I admit I have my own issues, sometimes those issues can interfere with my ability to parent. Fortunately I do reach out for help. Like I said in the previous post, the slope was getting slippery.
Mothers Day is finally over and I am so glad. We had a talent show at church and M1 and M2 were doing a Taekwondo demonstration and N was reciting a poem she wrote. I was scurrying around like a mad woman, setting up the tea, getting kids located, practicing forms, reassuring little ones they would be fine and on and on. Suddenly in the midst of it all I stopped dead. I could not remember what I was doing or why. I knew what was going on and where I was but had no idea what the next step was. I am not sure how long I actually stood motionless but soon enough the Deacon came over to me and said “Hey are you all right?” I looked at him confused for a moment, sure why? He placed his hand on my shoulder and as if on cue I started crying.
The Deacon sort of guided me out of the gym to a smaller community room and pulled out a chair motioning for me to sit. I was stunned I had no idea why all of the sudden I was in tears, like really crying. The Deacon held my hand for a bit as I apologized and explained I had no idea why I was this worked up. He smiled gently and said “OK I am guessing you do know why, so why don’t you take a minute and see if you can talk about any of it.” OK he had a point. I explained the stress of Mothers Day and how being an adoptive parent makes things a bit sticky and how kids have been acting out. He listened intently to me and then asked “but is there more?”
I felt the blood rush to my face. Yes but I was not going to talk about it. I looked at him and more tears flowed. The Deacon assured me I did not have to talk but reminded me he was a police officer so chances are good he could handle whatever it was. After a minute I openly admitted for the first time in probably years, how I dreaded Memorial Day because of my time in Iraq and all the garbage that happened there which continues to haunt me even now more then 10 years later. I explained how it never seemed to get easier and how the images haunted me day and night. He squeezed my hand tight and said he wondered if that was happening, after all, he and the entire church just learned I was actually in a war.
The Deacon was so incredibly gentle and offered numerous resources both military and spiritual for me to consider. He asked if he could go a minute and come right back. I agreed as I really needed time to pull myself together. He returned with a woman who he introduced as his wife. He said to her “Sweetheart, this is ANYM. She is a Mom of three special needs kids and is in the place we found ourselves several years ago with (his son). Could you tell her what the therapy folks told us, I didn’t want to mess it up?” She smiled at me and said with an amazing amount of compassion “OK you are stressed and worried about what will happen. You have taken all the steps you know you need to but things seem to keep falling apart. You spend many nights crying wondering what you did wrong or could have done better. You are terrified of the future and yet you have completely forgotten about the past and how far they have actually come.” Ummm do you read my blog or what?!?! She said “Yep I remember that, the doctor told us to start keeping track of good times, like start writing them down because you have long since forgotten what they are and how many there actually were. You are so focused on the negative that between beating yourself up and feeling hopeless you have truly forgotten about the progress.”
She made a lot of sense of course I had forgotten the progress. I was way to mired down in my own garbage. I had lost track and yes in part it was my own fault, I chose to focus on the wrong thing. She assured me that many times she had done the same thing but that I needed to try to make a habit of finding the good. I nodded, she was right of course and yep I needed that reminder. I thanked them both and realized how much I actually appreciated their input. The Deacon encouraged me to get more effective help for the PTSD and promised he would be there with his wife to help me as they could. I hugged them both and for that moment I realized I was really not alone or being judged,
No it is not sunshine and unicorns but the isolating feelings of being trapped in my own stuff and my kids stuff have certainly receded some. I went home and was grateful for the exchange and the support I experienced there. I know it will be tough but I also got my firm reminder that there are people in my corner, not judging or evaluating, just accepting.