If I Call

I couldn’t carry the weight any longer.

Or maybe I didn’t want to.

Probably both.

PTSD is like a 600 pound monstrosity. Yet I can get my arms around it. I lift with my legs and back and move it out of the way every day.

It is part of my story.

I have shouldered this burden for over 4 years.

I have been in counseling with several therapists; individual, family, marital, EMDR. All to relearn how to live again.

Trauma changes the pathways in the brain. Neurons fire like bullets fly in a war zone and bridge new synapses never meant by the good Lord to be crossed. By design, yes, the brain constructs self-protective ramparts. Living in a sin-saturated world, these back-up plans come in to play.

Maybe there is something in my being that was less resilient to begin with. Maybe previous unnamed traumas had left me unknowingly suseptible to PTSD.

WHY do I have PTSD? There’s question I have learned not to touch with a ten foot pole.

Recently I have experienced victories in that arena-

Learning to live with PTSD.

And spiritually, it is a place the devil wages his most forcible rape of my heart. His attack is violent, bloodthirsty and murderous. He isn’t interested in shaming me or injuring me.

I am his enemies daughter and Satan delights in seeing me slaughtered.

Between the natural order of the brain and it’s response to injury and the supernatural at work,this momma who watched her biological babies be tortured because they extended love to hearts that refused to receive, became so burdened with that weight that she broke,

And is crippled,

Maimed permanently.

Mom isn’t the same and I will never be again.

Post traumatic stress disorder overrides my executive functioning in times of fighting in the arena.

I want to think. I am an intelligent person but my intelligence is closed off in the dogfight the demons engage me in. The lies assail me that I am utterly alone. Intrusive thoughts scream the world is a dangerous place and I am minutes from yet another vile offense.

The timing may be off but the reality is that the hurt happened. So what is to stop it again,

And again?

Will YOU stop it from happening?

You SAY you will.

But I can not forget, the protective sector won’t let me forget,

That it happened over and over again when you were at work,

For years, I was

Kicked, scratched, spit at, shoved, slapped, bit,…

…cursed out, taunted, dismembered by words,

…the mirrors thrown, shattered at my feet, the windows kicked out, the car jumped from,

The bleach I accidentally drank when I left my cup on the counter.

This all happened to me by little kids, ten and thirteen years old.

And it continues daily –

The triangulation, lies, manipulation, stealing, sneaking, and violation of every safe space.

It’s still happening!

So when I cry,…

howl, scream, wail, sob,

Or if I call for you

please scoop me up in your arms, hold me tight, securely.

And talk – loudly and clearly, speak truth over top the thoughts screaming in my head. The silence from you is unbearable because all I hear are the haunting lies that brought me here.

I am strong.

I am have many victories.

I have dodged many melees in the arena of my mind, heart, and soul.

But I am not Jesus.

He is invincible and I am not.

He is a mighty fortress, unpenetrable, and I am not.

He is undefeatable and I am not.

I am full of faults and selfishness.

I am breakable, fragile at times.

So if I call for you,

Please set aside your anger and keep your promises.

Please be your best for me

Or try.

If I call for you.


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I Should Have Known Not To Call For You

Sometimes it is easier to just free fall.

Sometimes it is easier to simply let go.

Sometimes holding on exhausts all strength you had.

And you give up, and give in-

To the reality of your pain,

To the fears that claw at your chest,

To the tormenting thoughts that are rooted, not just in anxiety of what might happen,

But in what actually happened

And continues.

Unrelenting.

Trust has eroded all that once was your beach.

Where you could stand firmly and watch the beauty of the ocean and be reminded of His vast love.

Where you could sit and gain strength seeing how He created and controls the winds and waves, skies and shore.

But as the storms of your story eat away at the sand on which you stand,

And you look down and realize, the only land left is the grains of seashells beneath the soles of your soul.

Gone.

And you are alone there,

In your fear while the waves confuse in their cacophony of force and sound.

There is an option to cry for help. Stress so intense presses you to do what situations of the past have schooled you not to do.

