When we hear the word Comfort Zone some of us have already started running. Millions are comfortable with stepping out of it. Where for me I’m the other millions who are uncomfortable about stepping out. I have friends that have strong personalities. When I’m with them, it’s easy for me to step out of my comfort zone. They are being looked at and listened to. I slide into a spot and stay there. So I guess no I’m not stepping out of the comfort zone, am I? I prefer to staying to myself, doing very little outside the home, and I have few friends. I’m don’t feel this is a “Cry Wolf” post. I’m sharing my thoughts and feelings. I hope that this may help someone else in their Comfort Zone.
I’ve been trying to work on myself. To cleanse myself before I try to bring anyone else into the Uncomforted zone. Working on comfort zones can be tricky. It’s one of those either you are or your not situations. I long to have friends. I long to have the best friend of my age. I have to love the friend inside myself first. Who is that friend? Is she fun, funny, loving, sharing, a word keeper, a go-getter? I would hope I’m all of these. Where do you fit in your inner self?
Comforted in the Bible says:
Genesis 21:17-18 Then God heard the boy’s cries, and the angel of God called to Hager from the sky, “Hager, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy’s cries from the place where you laid him. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.
Psalms 94:19 When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
When we hear someone cry either from hurt, grief, loneliness, or feel they are “Crying Wolf” take a step back and ask yourself, what would you like for someone to do for you? When doubts fill our minds its time to ask for hope and to have cheerleaders on your sideline. Our Cheerleader has always been GOD, but it’s us that have lost our way. We need to listen to God. We need to read the word of God, praise our Lord for our blessings and our struggles. For he is our Comfort Zone.
Cleanse in the Bible says:
Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart; I am pure and free from sin.”
I know my heart needs to be cleansed. I know I’ve sinned, I’m not afraid to say that. We all sin in one way or another. But we view it differently. So that comfort zone comes into play here. We have to step out of the comfort zone to ask God to forgive us, to admit our sins, to do as God wants us to, to be like God.
Are you ready to step out of the Comfort Zone and become friends with God? Let him be the best friend inside of you, to the cheerleader on your sideline, to be the one who knows all our faults, and who holds our words close, he will be you through the cleansing process and thereafter. Do you need prayers? Step out of the comfort zone and let me know and I’ll pray for you. Remember God loves us all.
We all long to be a part of something or someone. Being looked as at equal fills the heart. To be part of hobbies, games, stories, conversions, helps everyone feel a part of something. We have area’s that we love more than others. We turn to others to help push through the area’s we don’t like. Fitting in can be very hard for some, and for other’s, it comes naturally. When things are harder on others, feeling natural is 100 percent harder for them. The more that people work at trying to fit in will only make them push farther away. I’ve seen this happened, when? I’ve done this, I’ve worked hard at being a part of something and only find that I push myself away. I don’t like to play the status game. The status game is belittling. The world has created this. Either your shoe fits the world. Sorry about your luck if it doesn’t. You’ll be placed in the box and shoved to the back of the closet. Out of sight out of mind as I have heard it. It’s hard to sit back and watch this happened to so many others in the world and families. You to speak out, but you also don’t want to be that shoe in the back of the closet. Just like the tongue on our shoe that has been laced down into place, our tongues must be done the same in our mouths. We have to watch what we say, when we say it and how we say it. Again I learn this when I was much younger. I have carried this through my whole life and continue to do so today. I’ve been trying to sort feelings and words out. I’ve found it’s like fighting a wind chime that is tangled together into knots. Untangling these words wear me out. I feel like that wind chime in the wind being beat around and bounced off one another, beaten and bruised. I continue to work at untangling the words.
But what does the Bible say:
Ecclesiastes 12:11-14 A wise teacher’s words spur students to action and emphasize important truth. The collected saying of the wise are like guidance from a shepherd. But, my child, be warned: There is no end of opinions ready to be expressed. Studying them can go on forever and become very exhausting! Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad. We all struggle with words, relationships, groups, activities, being a part of, but it’s easier for some and harder for others.
Proverbs 10:17 People who accept correction are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore it will lead others astray.
The godly speak words that are helpful, but the wicked speak only what is corrupt.
Why do we feel cheated when we aren’t included? Why do we fill our emptiness with more emptiness? Why do we want to be a part? Is it because we’ve felt this all our lives? Is it that we don’t trust, or don’t know where we fit in? Or is it that we aren’t excepted, or welcome to be a part? Is that we not trusted? Or are we looked as not worthy?
Proverbs 11:1 The Lord hates cheating, but he delights in honesty.
Proverbs 11: 12-13 It is foolish to belittle a neighbor: a person with good sense remains silent. A gossip goes around revealing secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.
1 John 3: 11
This is the message we have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
I’ve been struggling with words for the last few months. I have some I want to speak and some I’d rather hold inside.
My Mother’s Day will be pretty much like all the others. The last Mother’s Day that our Son has been a part of was six years ago. My last Mother’s Day with him, I can remember so clearly, like looking through a piece of glass. It was like every other Mother’s Day. But I didn’t know this would be the last with him. I remember what he gave me, a plant and a Mother’s Day card, along with a hug and a kiss. Hugs from him were always tight. Sometime’s if he was in a silly mood you might get lifted off your feet. I think he enjoyed hearing me squeal. I love knowing his father had taught him to show affection and strength at the same time.
I remember a statement that was said to me. Flowers and a card were stupid for Mother’s Day. Every Mother’s Day I would receive flower for my flowerbeds, along with mulch. The four of us would work hard in the yard, moving the heavy dark mulch from each flowerbed. I looked forward to this day, sharing it with both our children and my husband. It was hard work but yet satisfying.
Why was that My last Mother’s Day with our son? Month’s before he got married, there were lots of misunderstandings, and feelings hurt. The issue’s damaged the relationship with our son. We haven’t been able to rebuild that relationship with him and his family. I have prayed many of days that lead into years for healing. Six years later things I’m still without my son on Mother’s Day. We’ve sat down and talked hoping it would help, but it didn’t. All I can do now is pray more and pray that is wife cherishes Mother’s Day.
