Have you ever had so much going on in your life that it kind of knocks your knees out from you?
I have practically become a blogger drop out and it's because I don't even know where to start.
It all started when I tried to take a vacation. At least I think so. If I made a list of all the crap that has happened this last month you would suck in your breath and say, WHEW.
It's been one of those months where I made butter and didn't photograph it or post about it.
Where every idea I had about a post got immediately shoved to the back burner by life.
Back to where the trouble starts, does it start in grade school? Were you the kid that could catch and throw and be picked out for the team right away? Or were you the kid they picked last because they had to pick you there was no one left, and you knew they didn't want you at all, not even in right field. You know the winners and the losers.
We have set it up from the time we are little. The "successful" crowd and the "losers." Funny thing is a lot of the time the losers are more authentic people. Ever been to an AA meeting? Not to many folks in there interested in presenting a mask, or a portfolio, or even the latest greatest fashion statement. Nope, those folks are interested in surrender. Surrender of whatever it is that has held them in bondage. I'm not an alcoholic but I appreciate the meetings. Part of my training in nursing school was a rotation through psych and drug and alcohol rehab. I have visited with friends and always got something from a meeting. Last time I went to one I said I was addicted to 'stinkin thinkin." Everybody in the room nodded their head yes to me. For addictions success is in surrender.
Maybe that's where we go wrong sometimes with our kids. As parents when our kids are doing something we know is harmful to them we just demand that they stop it. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. Recovery programs never demand a person to stop, they ask for surrender. To realize their life has become unmanageable. It's getting there that can be tricky. Getting to the "ah ha" moment of clarity.
I have a kid whose life is now unmanageable. A kid who has been wearing a mask. A kid with a secret thought life of fantasy that has now become dangerous, and may be insane. She is in the hospital, and I am devastated.
The funny thing is, I don't want to talk about it.
I don't want to call the pastor.
I don't want to call my friends.
I don't want community.
And in doing that I am depriving myself of a very important gift. The gift of "me too."
But we don't like to admit that someone in our family has mental illness. There is a stigma to it. The "loser" stigma. The "eeeewwwwww" factor.
What is so sad is that my sweet girl has always been the ostracized one. She doesn't have even one friend. Why are we all still so stuck up that we cannot love other people who are a little bit different?
What in the hell is the matter with all of us that we have to be in our own little comfort zone all the time. Heaven forbid we should reach out to those around us who aren't our first choice. Maybe they are our last choice. Maybe they would never be our choice. Maybe they are my sweet baby who has gone crazy from loneliness. Since she was little she couldn't fit in with her peers. She has always had problems. She found acceptance on the internet. She found acceptance with witches, weirdos and sex perverts that would exploit her. Great, every parents nightmare is now my reality. Another plan B.
I am in limbo land.
What's next? I don't know.
We had a first class ticket to a fine college. Now we can't take the trip.
Did I mention that I am STILL sick? A real blast from the past I have had a major exacerbation of asthma that won't let up. I'm on my second round of steroids and all of this is putting my hip surgery at risk of failure. But I can't quit barking like a seal and having coughing fits till I barf. Yeah it aint' been pretty. No news from my camp is usually bad news. I have this thing about not being a whiner. Part of the rules about being a winner or a loser is no whining. Winners don't whine. They don't have kids with handicaps they don't have kids in mental hospitals, and they don't lose their jobs. They smile look pretty and talk success talk. Winners are definitely not on disability at 55.
Isn't that really the whole line of crap that we accept in our society?
It is crap too. So are you backing up and going the other way now?
We wear these stupid masks because if we are authentic we run the big risk of rejection.
Or maybe someone else says--"me too."
The difference is, I don't care how it looks. I don't care if people think less of me because of these problems. I have done the best I could do. The truth is I have poured my whole life into these kids. I have sacrificed my career, my retirement, my financial security, my time, everything I have; I have given for them. It still didn't come out like we hoped. We do believe that if we do certain things that a positive outcome ought to occur. It doesn't always come out right. Then our sense of justice gets it's feathers all ruffled. Then we start asking questions about suffering and God and why isn't it right? Don't we?
We think that Christians ought to have the answers to this too. Guess what, we definitely do not. Not me anyway. I couldn't begin to explain suffering. But I rely on the God of the fat chance, slim chance, no chance. For me it was about surrender to that higher power. I recognized that I didn't have any answers. I understood that believing in God would not make my life better or make my troubles go away.
I wanted to go through my life with Someone that could always be relied on not to fail me.
For me forgiveness and faithfulness is enough.
I thought we had made it. It was looking like all the years of hard work had paid off. I thought the future was bright.
Plan B. The truth has been revealed.
The good news is. I have hope. I have faith. I have faith in a Someone who goes above circumstances and sorrows. I have faith in Someone who is in control when everything seems dark and hopeless. I have faith in a mighty God whose arm is not to short to save, and that is where I have set up my camp and no I don't FEEL any better! I am not setting up camp in my feelings. Feelings are a slippery slope.
Does that make it hurt less? No
Do I understand why? No.
Do I think God is being mean to let me suffer? No
Well then can I explain it? No.
What I do know is that when I fall back into those everlasting arms, they are there. What I do know is Jesus said two very important inseparable sentences. He said "In this world you will have trouble; and then He said, "but take heart, I have overcome the world."
I don't understand. I can't explain it. I can hardly accept it. But in the end we win because we are with Him, and the winner takes it all.