Trust.

But I should have known not to call for you.

You aren’t my savior.

You won’t even try to save me in my sea of despair.

I am just a little girl who wants to be reassured,

Rescued by your love.

But I am not little.

I am a woman who has given birth to a child three times, adopted two children, and married once twenty five years ago. Before that I hunted for love in high school boys but only found hurt.

Before that I was little.

And between seven and eleven years old, I was molested by my parent’s friend’s son.

In twenty years of marriage, I grew accustomed to being loved in a way that was like a beach restoration project. What had been destroyed in the many hurricanes was replenished. And I sat on that beach happily.

Twenty years of really good made me believe I could trust again as we decided to share what the good Lord had given us.

Adopting foster care children should have been a success if one studied our skill set on paper. Two teachers who had seen a lot of abuse cases and had understood how damaged kids needed consistency.

That very attribute anchors the heart. It allows one to experience that regardless of the circumstances, you can trust. Proven.

But there are always the worst case scenarios.

And that is the journey our family has been on.

Regardless of the consistent love given the two siblings we opened our home to, it didn’t matter. Love didn’t win. Love didn’t matter. Love hasn’t been enough.

Loving them has hurt all five of us deeply.

Trust has vanished.

The family has become a group of orphans who look out for number one.

So when I called for you,

Wretched in anguish,

Screamed from a place of black,

You came,

But only to tell me to shut up.

And then you stumbled off to sleep.

I let my fears give way to insane ideas.

That you would want to sit in my hell.

I should have known not to call for you.

I won’t call for you.

It’s not an option.

Via con Dios… 

“But I can’t let her get away with talking to me like that!  She needs to learn that people deserve respect!” first thoughts after rude comments from 12-year-old daughter

Where is the justice?  upon further thinking

Shouldn’t right be rewarded – like all the time!?? clearly

Shouldn’t mean people, jerks, sin, and bad decisions be punished?  Uh… emphatically YES! preach sister

And No.  Not always.

Sometimes the effort to parent is exhausting – crushing – suffocating –  both to the parent and child.

And sometimes wisdom is unearthed only by living on the planet and experiencing HARD – more than once.  Eventually our decisions change, or should, if we are able to see the value in the lessons life teaches.  At some point, people, mother’s especially, need to evaluate the circumstance and say:

VIA CON DIOS!

It is acknowledging (FINALLY) that I am not/ I ain’t gonna fix him.  Solo Dios.  Only God.  Therefore, the current situation necessitates the sweet Spanish well-wishing good-bye:

VIA CON DIOS!  

Realizing his character defects are beyond the scope of the moments and my mental health, I am learning to think: 

VIA CON DIOS!

[And this can be said with a little sass..]  When you see your adopted child with severe limitations to their emotional stability make another poor decision, you have options.  #1 Think up a well-worded correction and launch into a lecture.  #2 Loudly proclaim, “Are you freakin’ kidding me?  #3 just repeat and shake one’s head mumbling  “NO NO NO NO NO NO” ad nauseum.

But WISDOM from God rescues you from a near collision with crazy.  You see it a time or 2. or 3.  or 25.  In situations 1-24, you opened your mouth and said in the face of the committed bad behavior:

NO – DESERVEDLY NO!

But what was the eventual outcome?  Ahhh – it goes something like this:

      a little yelling, 

     a lot of frustration,

      a lot of stress and exasperation for the others in the vicinity,

BECAUSE YOU THOUGHT:  I MUST ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM HERE AS A MOM.  IT IS MY JOB.  MY DUTY.  I MUST TAKE A STAND FOR JUSTICE.

But I have a secret.  A parenting diamond for those of you mining:  You don’t have to address “it”,   – not every time, – not in every season.  You don’t have to confront injustice every time and in every season.  

It is time to step out of the way.  Over the land mine.  Avoid the crater of pain that will explode from collarbone to hip bone.  Picture a scene from a Vietnam war movie.  Not good.