Two years ago was my last Mother’s Day with my Mother. WHY? Not by my choice but my Mother’s. I had taken care of her for two years, to the best of my ability. I followed the Doctor’s orders given. Every day, I worked hard to make sure my mother had the things she needed to live as close to possible on her own. Checking her medicines, making sure she had taken a bath, dressed, fed, paying her bills on time, making doctor appointments, taking her to and from those appointments to taking her to the store. Not only this but taking her to see her sister, out to lunch or dinner, to see my daughter graduate from college, to let her be a grandmother to the little girl I babysat also.
Two years came along then the role of the caregiver to my mother had all changed. She and my sibling had been talking behind my back and had a plan to end all that. My Mother didn’t like the way I was caring for her. I was doing everything the Doctors said and doing it by myself. I had my plate full that was running over the edges. I had my own health issue’s, my home and husband, my daughter would get graduating from college, plus trying to keep my siblings informed of what was going on with our mother. The Doctor’s rules were no driving, no doing her finances herself, and no making appointments on her own.
She had had a stroke, and her memory is in the first stages of Alzheimer’s. One of my siblings didn’t want to accept the fact that our mother was not well. I live just five to six minutes from her, where my siblings live twenty to twenty-five minutes away. I had access to her home and knew all her doctor’s and medications she was on. I knew which hospital to take her to, had all the doctor forms and documents needed. Not that my siblings couldn’t have those documents too, I just hadn’t had a minute to print them off. When I had spoken to my siblings everything was fine.
September came, and things changed. The changes were going to be big. I didn’t have time to prepare for them or the outcome. But I was no longer going to take care of our mother. My sibling had agreed with our Mother that she could indeed do all the things the Doctors had order she couldn’t. We met at the lawyer’s office to find the final decision of my mother. I indeed was removed from her care. I was no longer allowed to visit or see her. She was able to decide this because she hadn’t had the four-hour testing to show us just what she could do for herself and how her memory was. I will say she was starting to gain small tasks to do for herself. Since there were no test results to show to the lawyer, there was nothing I could do. But do what she ordered.
It’s been two years now that I haven’t shared Mother’s Day with my Mother. I do send her cards and will call her and hope she answers. But I’m not to do those things, because that’s what she told the lawyer. There are times when she answers the phone. She will ask questions, what happened, she doesn’t remember, that she thinks I’m mad at her, that I don’t want anything to do with her. Mad wasn’t the word that I was feeling, more like numb. Mad is the feeling I have towards my sibling. Disbelieve is the word I have. To this day, I have not spoken to that sibling. I choose not to because it becomes a battle. A battle of who was right and who was not. One that I don’t want to be called a liar or not trusted nor heard.
For this Mother’s Day, I will be celebrating with my Husband, Our Daughter and Our Soon To Son In Law. Will I be getting flowers for my flowerbeds? I would think so. For me, Flowers and Cards are perfect gifts. I won’t let that statement permanently be stamped in my mind how stupid they are. So I ask you to give your mother that silly gift for Mother’s Day the one that seems stupid to others.
There are several different definitions for the word Family. Here is my favorite definition for the word Family from the Google Dictionary site: *”a group of people related to one another by blood or marriage.”
Why this one? I have family members who are blood-related to me. But I also have family members who are not blood-related to me. They are the ones who I’ve gained through my relationship with my husband of more than thirty years. They’ve taught me that life can be rough. When rough times interrupt in life, the family will be there to help you through.
When the family has a set of parents who have been raised to help push through those hard times, it makes those times seem easy. My husband’s parents marriage is one that I will always cherish. His parents have kept this family together. They believe in us because we believe in them. And when you have people believing in you, you begin to believe in yourself.
When using the website:https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/family/ The first line says for Foundation: “The Bible is the world’s great teacher of monogamy–the union for life of one man and one woman in marriage as the basis of the family.” This definition sum’s up my husband’s parent’s and grandparents.
As his parents are beginning to get up in age, and needing more help, it’s us the family they have built who will be the ones to help them. Just as our family will be going over a few bumping patches in the next few months, the family will be standing on a strong foundation. The foundation, that my husband parents, grandparents, siblings, children, in-laws, nieces, and nephews that have all helped build. We each are a part of the foundation in one way or another.
When using the website: https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/family/ The first line says for Foundation: “The Bible is the world’s great teacher of monogamy–the union for life of one man and one woman in marriage as the basis of the family.” This definition sum’s up my husband’s parent’s and grandparents.
1. The collective body of persons who live in one house and under one head or manager; a household, including parents, children and servants, and as the case may be, lodgers or boarders.
2. Those who descend from one common progenitor; a tribe or race; kindred; lineage. Thus the Israelites were a branch of the family of Abraham; and the descendants of Reuben, of Manasseh, &c., were called their families. The whole human race are the family of Adam, the human family.
3. Course of descent; genealogy; line of ancestors.
Go and complain thy family is young.
4. Honorable descent; noble or respectable stock. He is a man of family.
5. A collection or union of nations or states.
The states of Europe were, by the prevailing maxims of its policy, closely united in one family.
6. In popular language, an order, class or genus of animals or of other natural productions, having something in common, by which they are distinguished from others; as, quadrupeds constitute a family of animals, and we speak of the family or families of plants.
Two almost three years ago Little Bean was born. Little Bean was so tiny but yet filled a big hole in our hearts. We’ve been blessed to have close friends to share their child with us. Many years ago I babysat Little Bean’s mother and her siblings. Little Bean’s mother has shared with me many times how she looked at me as a mother figure. But, I’m not sure if Little Bean’s mother knew how much I looked at has my own. Little Bean’s mother was here a lot. She would stay the night, go to school from here, she was punished just like one of our own. Little Bean’s mother’s father was a single dad raising three children by himself. Two boys and then Little Bean’s mother. Little Bean’s mother and her siblings, graduated from school and all are doing great in life.
