Sunday, November 26, 2017

Huge project

I knew when I volunteered that this would be a big project but it is some much bigger than I thought it would be.  This post is about my relationship with Heavenly Father...if you are a survivor of religious abuse you may want to skip today's. 

I did pray about volunteering and every time I thought, 'no, I can't do this,' my heart would nag me that with my background in creating costumes for plays I had the skills needed to do this.  I was ambivalent and finally sent my name in for helping out.  They put me in charge of all the costumes.  I imagined a cast of maybe 10 people with many costumes being borrowed.  My reality check bounced big time.  A cast of over 30 people with multiple parts per person to the tune of over 80 costumes.  Easily the biggest show I ever done.  I felt overwhelmed. 

I remembered that Heavenly Father is awesome at doing the impossible.  Day after day I chip away at the project.  Buying fabric, planning, asking others to do so much, going back to planning and buying more fabric.  Good grief.  Borrowed some of the costumes but some of them didn't fit the people chosen for the parts.  Then the seamstresses helping started quitting.  Wow.  I felt backed into a corned.  I kept praying, "What did Heavenly Father want me to learn from this?"  Over the weeks two answers keep hammering in my mind, "I can't fix everything," and "people are more important than the task."  I'm not sure I am doing very well on these. 

In spite of my doubts and fears miracles are happening.  I found 31 yards of white fabric for $3.00 per yard.  The Roman sandals were 50% off the day after Halloween.  Goodwill put all there linens, sheets and curtains for 50% off.  I am watching my closet fill up with more and more costumes.  My DH and pitched in with sewing.  My sister helped put name on costumes.  People keeping stepping up when I am giving up.  Heavenly Father asked me to build an Ark and all the construction materials are all over our living room.  Faith is a scary thing some days.  Miracles are I have one week to finish.  Wow is this tough.  I'm seeing things come together. Thank you Lord. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Feeling Blue

Breathe.....really you are probably holding your breathe. 

One of the reactions to anxiety is to hold your breathe.  Oxygen deprivation really messes with the body.  Hyperventilation is not much better.  It only takes 10% increase in breathing to hyperventilate.  Some of the symptoms are dizziness, light headed, numbness in hands and feet and a host of other uncomfortable sensations.

One of the groups I follow on Facebook for CPTSD posted a link to a page called coherent-breathing.

It looks interesting and I want to try it out.  If anyone else has experience with this would you share your opinion, please? 

I experienced myself times when I relax so completely I can't be roused or moved.  Not good when I am at work. 

I learned early in my healing process that breathing is key to knowing when I am triggered.  Not all triggers are the obvious cause and effect.  Sometimes the quickening of my breathe alerts me that danger is near. 

Breathing in slowly and releasing my breathe slowly takes time and effort.  Practice breathing before I am in crisis ups my chances of remembering to breathe when I am anxious at night.  

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Mixed emotions

Every year this time of year is a confluence of mixed emotions threatening to obliterate me or catapult me into my murky and screwed up past.  Then I remember a project I did in wood for art class. 

Treasured pieces
Forgotten past
Lost in the recesses of a suppressed mind.
The facade cracks – the filth of my past oozes into my consciousness.
In this filthy river are bits and pieces of treasured moments.
Collect them Polish them Store them where they are safe.
Bring them out and remember. 

Life can be good. 
Moments can be precious. 
Savor the good that exists.
I can not change my past. 

I can decide my future 
Do I spread the ooze or 
Create moments to be treasured?
Only I decide.
Written by me (2009)

Halloween to Valentines Day I struggle to sort out the good, the bad and the ugly.  I want to do so much then ugly overwhelms and I want to hibernate until March.  Nothing is peaceful for me this time of year.  I want happiness and joy and peace but it is difficult when memories of stress and sorrow and chaos crowd my mind.  My own mistakes, broken promises and short comings become crystal clear.  Another round of missed birthdays, plans I don't follow through on and this year I really put myself in a pickle by volunteering to help with something that I expected to be much different than it turned out to be.  I'm sad.  I did this to myself.  I feel like sometimes I make my life miserable to replicate the angst of childhood.  To make things feel 'normal.'  I'm thankful to my first counselor that taught me that normal is only true when placed in context.  I found a quote that satisfies my need for a definition, "Normal is a setting on a drier."

