Of White Knuckles and Dragon Scales…

At age 4, I was diagnosed with Leg Perthes (a disorder of the hip joint in which the ball of the femur disintegrates). Surgeries, a full leg/hip cast, wheelchair, bedpans, crutches and physical therapy followed….

I became an older sister.

My mother and father were smokers. I was an allergic asthmatic who was sick more often than not.

I entered puberty early, against my will.

My father had a heart attack when I was 11; and then he had a fatal one when I was 23.

I married a man who struggled with alcoholism.

I struggled ( still struggle) with food and weight.

I could not get pregnant the traditional way. (Was I being punished because I was horrified by the changes of womanhood at too young of an age, or, for how I behaved with boys prior to marriage?) However, through the miracles of modern science, we were blessed with our daughter.

We were involved in a pretty major car accident in which a car turned right in front of us and caused us to swerve into oncoming traffic. I was 4 months pregnant at the time. I sustained no injuries (it was truly a miracle) and my husband suffered some brain contusions and back issues.

Our daughter was always a spirited and challenging child (and she still is at age 11).

She was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety at age 6.

She was kicked in the head by a horse and suffered spider-web fractured maxillary bones, a broken nose, two brain contusions, a lip laceration and it worsened her ADHD and anxiety.

She pulls her hair and/or picks her scalp in response to her medications for ADHD.

God has been teaching me about control my whole life; but, I have been fighting it tooth and nail as far back as I can remember. Like a tug-o-war: God says, ‘I got this.”  I reply, ” No, I got this, ” or, “You’re not doing it the way I want you to,” and God says, ‘ No, really, I’ve got this handled,” and  so on…

In hindsight I can see that God has been trying to tell me all along,“Kristin, I have this covered. Trust me. Rely on me. Put your faith in me. You cannot handle this all on your own. I am here.

                                                                                                                   But I just won’t let Him...

dragon scales and aslan

I have been white-knuckling it for so many years, that it’s like picking off a layer of skin.

It brings to mind the scene in Narnia’s Voyage of the Dawn Treader in which the cousin, Eustace Scrubb, turned into a dragon. Aslan came to him and told him that he would need to remove his scales, one by one – it wouldn’t be easy, it would hurt, but it would be of benefit to him. In fact, Aslan helped remove the scales. And afterwords, he was changed.

Can I loosen my grip on my need for control?  I think I can – but I need time and help – God’s help.  I need Him to show me little by little ( scale by scale) that I can let go of my fears, worries resentments and anger.  It’s time.  It is SO time….

I want to be changed from the inside out…how about you?

 

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So I had a Mommy Tantrum…

Sometimes I get tired of having to ask for help.

I mean can’t you just read my mind, or something? My sighs? The slamming of the cabinets?

I grew up in a family in which I had to become adept at reading body language and assessing the emotional temperature of a room – so I learned how to read minds –so why can’t you?!

Short-circuiting, crossed wires and blown fuses happen when a family is affected by alcoholism or any of the other –isms. Those interpersonal relationships are not fueled by love, compassion or respect; instead, they are driven by fear, anger, worry and shame.

When someone’s life is based in fear and a hunger for control, he/she acts from an instinctual place. A place that is primal, reactive, and in the extremes. He/She lives from the gut – not by the heart or intellect. There is no gray area or thinking as to how this behavior affects others. Behaviors are self-centered, narcissistic, passive-aggressive, and abusive (physically, verbally, and emotionally). And it gets handed down to the next generation until someone breaks the cycle.

those with knowledge

I didn’t learn tools for living in my home. I learned how to follow directions and stay out of trouble. I l was raised to fear God and pray a bunch of prayers by rote for atonement of my sins. I didn’t learn how to connect with others, or with God, – I learned to live my life for the wants of others. I was taught that drama and extreme emotions were the keys to getting my way, that manipulating others was the only way to get help and to be passive-aggressive when I didn’t get what I wanted. And that someone should be able to see what I am thinking and act accordingly.

Those” tools” landed me in a bunch of unhealthy relationships; including my marriage (in the early stages).

I have long since stopped being passive-aggressive and feeling the need to manipulate others to get my needs met; however, I still have a problem with thinking that other people should be able to read my mind.

I need to break my cycle. I want to break my cycle.

I had a “mommy tantrum yesterday and it scared me.

My daughter turned 11 and she invited several girls to sleepover to celebrate. I had a lot to get accomplished and I didn’t plan on any deviances from my to-do list: Lacrosse game in the morning – check. Dinner set up for tonight – check (thank goodness for my hubby).. Laundry washed and dried-check. Bathrooms cleaned – check. Grocery store for drinks and breakfast – heading there. Leaving her cleats at the lacrosse field – uh, not check – not in the plan!

The cleats set me off.

Why, why, why can’t she keep track of her stuff? (hindsight = hmm, probably because she has ADHD and needs reminders). We were heading to the store to get some missing items ( 20 minutes away from the field) and she tells me, “ Mom, I don’t know where my cleats are!”

What do you mean you don’t know where they are? You had them on!

I can’t find them. Remember we had to switch into our tennis shoes for the turf and I must have forgotten them.

Then the verbal outburst ensues. Defamations of character and chunks taken from her self-esteem. All from me. Her mother – the woman who went through aggressive fertility treatments and two rounds of IVF (in-vitro fertilization) to conceive and carry this precious child who turns 11 today.

I drove her to the field and the cleats were there.

I drove her home in silence, steaming with anger and frustration that my plans were derailed.

Why?

Why am I acting this way towards my daughter?

Because I have not spent enough time with God to break my pattern. I am still trying to handle it on my own – and we can see that is not working for me very well as I was not taught healthy interpersonal skills from my family of origin. I need to turn it over.

It’s okay that she’s not perfect – I’m not, so why do I expect it from her? We all make mistakes – and that’s all that was…a simple mistake. Rather than taking a breath and trusting that it would all work out, I had a mommy tantrum.

I had too much on my list and I didn’t ask for help – from God, my husband or my daughter.

I am not happy for how I behaved toward my daughter, yet I am grateful for the realization that I need to change my interactions with her.

 

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