Bleeding Everywhere

Deep Thoughts | Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) No Comments

10 years ago I went through several traumas back-to-back in less than a year’s time:

Miscarriage
Spouse’s suicide attempt
Spouse leaving
Sexual Assault

Each one one of those is a long story. I’m learning lately that not everyone should get to know every story. I’m ok with that. They aren’t always easy to tell, and honestly, not everyone has earned the right to them.

What I do appreciate about my experiences is sharing the very hard lessons I learned in hopes it will help someone else.

I’ve used the word “Resilient” to define myself for the last 9 years or so. When I went through all those hard things I was still able to function. In fact, I was often praised for how well I was doing. That must mean it’s good, right?

And then 2017 happened. Many small hard things happened in 2017-18. I knew something was wrong by the 3rd small thing, but I didn’t know what to do about it, so I just kept going. Then 3 big awful things happened; 3 deaths. Those broke me. I couldn’t function, but I was doing my best; which honestly, wasn’t good at all. I sucked at my job. I was being a bad friend. I couldn’t NOT feel how much I was hurting every. damn. moment.

I finished the school year and thankfully found a new position. Things were looking up. Everything was fixed.

And yet I still found myself repeating toxic patterns that I just couldn’t step away from.

Fast forward to now-ish; 5 therapy sessions of work. We’ve only scratched the surface and I’ve learned so much.

So, that’s what I want to share with you: 

Chinoy Pareek says, ' " If you don't heal What hurt you, you'll bleed On peo... '. Read the best original quotes, shayari, poetry & thoughts by Chinoy Pareek on India's fastest growing Creative Social Network | YourQuote.

Grief, in any form, demands to be felt. My pastor said that.
You can think you’re resilient because you got through hard stuff without breaking; but you’re not totally correct. What you’re doing is called dissociating (thanks HB). It’s something our brain does to protect us when things are too hard. It does serve a purpose for a time…and then it doesn’t. Then you’re just acting out, or making wild plans, throwing yourself into your work, relating to people only superficially, keeping impossibly busy, trying to control EVERYTHING. Everything you’re doing is self-preservation, but it’s breaking you more. I know first-hand.You will continue to hurt yourself and others until you get professional assistance to process it all.

Nothing replaces actual therapy.
Hard stop. I mean it. No amount of taking care of others; no amount of working out; whatever else you want to call therapeutic. They’re all coping methods, but none of them are actual therapy.

I know now that therapy is hard. I figured it would be, and that is part of why I avoided it for years; like, almost a decade. I wouldn’t trade the things I’ve learned in the last 5 weeks. The validation. The connections that I was never able to put together myself; invaluable.

I’m still going through it. It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done.

Part of why I am telling you this is so you know that I AM finally allowing myself to feel the things that hurt me initially in 2009-10. It’s hard work. I’m tired. I’m safely hurting because those things are not a present threat to me anymore.

So if you read this far, thank you. And if you see me and I seem to be different than usual, well that’s because I am. I’m leveling up, so to speak. I’m tired, but I’m happy. 

It'S Supposed to be Hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard...is what makes it great.  | Rustic Grace | Rustic Grace Boutique | Southern Quote | A League of Their Own | Great Quotes | Life is Hard | Great


Best of all, I am healing. And healing is hard work.

Feel free to join the club.

“It’s the hard that makes it good,” right?

10 years ago I went through several traumas back-to-back in less than a year’s time: MiscarriageSpouse’s suicide attemptSpouse leavingSexual Assault Each one one of those is a long story. I’m learning lately that not everyone should get to know every story. I’m ok with that. They aren’t always easy to tell, and honestly, not everyone […]

Cats will Eat my Body…Probably

Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) 4 Comments

Hello old friends. It’s been a while.

I say “old” because, well, it’s what’s on my mind today. I turned 38 at the end of April 2019. It has caused a little bit of an internal crisis as it relates to my future and being alone. The last several years I have had some experiences that have brought home to me just how different my future may be; and it terrifies me. I’m not being dramatic (as usual). Sometimes I cry (twice today) at the thought that when my parents and brother die I will be alone in the world.

Forgotten.

10 years ago, my life took a different path than what I planned. I had a miscarriage and was going through a divorce. Now, it’s been a decade of living in my parent’s home, still single, no kids…and an aging sweet kitty. My incredible and amazing friends are starting or raising their families. I love them and their sweet babies (even the stinkers…maybe I love the stinkers most). My parents and some of my cousins are in the position of having lost their parents and/or caring for their aging parents. 

