As We Start Our Family Tree

GivingHope

To my children as we start our family tree,

I cannot begin to describe the impact you have on my life. You are the blessings sent from the divine to wake me up. You are the little life tornadoes who never let me choose the easy way out of the pain. You are the epitome of forgiveness as I made mistake after mistake as a parent. You are the comic relief that comes just when I need it. And you are the reminder of how important the small, daily life events really are.

I have been hoping for a savior since I was born. I even found myself enmeshed with several people throughout the years who I thought might make things right. But of course, they didn’t. They didn’t make things right because the only person who could do that was me. And as I look back over the past seven years, I realize that I may have been responsible for my life, but I had help. I had two little saviors who came to help me figure it out.

You haven’t heard of parental guilt because you are only seven years old. When you asked me to tell you the hardest thing in the world, I wasn’t kidding when I said ‘raising children”. You laughed and said “no way”, but one day, you might be lucky enough to understand. And I do feel guilty for the bad days, the bad decisions. So today, I am going to apologize for the parts that haven’t gone the way I hoped. But I also want you to understand that I know I did so many things right. Parenting is dualistic like that. It is never easy. And it is never black and white. It’s just worth it. Continue reading

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Grieving Time

Hourglass 2
Sometimes starting a new life can bring up grief and regret for the old life. While I am happy to have new experiences without the pain and anxiety of the past, it makes me wish there had been more of it.

Time is such a tricky aspect of the human experience. We can’t control it. We can’t make more of it. We can’t get back what we think we have wasted. As the song says, it is like an hourglass glued to the table. And while we can figure out how to control so many aspects of our lives (which is not always a good thing), we can’t control time. It will keep on going, with or without us.

And 42 years is a long time. It is more than 22 million minutes. It is more than half the lifespan for Americans. And for me, it is the longest amount of time I have ever known. Continue reading

No Place Like Home

Dorothys Shoes

Since coming face to face with my past, my system has been “jacked up”. This is my technical term for “too much going on for me to comprehend using logical thought processes”. Part of my confusion comes from my many parts. My parts come from using dissociation as a defense mechanism, but it is important to note everyone has parts to some degree. Sometimes, it is difficult to identify which part needs attention and integration. But that identification is important to my healing journey.

While I have that adult part who wants to make responsible decisions when faced with life, I have other parts who are not quite so interested in making convenient and logical choices in the present moment. I have parts that live in the past. I have parts that want to resolve the past by repeating it. And unfortunately, my parts don’t agree. In some cases, they vehemently disagree. And so things get a bit “jacked up”. Continue reading

My Brain on Trauma

SwimMeet

I love to swim. I always have. It was healing for me. When I was in the water, nobody could get to me. Nobody could hurt me. I was in my own world, a world that flowed, a world where all the darkness and pain of my reality was far away. The physical pain stopped too. The aching in my shoulders, hips and knees didn’t weigh me down when I was in the water. The buoyancy was just what my beat-up body needed. And it helped that I was good, very good at swimming. I knew how to flow through that water. I knew how to win.

Fast forward to my own little family and it is predictable that I want to continue that swimming experience vicariously. Unlike many parents who dread long swim meets, I don’t. I breathe in chlorine like some breathe in a field of flowers. It is relaxing and healing. My twins are new to swimming this year. And I would be fibbing if I told you they were rocking their strokes. They usually come in last or disqualify, but I don’t care. And they don’t seem to care much either. I really am blessed with kids that enjoy everything they do.

And so we are making our way through our first swim team season. And I am loving watching my kids swim and participating as a strokes and turns judge. I could not be happier with it. I am focused. And this part of my life is completely unfettered by my past … until last week.
Continue reading