I didn't realize how long it has been since I last wrote something here. It's not like I didn't have ideas. I pretty much have and idea or two a day, I just didn't seem to have the drive. Emotions are draining. Not only mine, but the kids at school, my family, stress (which I'm really working on decreasing), and I'm going to physical therapy two days a week because pain is also very exhausting and I'm tired of being tired.
Thanksgiving, here, was perfect. My son, my daughter, my dad, and me. I have the meal preparation down to a science. My daughter went to work that night at the mall, an extra job she took. My son and dad stayed and visited a while, though my dad, who was being driven home by my son, was nervous about leaving after dark. Old habits and fears are hard to let go of, I guess. Anyway, the day was a blessing.
That evening, sitting here alone, eating a piece of pie and watching a movie, with the dogs curled up on the couch with me, I started thinking about everything. I still have a bad habit of feeling the urge, when I'm feeling peaceful, to open that door to the past and pick through horrible memories. Why? I have no idea. But I still do it. I started to do it on Thanksgiving evening, but before opening that same old, creaky door, I stopped. It was as though I didn't have the energy for that, either. Enough of digging through that 'stuff.' Instead, I started thinking about how I would be had all of that 'stuff" not happened. It was kind of refreshing to turn it around. I'm used to internally lamenting about what life would be like if this evil hadn't befallen my child. Life would be much better, for her especially, but for me, too. The physical part of life, at least. But I'm not so sure the spiritual side would be and I'm finding that that part of me, the spiritual, is far more important for my survival than the physical (material) part.
This extended course in misery, fear, and stress has, I have noticed, refined me on the inside into a person that I truly don't believe I would be had it all not happened. I can also see a strength growing in my daughter that used to be there, but I haven't seen in a very long time. The potter and the clay reference comes to mind (Isaiah 64;8). I completely understand it and even better, I'm not bitter about it. If this whole experience was allowed to happen to bring us closer to God, I'm okay with it. No one has died, gone to jail, been injured, physically. Yes, it has ripped me on the inside. The stress and fear has been unbearable at times, but when I finally just let go ("It is what it is") mentally, things started to change. Slowly, yes, but still change started. Change and understanding. I am not trivializing the struggle. I'm not saying I didn't stamp around my house crying and yelling at God, because I did. I would sound like a crazy person if I wrote all of the goofy reactions I have had during these past few years. In the end, though, I stopped the ranting and just emotionally plopped down and became still. I felt drained and exhausted. I felt rejected and sad, but I didn't have the energy to react anymore--inside. It's a hard feeling to explain, that stillness, but it was as if on the inside, I just couldn't emotionally move anymore. I believe that is when my internal healing began, and continues.
I'm still learning. I'm still trying to feel my way through this new mindset. I still feel stress, but am working on it. We still have good days (more frequently) and bad days, but I don't fall apart, anymore. There is a calm that I can only explain as God. I'm not sure how this is all sounding. I don't want it to come across as though it's been easy once I emotionally plopped down. It hasn't been, but it hasn't felt so isolating. I don't feel so alone and weak on the inside. I am feeling more uplifted and hopeful.
I just wanted to express that because this experience has been the foundation of helping me to interact more effectively and with a stronger purpose, with those around me--my work, friends, strangers, family. And if someone else is experiencing the pain and stress, I just want to say, hold on...help is on the way.