Complaining about Complaining

OK, this may be a bit hypocritical, but I am complaining about complaining.  I hear complaining at home.  It is justified.  My husband is in pain, chronic pain wears a person down.

Then I get to work.  I am in a communal office and I hear complaining ALL D@@# Day!  True, it is usually from just one person, but still – complain, complain, complain.

Now, here I am – complaining.

I love to just sit with my dogs or my cat or my horses or my mule.  I scratch and hug them.  They never complain.  They softly purr, or snuggle up close, or nicker – I feel my battery recharging with every second.   (Notice I did not say Gertie Goose.  She is a lousy snuggler but a champion complainer – but, after all, she is a goose.)

Sometimes, I just want to scream – STOP COMPLAINING!  STOP VIOLATING MY EAR HOLES WITH YOUR NEGATIVITY!!  I don’t.  Instead, I just listen quietly.  I try to understand.  People are in pain and frustrated and just trying to cope.

I am also going to try to learn to be better – So, that’s it.  I am done complaining.

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Elephant in the room

I bumped into an acquaintance yesterday, a gentleman I had not seen is a few years.  I asked about his family.  He asked about my husband.  We chatted about cars and the weather and the news – but we both felt the elephant in the room.

I noticed he chose his words carefully, even stopping mid-sentence and re-phrasing.  He started to ask “How is the fam….. – How is your husband?”

I smiled and pretended not to notice.  He was avoiding making any reference to my son.  I know he knows of our loss – and I know he was trying to be considerate.

Why is it that way?  Kind, caring people gingerly step around the elephant in the room.  Is it because they don’t know what to say?  Is it because they are afraid of upsetting me?

I am grateful for the dear friends and family in my life who invite me to talk and share about my son.  I will always be his MOM and I will always miss him and I will always love him. I need to talk about him.  When I walk and speak with my Heavenly Father, we chat about my dear son often – HE listens.  I know HE does.

Does anyone else notice this elephant avoidance behavior?

Storm Maker = Peace Taker

Have you ever met someone that creates “storms” wherever they go?  I interact with a Storm Maker very frequently, and I am really struggling.  The atmosphere in the room can be peaceful and positive, but as soon as the Storm Maker walks in, peace and positive flee – the room sours.  The petty snapping and bickering often spreads from the Storm Maker to others, until everyone is angry and defensive.  Everything is always about them, they are always a victim, and everyone else is at fault for any and all problems, both real and imaginary.  I can wager safely that 9 days out of ten, I have committed some wrong – most of the time, I have no clue what it is.  It may be what I said or what I didn’t say or – who knows.  A simple event or change can explode without warning into a full-blown cyclone.  Once the cyclone passes, the Storm Maker feels better, relaxed, and cheerful.  But there is a trail of carnage and destruction – hurt feelings, frustration, and I am ashamed to admit – growing RESENTMENT.

Sadly, the Storm Maker is actually a good person with many great qualities.  I truly care about this person and would hate to cause hurt or unhappiness, I just don’t know how to break the cycle or stop enabling it.  More importantly, how do I avoid getting “sucked up” in the storm?  I clearly cannot change this person, nor do I have the right to do so.  I am not the potter.  I cannot change the interaction – so I must change me – but how?  I am trying to get out of the darkness and I cherish any little bit of “peace” I can find.

I am praying.

 

Peaking out of the Pit

February 25th marked the third anniversary of my son’s death – my only child. The pain just overwhelmed me an I let myself slide down into a dark pit. I still did all the things I had to do such as go to work, farm work, house hold chores – but my mind was in a very dark place. I have not blogged in weeks. Just couldn’t. I kept reading others blogs and, as strange as it may seem, that helped.

Oddly, I felt so disconnected from life, people, everything – but reading your blogs lifted me. I am now peaking out of the pit, just peaking. Thank you – for somehow being a lifeline. Your stories, your willingness to share – it is light.

I am trying to practice mindfulness – being present in only this moment – mind you I said “trying”.

Self critic – a bully and a victim

Do you ever stop and think about how many mean things you say to yourself everyday. If I had a dollar for every time I called myself fat or stupid, I would be able to pay cash for that Alpha Romeo I want. I would never treat my friends that way – I love them. Today, in just the last hour, I called myself a fat cow, an idiot, a dummy, and a few other words I should not write here. Wow. When I look at these words written in front of me – I see a bully and a victim – and they are both me!

Why do I do that? I blame myself for my son’s illness. I blame myself for my husband’s issues. I criticize myself when the house isn’t spotless or the dinner isn’t perfect. How do I stop?

I do so many things I don’t want to do.

I don’t want to pretend I am OK when I am not.

I don’t want to bully me.

I don’t even want to eat these cookies.

STOP!!!

I need to get back outside. Back in the saddle. Back in the garden.

For now, I am putting away the vacuum cleaner – AND the cookies, and heading off to my craft room with my Charlie dog.