As life changes our stories do too, Little Bean’s mother went on to farther her education. Which a move had to take place, this move would help Little Bean’s mother grow as an adult, and learn to live on her own. As some of know, we never know when God has the plan for a little human to be created. And just that it did, Little Bean was created. With the creation of Little Bean, this meant another change would need to happen. Little Bean’s mother continued to work and take care of herself, and be the mother she always wanted to be. One who is strong, smart, beautiful, caring and continues to grow in so many ways. But yet, knew life would be hard, but she had a strong father who raised her. A father who had shown her times were hard, but you have to believe in yourself, push through those hard times, and never let someone tell you can’t do something.
It was time for Little Bean to meet the world outside her world that was in her mother’s belly. She had many names before she was born. Picking a name would be tricky. Her mother wanted her to named after her Great Grandmother Ann. She not only had names before she was born but lots of nicknames after she was born. Coda, Cocoa Bean, Bean, D, Baby D, for us it’s been stuck on Little Bean. It was Little Bean who brought her mother and me back together. We picked up like we never left one another. My family has been blessed to be a big part of Little Bean and her mother’s life, even more so now. The miracle has brought us light at the end of a dark tunnel. She loves her Uncle Jon and worships the ground he walks on. Her Aunt Rae, she can’t let her out of her sight, nor can she let Aunt Rae not hold when its 100 degrees outside. For me, she is my bundle of joy, my savor, my grandbaby, my light for those dark days. The hope that someday we will be able to be a part of our granddaughter’s lives.
Faith is a big part of this. We had to believe that God would be by our sides guiding us in the right path, to lean on him when we could stand on our own feet, to cry when we had too, to even been scared to death, to teach us that fear is part of growth. Sure there had been many times that we wanted to give up, but we pushed through. We had family praying for us, and friends who would counsel us, and then we had each other, the three of us. My Husband, Daughter and I, have grown so much from this miracle. There is hope, never stop believing.
For Little Bean, she is now almost three years old. She and I get to spend one to three day’s a week together. She’s grown so much since she was six weeks old when I began babysitting her. We’ve been able to be part of her firsts, roll over, sit up, eat solid food, take her to the zoo, county fairs, our family celebrations, her birthdays, her Christmas’ and the list goes on. Today was a milestone for Little Bean! She finally read and understood two books today. “Count and & Color with the Little Monsters” by Lynne Mitchell and designed by Deena Fleming and Heather Dakota. The other book “From Head to Toe” by Eric Carle. I wish I could share the video from today, but I don’t have the WordPress membership for that.
So what’s Little Bean’s real name? Her name is Dakota Ann (No last name will be shared). She keeps us on our toes. She’s always smiling, laughing, loves to learn, do crafts, help make muffins, brush her teeth, and tell you how much she loves her mommy’s potty.
This is our LITTLE BEAN
Books: NOTE: I could not find the actual book that I have of Count & Color with the Little Monsters. I shared where you may be able to buy one like it.
Every year I tell myself I’m going to work on paying bills off and start to save. Every year comes and goes so fast that I have zero in savings and have done no discipline on spending. Saving money can be hard when you don’t work and aren’t to be working due to medical reasons. Depending on others can become very hard, tiring and stressful. I begin to beat myself because I have spent money on something that I didn’t need. Somethings I will buy something I feel our home needs. When you put on a tight budget and trying to make that go as far as you can is rough. Especially those times come when you weren’t excepting them.
When I get in these moods, I begin to point out what I did do rather than what I should have done. I drain my brain from any energy that I might have to figure out what can I do to save money. My first thought is to get a job. But where, and how long will that last before I’m sick again and in relapse. I begin finding items to sell. But in real life, they never sell, they end up going to Goodwill or donating them. I couldn’t sell something free, that’s how bad of a salesperson I am.
I’ve tried everything out there. Reading budget books, how to save, how to sell, how to pinch pennies, how to use cash rather than check or debit cards, and credit cards. I’ve used the envelope system, and that doesn’t seem to work either. The truth of it all is that I had never taught how to budget. My mother never taught me that. And well my father hasn’t been in my life. My mother worked and went to school, to pay our bills. So we could have a roof over our heads, and food in our bellies. But I never knew what it was like to pay bills. When I began working and spending my own money, it went fast not keeping track of what I spent it on. That led to living paycheck to paycheck. At some point, I need to grow up. And get my act together. I’m not getting any younger and for my savings, it’s not getting any bigger either.
Are you wondering what my shopping might look like? I love sales racks, clearance racks, buy one get one, buy five save five dollars so bargains. I can thumb through a sales rack and find nothing. But within minutes I’m back thumbing through that same sales rack to find something for the bargain. The item will make it through checkout, to the car, to the washing machine, to the hanger, and to the closet. That item of clothing could hang in the closet for a very long time. Once I get sick of seeing it, I’ll try to sell it and then give up and get rid of it. That’s my habit, buy things that either I want or think our home needs. Then sometimes they don’t even get used. I call this depression spending. Buying items to fill those empty holes, to fill with happy thoughts. Which will turn to mad thoughts, because I bought it and really didn’t need it?
SO I’ve decided I would try something new. My daughter sent me this: “How Bullet Journaling Helped Me Conquer My Mindless Spending Habit”. I put it to the test today. I had a doctors appointment on my favorite side of town. All the stores I love to spend time shopping. I started at one of my favorite little stores, walked in and didn’t get a cart or hand basket. Went in with nothing in mind to buy. First stop shoes, Oh I found a very cute pair of summer shoes, the price looked good. They stayed on the rack. Moving to home goods didn’t find a thing in that department. Great! Next clothing, what caught my eye CLEARANCE SIGNS. I looked through the clothing, find a few shirts I thought would be great for Easter the price five dollars each. This was a bit hard to leave them on the sale rack, but that’s where they stayed. I continued to walk about the clothing department, finding myself going back to the shirts for Easter. At this point, I knew I had to walk out of the store. I did just that, getting in my car I told myself GREAT JOB. I continued this with each store. Surprising myself with empty arms when I arrived home.
