I gave up anger for lent. The intensity of that emotion was weighing me down and impacting everything in my life. I purposefully chose to lay down that emotion so I could concentrate on the other emotions that get hidden behind that blind wall. I felt grief, longing, happiness, hope, courage, wisdom, fear, strength, sorrow, despair, hatred, love, beauty and so much more. Anxiety came visiting a few times but it became easier and faster to snuff it out. It was very satisfying and I'm glad I made that choice.
Now that Easter has passed, anger has risen up hard and fast. I have good reason to be angry. Having spent 40 days refusing that emotion, I now feel that I have more control over my anger so I can use it as a positive tool that propels me into proactive directions as opposed to destructive paths.
I grieve that I haven't blogged as much. For so long it has been my lifeline to sanity, hope and strength. Knowing that other families were just a few typed characters away from understanding my situation has fortified me and allowed me to keep plowing headlong through the chaos that is mental health illness no matter how difficult it became. Sissy still has difficult moments, as does AB and now WG who is finally processing the trauma of the past several years but we are a cohesive unit and more often than not, support each other instead of hinder.
Just this morning I was agitated, having not slept well last night. I tossed and turned, brooding and stewing on some recent events that have been upsetting to me. At two-thirty in the morning I reminded myself that anger only helps me if I use it to better myself. I finally fell back asleep but awoke to a fresh wave of frustration. Unintentionally, I allowed my frustration to ooze all over our normally peaceful morning routines. I apologized quickly and explained briefly why I was upset and acknowledged that it was still no excuse.
I was standing at the sink, filling the dishwasher while this exchange occurred. Sissy was practicing her math skills on the computer while gibbering on and on to no one in particular, WG was in my room doing her homework, frustratingly waiting for me to get her some breakfast, and AB was pacing in front of the counter waiting for me to dry my hands so I could tie his shoes for him. With or without external life stressors, the particular set of circumstances would unnerve the most patient of moms, I know that and I give myself some leeway in my fallacy. No one is perfect but I except no deviations for myself. It is who I am and how I operate.
Sissy, after hearing my apology and explanation said, "Mom? Do you think a hug would help?"
Typically, when Sissy is agitated or perseverating on an emotionally troubling conflict, I say nonchalantly, "Huh. Sounds like it's hug time." So I was taken aback that my typical response to her difficulties was coming full circle. I stopped what I was doing and stood still at the kitchen sink, AB still pacing, WG still hollering from the other room for her breakfast. Would a hug help? I asked myself. Is that what I need at this time? I decided physical contact could never be a bad thing so I said, "You know what Sissy? I think it would. Can I have a hug?"
She got up from the computer, walked to me and wrapped her arms around my middle. Even though she's 12, she's still so very small so her head still fits under my chin perfectly when we hug. I breathed in her essence and allowed her hug to warm me. I took three slow deep breaths and let out my tension. With each exhalation, a little more melted away. "Thank you Sissy. That was EXACTLY what I needed. Thank you for knowing what I needed and providing it for me."
"Your welcome." And she walked back to the computer. I bent down to tie AB's shoes then poured the cereal into WG's bowl, walking back to my room to give it to her while she finished her homework. Magic. I can't believe such simple magic occurs in my house now. It's so beautiful and peaceful. There are many bends and twists, hills and valleys, rocky and steep paths still ahead but we take them one step at a time.
I've not allowed the "sun" to shine on some aspects of my personal life in this blog. But I feel it is unfair to my readers who have followed our family's story for so long to not offer further disclosure.
I have filed for divorce. I have been separated since December 3rd. This blog became a point of concern at the first hearing on February 8th. At that time, it was intimated that I had used this blog to misrepresent our story, manipulating the goodness of my readers, abusing the system for selfish gain and to "get rid of" Sissy all while telling everyone how they could abuse the system in like turn. The entire blog was printed and presented in court.
It has been very hard to continue our story in light of such strong, blasphemous accusations none of which are true.
In the long run, although blogging has been so supportive and amazingly restorative not to mention the life-long connections I've made with so many readers in addition to finding and plugging into the ETAAM support group, it has become a weapon used against me. I'm not the only blogger that has experienced such a turnabout. Ultimately, if your life story is a challenged one, people will begin to question the verity of your tale. All I can say is, every person perceives an event or series of events in their own way with their own backgrounds, histories, emotions, trauma, anxiety, behaviors and preconceived notions. 100 people could witness the same event and yet all 100 will write a different account. This disparity is not error, it is humanity. Thank GOD we are all different. What a boring world this would be if we were drones experiencing life in exactly the same measure.
That said, a blog is never "wrong" unless an individual begins blogging with the expressed intent of deception. But that is not my nature, never has been. My expressed intent of blogging our story was to make it known that we were in crisis and were desperate for help; desperate to know if others were experiencing the same trauma; desperate to help others in like kind.
There are still several areas of my personal life that I won't disclose in this blog as is my want. But my nondisclosure does not make this story any less true.
Why is Sissy so much better? I believe it is because the anger, violence and abuse in our home has finally stopped. I believe choosing to get divorced was the path that led to such clarity.
Today Sissy asked ME if I wanted a hug when I was feeling bad. THAT truth alone speaks volumes - more than any blog could put into words.
Be well this day. Be good to yourself. Let an unexpected someone hug you today.