Sounds just right..

Observing these varying stops on life’s continuum has me really grieving the loss of the life I thought I would have, and trying to come to terms with the fact that I will be alone as I age. I know this doesn’t mean isolated, or even lonely, but I won’t have someone with whom to grow old. I won’t have someone to care for me as my body fails. Who will come visit me when I move myself into an old folks home? 

Worse yet, who will find my body when it’s being gnawed on by all the dogs and cats I adopt from the shelters?

The sharers of so many of my memories and life experiences will be gone.

Usually when I write about my thoughts and feelings I try to have a silver

J.R.R. Tolkien quote poster All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us, trees art, gifts for him, men's art #usquotes

lining or some uplifting tone of hope to end with. I don’t know that I have one today, friends.

I know I am so blessed with amazing family and friends right now. I know I am loved.

I am still sad and scared for being so very alone as the decades pass.

Hello old friends. It’s been a while. I say “old” because, well, it’s what’s on my mind today. I turned 38 at the end of April 2019. It has caused a little bit of an internal crisis as it relates to my future and being alone. The last several years I have had some experiences […]

Reputation

Deep Thoughts | Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) No Comments

I gotta be honest, friends: I’ve been on a weird ride since the end of May. I’m guessing on the outside the only thing that was really noticeable  to anyone would have been in my social media posts. I’d post about conflict or strong negative feelings I was having more than I had in the past. Unfortunately, there were times I “vaguebooked” in a way that was unbecoming as it related to my profession.

The result of this painful journey is that I held a lot of pain in. I know that doesn’t seem believable if you know me and have access to all my posts. Not everyone does have that access. I’m having to learn as a 36 year-old that although I am friendly with everyone, that does not mean everyone is my friend. Please don’t take that to mean I label anyone an enemy; I don’t. The truth is, I’ve had to realize that one of the things I have loved most about myself can also be misinterpreted by people who don’t know me.

Sometimes my authenticity can throw people off. The sassy part of me wants to say “That ain’t my fault. It’s their problem.” In some sense, that is true, but I also have control over what I put out there, and not everyone deserves the level of access I was allowing.

That was a tough lesson.

I took it really hard.

Seriously. I look back, especially on the last couple of months, and I am not sure where I went. All the superficial typical stuff was still there (social media posts, outings with friends, church, daily activities), but I haven’t truly connected on a relational level with anyone in months. I was faking it.

I have been lost and wandering; grasping for attention in unhealthy ways. Breaking through doors I had closed and bolted only to find the demons were waiting with open arms offering me attention, affection, and affirmation.

I’m the girl who will analyze the “why” of all that for a while. I’ll write about it. I’ll share some of it. Most of all, I truly hope I learn and grow from it.

Having (possibly over-) shared all that, I want to get to the ACTUAL point of why I’m putting this out there at all.

You see, I was starting to believe I was unwanted and didn’t belong any of the places I called home (friend’s homes, church, in the company of friends and family). My identity was beginning to shift from knowing who I was and whose I was to believing I was what I felt: Alone, Lost, and Unwanted–Cast Out.

I was allowing myself to be hurt emotionally; in fact, I’d go as far as to say I was causing it. Because I knew what I was doing, and that I was willing to do it if it meant I didn’t have to feel all of what I was trying NOT to feel related to my work and personal life, I began to think there was no turning back. I was going to get locked in that dark and scary room.

In a typical Lisa-move, all of my bottled-up emotions exploded out of me recently to two people. Those two people showed me love, offered grace, and also spoke a whole lot of truth to me.

With their help, I backed myself out of the room I was lost in. I’m on my way back—to me.

Tonight I met with a group of people who don’t know me very well. They knew my name and basic facts about me, and through the topic of the conversation they learned a bit more about me. The craziest thing happened–the exact thing I needed to be reminded of was spoken to me.

I shared a piece of my heart and in response was told I was “authentic.” Seeing as that’s the quality I’ve been running from the last couple of months, to have it show back up less than 24 hours after I “re-emerged,” well, for me, I know it was God. He heard me. He’d never left me. He was in that room with me.

I have some more unpacking and understanding to do with that.

But, if you’re reading this, and maybe you’re a person who’s been feeling lost, alone, and unwanted–like you have nowhere to belong but in a hell-filled prison…….

