Monday, February 8, 2010

Oh how I've changed...

I was the ninth baby my mother conceived. Number 9. I've always liked the number nine, it was a "duel" number. With just a teenie-tiny flip it could become the number six. I like that it can be two things. Sometimes nine is better, nine is greater then six, nine is six + three. Three MORE then six. But then six comes first, before nine. You can not get to nine without a six. Okay technically you can 4+5, 7+2, get the picture, but if you are counting, then you must have six before nine. No, I have not decided to become a math teacher, I rather dislike math, ever since they tried to teach me fractions. This mind does NOT see how numbers can suddenly be added to, or subtracted from or multiplied with LETTERS. Letters SPELL. I got good grades in English so I know my letters...
Wow, did I get off track there...HelLO back to point:
Baby number nine. Oh, the thought of having eight other siblings. I could really imagine that. I would rather like it. I would have seven other chances to have one of them be my buddy. My Best-ee. It is painful and often times depressing to think about the lost relationship between my sister and myself. We just can't seem to "get along". It isn't for lack of trying, it is for lack of grace. Um, that really hurts to admit right there, so if you're lurking right now, do me a favor and just knowledge that in a comment please. I'm showing guts here, KaPOW, SPLAdow, guts, hanging all open and exposed.
See, I don't understand her. I want to, but I don't. We think completely different. I'm not saying my way of thinking is right, and hers is wrong, they are just very different. Those that have someone close to them that are not Christian get this. For me it comes down to: What is God teaching her by giving her what she wants? When she doesn't acknowledge who it really is providing it. Entitlement is one of my biggest pet-peeves. And guess what? Nine-tenths of my family have entitlement issues. More guts...
When I was little...see this is me...Little:Cute little bugger huh? When I was little all that I wanted from my sister was a playmate. She didn't want that from me. She'd have liked for my mom to have stopped at 8.

There is my first defining moment: Being able to deal with loneliness and being given a strong imagination to sustain the years to come.
Are you wondering what happened to the other 7? In my mother's first marriage she suffered two miscarriages of two sets of twins. (4) She then gave birth to other set of twins that were far too early and stillborn. (6) She divorced him. She met Howie, married and Robert Allen was born two months early and critically ill. He lived ten days. Sherri came two years and many many shots later. Mom had no problem getting pregnant it was staying pregnant. She, I'm sure was their miracle baby, well maybe not so much Howie's since he had already had two children with his first wife, but certainly for my mom. After all that heartache, finally a beautiful little girl. Two and half years later I came along. A completed family. Memories for me are few and far between, I remember feeling closer to my pets then my parents and much more so then my sister. From the moment I came home from the hospital she wanted nothing to do with me unless it was to make me cry. Mom can tell you the stories, I don't need to.
When I became a tween: My Second defining moment: I began fighting for my right to BE. I had opinions, feelings,dreams. I didn't want someone, mostly Sherri, telling me how ugly or stupid or useless I was. Finding out I had a brother and we weren't aloud to speak of him, feeling lost that I wasn't "enough" to be given this knowledge, I wasn't able to talk about him or wonder about him. I would later confront Mom about Robert Allen. From the moment I found out about him I felt like HE was the child she wanted, not me. And the way she treated me only made that more clear.(to me) She allowed Sherri to take out her pain on me. Mothers pain, led to Sherri's pain, which led to hurting me. For whatever reason, Sherri's life wasn't what she'd wanted, so she took out her pain on me. If someone else hurt as badly as she did, then she wasn't alone. It hurts to see this so clearly, if she'd just have turned to me, what a force we could have been.(Coining Jack Shepard~ Live together or die alone)
My parents divorced and sides were taken. Mom and I, Sherri and Dad. Mom felt out of control so she controlled the only thing she could: Me. I had strict boundaries and harsh punishments. It was in my teens that I longed to die. Defining moment number Three. I felt trapped, unwanted, barely loved and what I desired most was freedom. Had it not been for a caring and steady boyfriend I very well could have ended up believing the Devils lies. Even back then, it's funny my rebellious attitude held strong, the more those feelings attacked me, the more stubborn I became. God knew this stubborn heart...
At age NINEteen, Defining moment number Four. I left home and for the first time lived completely apart from all that I knew. No the job wasn't what I had expected and yes it took a toll on me and my trust, but it brought me to a place I needed to be for the next journey...