I sat down with my planner and began putting bullets in my journal part, and writing the feelings, and wants for the items and if I came home with me. My reasoning for buying somethind today? I had seen my physiatrist today, which I see him every three months. Nothing new to talk about, no change in medicines, come back in three months and I’m on my way and I paid my co-payment with cash. I left home at one thrity pm and my appointment was at two fifteen pm arriving early. I was back home by four o’clock pm. That’s early I’m normally gone the entire day. I forgot to add that I like to eat out on these days. I ate before I left, I brought my favorite cup filled with water with me. I didn’t eat out, but by the time I got home was too hungry and shaking. I’ll have to figure something else out. I’ve tried energy bars, which I don’t like. If you have any idea’s please let me know. Thanks.
How can you tell the difference between Stress and Depression? Stress for me can be anywhere from physically to toxic related. I have many things that cause me stress. Here are a few triggers for me.
When I’m dealing with financial stress panic sets in, worrying and what can I do.
When I’m dealing with physical stress, my body will begin to become weak and worn out.
When I’m dealing with seasonal stress, I’ll be very restless, tired and drained.
When I’m dealing with emotional stress, I’ll start to believe all the negative thoughts, out of controlling crying, becoming mad and angry.
When dealing with drama stress, I’ll withdraw from those people or situations.
When dealing with toxic stress, my body will begin to shake, tighten, burn and I become angry. I will pick apart the situation making myself even madder. If I let this stress get out of control, I become toxic to myself.
I have many things that cause depression. Here are a few triggers for me. *relationships *emotional *mentally *behavior *physical *drama *toxic When I’m dealing with relationship depression, I begin to hide, shut down, withdraw, but yet fight to figure it out. When I’m dealing with emotional depression, I become a teary mess, crying when others aren’t around. When I’m dealing with mental depression, I can find everything little thing wrong with me, it can eat me alive I begin to drown in the lies. When I’m dealing with behavior depression, my whole being changes, I can put on the many “outfits” of depression, covering up those behaviors. When I’m dealing with physical depression, I can pick myself apart pointing out all the ugly parts of my body and mind. When I’m dealing with drama depression, I can become hateful, mean, defenceful, angry, and ready to tell you what I think and how I feel. When I’m dealing with toxic depression, I can’t seem to find my way out. I fall deeper and deeper into the trap of depression and the mess it has caused in my life, I become toxic to myself. Where am I today you may ask? I’m stuck in the rut of stressed and depressed. I’m racking my brain to get out of this rut, but it seems to be harder on some days than others. When I think I have it figured out, I’m right back to where I was. I have withdrawn from some and leaned towards others. I’m learning who wants to be around me and not cause drama. I will continue to learn as I go. I will learn how to weed out what causes my stress and what causes my depression. It will take time, and sometimes, I don’t allow myself that time. I have to learn to believe I can do it and have trust in myself.
As I’ve shared I’m joining the ban wagon and taking on the Marie Kondo challenge as I call it. Her presences in the home mades it an easy and calm way of sorting. I do understand there are area’s that become tougher and can cause emotion’s to flare up. I myself didn’t think I would get emotional about sorting paper. Its just paper right? OR is it? I didn’t realize how much paper items I have/had. It seemed as if though I were pulling on a roll of toilet paper. The piles kept coming and coming. I had to finally take a break and come to it a few hours later. To the same piles I had left, what was I thinking that they would disappear by themselves. Don’t I wish.
As I began to sort through my filing cabinet. The one that has my genealogy, birthday, Christmas cards, extra printer paper, scrapbook supplies, a few pictures, disks, and tons of thumb drives I happened to stumble upon a few journals and a scrapbook. What laid inside of those three items bring tears to my eyes. Yes, I was getting emotional over paper. Or was it? I had decided that I would pile all those items into one tote, and come back to it after finishing the other drawers on the filing cabinet. I was able to shred tons of genealogy information that is know longer needed with it being on my laptop. Those ugly yearly tax papers, yes they were shredded too. In two separate piles I place our children’s paper’s or small items that had been stored in the filing cabinet. But those piles were being to grow like wild weeds. They ended up in their own tote’s also.
It was time to kick the scrapbook drawer in the butt. HOLY COW scrapbook supply everywhere, two drawers worth of it. I’m surprised everything didn’t jump out at us when we opened the drawers. Who would thought someone could have so much scrapbooks supply. Well, I mean there are other people who have way more than me so, I guess I don’t have as much as I thought. No I do, lets get to the point, scrapbooking isn’t my thing anymore. I just like the paper. Oh Jeez there’s that word PAPER. Once I got every last piece of paper and sticker out of the drawers and piled onto my kitchen table, I know longer had a table. This project to way more time than I had thought it would. Of course I had to look at each piece of paper. Then the stickers oh man, this job was hard. Once I began reminding myself that I know long do this hobby what was the need for all of this supply. When my mind was set in this mode, it came easy to give the donate or sell pile. Most of it was donated to our neighbor who has small children of their own. What better place to donate these supplies. I did make a few bucks of the items I sold. But wait until you see the drawer now.
It was time to get back to the emotional pile. Tissue on hand, chair to sit in before I fell to the floor, and something to drink. As I begin picking up each items the emotion started flowing. For a healing to take place there is an emotional moment I believe.