Please know, you are loved.

And if you can’t or won’t believe in a creator or higher being because it’s too far out for you, then I hope knowing that I love you and you matter to me can be enough for this moment.

If you need me–reach out. Message me. Comment.

I’m with you. Take my hand.

I’ll help you out of that dark and scary cell.

You’re worth it.

I gotta be honest, friends: I’ve been on a weird ride since the end of May. I’m guessing on the outside the only thing that was really noticeable  to anyone would have been in my social media posts. I’d post about conflict or strong negative feelings I was having more than I had in the […]

“When the Waves are Crashing…”

Deep Thoughts | Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) No Comments

Hey everybody! Anyone still out there?

Long time, no post…I know.

From Pinterest

From Pinterest

I’m hesitating with how to start this off, because I don’t want it to seem like I am always struggling.  The thing is, when I’m in the midst of a tough internal (and external) struggle, I do a lot of thinking, and when I do a lot of thinking it leads to a lot of feeling.

What I’m realizing today, as I write this, is all that thinking and feeling, that feels like chaos and pain, is really me wrestling and breaking through into a moment of growth.

So, I think I might have to reframe my processing. Instead of referring to it as struggling, from this moment henceforth (I hope you’re using an English accent in your head like I am)….henceforth I shall refer to these moments as times of growing…not struggling.

The gamer in me says I’m gaining XP and leveling up. *nerd alert*

Aaaaaaanyway….

The last few weeks I’ve really been in my head and heart and relying on some old ways of thinking and acting; unhealthy and scary, really.

It’s been pretty isolating; to feel so unworthy that you pull away from most things…and then the isolation and shame begin to poke holes in the life you’ve fought for and spiral into the most critical and demeaning thoughts. I felt very much like I felt 5 years ago before I accepted Christ; and that was pretty low.

Honestly, some of the thoughts I had last night were deep and dark.

I was feeling alone. More and more I have felt like I don’t fit in with my closest friends anymore. A lot of this feeling comes from thinking I’m left out because of this phase of life I’m living.

It used to be that my friends were married, but we would still hang out after I got divorced. Then it progressed to them having kids, like, on purpose…then more than one…on purpose. Their families were building and there were baby showers and births and 1st birthdays; reasons to get together.

And then there’s now…and the families are established and growing up…and I am in my parent’s basement; alone. Forgotten, or at least an afterthought…according to my own thoughts and feelings.

This is how the thoughts start….and they spiral from there; but I want you to know this is truly a hopeful post, so I’m not going to dwell there because it’s not where I am right now.

Image belongs to Suzanne Davis Harden

Image belongs to Suzanne Davis Harden

So while I’ve been “growing” these last few weeks, I’ve been praying to God to come get me out of it. Take me by the hand and pull me out…wash the dirt off me; and let’s move on.

Today, at church, listening to the story of Jesus walking on water toward his disciples, my mind began to shift away from “get me out of this” to something totally different.

When the disciples were in their fishing boat on the stormy waves, they weren’t too shaken up by the conditions. They were used to stormy seas. What got their attention-what made them afraid-was seeing Jesus walking toward them on the waves….like a boss. They’d seen him do amazing things already, but this? I can’t imagine how crazy they must have felt, and in awe at the same time, to know they knew well the man doing that impossible thing…surely he must be who he says he is.

Jesus never told them to quit being wusses. He didn’t try to offer a silver lining to what they were going through, or minimize the situation.

who caresGod’s not looking at me going “Hayden, seriously. I have these people with cancer, and this ISIS thing, and Trump…don’t even get me started….and you feel ‘lonely’?! Cut the crap, girl.”

He’s not watching me waiting for the most meaningful moment, right before my fingertips get submerged, to reach in and pull me out.

While I was feeling unworthy in my relationship with my creator, I was making Jesus into something he isn’t. I know my verb tenses don’t match…just go with it.

Jesus is an “all-in” kind of God. He’s not just gonna stand around and watch while I struggle, and in the moments I look to him give me a half-hearted shrug.

He’s here fighting with me already. He is IN the mess. He’s not a “wait outside until the messy part is over” kind of God.

Jesus doesn’t want me to “give up.” He wants me to surrender. And there’s a big difference between the two.

And so I will.

Because He is “I am.”

