On Monday I saw my therapist. I love her. I wish I could sit with her every day over a cup of GOOD coffee (she is the one who told me about Moja Coffee) and talk about our lives, not just mine. Sometimes I wish we had just become friends at church (it would be cheaper) but meeting her this way gives me the opportunity to not worry quite so much about what she thinks of me. Although sometimes I still hide what I’m feeling from her, usually I’m pretty honest – although a lot of the time it’s coping with the day to day and not the crap stuff that is deep down affecting who I am.
Lately we’ve been dealing more with the crap stuff.
I’ve had to. I’ve even cried holding my newborn baby about how awful it’s been breastfeeding her – but at the same time not wanting to give up because I missed feeding Claire so much when I stopped at one year (due to health reasons). We’ve talked about how the guilt and shame I feel is so connected to my being molested by my elementary school music teacher. About my lack of power. About my lack of control. My confusion. Anxiety.
This hasn’t been pretty to think about. To deal with. It adds to my anxiety regarding my own children and if I am protecting them and giving them the ability to SAY NO to authority when it’s necessary (not just when they don’t want to do something they NEED to do). I think I am. My teenage daughter is open to talking about the creepy shop teacher who drops pencils so the “sweet girls” will pick them up – and she says he can pick it up himself.
Being assertive is not my gift. I don’t know how to teach my strong-willed children to be assertive and not aggressive. I’m proud they are strong willed. I just hope I can teach them to be compassionate too. I was always worried about embarrassing my abusers. That I could be a “suffering-servant.” That I could handle being abused.
I didn’t realize how it was going to affect my future. My family.
I thought if I was a perfect little submissive girl, everything would be okay.
But it obviously hasn’t worked out so well that way.
Firstly, my idea of perfect is apparently rather skewed. I just discovered this on Monday. Like, 3 days ago. I’m 38 years old and I have thought that perfect meant “no rest until every speck of dust is gone.” Which, of course, is VERY IMPOSSIBLE, even without 5 kids and with a healthy body.
So I never rested. I never rest. I always have this list of things I need to do (which is really long if you saw my house right now). Even when I should be enjoying these sweet baby smiles at the breast, I am overwhelmed with the above mentioned issues and then when that eventually passes, I start in on all the things I should be doing. I can’t just breast feed, I have to be doing something else as well (usually catching up on social media on my iPhone so that I feel like I’m at least DOING something – not just feeding my baby and connecting with her in a beautiful way).
I wake every morning thinking I should have woken up earlier and made my husband coffee (instead of the other way around). I already fail first thing. And then I do my best to do laundry – but it doesn’t get folded because I am constantly running around (like, the laundry currently in the dryer will get thrown in a basket as I run out the door to take someone to skating, or to the dentist, or to go pick up a prescription for lorazepam). There are gross, disgusting silverfish in our bathrooms. And splatters of strawberry jam on the cabinets. And Cora Beth is soaked in spit-up, AGAIN.
There isn’t time for me to eat. To drink coffee while it is hot. To just read Grace for the Good Girl or write on my blog. There may be just enough time to tweet a photo of Claire eating french fries or Savannah building a sandcastle – but taking time to really BE myself is out of the question.
AND THEN my BELOVED COUNSELOR said, do you think Jesus was perfect?
Then she said, “What do you think the people who weren’t healed thought?”
I wasn’t sure what she meant.
“When Jesus would leave those crowds to eat. To pray. To go party.”
He left many unhealed, “unforgiven” untouched. He couldn’t touch everyone. It would be impossible.
He had to stop to eat.
To drink (even took time to make wine).
To go hang out with people of disrepute.
He took care of his disciples.
He took care of himself.
He didn’t HEAL everyone.
He didn’t heal EVERYONE.
He DIDN’T heal everyone.
Some things were left undone – in our eyes. He must have wanted to touch them all…but couldn’t. Didn’t. He COULD have just prayed one big prayer and made everyone whole – but it was the relational act of touch, conversation that healed, forgave, made new.
SO, this façade I’ve been trying to put on – not necessary. There aren’t enough hours in a day, or enough calories I can consume while running around, to make my house the spotless haven of rest that I want it to be. There aren’t enough arms to hold all my kids ALL the time and feed them, fold laundry, vacuum. There is only ENOUGH for me to chose what can go by the wayside and what I need to do – and maybe, for my sanity, sitting at the computer a couple hours a week to write about my struggles, my gifts, my thanksgiving, what I am learning in the midst of these scattered graces – is one of those things. Being able to process into words what this struggle of PPD/Anxiety is like while feeding Cora Beth and coercing (bribing with banana splits) children to pick up their toys may not be the most helpful thing to read on the web for you – but it certainly helps me to process what I’ve been learning.
Being able to blog while I was on bed rest is part of the reason I kept sane. Maybe through the PPD I need to do the same.
Thank you to all of you who have ALREADY sent me encouragement, prayers, graces of blessing. I continue to add to my Book of Healing. Thank you.
Thank you for letting me know that I am NOT alone.
And sometimes the healing isn’t instantaneous. Sometimes He chooses to make our bodies weak so our spirits can be stronger. And maybe it takes time to see that. Patience. Perseverance…
Please pray for hope to spring eternal in me. I know I will get to the other side of this. That in itself is hope. I am afraid of it getting worse. Well, really, I am afraid of everything right now (like, why do I hear the back of the toilet coming off?) and I don’t want to live in fear. I need the “made perfect in love to cast out this fear…