The first emotional item I picked up was the white binder. I knew what was in there, but I also forgot. Did I forget or didn’t I want to face that fact of what those three rings were holding? I felt my heart start to beat faster as I began to open that shinny cover. I didn’t want to look at it, but I know I need face that fact that I had written those words. That I had cried harder than I thought I’d cried. This binder holds, notes from when I had first gotten sick six years ago. I began writing in a spinal notebook, then fell off the path and just stopped writing. I thought what if I move all this to a binder, and that way I can just add more paper as I write. That worked for a little bit, the off the path again. The color purple caught my eye. It was that, that the tears began to roll, burning my eyes, and not wanting to touch the purple paper. This was a letter I had written to my husband and children six years ago. Which I haven’t shared with them. The journaling is all over the place on the purple paper. I was angry, scared, and just wanted to tell my side and my feelings to my son. To this day I don’t feel as though I’ve been able to do that. Will I ever, I don’t know. Will I be prepared for that day, most likely not. Did I shred the writting on the purple paper, no it’s resting in the same place in the binder.
As I set the white binder to the side, I had to decide what was I going to sort through next, the Black photo book or the journal. As much as I wanted not to look through the journal I had to. I had to see where I began and where I am today. This journal has blogs about my year of taking care of my mother, leading up to the day that all came to a fast stop, to how I was wanting to kill myself, and hating life. I read the first few pages, crying over each word, and replaying the minutes and memories as tear dripped from my face. The more I read the more I felt like I needed to run, to get away. But I also wanted to stand up and scream, and just hit the person/s who damaged the relationship I had with my mother. I had always thought I was the rock some one, that they would never let me turn to sand and stream through their fingers. They were to be my rock, my support, my shoulder to cry on, to be my sheild, to be able to crawl on their back and hear them call me Sis. But I didn’t I didn’t hear that at all. All I heard were car door shutting, and knowing that was it. That our relationship would never be the same again. That we would part our own ways, and live life as we always did. Yes, as we always did. When help was needed I was called on, I was the running, the filler, the one who put her whole self into the relationship. Dropped whatever she was doing to help, to do her part. Would I do it again, as much as I can sit and say I wouldn’t I know I would, why? Because I have been shown real LOVE. And just because we don’t have a relationship I still love them.
The pages in the journal were heavy, heavy to turn, but yet wet from the tears. There were stains on each page that I turned. My writing in this journal also came to an end. I was tired or writting about being angry, and wanting to tell my side, that I finally just stopped writing. But I also, knew it was time for Eva to grow, to be someone that she was, and not what others had told people. To grow and have stronger relationships with people who want to be my Rock, who want to help me when I’m falling and who want to keep me here on earth. Those people are my Husband, Daughter, My Aunt, and My In Laws, and the few friends I have. Thank you to them, that I’m here writing this blog.
This book holds so many memories, memories that I’ll never let go. Inside the pages holds, pictures of my children when they were babies, first born, school pictures, graduation pictures, sports, and family pictures. There is also photos of myself when I worked at the school, a family picture of myself with my siblings and husband. That was the last “family” picture that was taken of myself with my siblings. And I believe the first one since I was maybe 2 years old. It’s hid the in the back of the book. That’s a picture I don’t understand, and I may never understand. We had that picture taken for our Mother’s Christmas gift. Our Mother was so surprised and teary eyed when she seen it. But what brings me to tears is to know that picture we had taken for her sits in the same box we gave it to her in all those years ago on that Christmas day. Yes, I found it while cleaning my mother’s house a few years ago. Wow, what a slap, or better yet, she doesn’t want to see her children, do we bring that much pain? I’d love to ask that question. Does the picture still sit in that box at My Mother’s home as far as I know yes.
On a better page on the left is of me while I worked at the school. One of my more for filling and favorite jobs. I had always dreamed of being a teacher, but with a learning disablitity and having issues reading, I never went that route in school. Actually I’ve never been to college. But I’ve been close enough to being a teacher. I was a teachers ad for may years. I know, I know, how in the world did I do that with my learning issues. Well, I was in my own world helping students with the same learning problems I had. We were learning together, by making gamings, flash cards, projects, taking test together, doing homework and classwork together, to studying togehter. I had so much fun with this job. I had grown to be something that I thought I’d never be a teacher. I’m proud to say that students I worked with are now graduated, and some hold jobs and some are going to farther their education. How exciting it that?? Pretty Darn Exciting.
Trust, some of us that have a ton of trust, some of don’t have any at all, I’m in that category.
Let’s learn about my father..
I truly believe my problem was and still is, Trust! I grew up in a very toxic, divorce household. My mother raised us kids, my two older brothers and myself. My father was an alcoholic and still is, my parents lied to one another about everything. I have yet to get a straight answer from either of them when I pop the questions, about why things were the way they were. I never was able to have a relationship with my father, and I still don’t. Sure he calls every once in a while, I think the longest that he has gone without calling me has been two years maybe three. I will say when he does call, we have some laughs, we talk about what’s happening in one another’s world, and the phone comes to a fast end. With us hanging up, not saying I love you, I’ll talk to you later, or See ya, nothing just the simple touch of the “X” on the phone.
There were many years ago, I wrote a letter to my father, asking his questions, wanting answers. I wanted him to know how my life was while growing up. I wanted him to feel the pain and the emptiness, anger, loneliness, and most of all to hear his CRY. I learn later that he had called my brother asking him what to do. What, he didn’t know what to do. It’s easy just pick up the phone and call. I was waiting for that phone call, to come any day. But that phone call never came, and still didn’t come, until I had finally chalked up as well he’s not going to call, nothing new. I went on with my life for the next few months, to my surprise he calls! I’m excited, I want to hear the answers to my questions. But the most important I still wanted to hear him cry. Why wouldn’t he cry, just cry damn-it, that’s all I want. My want was never filled, but I did get some answers to my questions. Some of them I had already figured out myself.