And that’s greater than any storm.

john 6 15

Hey everybody! Anyone still out there? Long time, no post…I know. I’m hesitating with how to start this off, because I don’t want it to seem like I am always struggling.  The thing is, when I’m in the midst of a tough internal (and external) struggle, I do a lot of thinking, and when I […]

Untitled

Deep Thoughts | Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) 4 Comments

I’ve never written fully about this experience before. I barely talk about it.
Before I do so now, I want to warn those of you who have been through a sexual assault of any kind, that this post may contain triggers. It will not offend me in any way if you can’t read it. To be honest, my writing this is triggered by hearing that Bill Cosby has finally been charged with one of his numerous crimes.

I’m not even sure I can post all the details; nor that I should, but since a new year is coming, and we like to look at those things as new beginnings, I think I’ll get this done. Please forgive any errors in language. This isn’t something I want to read over and over.

In 2009 I was in the beginning stages of a divorce. Most of you know the end of the marriage included a miscarriage and my ex-husband attempting suicide; then 5 months later we were officially separated. To say I was grieving and bearing a great deal of emotional weight would be an understatement.

I was a lost woman, and I was acting out in ways that were unhealthy and also unknown, so no one could help me.

When I became unattached, married men came out of the woodwork to support me, and much to my own shame, I appreciated the attention. In my testimony of becoming a Christian, you can read that I slept with a married man (once, for the record, and never again), but something happened before that, with another man.

I’d dated him a decade earlier, as a very innocent freshman high school girl (I remember we broke up because I wouldn’t have sex with him), but now he was married with a happy family, and I was headed for divorce. They took me under their wing when my marriage ended. His wife was very kind to me.

She went out-of-town around his birthday, and he asked me to celebrate it with him. I agreed to go to dinner with him, his kids, his mother and her friend. I even asked his wife if this was ok, as it was eerily similar to the catalyst that ended my marriage.

I didn’t intend it, but just me asking caused a fight between husband and wife. That should have been a sign.

The day of his birthday approached and the plans for celebrating kept changing. We weren’t going to dinner with his family. His kids were with a sitter. Some friends were coming out for dinner instead. Another sign.

I arrived at his house to watch what now seems like a charade of friends cancelling on him or not answering their phones; so it was just the two of us for dinner. Another sign.

He paid. Another sign.

We picked up alcohol because people were going to join us back at the house. That wasn’t completely true. One more female friend came over. We drank some. I felt very drunk-very quickly. Another sign.

At one point he showed us his guns. He put them on his bed.

We listened to music on YouTube. Music that still triggers me back to this night.

He put his hand on my knee. I assumed it was out of excitement. He was incredibly attractive BUT married; there was no way it was flirting. I was convinced I was a bad person for thinking he would flirt with me. His wife was beautiful and I was fat. More signs.

Eventually I could no longer keep my eyes open. He made me listen to a podcast about binary code, but it was only on his phone which he couldn’t turn up very loud, so we had to sit close together. Another sign.

I’d had a lot of tequila and the podcast was super boring…I knew I couldn’t drive and was going to sleep on the couch.

He insisted I sleep in his bed and he would sleep on the couch. I refused several times. He did not back down. Another sign.

At some point he told me he’d set out things for me to sleep in on the bed. I was thinking shorts and a t-shirt. I was stunned to see 3-4 of his wife’s negligees from which to choose. Another sign.

I vehemently declined; told him I was fine; and got into the bed fully dressed (minus shoes). He insisted on staying to show me how to work the remote for the TV in the bedroom.

I covered my face and asked him to go. He insisted saying it wouldn’t take long. I remember pulling the blankets over my face.

valid sexual assaultAnd all at once we were kissing. For about 17.2 seconds I think I thought it was ok, until he hurt me (there were bruises from this). Although that was scary, the pain jolted me back to reality and I told him to stop. He didn’t.

I shouted for him to stop as I tried to hold my body together like a brick.

He did.

My thought processes were shot. I knew I had just interfered in a marriage, but I didn’t stop to think that I needed to get out of there; that I was in danger.

I just couldn’t think clearly.

I told him “we” should not be doing that.

He begged me to stay and said he would go to the couch.

I laid there and knew I needed to leave, but my shoes were by the couch. It was winter and there were at least 6 inches of snow on the ground.

I went to retrieve my shoes. He apologized and asked me not to tell. It was completely dark. I sat down next to him and asked if he was ok. I asked HIM if HE was ok!!