My early twenties. I was WILD, I made up for always being the "good girl". I broke free of the nice, caring for other's Sara and ran full speed into: It MY turn to be happy. I can hear Frank singing right now: "Regrets...I've had a few.......but I did it MY Way...."
If I could go back and tell THIS me one thing, it would be SLOW down, you'll get there, it doesn't have to be break-neck speed girl.
I think if I had gone slower less mistakes would have been made. I mean did there really have to be SO many causalities? No, no there didn't. I could have still learned what I learned with less damage. Defining moment number Five. He was priming me, this tree was gorgeous, adorned, I was in full beauty, it was my SPRING! I was ripe for the picking.
Though I knew I was in my prime and should be celebrating. I wasn't, my roots were in dry soil and I was thirsting from the inside out. It would not be long before all my beautiful buds dropped and I withered.

But just before that happened I was gave one last amazing show of beauty. I gave it everything I had, bared it all, even the dried, cracking roots showed.
And then I was told it was time to prune. All of my once pretty branches were cut from me. In order to grow I needed to be cut-back. I suffered a break-down very soon after meeting my Husband, as a matter of fact it was right after we became engaged and while I should have been happy planing our life together. Instead, Defining moment number Six. I was planning my treatment. Out-patient, drug-free. Although part of the requirements for the program was that we take the medication the Doctor deemed necessary. I took one round and in made me so sick that I stopped taking it. I didn't want a pill to make me feel better, I wanted to skills to cope, not a blanket to hide it.
Once I got released, I felt good. being in the program I was only reminded that I wasn't "enough" to be "seen". Since I wasn't actively saying everyday I felt like killing myself the counselors gave all their attention to those individuals. It was really difficult being there, I felt just as hopeless, just as pained, I was just ready to TALK it out, not act it out. I'm not really sure why those people were even IN out-patient, it seemed to me that they were a danger to themselves and should be IN patient. I felt God pulling me to shore. Though I can't say I knew it was God then, but I knew that my week of out-patient was all I needed to snap the door shut on depression as I'd known it. I found a great counselor. She was kind, caring she pushed me to admit things I was afraid to say out loud. She was a soft place to fall. And when all my falling was over I valued her advice. I did not agree with it at the time, but I certainly valued it. Her advice had been the same as the other two before her: breakaway from the toxic family that was causing all the pain. As hurtful as my family was I couldn't just turn my back and walk away, not at that time.
I had to build a stronger foundation. I found Jesus when I got married. I turned to Jesus when I got pregnant and had to cling to His Strength. I had to swallow a pride pill when I became pregnant again and thought I knew best. I began studying His word. Defining moment number Seven. I began living to please Him. It was at this time I was able to walk away, slowly from the toxic family I had grew up in. There was a period of time that I spoke to none of them. Now slowly, He is leading me back...

This is where I am today. Working on WHO God wants me to be. Not who I'd like to be, or who I wish I were or who others want me to be. I am content right now that my branches are bare, I'm content that all I have is the drink I longed for, as long as my roots are healthy, then I can only imagine how beautiful the next bloom will be. It brings me back to the numbers: I've actually had a few more defining moments, I just didn't talk about them in this post. But I did talk about liking being a number Nine, a duel number...turned upside down it can be a six. The last SIX years of my life have been living in the TRUTH, the last Nine years I have spent with the man God chose for me. I like that I am fully made of Flesh and I LOVE that I have the Holy Spirit inside me as well. Because I may not be perfect, I am still perfectly made. In times that I am lack mercy, Grace still covers me. I can be sinful and yet redeemed. It is in my conviction that I choose to change. Free will but still must choose to obey. Oh, how I have changed.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for being so open and honest here. I also have a toxic family. When I finally walked away it wasn't because I chose to, but because God forced me to. None of this has been pleasant, but I do know I'm more at peace away from the poison. My biggest pain now is that my daughter turned 18, ran away from home and ran right back into that toxic atmosphere.

    My sister contacted me recently to let me know that they would graciously grant reconciliation in spite of the horrible things I've done. (I'm quoting almost word for word and no, I didn't do anything horrible.) I spend my time praying for the situation and relishing the support that comes from the husband God gave me.

    I'm praying peace for you as well.


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