Let’s learn about my mother…
For my mother, was a loving, caring, fun, and a hard worker who provided for us kids, she kept a roof over our head and food in our bellies. Our father paid child support it wasn’t much but it was something. The job I only remember the most that my mother had was working for Cincinnati Bell. My mother was in her later twenties early thirties when she was hired to work for Cincinnati Bell as a switchboard operator. While moving up on the ladder, becoming part of the team for telephone books, entering names, numbers and addresses made for a long day and week. She was later promoted to being the team leader who organized the phone lines and numbers for the Cincinnati Reds Stadium when there was an event to take place. My mother was able to keep her headset from the switchboard position, which she later gave it to me. She felt it was be an important part of her story as I was doing genealogy by this time. I can remember all the stories she has shared with me. Some of the stories were she would have to stay late after work to cover for a call in or my grandmother would be mad and angry that she couldn’t just talk to my mother when she felt like it, or why my grandmother didn’t understand that my mother had to work on the weekends and holidays. But there was another side of my mother. My mother had friends, she went out, she drank, and had a good time. She had boyfriends, some nice some not so nice, there were fights and breakups.
When my parents divorced there was an order that my father would have visitation rights every other weekend. My mother’s “Court Order Rules” were completely different. If my father wasn’t following her “Rules” or playing her “game” then our visitations with our father ended. Life was good when it was on my mother’s terms. Us kids didn’t have to hear all the yelling, fighting, blaming, finger-pointing, the list never ends. Life was hell when her “Rules” weren’t in play. It was us kids who missed out on those weekends with our father, or half-siblings, beginning with our stepmother, learning to bowl, play baseball, vacations to Florida, holidays, and just to spend a day with our father. I can’t tell you what my father did for a living, except his bowled on a league, he belonged to a lodge, he worked for Gibson Greeting Card, he listened to country music, (he thought he could sign, not that I can), he would make wisecracks and he drank. But he never really knew what went on behind those English Wood doors, those Mirror Copy Cat Buildings.
When I met my husband, and we began to share our childhood and family members, he was shocked to learn about my life. To him, it was a horror story, one that I’ve always been told I should write a book. I joke all the time saying, “I would be a millionaire if I were to do that.” My husband’s parents were so strange to me. Why were they holding hands, saying I love you, have a nice day, wanting to help others, spending time with other family members, sharing holidays, and going to Church? I didn’t understand why weren’t the trust issues, why weren’t there any yelling, fighting, blaming, and breakups? What was the Church thing all about? Who went to Church because we didn’t, only on Christmas, or when I was visiting my grandmother or that lovely Vacation Bible School. (My mother would dress me and my two best friends in the same ugly dress every Sunday for Vacation Bible School). I was even more shocked when, his parents hugged me, told me they loved me, included me in family gatherings, EXCEPTED me for me. Not for what I had been molded to be while growing up.
As my relationship with my boyfriend now husband grew, I began going to church with his family, helping on the family farm, staying more and more at his house rather than mine, and learning a different way of life. One that has changed me from a jigsaw puzzle with a piece from every horrible memory while I was a child. Those horrible pieces have now been transformed into hopeful, blessed pieces as wife, mother, daughter, sister, niece, aunt and friend (which I have few friends because of trust). My husband, who is my partner and crime, my best friend, my hero, my knight have been married 30 years and trust is still something I struggle with. Not with my husband but, myself. As soon as I notice something of the norm, it sends my mind into overdrive, a Nascar on the last lap, going faster and faster. At every turn, I’m looking for some else to be wrong, something that I can point fingers at, something out of place, to yell, scream, cry and even run from. I have to remind myself, he loves me for who I am, he loves me for all the struggles I have each day, he loves me for being true to myself, he loves me because, I will go out on the limb to help others, and he loves me because his parents installed him, that God takes care of everything. That we have to Trust in God. His parents have helped me to trust God, to trust myself, and to gain trust in others. Most of all they have been more of my PARENTS than my OWN Parents!! They are my Mom and Dad, God moved me to Indiana to find my true Family.
The day started off like any other day. Getting up and beginning to get ready for work. My daughter and I had a daily routine each morning before I went to work and she went off to high school. Putting our make-up on to styling our hair, and making sure neither of us had anything between our teeth. You know, “Do I have anything between my teeth statement.” But this day was different, not normal, off in some way, but how? My daughter turns to me and says, “Mom there is something wrong with your face, it’s drooping, just not normal.” My reply, “Come on we need to finish up here and get ready to leave, or we’ll be late.”
You see my daughter road to work with me each day, as I had worked at the elementary school and she would board the school bus that transported her to the high school. That ride was like no other, concerned, yet not concerned, to my daughter telling me, “Mom you need to go to the ER, something isn’t right.” Once we enter the building of the school, we continue our walk to the office only for me to ask a few co-workers if they saw anything wrong with me. They recalled the same as my daughter did, my right side of my face is drooping, and that yes I needed to go to the ER.
As I’m preparing to call my husband to have him get ready I’m telling my daughter goodbye, have a good day, and everything will be okay. And assuring her that I’m going to the ER. The ride home to pick up my husband seemed longer than its normal fifteen-minute ride. Felt more like hours. I didn’t know to cry, or not to believe what was happening. As I had walked through the door to our home, one that I knew to be familiar was one lost. I knew the sounds of the dogs barking and them running across the floors excited to see me. The sounds of them welcoming us home every day after work and school. The smell of our perfume and to the house looking a mess. At this point I decided I needed to clean, I had to get everything put in order before we left for the ER.
My husband stands and watches as he is confused about what is going on. He hadn’t been home from work before we left for our daily duties at work and school. Once he could get me to look at him, he finally said, “Eve we have to go, we need to get to the ER.” With him walking me to the car hand and hand, I could feel the fear in the both of us, the confusion of how did this all happened. The ride to the ER got longer and longer it seemed, the weirder I felt. Feelings I couldn’t explain or even try to figure out. As we pulled into the parking lots, my right side of my body was becoming weaker and weaker. Was I having a stroke, a heart attack, what was going on!!! No, I couldn’t be having a stroke or could I? Not a heart attack because I wasn’t falling to ground gripping my chest in pain. So what??
