Friday, June 25, 2010

Winning and Losing

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.


Uber stress.

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.


Anonymous said...

amen, amen sister.

kitter said...

Karen...I am here! I love you!! If and when you want to talk...
Love and HUGS!!! Kitter

Rosie_Kate said...

My sweet husband often has to remind me that the Lord afflicts us because He loves us. There's a reason for every affliction, and though it seems "bad", it's always for our good. All things work together for good to them that serve Him. The Heavenly Father loves us enough to send His Son to take our place and die for our sins-- surely He will not forsake us in this life. He will not send us more than we can handle. He will get us through until the end. And our afflictions in this life with work toward that purpose, even though we can't see it now. He wants us to remember that we can't do anything for ourselves and there is no good in us and that we must rely only on Him for everything, including our trip to heaven at the end.

One Gray Hair At A Time said...

Thank you for being so open.

Rita said...

Felt so good to read your honest post. So honest it almost hurt. I just come from the funeral home and will go to the nursing home tomorrow or Sunday. Life has a way of taking off on journeys not planned. Darn it all anyway! But....God is there and with Him I will take the next step and rejoice in what I have left that is healthy and good.

Jeanie said...

Being able to write this and being where you are in your faith pegs you as a winner to me.
There will be lots of good thoughts and prayers coming your way. Please take good care of yourself.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Amen! We win with Him!

I'm so sorry you've been through this horrible ordeal, and I hope and pray that your asthma improves and that the stress lets up.

You have not scared me one bit. Real doesn't scare me. It never has. I hope and pray that your daughter can find that peace that passes all understanding in Him. I hate that she feels so isolated and wish there was something we could do to help both you and her. My heart goes out to you, and I'm here to listen.



Karen Deborah said...

Rita I am not sure we have met but I am sorry for your loss. Death is hard. I wrote my post and then read at Nathan's Fight about a mom who lost her little 7 year old boy last night to CF. There is always someone who has it harder than you.

Thank you everybody for the love. The main thing is Kayla will get the help she desperately needs, before anybody ended up at the funeral home. God is good.

joanne said... too.
I'm here.
I love you.

Julie Harward said... sure can write and express your feelings well. I think we have all felt like losers at sometime in our lives at one thing or the other. Everyone is insecure in some way..everyone. But nothing hurts like when your child hurts. I wish we could get a look at who we were in our pre-mortal life...ready and willing to take on all the trials and challenges of this earth life. I think of all that Jesus Christ suffered as he lived on this I better than him? Would I feel good and worthy to be with him if I had not suffered some too? God be with you...I know one thing for God, she is his child...pray for will come. God bless you and her.

Karen said...

Oh, Karen. You know, sometimes the best help comes from friends. We're here if you need anything. And God is always there. But you knew that. I'm praying for you, and your daughter.

Kat said...

My 45 year old brother ended up in the hospital four years ago when he tried to kill himself. He lost his job, he lost his home, he almost lost his life.
He moved in with my mom and dad to recover. It was devastating to all involved.
My dad got sicker and sicker with Alzheimer's as my brother received treatment and got healthier. When my dad was unmanageable my brother was there to help my mom. When my dad passed away my mom did not have to spend that first night in her house alone. My brother was there. Many blessing came from something so horrible. My brother was meant to move back home for that time. He needed it. And though my mom didn't think so at the time she is now so grateful he has been there.

Anyway, just a little story of good coming out of bad.

I think that suffering happens because this is an imperfect world. The only perfect place is heaven. And perhaps our suffering, and how we deal with our suffering, helps our souls prepare for heaven. I think suffering strengthens us in a way nothing else can.

Keep praying. Keep believing. Keep your faith. I will be praying for you too.

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

I am so sorry for the trials and isolation your sweet girl has gone through. If I could change things in the world I would give everyone a good friend. Someone to listen, someone to accept, someone to love no matter what. I hope the future holds good things for all of you. You are in my prayers.

Karen Deborah said...

These comments are making me cry.
Thanks everybody for the "me too."

Twisted Fencepost said...

So sorry to hear about all that is going on in your life. I guess we all have our own ups and downs.
One thing I have learned is that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is revealed to us, sometimes not.
Saying prayers for you!

Michelle said...

Praying for you.

Kathy said...

Oh Karen, my thoughts and prayers are with you and with Kayla right now. Hang in there!

Bluebird49 said...

I'm so sorry that Kayla has been fighting this thing alone. (I mean--I know you and your husband have been there all the way. But she was silenty suffering, and I am just thinking how rough this has been on all of you.) But she can get help---and the timing may be bad, but if it's meant for her to go to college, it will happen. Right now--her state of mind and her health is the most important thing--you're a nurse, I know you're so much more aware of this than I.

I just don't know what to say, except, I'm sorry---and that Kayla and you and your family go on my prayer list tonight! There are so many--but God has a special purpose for each one there

Mental P Mama said...

I am so heartbroken for you.And I believe your asthma is an expression of your grief. The lungs are associated with grieving.

I will be here for anything you can ask me to do....

farmlady said...

You are one of the most honest people I have met and your beliefs are strong.
I don't think that God is just messing with you and your family. There is a point to all of this. Keep looking outward and trying to see the reasons. It's all about finding a good direction and doing the right thing.
There's a reason for Kayla's behavior and it will become evident as life moves toward a new understanding of herself.
Let God take care of this. Don't blame yourself for anything if you did your best. That's all you can do now.