Breathe

Holidays are tough when you are grieving. I will always be grieving. I try to hold onto the light, the good things – but there is such a gaping hole. According to my grief counselor, I am dealing with delayed grief, or what ever label one attaches. I always feel like I have to be the strong one, the responsible one – so I hold everything in – take care of business. SO – Here I am going through the 3rd Christmas without my son, my only child and – it isn’t any easier for any of us. My husband is hospitalized, so I am holding down the farm. So, I spent the holiday with my animals and a nasty respiratory infection. Finally gave in and went to the doctor. My asthma was flared up and needed a treatment. So I spent my morning in a the medical center, doing a nebulizer treatment – 2 years, 10 months, and 6 days after my son died of a severe asthma attack. Each breath cut through me – I will finally had to admit how guilty I feel – he got the asthma from me, I know it. I feel like it is my fault, my punishment and I don’t know why. No matter how many times I tell myself, it isn’t my fault and it isn’t about me – I can’t stop the thoughts. They attack in waves. I love my GOD so much, and I lean on the GREAT SPIRIT for comfort and healing, and I know HE did NOT TAKE my child, HE received him in love, just like HE loves me.

Still – the thoughts come. My son, a young, successful Emergency Room Doctor just finished a shift saving lives. Why couldn’t they save him? He saved lives. He made a difference in this world. Why is he gone and I’m still here? What do I do? I hate these thoughts – I suppressed them as long as I could – now I have to let them out so I can let them go.

Breathe. I tell myself just breathe and let it go. I needed to lance this abscess so I could get this poison out.

I needed to spend this holiday in my home alone so I could deal with my grief, and not be responsible for anyone else. I don’t have to put on the brave face. I am spending this day in prayer, in healing – just me and my dogs (and hugs on the horses, mule, cat, – and patted the goose). I absorbed their love – pure, honest love.

Maybe, if there is any good that can come of my grief journey – it is to share the revelations – tell someone you love them and give them a safe place to express their grief. Everyone needs to express the dark thoughts without judgement or condemnation or fear of rejection – Don’t hammer a broken person over the head with the Bible. Remember, it is the word of GOD, not a weapon. Instead, Hold their hand and pray with them.

If you are hurting, you have to breathe and let it out – scream it out – curse it out – even break something if it helps. But the abscess never heals unless it ruptures. I hold onto my big Ol’ Charlie Tarheel (My German Shepherd) and I cry and I pray. Strange as it sounds, I believe he is my spirit animal, sent to guide me to a closer spiritual relationship and a stronger faith. That works for me. I pray everyone in pain finds what works for them, to bring healing. Please, don’t give up. Continue the journey.

Prayers.

Being Invisible

I love my husband very much. My husband is a good man with so many good qualities. He also is very “high maintenance” because of his disabilities, depression, and addictions. This is the third Christmas without our child, and my husband is hospitalized. Believe me, Time does NOT heal all wounds.

I hope this does not sound wrong, but sometimes, I feel invisible. When loved ones call, they are always so concerned about my husband and rarely ask about me. My husband needs care and treatment, and sometimes gets so concerned with himself, he doesn’t ask how I feel. He needs me to run errands and support him and give understanding – but doesn’t understand when I say I am tired.

Let me share a recent conversation:

Relative speaking to me: “He is just going through so much – holidays are difficult. I just cannot imagine what he is going through. He lost his son.”

Me: Silently thinking, He was my son too. I’m right here – in pain.

Relative advising me: “Well, you need to be strong for him.”

Me: Silent once again

After the relative left, my husband and I chatted.

Husband: “You need to call my friend so he’s not worried.”

Me: “Honey, I called all your family to keep them up to date about your care and situation. I am just really not up to more conversations today.”

Husband: “Well, he’s going to be worried. He knows I was struggling and yesterday was Christmas…it was hard. You need to call him.”

Me: “It was hard for me too and….”

Husband: Interrupted with attitude, “Just forget it. I will call him when I get out of the hospital.”

I know he is a good person, just struggling with his health issues. I am glad he cares about his friend, and does not want the friend to worry. But there are times I just want to scream, “Strong people break too! They break on the inside where no one sees. I am tired of being strong. I hurt too.” But, instead, I am silent. Maybe because I am just too wounded to speak up or maybe I don’t believe anyone is really listening. I’m not really sure anymore. So I go through the day, invisible. No one really SEES ME – they see a functioning avatar, an imaginary person – but not me.

But GOD is good and HE sends comfort, spirit helpers. My animals, they see ME. They hear ME even when I am silent. GOD SEES ME – HE sees all my flaws and all my sins and loves me anyway, especially when I feel unlovable. So, If you know a “strong person” maybe check in with them. Maybe they need a hug.

Christmas breakfast with my furry family

It’s Christmas. So I lit a candle, got out my best cowboy china, and fixed breakfast for me and my dogs, Charlie Tarheel and Baby Dawg. We feasted together on hash and eggs. I even baked a birthday cake for Jesus – but no chocolate for the critters. Then I sang Christmas carols – sorry dogs. But hey, the Bible says make a JOYFUL noise unto the LORD. Doesn’t say it has to sound good – just JOYFUL. So I believe my nasally, flat, off key screechings are pleasing and acceptable unto the LORD. The horses and the mule had a feast too – carrots and apples and granola. Gertie Goose had sweet corn on the cob (hard to find this time of year) and butter bread. Flip Flop kitty had Friskies Shreds, hash, and warm milk.

Everyone got a hug and a scratch. I hung onto my horses neck’s and cried into their manes. I hugged Hector the mule and sobbed on his shoulder. I clutched the kitty and shared my pain. Gertie Goose bit me on the thumb – hey, she’s a goose.

My dogs curled up with me on the couch and absorbed my grief and gave me their love. It seems the more I give my love away – the more love comes right back to me. GOD truly sent me COMFORT and PEACE today. And I will be able to visit my husband at the hospital this afternoon.

Merry Christmas.