Here we were in the ER getting ready to talk to the registry to get me checked in and answer the questions for why I’m having these issues. Those questions you are asked every time you visit a doctors office, do you have your insurance card, what is the issues you are having that brought you here today? Well, if I knew maybe I wouldn’t be here right now, is what was running through my mind. The longer I stood there, the more my right side became numb. The lady in her cute nurse’s scrubs hands me the clipboard with the million papers that need to be filled out. Only for me to almost drop it. With my husband standing beside me, I tell him, I can’t hold the clipboard it’s too heavy. He carries the clipboard and walks me to the waiting area. I begin filling in all the blanks when all of sudden I turn to my husband and say, “Honey, I don’t feel good, something is really wrong, you need to go get that lady at the desk?”
He and the registry came back to me, only to learn I can no longer talk, or move I was paralyzed. But how? How could this be happening to me? I could hear, and see, but what good is that going when you’re asked questions? Not good at all. The registry called for a nurse, which brought a wheelchair. I remember so clearly, the little old couple sitting across from us. Their scared emotions on their faces, but what really ran through my mind was, I hope my husband and I live that long. As the nurse began asking me questions, I became angry and aggravated because I couldn’t talk, and the questions continued to be thrown at me one after another. The more they asked the madder I became. The nurse asks my husband, “Has this happened to her before, his reply no.” As the nurse is asking me to get into the wheelchair, so we can go to a private room and begin the figure this all out. Once in that small, cold, stale sounding room, the questions began again. Looking at the nurse and then to my husband, I began to cry. But why am I crying, I’m still confused. My life is flashing before me. The Doctor is called in and just like the others who had seen me, was in shock, he’d never seen anything like it. He begins to examine me, looking in my eyes, listening to my heart, taking my blood pressure and asking if I could feel him touching the bottom of my feet, to the insides of my hands. My reply: BLANK! He orders lab work, CAT Scan, X-Ray’s, anything that would give us some answers. I began having seizures, my blood pressure shot to the moon, my eyes became sensitive to light, my teeth started chattering, and I had this awful pain, burning sensation, stabbing behind my right ear. At this point my husband is holding my hand but lost, in tears, yet trying to stay strong and not let me see him crying. The doctor turns to my husband, asking him a ton of questions with the same answer of No this hasn’t ever happened.
Puzzled was on everyone’s face. The Doctor begins asking about medications and health issues. My husband lists off all the medication I’m taking and for what reasons. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD, Depression, Bipolar and high blood pressure, I was up to date with my OB-Gyn, and Primary Doctor so other than that I a healthy 45-year-old woman. Living life to the fullest. I had a job that loved and had been doing it for 11 years. Our son had just proposed to his girlfriend, so wedding plans were beginning to take place. Our daughter was about to graduate from high school. In the process of filling college applications out, and scheduling dates and times to tour colleges. Our year was pretty full with lots of activities. I was fearing I wouldn’t be a part of all these blessings, and how would my family move on without me. The confusion has worsened, and my anger has become even clearer. I wanted answers. And I wanted them right now. The doctor at the ER requested that I be transported to another hospital that could do farther testing and help us find the reasonings.
The staff was ordered to arrange to for an ambulance a room and the staff ready for me when I arrived. Only to find out an hour later, there weren’t any rooms available, the ambulances were also being used. The waiting game began. An hour went by, an hour in a half ticked by, to hours later, still at the ER waiting. Within that time, I began to get feeling back in my body. With a few places still numb. My upper legs felt like gel, as though my heavy hands were melting through them. The bottom of my feet were on fire, the pain I’d never felt before. I was able to talk some and was telling my husband my feet hurt. He began to rub them only to make them hurt worse. My husband calls for the doctor. Walking into the room the Doctor is shocked, lost for words, and confused. My bladder is working full force, I’m needing to potty. I announced I had to pee and now. I began getting myself up off the bed and trying to walk to the restroom. Nurses were called for help. But dumbfounded when seeing what was happening. I began stomping my feet on the floor, I had to use the restroom. One nurse runs for a portable potty and others, try to help me with my fancy ER grown. Doctor taking notes, my husband talking to me softly telling me to hang on the potty was coming. I’m moved to the potty with help, the doctor and nurses leave the room for some privacy. I look at my husband and say, “Can we go home please.” As I’m told no, while sitting on the pot, I begin to cry and begging my husband to take me home, that I was okay. When I finish peeing, I’m once again moved back to the bed, and looking at all the tubs, and tape, gauze, everywhere. Every machine possible was hooked up to me.
After 4 hours of being at the ER, I was finally transported to the Hospital. I remember asking, “Do you have to turn on those sounds and lights?” Yes, Yes we do ma’am. I’m thinking really, I don’t think so. But of course, as we’re pulling out of the parking lots there goes the sounds and lights. I had a nice lady with me in back. Who asked me questions about home, work, my kids, pet etc. The questions helped block out the sound and lights. Just like the doctor ordered, the staff was ready for me (as I thought?) and I had a lovely room overlooking traffic. The nurse who took my case wasn’t aware that I had arrived and put in the room. As I sat and looked at all the pokes, bandages, the gown and at the cold white room, I teared up. This own time my husband is filling out more papers. They should have written a book. A nurse passes by my room, peering in she asks, “How long have you been here dear?” Me, “Oh’ about an hour.” As she puts her hands on her hips and excuses herself, she walks to the nurse’s station and lets them hear it. I could hear her ask, why didn’t anyone tell her that I was there and in the room, why didn’t anyone go check that patient, what is wrong with you people? I hear her footsteps coming towards my room. She tells me how sorry she is, and that this isn’t normal, and she will talk to the head nurse about this. She was not happy.