So many times before, you had to address the child’s foolishness.

But you really don’t.

I can’t believe I am saying this.  It only took me being poisoned with bleach by my son, discovering paraphenalia for smoking weed in your baby boy’s room – who happens to now be 18, being hard-core judged by Christians who are more fake than real, being frightened so regularly by your adopted children’s violently insane behaviors that you develop PTSD, years of counseling, and a hubbie who suggested it for years:

LET IT GO!

But as a human woman given the high calling motherhood and nurturing five souls unto glory, let’s be honest, this is all about my journey. I – in good concscience- felt like I would be failing if I didn’t do  ____________________,  If I didn’t talk it to death with my perfectly clear analogies and scripture references and anecdotal stories,  I felt like it was going to be completely understood and listened to.  If I did _________ or if I said _________________.  

But alas, there are teenage and adult children walking around on the planet unsaved, even when parents faithfully poured the Word of God into their lives.  Salvation and spiritual maturity is a work only done is His timing and by His will.  We don’t add anything to salvation.  We don’t save our children.  

Huge Mind Altering Thought:  We don’t have to save our children.  We only HAVE to glorify God.  

Often Imagine a hostage negotiation going down and a bullhorn in hand as God declares:

  1.   STEP AWAY FROM THE FOOLISHNESS.
  2.   LET THE PROFESSIONALS ie. God HANDLE IT.
  3.   MA’AM…  MA’AM.  YES, YOU THERE.  DRONING ON AND ON.  SHUT       UP!  I  really wish God would say shut up to me sometimes.  It is such a very good idea every now and then.
  4.   SLOWLY WALK AWAY!
  5.   DO NOT LOOK BACK!  ABSOLUTELY NO LOOKING BACK!
  6.   AND LET THE CRAP GO MOMMA! 

Say: VIA CON DIOS! 

Let the sovereign ruler over all time and space work providentially and/or supernaturally.  Let the yuck of the life pass without launching a full scale assault on things like an eyeroll.  Sometimes let it go.  Now I am not saying always let stuff go.

But sometimes – Smile as wisdom whispers her brilliant counsel in your mind’s ear and say:

VIA CON DIOS!

I Don’t Know if I Hate My Life or… Is This How Anxiety and Depression Feels

WARNING: PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE READING IF YOU ARE A FRIEND WHO WILL BE BURDENED BY WHAT YOU MAY READ.

I don’t know if I hate my life.
I am up early teaching VIPKID – my online teaching job – WHICH I KNOW I LOVE! I just finished my first class at 6:00 am and I have a rare unbooked class for 6:30. I have 30 minutes free.I waved goodbye to Constance in China and shut off my webcam. Then the genuine smile that comes from talking to adorable kids halfway around the world fades.I recognize a feeling of dread. Reaching for a prescription cocktail of Klonopin, Effexor, and Lexapro, I can hear my thinking:I HATE MY LIFE. I HATE MY LIFE. I HATE MY LIFE.Is this how I actually feel? Is this PTSD? Is this the anxiety and depression related to another frustrating turn of events, the circumstances of my adoption journey and subsequent trauma upon trauma?
I really don’t know how I feel.

I know that I should take my meds. I know the symptoms of PTSD are constant intrusive thoughts. I know I struggle with feelings of rejections and abandonment from the traumas of my life. I know when I do my best and my circumstances of abuse are chronic and intentional… It is sooooo hard to think

CHIN UP.. YOU GOT THIS!

or

GOD’S GOT THIS!

because hurts keep flying at you like a huge swarm of knats on a hike in summertime.

My trauma drama involves adopting two kids – siblings. In the state of Florida, there is no disclosure of a child’s background until they run to you yelling “MOMMA”. And how are you going to say “Oh nevermind little 6 year old I have never met… After reading your file, I don’t think this is a good fit.”
We went into adoption to help and we WON’T be the people who wound this child again. So we leave with a child and their file.. full disclosure HAHA.