Suddenly, his hands were on my head pushing my face toward his exposed genitals. I yelled at him to stop and twisted to the floor. His hands were around my neck and head still pushing my face down.

I grabbed his thigh as hard as I could and he let go.

I ran out; leaving my footprints in the deep snow.

Somehow I made it home and called a friend at 3 in the morning.

For the next several days I watched the bruises on my breasts, thighs, and neck change color and fade away.

It took me 8 days to realize I was the victim of a crime. I thought I was a slut who had broken up a family.

When I went to report it to the police, I was made to stand and tell the story in the lobby through a vented window to a male uniformed officer on the other side. Someone else was reporting a car accident next to me.

Once I finished the officer had me wait while he called a detective. After a while he came out and said he was instructed to ask me one question: “Why did you wait so long to report the incident?”

My reply, quite simply, “I thought it was my fault.”

I started having nightmares after that. I had to sleep with my lights on. I would dream that I woke up with him standing above me in my room.

Just as I began to move on, I ran into him, with his whole family. Thankfully my best friend was with me. I was shaking so badly. The nightmares started again, but went away more quickly this time.

What happened to me was minor in comparison to so many other victims, and yet it still had those effects on me.

Twice in the last 5 years the man’s wife has contacted me. Most recently (this year) she asked why I had never showed up to any of the court dates. I replied that I had never been made aware of any court dates. My address has not changed, nor my phone number, for 15 years, yet I was never informed. I even called after the first time she contacted me, yet no one in the department could find information for me.

The man is still a public servant, and is probably quite good at his job, but I will always believe his position kept him safe.

If you read this, then you probably know me, and maybe even feel some kind of warm feelings toward me. Thank you, for that, by the way. But maybe reading the story of someone you know will help you to judge victims of assault less harshly. No matter what I did/wore/said/drank that night, nothing would add up to consent for what happened.

I KNOW I was in the wrong place. I KNOW there were lots of warning signs.

Even though I know those things, NONE of that granted him permission to place his hands upon me once I told him to stop. NONE of it meant I deserved and earned the bruises on my neck, breasts, and thighs; nor the scars to my psyche.

There is so much more I could tell you to make my point so much more clear, but I don’t feel like I can write anymore about it. I’ve said what I needed to say.

I’m still ashamed. I’m still embarrassed. I’m still scared, at times.

I concede I ignored my intuition, and I learned a hard lesson for it.

Do you think he learned his?

<3, Lisa If you or someone you know is the victim of sexual assault and you don't know what to do, please check out these websites: http://mocsa.org/services/24-hour-support http://www.safehorizon.org/ https://rainn.org/get-help/help-a-loved-one https://www.victimsofcrime.org/help-for-crime-victims

I’ve never written fully about this experience before. I barely talk about it. Before I do so now, I want to warn those of you who have been through a sexual assault of any kind, that this post may contain triggers. It will not offend me in any way if you can’t read it. To […]

Apparently I Have a Fan Club

Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) 1 Comment

This is my 8th year as a school counselor, and my 7th year in my current position between two schools. This year some of my “babies” will leave and move on to the rest of their lives. My school is K-6, so we have been together 7 years; since they started Kindergarten. They were new to school when I was new to school.

I’m kinda fond of them.

Here’s the deal; this week was supposed to be awful: Red Ribbon Week, Halloween Week, World Series (for us Royals fans here in KCMO), and a Full Moon smack dab in the middle of all that.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a tiring week, yet something totally wacky happened: I survived and thrived.

And that’s a good thing, because Saturday was a rough day. It was a day where I realized I am the common denominator in a lot of my relationship problems (namely my inability to trust my friends). I cried a lot Saturday, but in the midst of it, I kept having these random words of affirmation ringing in my ears because of something unique that happened Friday.

My mom was off work Friday, so I invited her to come to school for a bit to see our Halloween parade. All of our kids and staff dress up, and I thought she would enjoy it. 🙂

She got there early, so I took her around and introduced her to the different kids in my grade levels—and that’s when all the wackiness began.

Each and every staff member I introduced to my mom said kind things.

proudI took her into a 5th grade classroom and asked the kids to wave to my mom. One boy leapt out of his seat and said “I am a huge fan of your daughter. Great job raising her!”

Um, I’ve known this kid since he was in kindergarten, and I don’t think I would have told you he liked me AT ALL.