Within a few minutes of meeting my nurse, I begin to have my attacks (as I call them). She yells for help, just like that, there are a million nurses, well it seemed like it in my tiny room. My nurse breaks out her little flashlight shining it into my eyes, I try to block with the arm that had little movement. Walks through the door, my husband. Question after question is asked, he tells them, “She’s never done this before, we don’t know what is happening, that’s why we were sent here. The round of tests was being put into place, my few hours stay became a 4-day stay. My children came to visit just a few hours after me arriving at the hospital. Only for when my son and his fiancee to walk in the room with two dozen roses, it was Valentine’s Day. Staff is called to the room, to make their way through the maze of people because I’m having an attack. My son standing at my feet, surveying what’s happening. I could picture the worry on his face. Within moments I’m back to normal, only dealing with the burning on the bottom of my feet. Our daughter walks through the doorway, only to begin to cry in her daddy’s arms. I am so thankful that our dear friend brought our daughter and her boyfriend to see me. Once again I go into having an attack, moments later peers a normal mother.
As the late afternoon turns to into evening, the nurse comes in with the orders for the blood work, tails right behind her, the lovely person to take my blood, followed by a bed on wheels. WHAT a bed on wheels, where am I going? Mrs. Stokes are you ready for your CAT Scan, my husband replies, she had that done at the ER. Sir, it’s in the orders to have another one done. Off I go with a new set of people, to have a set of test done. I couldn’t wait to get back to my family in that fancy so call hotel room in the hospital. Yep, all my family were all still there waiting on me. Ma’am, the nurse says, “I’m sorry but we have another set tests we will be continuing tomorrow morning.” Me, “Tomorrow? What I thought I was going home.” No Ma’am, the doctor here at the hospital has decided to keep you another day.” Tomorrow morning, you will have an MRI, EEG, EKG and more blood work done. WHAT!!!! On this “Tomorrow day” is when we found out I wouldn’t be going home that day either, but 2 more days from that day.
Friday had arrived, I was doing great, having no issues, except for the droopiness on my right side of my face. The speech doctor came in to visit, did some exercises with me, and handed me a package of papers that had the exercises on them so I could continue to do them at home. Then followed a Neurologist, which had not answered for us, Except Mrs. Stokes from the MRI, it shows you have Demyelination and you have Bells Palsy. Well, I knew about the Bells Palsy, my loving speech doctor told me that. But what is Demyelination? I asked the Neurologist. He casually says, “Its a form of MS.” My husband and I look at one another and asked at the same time what does that mean? Again the Neurologist says, “Well, she can be in the first stages of MS or in the second stages.” Yes, but what does this mean for her life from here? The Neurology asked us questions as to why I was brought to the hospital as we tell him, he tells us I quote his words, “Hmmm, I’m confused, I don’t know what is wrong with you, but you have MS, Mrs. Stokes.” He get-ups hands us a business card and walks out like nothing had happened.
As my husband and I sat and sayidnothing at all to one another, my nurse walks in and asks us how we are doing. We didn’t say much of anything except for Confused. The Neurologist who just left the room gave us no answers just more confusion. God Bless the Nurses that go the extra mile. She went and got my discharge papers along with a few business cards for other Neurologist I could contact. I was sent home with a list of new medication, I wasn’t allowed to drive, or be left alone. I basically was adult-sat. I wasn’t able to go back to work either. I continued to have small attacks at home, only to find they were happening more often. As a family, we sat down and had a discussion on what our next plan was. We decided I would go back to seeing my Counsellor, which I had been seeing for years.
We found a new Neurologist, who once again did a ton of tests. We were finally getting some answers we thought. The MRI’s weren’t showing why I was having these episodes, but they did show I had 2 small white spots on my brain. What caused those we don’t know, and we never figured it out. I had a lumbar puncture done, in hopes that the fluids from my spine would give us some answers. No, those came back clear, nothing. The Neurologist couldn’t figure out why I was having these issues. Except he did tell us, that my clinical symptoms do seem to be related to my underlying psychological state. For the Bells Palsy that went away with time and medication but it seems to be separate from either anxiety problems or MRI findings.
The wedding didn’t go as planned. Lots of stress, misunderstandings, miscommunications, not feeling involved to hurt feelings. Our son married and moved their belongings out of our home, and into his and his wives home almost 7 years ago. The day out son moved his belonging out, was a volcano. Arguing, saying mean things to one another, not wanting to work on things, the issues became a battle. I was sick of being sick. We were hurt because we weren’t included in the wedding plans, although we offered, we got nothing in return. The rehearsal night came, we had not a clue where the wedding would be taking place, except for using our invitation. The wedding day came, and nothing had been mended. But we carried on as a family as I had thought.
I continued to see my counsellor every week two times a week, being taxied by my mother or family in-laws. Our daughter graduated, went on to college and graduated in four years. Her time at college was hard, she worried a lot about me and my health. And struggled with not hearing from her brother. Yes, he walked away from her. Everything came to a complete stop just a week after the wedding. My life continued this path for 5 years, having the episodes, having MRI’s done, lab work, EEG’s, all the test every three months to being scheduled farther apart to 6 months. Nothing had changed. And still not seeing or hearing from our son. Carrying the hurt, stress, loneliness, the why’s, what if’s, how come. Which only dug me farther into my illness which we still didn’t have an answer.
On my 5th year of testing, and the whole nine yards, we finally came to my sickness had to do with the stress, of work, wedding, home, and life. Yes, Life…My life was falling apart and I was working so hard to keep it afloat. To just learn that yes, Mrs. Stokes you have Conversion Disorder. The stress had taken hold of me and my life. I was allowing the stress to control everything about me. How was I going to get better if I didn’t feel myself from the stress? I resigned from my position at work, a place I worked for eleven years. Excepting the way, things were between our son and our family. And finding joy in our Daughter and her adventurers.
The following year, my sixth year of dealing with my illness, I had my final MRI. Had finally seen light at the end of the tunnel. I was diagnosed with Suedo Seizures, Conversion Disorder or none as Functional Neurological. My life has been very good, not having andy attacks, able to do what I want when I want. Although I’m not able to go back to work. I can enjoy my home, my safe place that familiar place, a place I know I can get away if I need to. I have been released from my neurologist, to continue my medications, and to continue to see my Psychiatrists every three months and to see my neurologist once a year unless otherwise.