, though there were times when I was angry.  I was angry at myself, angry with my ex-husband, angry at my parents for not stopping us in the relationship, angry for my lost childhood.  But ultimately grieving a part of a lost life that was never existent is terribly hard, if not impossible.  I started my life over in my late thirties, and was granted some of those experiences, though the satisfaction was lacking.  Being in a relationship (the comfort of my youth) is where my heart belonged.  Just a healthier relationship this time around is what I still pray for.  So far these blessings are granted, though work and persistence is a must.

Forgiving Without an Apology

Think before you chase after them

I had a friend at one time in my life who suffered from a mental illness.  We had compassion for one another though our capabilities due to our illnesses were at much different levels.  This friend had the capability of calming my anxiety at times and helped me through the time of my divorce.  She was a true friend that also had her own set of problems, but we accepted each others struggles and helped one another to pursue and move forward in life.

After knowing each other for close to fifteen years, I encountered a time where she decided to shut me out of her life.  I tried to go to her home to see if there was a problem that I could help her out with, but I was shut out.  I pursued the fact that she may be having trouble with her illness to no avail.  I was hurt and finally after some time I resigned myself to the fact that she no longer wanted me in her life.

Close to three years went by and the scars of the pain finally healed and I was able to accept my life without this friend in it, though the question of why was always on my mind.  Eventually I received a call from her.  It was awkward yet a nice warmth to hearing her voice.  But the hurt of the situation was once again brought up to the surface of my mind.  The immediate cut off of communication with no explanation that had the tone of abandonment in some way was once again in the forefront.

Uneasily she began to explain the answer to my question that had been in my mind for all this time – the why?  There was never an apology.  There was just an excuse of sorts, and a pointing of her finger at who was responsible.  She was angry at the person that was responsible, but never did she acknowledge her part.  She explained to me that her therapist encouraged her to block out of her life all of her prior friends so she could get rid of negative influence and start new.  Apparently she took this advise to heart and cut off relationships with everyone.  She told me that she now wanted to explain this to me and one other friend because she was very angry at her therapist’s advise.  She even said to me that the “other friend” had forgiven her and would start new.  The problem was that an apology to me was never made, just an explanation.

What I realized that she needed was resolution.  It ultimately was up to me whether the friendship could be restored.  I gave her my words of forgiveness, though it took some time to truly forgive.  The trust between us was broken, and for me trust is a priority.  I decided to forgive her but remain on the course that I was on and I never again spoke to her after that time.  There was kindness and clarification at the end of our relationship and that was a must.

I felt as if God had said to me to move on and stay the path.  Whether I made the right decision or not I’ll never be sure.  I wish her well in her life, and I thank her for those years of friendship.  But a new page was turned and new friends and opportunities and more of a reliance on myself were in the future.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

Laughing and Dancing to Life’s Melody

Life is better when laughing

When I think about the humor in my family it makes me think things were not as serious as my personality always seemed to be.  The humor of my parents added a spark of lighthearted amusing uplifting smiles to situations.  They had the capacity to see the humor in many of life’s challenges and also the dull day to day routines.

I miss those times of laughing.  I need more of that in my life, and this is a new goal for me.  It’s time to see the humor in things and not be so serious.  I need to lose my vigilant awareness of possible criticism.  Life is lived but once.  Time to dance , smile, and have fun.  Time to tap my toes and swirl around to the beat.  I’m now looking for the laughter and the positive side of things.  The rainbow is staring at me brightly after the storm, and the colors are beautiful.

Managing the Changes of Time

Amazing

As I’ve gotten older, my struggle with Bipolar has become more outwardly apparent.  Side effects from a medication I was on for about a year has caused intermittent problems with word finding.  The disorganization in my mind becomes problem some when I have lack of sleep.  Increased stress also causes disorganization.  Being pressured to rush or to do something with deadlines decreases my ability to be able to handle a situation.  Escape is what comes to mind.  I have had periodic suicidal ideation that seems to be under control at the present time.

When I was younger, I was more able to hide my emotions.  Increased stress caused disorganization as well, but I was able to function and keep my mind focused enough to get things done without outward disruption.  My words could become hesitant during speech, yet I was able to quickly readjust.  Working, for me, was much less stressful because deadlines and having to be somewhere at certain times never caused much of a problem.  I never had any suicidal thoughts.  I was too busy being a mom to my children who needed me.

Time does change things quickly.  When I was in my twenties, life was so filled with possibility.  And the future or thought of grandchildren and living without the support of my parents seemed to be in the far off distant future.  It’s so strange how time creeped up on me so fast, and here I am in a new part of my life.  Amazing really!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from done yet!  Living a peaceful and happy existence is the goal now.  I love to travel, and do so as much as possible.  I enjoy my new husband that gives me a new perspective in life without any unneeded chaos.  The beauty of grandchildren is wonderful, and it fills me with joy and surprise because seeing how time goes by is much quicker when seeing grandchildren grow.  I don’t see them on a daily basis so it’s truly remarkable how fast they learn and the time flashes forward.

And I’ve accepted that my mental illness is just that, an illness.  I’ve learned to live with it, though sometimes it’s difficult.  I’ve realized that everyone in this world has their own set of challenges.  Living my life with honesty, integrity, faith, and love will bring me to the next chapter, and the next.  Yes, there is only this one life that I’m living.  Therefore, I’m going to make the most of all of the blessings that I’ve been given, and run, hop, and skip with a smile on my face.

Hope and Growth are in the Future

I am truly blessed to be who I am.  There are new possibilities in each day.  I will give all the Glory to God, for there are new ventures on the horizon.  Thank you to all who follow this blog.  More and more will be coming forth.  I have hope in my heart, and a lift in my step.  Mental Illness is not a deficit, just something I have to learn to live with.  Bring on the days ahead.