Another boy jumped up and said “I have to hug you. It’s tradition.” (His family went through rough times and I worked very closely with them over the years, so he hugs me every time he sees me)

Next I took her to see the 6th graders (my babies she’s heard so much about for 7 years) at their Fall party. There were a few parents in there, and one mom, who has a wonderful daughter with whom I’ve worked over the years, said very kind things to my mother about me. I was just so glad my mom got to hear that I turned out alright (even if some days I’m not so sure…haha!).

We headed for the table where the kids were eating pizza and I introduced her to that group. One of my boys stood up, looked at my mom and said “Ms. Hayden’s mom, you should know she is awesome; like the best.” We got a good chuckle out of him calling her “Ms. Hayden’s mom.”

You see, I’m a girl who appreciates being appreciated. Education is often a thankless job in comparison to the load of work and the emotional toll.

For me, the staff members, parents, and kids who said those things were a straight line from God to my heart. He knows that I’ve been struggling lately, and I bet He knew Saturday was going to be rough, so He sent me these little messages.

It’s a difficult thing to admit that I can’t gain control over my self-doubt and inability to trust others. It’s tough to admit that I can’t do this on my own. It sucks to know I am defeating myself with my own thoughts and feelings (stupid feelings).

I’ve reached out for counseling, and hope to get that started soon; and in the meantime I would appreciate your prayers or well-wishes.

Thanks for reading.

Lisa <3

My dad sent me this video once and it made a big difference. Maybe it will help you, too.

This is my 8th year as a school counselor, and my 7th year in my current position between two schools. This year some of my “babies” will leave and move on to the rest of their lives. My school is K-6, so we have been together 7 years; since they started Kindergarten. They were new to […]

Perhaps a Proctologist Could Help?

Deep Thoughts | Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) 5 Comments

Friends. I’m struggling inside. I’m mostly happy, but I can’t seem to let go of some bitterness and anger, and it’sdont fake beginning to overpower the general “happy” I work with daily.

This morning, on my way to work, I was trying to figure out how to get past these things that I’m letting upset me and something on the radio sparked a thought:
If I’m struggling to feel the peace of Jesus in my heart, then it means I’m relying on something else to make me happy, so what am I letting get in the way?
The answer was easy after a few seconds: my relationships.
I rely on relationships with people in my life to make me happy.

This isn’t all bad because I really like people and I love making them feel loved, but I’ve failed at this lately because I have felt so disappointed with most of my relationships lately. I don’t even have the will to reach out anymore.

When one person lets me down I am bummed, but when it feels like a repeating cycle of friends cancelling plans, or not inviting me to things, then even tiny things like not answering a text or a phone call becomes the biggest insult ever. And even the legitimate reasons for cancelling become “just another excuse” to me.

I’m at the point where I’m isolating myself from my friends because of the hurt I perceive. I’m on the verge of shutting down to most people in my personal life.

I know no one is doing these things intentionally to hurt me, but it certainly feels like I’m not being considered at all.

And it’s not just isolated to one group of friends; It feels like it’s everyone. That’s not realistic, but when it happens so much it feels like everyone.

20 years ago the easy answer would have been “Find new friends.” That’s not an option here; and not because I’m not friendly or capable of making new friends. No; these people who I feel so hurt by are truly my friends who love me and have invested in me. These people mean so much to me, and I know that is part of why I am hurt so much.

give and receive loveOpening your heart up to people and relationships means opening yourself up to the chance of being hurt. What I’m failing to absorb are the wonderful chances I have to feel loved.

I can love people rather easily, but allowing myself to feel loved is so much more challenging-Nearly impossible, in fact.

So how do I let it go?
Pray more? Read the Bible (admittedly, I struggle with the Bible, in general)? Quit everything?
I’d love 5 practical steps to get on over this, but I don’t really think that’s gonna happen.

Have you gone through something like this before? If so, do you have any words of wisdom or other advice for healing?

Realistically, I know I need to pray, and I am and will continue, but that makes me feel like I am asking God to solve my problem instead of working on it myself.

In 4 days I celebrate 4 years of knowing Jesus as my savior. As you can see, that doesn’t make everything hunky-dory, but I have no doubts about that decision.

This is just part of my journey for now.

Thanks for reading.

Would you pray for me or send positive vibes my way?

