Thursday, March 25, 2010

Face to Face with the Enemy

I am tired. I don't feel I've quite caught up from the last few weeks. I had two weekends away, then daylight savings time, then this last trip where we lost another hour traveling east and making it back up coming home. I think my whole internal clock is confused.

So last night I woke up to scratching on the wall of my bedroom. I got up and looked out the window to see this huge animal on our house. It was a raccoon! It kept walking back and forth. Jumping down to our deck and back up to the overhang at our bedroom and back to the roof. At one point my husband and I knocked on the window to try to scare it to jumping off the house. Instead it came right up to the window and peaked in!! I was face to face with my enemy! (It actually was kind of a cute enemy)

Depression is not a cute enemy. Trying to go face to face with it,I did go to spin class yesterday. And then ate Oreos. I did not eat breakfast, but at oreos for lunch. I read books to help me be better but then they make me sad. I wish I was more like my husband. He has accomplished things he wanted to accomplish in life, he generally doesn't care what other people think about him and he is just laid back. I am the opposite, in all ways. We truly do balance because we are complete extremes. Facing the enemy is hard. Sometimes the enemy is myself. And I'm battling different enemies within myself a lot.

Today I realized why I get so upset when my kids make such a cluttered mess with their toys. Normally I get angry with them, but part of my learning about not punishing others for things that happened to me in my life brings questions to my mind. When I was about to blow my stack today for complete destruction of our family room while they were building a fort to play in, the thought came to my mind. "You are not angry with them, but you are angry because you grew up in clutter to the point where you had to stay out of your house for days while your family cleaned the house. And then you had DCFS visiting you in school asking you about your life and your Dad and you were afraid they were going to take you away. You were so happy to return home to a beautiful clean house, only for it to be dirtied and cluttered again so quickly." I took a deep breath and I told the girls, they could make a fort, but I would help them make it so they were not completely destroying the house. Stuff like this is my daily enemy that I have to go face to face with every day.

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it, but in high school I went to counseling once a week for a while. The counselor told me that despite my circumstances she was very impressed that my only "vice" was my weight. She was actually impressed! I was smart, had friends, did well in school, liked to read, volunteered, went to church. I was not on drugs or promiscuous or pregnant or a runaway. I'm fighting memories all day long, every day. I want so much to be a better person, physically, emotionally and spiritually. But it is hard. VERY hard. And for those who say "just get over it"...I'd like them to tell me how. Specifically...a step by step process. Because it ain't that easy.

Oh Spring, where art thou!?


  1. I see so much of myself in what you say. My mom was so messy, and to this day is a HUGE pack's terrible! Paths to everything and she says she needs it all. It's sad really. I go crazy when my daughter leaves messes. It makes my so anxious and I feel so overwhelmed. I'm always on her to clean up. To not have clutter. I think I'm actually making her a mess, but I don't know how to stop myself =( We'll get through it! Some people never look at their lives and try to figure things out. Looks to me like you are making HUGE steps towards peace in your heart and mind. I think that's AMAZING! =D Much love xox

  2. I think that you are a very thoughtful person. I too let my thoughts get the best of me. Watching those hoarder shows on tv makes me very anxious so I have an idea of how you are feeling. My mother was a real neat freak and I can't live up to her standards but I do try to maintain a good enough environment. Those tv shows scare me into doing more. I think that men care less about what others think of them,I know my husband does. Sometimes I try to adopt a male point of view because I think it is less complicated and more useful.

  3. You're really dealing with some deep old pain, Jodie. I think it's wonderful, but it is very difficult. I just want to say I hope you have good support - sounds like you have a wonderful husband and some good friends. I know I saw a counselor on and off for a lot of years as I dealt with some of my issues from childhood. Your recognition in that moment when your kids were building a fort is very powerful. Rushes of old feelings can be overwhelming. Just take good care of yourself and don't hesitate to seek outside help if you need it - even for just a few sessions. I've done a lot worse than oreos for lunch!!

  4. I'm not a fan of the "get over it club". It's not that simple. The wound may be covered by a scab, but then someone/something bumps to hard and the scab is disturbed. Just keep fighting one day at a time...

  5. I could relate to a bunch of what you wrote here. The fact that you could recognize what was fueling your reaction over the fort? That's an awesome realization. You will be okay. You'll work through this - you've got the skills.

  6. The older I get, the more I can see the connections to my childhood that are not necessarily assets on my balance sheet. "Atta Girl" for recognizing that in dealing with your daughters. What do you want to bet that they'll always remember the day that you helped them to build a fort in the family room?

    We think we have to take them to Disney for memories, but it's the out-of-the-routine small stuff that they remember and cherish. So you didn't just fight your past and build a fort, you built a memory!

  7. How to get over It?

    Deal with it once and for all.
    It means doing what you have to do to put it behind you....
    I used to pull out my child hood..look at it, allow it to depress me till I wallowed in it, put it back inside and never got rid of it or dealt with it.
    Till I decided to.
    So, I stopped making the excuse that my mother was a good mother for sticking it out, for working so hard etc.
    I was pissed at her.
    For allowing it.
    So finally I worked up the guts to tell her exactly what my childhood had meant to me, what kind of issues it caused...
    It was a big 'talk'.
    That's for sure.
    But I made sure I got it ALL out.
    I allowed myself to release it.
    I made the decision after that to decide how to feel about it.
    Was I going to stay angry, or forgive her?
    I forgave her.
    Mostly because of her genuine remorse.
    Partly because she was my mother.
    My mom had a lot of great attributes.
    But it didn't change what had happened.
    Finish it.
    Sit down and write out what is unfinished for you and finish it.
    To do less is to allow it to continue.
    You are allowing it to CONTINUE to taint your life.
    Do you really want that?
    I don't think you do.
    It may not be easy, but it's worth doing.
    Nothing worth doing is ever easy.
    If you do allow it to continue to affect you, you do so knowing you are making a decision to not decide.
    That was the conclusion I came to anyway.
    Since I decided to finish it, I have let go of the weight. I have learned how to live in the present and I am overcoming my irrational fears.
    Will some crap float to the surface here and there?
    Then you see it, acknowledge it...and deal with it right then.

    Good luck to you.

  8. "Just get over it" is a comment made by people who have either never faced any serious problems or who have not yet dealt with them, but have stuffed their feelings and told themselves that they have dealt with it. It is a process of forgiving, of releasing to God, every single time the thoughts of your childhood come up, doing it once will not solve it forever. However, if you do it again and again, every time, eventually you find that you are having to do it less and less often.