A JOKE.
And only small parts of the child’s file is available for the adoption counselor to give to adopting parents. Our counselor was able to copy everything because the records person left her alone for a bit. Seeing the rare opportunity, she frantically kept copying the complete file believing that parents deserved to know everything possible. But that file and information is given only after you have been given the kid. [Florida needs a revamp. Other states have trial visits for a minimum number of weeks for introduction and to see how both the adoptees and after adopters feel about this possible new family. I digress.]
We weren’t given background info. Prior to their permanent placement we knew: Two kids from Haitian background. Still pretty young. Age 6 and 7.
Then they came to live with us. They had expected behavioral, educational and academic problems. We wouldn’t know the extent of mental issues for years. Now we know.
And it is the worst.

Worst diagnosis:

RAD.

REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER.

Among others:

Severe BIPOLAR

Autism

ADHD

Low – (real low) cognitive function, IQ less than 70

Anxiety

Depression

PTSD.

I HATE these humans did not ask for this pain.

I HATE that our choosing to adopt brought so much trauma to my biological kids who once where so excited to adopt little siblings to love on… But those ” siblings” are now teenagers to avoid.

Fast forward 6 years:

Our daughter from college says she won’t come home again for the holidays if THING 1 is there. They both wreck havoc but #1 more than #2. My biological kids are amazing, loving people but their limits have been exceeded by about as much as kids could endure. So much hopes, dreams and wishes for kicking the soccer ball around or manicures with the girls on spa night have dissipated into a hellish existence of not 2 orphans finding a home but making us into a group of 7 orphans.. no family left. I hate THIS season for sure.

I remember when my biological kids grew carrots and marveled at a little seed that turned into a yummy veg. And I wanted to give that to my adopted kids. But because their behavior has been so terrifying for so long… Yeah – going to have to let go of that hope.

Now I just hope for the minutes that I feel the hands that are holding my head underwater release me. And in those precious ticks of the clock, I am determined to alter this family’s future. I will fight for my firstborn to have a place to happily come to. When life feels like it holds her head down, there will be a home for her to run to. She will get back the mom and dad she grew up with, and not put the clinically depressed couch potato with an exhausted glaze clouding the eyes that use to sparkle and laugh and the lady who sleeps at rest stops on the highway seeking safety before she can shut her eyes. My son will not need to describe a meal at his friend’s made by the mom as “amazing like when you use to cook for us.. remember pizza night and your shrimp Alfredo…”

Yes, I remember, but I have no idea how this nightmare (such an understatement) turned into 3 years of suffocation. We have gone from a residential treatment center meeting about our 11 year old who flipped all the tables in the lockdown facility’s dining room and hit kids with a broom stick (which she doesn’t understand why they called a broom a “weapon”) to a soccer game of our other daughter’s and cheered on the her as she flipped others on their backsides. Seamless transition? Nope. The first stop exhausted me so completely that I watched the second from behind a tree because the thought of interacting with others, being asked, “How are you?”, sent me into a tailspin.
I HATE THIS SEASON FOR SURE.

And Christmas was just 2 weeks ago. We missed Christmas 2018. We tried to not make a big deal out of the holiday in fear of sabotoge. Noticing a pattern of Baker Acts on special days it seemed to make sense to not celebrate Christmas. Do you hear the insanity? We need to change something. Drastically.
And it isn’t CHRISTMAS.

The Death of My Happy Family

Please don’t ask me to stop being me.

We’ve experienced such pain

Both been treated wrongly.

Life has been tough for you and me.

Now, I just want to be treated kindly.

It’s been years of complete insanity.

I’m weary but I am healing in recovery.

Back on 2010 – violently,

An earthquake rumbled beneath the sea.

And devastated the island of Haiti.

Then God whispered to Haylee-

“Can I use your family?”

And the very least we could do was to say YES obediently.

Yet a few years back in 2003,

A young broken Haitian girl felt so lonely.

She lay with a man, longing to be loved desperately.

In two years time, she had delivered two babies.

They all existed in squalor horrifically.