Lisa

fix my attitude

Friends. I’m struggling inside. I’m mostly happy, but I can’t seem to let go of some bitterness and anger, and it’s beginning to overpower the general “happy” I work with daily. This morning, on my way to work, I was trying to figure out how to get past these things that I’m letting upset me […]

One is the Loneliest Number….

Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) No Comments

aloneThis is a hard thing to write about. It feels shameful. It’s a word, that when you get asked if you feel it or described with it you feel terrible. You feel pitiful and gross and wholly judged.

Lonely.

It’s hard to admit this because although I am lonely I am also happy.

I have felt pressure within myself not to admit that I’m lonely because I have so many genuine friends and kind acquaintances and because I am so involved at my church.

When I went to sit down at church today I had no one to sit with. I was in an entire row that was empty for the first 1/2 of the service. I knew someone in every row in front of or behind me, but there wasn’t a seat for me next to anyone I knew.

That’s not anyone’s fault. I know so many great people at my church. In fact, it often gives me goosebumps that I know so many incredible people who are so loved by God and show His love to others — I still sometimes think I’ve tricked everyone into thinking I’m cool or something. Ha! Me? Cool? Noooooo.

I wonder if this is the plight of the single woman or the divorced woman…

To feel so deeply the lack of someone to sit with; someone to wonder about your day; someone with whom to have physical contact.space

Does anyone else feel this way? Like you’re an A-hole for not just being simply grateful for all the wonderful people in your life? Like you’re not allowed to admit that you’re lonely because that would be admitting weakness or admitting that sometimes you’re sad about being alone no matter how surrounded you are by people?

It certainly doesn’t help that everyone calls me a cat lady because of my one cat that I’ve had for 11 years.

Lonely + Cat Lady = Disgusting

Anyway, that’s really all I had to say. And I’m saying it because I bet there’s someone else out there who feels this way and feels like they can’t acknowledge it; at least not to anyone but him or herself.

When I typed “Lonely” up there (and again when I typed it just now) I actually mis-typed it. Both times I typed this word:

Lovely.

I’m that word, too.

And so are you.

<3,

Lisa

move back

This is a hard thing to write about. It feels shameful. It’s a word, that when you get asked if you feel it or described with it you feel terrible. You feel pitiful and gross and wholly judged. Lonely. It’s hard to admit this because although I am lonely I am also happy. I have […]

Fix My Eyes

Deep Thoughts | Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) No Comments

I woke up this morning immediately thinking about an unresolved issue in my life. I don’t know if I can call it a “conflict” because attempts at reconciliation have been made, but not accepted.

Not having the power to make the resolution happen is truly challenging me. Waiting on someone else to decide if I am worthy of having in his dont forgetor her life is causing me a lot of distress.

Now listen, I love you guys, and you are going to want to jump in here and tell me all kinds of empowering things like “You’re Awesome!” and “Anyone who doesn’t want you around or doesn’t value you doesn’t deserve to have you.”

I get where you’re coming from (because I am totes awesome), but that just isn’t the truth in this case.

I’m a counselor. I work with kids. I am all about loving yourself and personal empowerment, but sometimes we have conflicts in our lives with people we love very much. In my life, if I have a conflict that is truly bothering me then it is always with someone whom I love and care for deeply.

I cannot deny that unresolved issues with those I love makes me physically ill and disrupts most areas of my life (spiritually, professionally, personally, etc).

This is what I am experiencing right now.

Yes, it sucks.

Yes, it is risky to write about it in a public forum.

The difference here is I am not really telling you any details. I am not trying to air any dirty laundry.

In the two years I’ve been writing this blog I have had so many wonderful people tell me that something I wrote made them laugh, made them think, or helped them in some way.

That’s why I’m writing this today. I am attempting to get my thinking straight so I can maintain my focus, and perhaps it will help someone else.

eternal struggleI said I’m a fan of empowerment, but as a counselor I am also about personal accountability, so what I think I can share without offending the other party in this matter is that I am aware that I caused hurt feelings on at least 3 separate occasions.

My experience with conflict in any relationship is that no matter our legitimate justifications and rational reasons for something happening (choices we make) it doesn’t counterbalance that someone’s feelings were hurt. This is always true.

As I am known to say “Logic and Emotion do not go hand in hand.”

So, even though we can understand why something happened it doesn’t take the hurt out of it. It might make it hurt less and it might make it less personal, but it almost never takes 100% of the pain away.