Friday, November 17, 2017

Doing it again

I do this over and over and over.  I give myself an impossible task then beat myself up for not achieving it in half the time available.  I am thankful to DH and Judy for supporting me in my insanity.  They are not telling me to stop trying to do the impossible they are each doing something to support me in their own way.  DH makes sure I eat.  Yup, I punish myself by starving myself for not being done with the impossible already.  Judy is helping with keeping me calm and reminding me that I am doing the impossible.  Hugs to both.  I couldn't do this without them. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Come a long way

Hi all....I'm immersed in costumes for a Christmas play.  To take a break I was deleting old emails.  I came across an email I wrote 10 years ago.  I was falling apart because my boss changed her mind and asked me to do something different than I planned.  I emailed to get an appointment because I simply couldn't cope with a change of plans. 

10 years later.  Last week at work my afternoon scheduled switch from networking to one day networking, next day welding, then fashion followed up by Early Childhood Education.  It wasn't comfortable but I did not fall apart.  I took it in stride and continued to work on costumes after work.  I really can fit 30 angels in my trunk.  People are blown away when I explain the logistics of 5 yards of fabric times 30 people....yup 150 yards (137 meters) of fabric.  That is just for the angels. 

It is amazing what I can do now.  Loving this and enjoying the blessings but secretly promising myself that this is a once. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Note to helpful people

Message to myself that I am sharing with my readers.

This was an awesome article and a reminder to myself that in my desire to be helpful I don't make matters worse. 

1. Creating problems

Ever been around a person that creates drama and problems just so they can be the hero and fix them?  I've experienced with and work hard at not doing this.  Sometimes I fail.  Life is like that.   If there is a bunch of unnecessary drama I do a self check to make sure I'm not the one creating the drama in the first place. 

2. Trouble

I had to read her explanation a couple of times to grasp this one.  If I am getting myself into trouble, am I doing it as a cheap and easy attention getter?  Really?  Who does this?  Children....this is a child's response instead of an adult response.  If I am creating drama and getting into trouble do I actually have unmet needs that I need to self nurture instead of acting out.

I need to separate this from the times that my brain hits glitches from emotional or stress overload.  I also learned that if I am constantly in trouble maybe I need to check on the company I am keeping.  One teacher left, suddenly I wasn't in trouble all the time.  Later found out she was blaming me for her short comings.  Sometimes when I am dogged by drama and trouble I need to check out who I am hanging with and are the healthy or at least working on it?

3. Excessive question asking

This one I have to watch myself.  This is how I manipulate people.  I ask them questions and by their answers I am building a case against them.  I usually already know the answer.  I realize this is another way of saying, "SEE, SEE I am being helpful because I am asking you what you need then I'll do it and be your hero."  Another attention getting scheme.  Work at being straight forward about asking what I actually need and DO MY HOMEWORK.

4. Saying yes to too many things

 I am a people pleaser and often (like all the time) fall into the trap of saying yes too often.

The next part I am quoting because I am still wrapping my mind around this concept.

When we were teaching our nonverbal daughter, Grace, how to use her eyes to communicate, we were using “yes” and “no” icons. The speech therapist caught a big mistake we were making. The yes icon was a green smiley face. The no one was a red sad face. Something she said changed my life “no isn’t always negative. Sometimes no is the perfect affirmative response!” I encourage us those of us who want to be helpful to feel cool with the fact that sometimes, saying no to a thing is the most helpful thing we can do. And guess what? You can say no in a way that feels a lot like yes.

 There you have list of things to check in on myself to make sure I am self-nurturing, not depending on others to build my self-esteem, asking appropriate questions, doing my homework, and embracing the beauty of NO. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Just Own It

My friend told me I could share her post.