Put my trust in God

Always Believe in Yourself

The Final Chapter of the Making of an Unbreakable Bond is actually something that I wrote months ago. This was the beauty of my mother, and the guidance and love provided on both our parts till the day she died.

Believe in yourself…

This was a constant theme that my mother always wanted me to achieve – the belief that I was capable, worthy, kind, and full of love.  Her belief in me kept me filled with a desire to move forward.  She believed in me even when I had no strength to believe.  I never understood how she was able to so strongly believe in my ability to go on, and fulfill a desirable life.

My hope has disappeared many times.  The turmoil of my mind encompasses me at times, and I’m unable to see the joy around me – or anything around me, for that matter.  The trials of living with a mental illness (such as Bipolar) and the walk of a bumpy road that knocks you down quite frequently is exhausting to not only the one with the illness, but also to the loved ones.

My mother…

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A Prayer Answered

Christmas Gift in 1999 for my Mom and Dad:

Words –

I gave them my words of love and gratitude on a page in which I wanted to do a beautiful calligraphy page, though my calligraphy was lacking desperately.  I also drew a picture of an angel.  Not quite sure why.  To my dismay, my mother proudly displayed this “piece of art” on the wall in her workspace until she could no longer work – years and years.  I didn’t understand why she so preciously regarded this Christmas Gift that I gave her until just recently when I was reading my journal from when I was making this writing piece for them.

Journal Entry – Nov. 30, 1999

Working on the Christmas Gift made me feel childish, creative, and adventurous.  I don’t want this gift to be something that I’ll like, but rather something that they will treasure and enjoy.  I want them to be touched emotionally.  I want them to understand the words and gratitude, and to never tire of seeing “The Gift” on their wall.  This is my hope, wish, goal, and prayer.

I never looked back on that entry, and I totally forgot that I even wrote it, but God had so thoroughly and went above and beyond to answer my prayer.  Not only had my mom displayed this – but it was even more publicly displayed than in her home, but on her workplace wall.  After retiring, she kept this writing up on her bedroom wall until the day she died.

I never asked her why she regarded that piece so much, but yes I had made it with love and gave it to her so I felt that was why she displayed it.  It was funny because it made me feel somewhat childish and I really didn’t like the drawing and writing up on her wall in her workspace.  So yes, God had said OK to that one too.  It was something that I did NOT like, but it was treasured and enjoyed.  And with all my being I know that they understood the words and gratitude.

Answered Prayers

The Gift

(On the Front)

A picture of an angel cherub holding a dove with these words surrounding it:

Your gift to me for all time will be – the love, patience, and faith you’ve shared with me.  You’ve nurtured, trained, and guided me to fly with strong wings.  Your words of love, your generous soul, and your kind spirit are a part of me.

For this, Thank You

(On the Back)

Written

12/24/99

Dear Mom and Dad,

I felt kind of childish when I was making this little drawing.  Actually – I originally wanted to make a nice calligraphy picture for you to frame and put in your home.  Well it didn’t come out exactly as I planned, but I couldn’t just throw away this masterpiece. (ha!)  Truly the words came from my heart.

I thought that an added expression to show you both how I feel about you two – is by giving you this CD “Music of My Heart”.  Listen to the words.  They are truly words of love, with the added beauty of music.  “Music of My Heart” expresses how I feel.  Have a nice Christmas Eve.

Talk to you in the morning –

I love you both.

Kelsy

God is truly Amazing and I’m so thankful for the parents He blessed me with.

Raise Your Voice

He began screaming and threatening him.  The problem was that this display of harshness was done in public.  He was a large man who was brutally ridiculing and intimidating a young child of seven or eight.

Do Something             Thank you to the couragoeus man for standing up to him and saying, “Why dont you pick on someone your own size – Like Me.”  It’s great how an angry and frightening man is quickly quieted by the words of a stranger.

Bravery and respect in the highest form is given to someone, especially when they are raising their voice for those that are unable to raise their own.

Purpose and Ability Recognized

Largest Fear

It is hard when one is being torn between the best possible emotional stability for their child, and the fear of outsiders (psychologists, teachers, school mentors) looking into an unhealthy lifestyle that needs to be readjusted with positive thinking and higher self-esteem to bring about change.  Living in an environment of criticism though arguably loving with a loud and demanding dictatorship on one side; and a caring, teaching, protective, though strict with guidelines and rules and an ever fighting and fearful spirit on the other side, made for a challenging family household.  And for others to look into the dynamics of these surroundings was a terrifying experience knowing that in the past that household could have been destroyed and dissolved by these authorities.  So a balance had to be achieved to not allow this to happen again.  Protection at all times a must!

To say that I who overcame and balanced these stressful conditions for years is not of strength is ignoring a bold and fighting being, and yes, someone with purpose and ability.  And to realize that I am of more capability than I allowed myself to recognize is shameful.  I always made the choice that ultimately benefited the children though my heart may have been filled with fear.  I always took into account the best for them, and discounted hiding or isolating.  It was something that had to be done.  And yes, I am a stronger person because of it.  And though I was hospitalized two times while under these stressful conditions in the whole time of raising my children into adulthood while acquiring PTSD and managing Bipolar and Anxiety Disorder, I still managed to make the best contribution I could have to society – my beautiful children.

I think as I am older now and the children are grown, what I struggle with is admitting that my Bipolar is a debilitating disorder that has taken away my career.  I also know that the children are now on their own, and thankfully succeeding in life.  My life has changed significantly and to learn new purpose has been difficult – though not impossible.  I have dealt with oppressing challenge in the past and taken the prize.  This is like nothing that I haven’t yet been able to achieve.  The future is going to be bright, I’m sure.