Anyway, as I said, I woke up this morning thinking about the person who is upset with me and wanting to cry (I successfully didn’t cry this time, but that’s not always the case). I feel so frustrated because I don’t know what else to do.

Here are some things upon which I reflected this morning:

I have spent a lot of time wondering, being angry, being hurt, being jealous, feeling petty, imagining passive-aggressive facebook posts (yes, really), losing sleep, getting sick, questioning, doubting, seething, hurting, inventing conversations that have never happened, assuming a long list of other people hate me too, and generally being very negative and mean to myself.

In fact, last week those thoughts really boiled over and reached a breaking point. One day last week, after feeling the hurt so strongly from this familial conflict, I walked around work really absorbing some non-verbal communication. While trying to talk to some of the staff at my school, I decided their body language was letting me know that they did not give even one single sh*t about what I had to say. I really nice selfinternalized all of it and was saying some very harsh things to myself (which is really not typical for me).

Here is the incident and the specific thought that caught my attention:
I changed my profile picture on facebook and someone gave me an incredible compliment. I always suck at accepting those, but I caught myself saying: “Yeah. Right. So pretty I can’t even keep a boyfriend.” And friends, the tone with which I said it in my head was so hateful and filled with such loathing. It made me take a step back and ask “Where is THAT coming from?”

That thought wasn’t even related to the things bothering me, but it was a thought that was incredibly hurtful.

*** WARNING: Now, I’m gonna go someplace that used to seem crazy to me, and I’ll be honest, if you aren’t a spiritual person then this thought may be “far out” to you. Three years ago I would have looked at someone like they should be institutionalized if this had been said to me, so I get it. WARNING ***

So I had this thought about my inability to “keep” a boyfriend (all while convincing myself that everyone thought I was stupid and didn’t matter). It was then that I knew the sudden onset of these insecure thoughts was not coincidental.

I realized, in that moment, that if good exists then so does evil.

Every time I make a bold statement in favor of God and glorifying Him I am immediately hit with interpersonal conflict (sometimes even of my own doing). Just before this all started to really bother me I stepped forward at church and confidently joined the team of people who will be planting new churches in the KC Metro area. I have no doubts in my heart about this. I am ready. I am willing. Let’s do it.

And so the enemy began to use the areas of my life in which I tend to feel the most insecure to bring me down and make me doubt: My relationships (or lack thereof).

While I have been struggling with these relationships I have spent less time growing in my relationship with Christ; less time talking to Him, thinking about Him, learning about Him, seeking Him.

So back to this morning and my frame of mind…

Here were some of the questions I asked myself while I got ready (this gal does a lot of thinking before she even walks out the door for the day):

graceCan I acknowledge that there is nothing more I can do to gain this person’s good graces again? Ugh, yes. I really hate that I have no control over that, but truly, I can do no more. It is no longer up to me. That is hard. I want the control. I hate the uncertainty of the unknown.

If I believe my God is powerful and that He fights for me, Can I be weak enough (and also at the same time strong enough) to give this battle up to Him? Yes. That answer was the easiest, and it was still a struggle.

The next question was this: If I can’t resolve this on my own timeframe, can I give it to God and trust that He will see it through? Ok, I can do that. I don’t like it, but I can do it because I trust God and I know He can restore.

Ooooh…that was it. That was actually the crux of this whole process. Do I believe that God has the power to restore this relationship even if the other person isn’t willing?

What if the other person doesn’t realize that their resistance to talk to me, to forgive me, to reach out to me is because they’re being used as an instrument of the enemy even if their hurt is legitimate? (Yep. More of that crazy talk, I know).

And that’s where I am folks: Logically, I do believe God can restore things, but do I feel the truth in my heart yet? I don’t think I do yet, because I am afraid, but I want to feel it. I want to trust.

So I’m praying for it, and I’m seeking, and I’m talking, and I have questions so I still want to learn… (like where did the serpent come from if it was already in the garden at the beginning of time according to Genesis???)

And ultimately, I want to love.

So instead of focusing on the conflict and all its details I’m gonna fix my eyes on the one who will see me through it.

Thanks for reading (even if you thought it was wacky).

<3
Lisa

may god bless

I woke up this morning immediately thinking about an unresolved issue in my life. I don’t know if I can call it a “conflict” because attempts at reconciliation have been made, but not accepted. Not having the power to make the resolution happen is truly challenging me. Waiting on someone else to decide if I […]