I love this quote from her Mother-In-Law. She said “Tell them you like pink. Get some other pink things, a pink hat, flower, bow, necklace, color your hair pink. Own it. If they want to look let them look. If they want to ask, let them ask, Who cares what they think. If these glasses help you feel better…that’s all that matters, you are all that matters, not them. Just own it. Be someone who wears pink. why not”

 I love the concept to Own who and what I am.  Not cover me up.  Not hide from the World but truly embrace who I am and Own it.  I believe this is beyond acceptance.  With acceptance, I always sense a wide streak of reluctance that if there were something 'better' I would do it.

To me Owning it is embracing events and who I am as something awesome.  I also believe it is the key to thriving because you stop looking for something else because I OWN it.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Deepening Grief

My first counselor noticed and pointed out that about this time of year I go into a deep depression.  Tears are close to the surface.  Illness dogs me with allergies and other health issues.  Tiredness, nightmares, and insomnia peak out.  Really, aren't the holidays hard enough without adding this layer of deepening grief. 

I finally accepted what I feel is a deepening grief.  I grieve for what I always wished for at this time of year a close knit family that loves doing things together.  I didn't do so well with my family of choice either.  Expectations unmet and impossible to achieve, every year I consciously let them go and every year they creep back in straining the already strained holidays.  I do have some amazing memories.  I do have great expectations for myself and I fail.  I sometimes wonder if I set myself up to fail....almost like I am guaranteed to screw up.  Missed birthday cards, forgotten activities, and retreating from others when it all gets overwhelming. 

My mother introduced me to this poem and I strive not to become this.  It is hard because I love everything about the holidays and want to do everything.  This year I out did myself in adding complexity of costumes for a Christmas Musical, fortunately, I am not the only seamstress but I am in charge...I am eating, dreaming and living costumes.  I haven't done this for a long time.  Letting go of somethings and hanging on to others is an art I yet to master for the holidays. 

See Mother, Funny Funny Mother

See Mother. See Mother laugh. Mother is happy.

Mother is happy about Christmas.
Mother has many plans. Mother has many plans for Christmas.
Mother is organized. Mother smiles all the time.
Funny, funny Mother.

See Mother. See Mother smile. Mother is happy.
The shopping is all done. See the children watch TV.
Watch, children watch.
See the children change their minds.
See them ask for different toys.
Look, look, Mother is not smiling.
Funny, funny Mother.

See Mother. See Mother sew.
Mother will make dresses.
Mother will make robes.
Mother will make shirts.

See Mother put the zipper in wrong.
See Mother sew the dress on the wrong side.
See Mother cut the skirt too short.
See Mother put the material away until January.
Look. Look. See Mother take a tranquilizer.
Funny, funny Mother.

See Mother. See Mother buy raisins and nuts.
See Mother buy candied pineapple and powdered sugar.
See Mother buy flour, and dates, and pecans, and brown sugar, and bananas, and spices, and vanilla.
Look. Look. Mother is mixing everything together.
See the children press out cookies.
See the flour on their elbows.
See the cookies burn. See the cake fall.
See the children pull taffy. See mother pull her hair.
See mother clean the kitchen with the garden hose.
Funny, funny Mother.

See Mother. See Mother wrap presents. See Mother look for the end on the scotch tape roll. See Mother bite her finger nails. See Mother go.
See Mother go to the store 12 times in one hour.
Go Mother go. See Mother go faster. Run Mother run.
See Mother trim the tree.
See Mother have a party.
See Mother make popcorn.
See Mother wash the walls.
See Mother scrub the rug.
See Mother tear up the organized plan.
See Mother forget gift for Uncle Harold.
See Mother get hives.
Go Mother go. See the far away look in Mother's eyes.
Mother has become disorganized. Mother has become disoriented.
Funny, funny Mother.

It is finally Christmas morning. See the happy family.
See Father smile. Father is happy.
Smile Father smile.
Father loves fruit cake.
Father loves Christmas pudding.
Father loves all the new neckties.
Look, look. See the happy children. See the children's toys.
Santa was very good to the children.
The children will remember this Christmas.

See Mother. Mother is slumped in a chair.
Mother is crying uncontrollably.
Mother does not look well.
Mother has ugly dark circles under her blood shot eyes.
Everyone helps mother to her bed.
See Mother sleep quietly under heavy sedation.
See Mother smile.
Funny, funny Mother.