It was very early Sunday morning. He was bleary-eyed and shaving with a sharp razor.
I held up an Always-brand Ultra Thin feminine pads eye-level and pronounced, “This is an answer to your prayers!”
He turned from the sink where he was rinsing his razor, his hand now dripping wet and stood frozen. A lake of water formed on the bathroom at his feet. (Like a whole bunch of water!) He just stood silently, staring at the women’s hygienic product in my hand.
To back up, my bipolar, level 2 autistic daughter at our home on a weekend pass from her home – a therapeutic group home – waddled up to me a few moments prior. Not being mean – no – literally she waddled up to me. It was early in morning and in an early- morning-and-easily-annoyed mood prior to taking my prescription meds for anxiety and depression , PTSD (brought on by violently extreme rages of our adopted kids) I said, “I can’t hear you and please stop waddling like a penguin.” She approached me again with less waddle. She whispered again, “I need a pad!” I heard her the second time. “We don’t have any here,” I responded, now understanding the awkward amble. She had just gotten her period two other times. Unchartered territory. Then I added, “Have you brushed your teeth?” She, “No.” I said that it was not pleasant when she came so close to my nose!
She went to the hallway bathroom. I went to my bathroom. I fumbled around under my bathroom sink and ‘Lo and Behold’ — Always Ultra-Thin pads.
I stood up and held the pad eye-level and said to my hubbie, “This is the answer to your prayers!
Ah -hah! The desired results I had hoped for enveloped his face: CONFUSION!
It may have helped to have filled him in on a few more details about my conversation with our daughter before telling him a pad was his gift from God. He had yet to drink his morning coffee. He does not function properly without it. The drug in coffee has altered his executive functioning – I think. So my strange and crazy way of making my husband scratch his head plus ginormous stress from the broken water heater forming a lake of water on the laundry room floor, and lack of regular sleep because of his own depression from watching his family be ripped apart from numerous adoption traumas, and me subsequently developing PTSD, my ears always attuned to the slightest noise in hypervigilence to catch any situation in its infancy before a full-blown implosion of bipolar rage sends me careening downhill might also be contributing factors to his confusion. If you are keeping track, that is two lakes in 24 hours at our house.
I did later explain my comment, which made Kyle laugh (LIKE DEEP BELLY LAUGH) at the mission I accomplished in totally unbalancing an already teetering pre-coffee man. He just laughed as he communicated his thoughts or lack of them going through his head. He frankly had no idea how what I said about Always made any sense. Everything I said was true. My purposeful delivery of the information was what confused him.
Since adopting our son and daughter, my husband has had to take on the roles of:
public middle school teacher,
soccer training business owner,
psychologist / therapist/ counselor,
and a plumber at times when lakes form in the house.
Prior to the adoption of our two loved kiddos and the ensuing trauma, his roles were largely amazing husband, best-ever daddy, and bread-winner.
It had all gone a little too well. We began to believe the lie of Satan that we could control our lives while shaping and molding our children into godly, happy believers in the grace and salvation that we have found in Christ. (… we can’t, He can!)
We have learned some awful and great lessons in seasons of sheer misery. The monsters of trauma nearly devoured me. Only by the sustaining word of God and faith in His goodness, I was not completely annihilated. Behaviors of our kids became increasingly aggressive and destructive – and aimed primarily at me…MOM. I have been hit, bit, spit upon, and poisoned. I have seen rages so strong and intense, my very young children have jumped out of cars traveling close to 40 mph, kicked through wooden bedroom doors and glass window to escape their captivity, and broken furniture, mirrors and anything lying around within reach. While doing life as a mom with my other biological children in that same environment, I feared for the damage being done to their minds and hearts. There has been incredible damage. I have diagnosed PTSD. My kids have hardened and closed off their hearts to a great deal. Some have turned from God battling with the questions I also ask, “If there is a God, why would He do this to our family?”
Well, deep lessons have been learned. And other lessons are being learned. Sometimes I wish I could tell God – we GOT IT! Please let the lessons stop. I am tired of being in the school of HARD.
Here is some of the instructions we have received:
LESSON #1: We aren’t in control of ANYTHING except our responses to stimuli. We don’t control our own lives. We certainly don’t control the lives of our offspring and adoptees. They are entirely in the hand of a merciful and loving God. He allows things in our lives for his glory and our good. That is promised in His word – the Bible. He also allows us to make our own decisions outside of His will. He is loving, his is just, but He isn’t a people manipulator.
LESSON #2: There is absolutely nothing I can d to save my kids or another human soul. Salvation is a supernatural event caused by a supernatural being. I am not that. In fact, I am pretty natural. I eat, sleep, fart.. very natural. And if you Google search about holding your farts in – I did that yesterday on a car trip to Florida Youth Sheriff’s Ranch for Boys – you will discover, it may contribute to bad breath. I am natural! He is supernatural. I can’t save them. And the best news is that I don’t have to save them. That is a terribly big job.
LESSON#3: Hurt people hurt people – themselves included. Ever wonder why people turn to alcohol? I totally understand. I don’t drink – too expensive was always my motivation. But others, they didn’t think that becoming a falling down idiot would solve their dilema. They did think that escaping from their hurts was a stupendous idea. Suicide victims also believe this, as well as drug addicts, and people choosing really unhealthy relationships.
Avoiding hurts is completely understandable to me now since adopting children who would unknowingly traumatize me. Very deeply, they altered my brain – injured by brain. I know why the mom with prescription pills in her hand takes all of them versus the prescribed amount. I know why people get into drugs. I know why people lock themselves in their room and don’t come out. I know why people eat and eat and eat and eat
They are all trying to avoid being hurt or soothe the hurt. Even if just for a moment.
They hurt that bad.
I have a long list of avoiding hurt.
After being sexually abused from age 7 – 10, I equated physical intimacy with being liked. Dumb Dumb HURT teenager thoughts. Guys in high school are mostly looking for easy. So I decided to be easy. That added to my hurts. I was looking for love, validation, approval, friendships, encouragement, etc. I found none of those in high school relationships.
So when someone does something incredibly stupid, risky, dangerous, or even life-threatening, wonder WHAT THE HECK HAVE THEY BEEN THROUGH TO GET TO THIS PLACE? She has been really hurt. He has been through something terribly painful to act out like that.
Now, I have compassion for the tortured souls trapped in addictions, terrible habits and hang-ups. It’s LESSON #4-100. Taught over and over again, love others in their yuck.
[But this does not mean to agree with, support, enable, encourage, excuse or allow those hurt people to hurt you or someone else. Healthy boundaries are essential in living in this hurt world.]
And now to answer: Why are the pads an answer to my husband’s prayers? He was taking our daughter to a soccer game and then back to her current living circumstances because we have demanded healthy boundaries. We deserve to be safe in our own home.
If we did not have the needed feminine pads, Mr. Amazing would have had to make an unwanted stop to gets pads for our aging 12-year-old.