Neglected and abandoned,

In the babies’ first years sadly,

Left them with wounds damaging them permanently.

(And hurt children build massive walks protectively.)

2012, Our opened home, inspected painstakingly,

We prepared to add two more to our happy family.

But the neglect turned into a cry,

Then a howl to be “seen”.

While our other kids’ needs went unmet tragically.

And there began the slow destruction of our “happy family”.

Adoption demands ripped open wounds never seen.

And fear torn at foundations affecting us mentally.

Diagnosis of Reactive Attachment Disorder, PTSD.

Anger, chaos and fear screamed so loudly –

“Someone please help us!”

Our desperate plea.

…. But not before our biological children began to flee.

The oldest out with friends or at work generally.

The youngest sealing off her once open heart ironically.

And our son didn’t get the chance to live normally.

Vigilant to respond to my cries so quickly.

He was always there to defend and protect my safety.

We have lost and grieved mournfully…

The death of our once happy family.

And you,my husband, have suffered horrendously-

Health issues,

Anger,

And depression you battle sadly.

And I had to move to the garage for safety,

Barely forming sentences because of depression and anxiety.

Years of this battle,

Lies

Violence and

Manipulation resulted in this momma’s PTSD.

When we called DCF for help,

We were charged with abandonment FALSELY.

Adoption and abandonment gas changed us – each separately.

Each just trying to breathe – hopefully.

We have hurts –

And we’ve hurt each other – unfortunately.

No one could have prepared us for this tragedy.

No one.

Loss has become our language – a sad melody.

We sob.

We question.

What happened to our family?

So please understand when I pray and…

Don’t ask me to stop being me.

And I won’t try to tell you how to be.

Our Mornings: Suffering with PTSD When you Wake Up

– I need music- SOUNDS- television, not to watch or listen to but just to make noise. Something, because the silence of the quiet house is unbearable. I “hear” a scream that isn’t recognizable. It’s like someone opened their mouth as wide as possible as screamed a consistent AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH with no breath . And when trying to explain it and to “listen” to what the scream sounds like – it makes me want to tell the screaming to take a freaking breath.. But it doesn’t. It just screams a solid mid-range AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH endlessly. There is no real person screaming. It is the intrusive thoughts of my fears manifesting themselves.

– I am shaking like the proverbial leaf. It is hard to get use to. I hold my hand out and watch the trembling. Trying to stop the shaking is an exercise in futility… More frustration. My teeth chatter and I am not cold.

It’s anxiety.

– It’s from wondering if the words hanging in the air from yesterday are today’s possibilities.

My twelve year old said, “I will fucking kill you.” “I will stab your eyes out!”

Will she?

– I have no possible way of knowing. She has been extremely violent in the past. I am locked in my bedroom but not safe. She has literally punched, clawed, and broken through a door in our home before.

– Other days it isn’t yesterday’s words but the threats of all the past threats converging into a never-ending sentence of terror. “We all want you die.” rolling through my mind like looped video from an expert in breaking in to a secure location. In the movies, on the team of criminals trying to pull off a major heist, there is always a brilliant hacker. His job involves getting the surveillance video images to loop, playing normal footage while other members of the team carry out the massive robbery.

– I can’t walk out of my locked bedroom without hands clenched, eyes darting, escape route determined, locating items that could used to defend myself…. My lower back tightens to a solid mass – you could probably bounce a quarter off my steely posterior!

– My hand tingles from nerve entrapment because if the muscles tightening in there shoulder. Carpal tunnel and ulner nerve issues are part if my fear being physically incarnated.

– The headaches begin at the base if my neck where I am sure a gun is pressing painfully right below it w my skull. In that soft spot, a gun pushes me forwards and off balance.

– and that’s why I can’t think clearly. My life and brain have been hijacked by fear. I am barely hanging on.

– My husband is angry that he is left on the other side of my locked door with the terrorizing child. He isn’t afraid. He is exhausted. He deals with the fight as she argues everything. She poses a “problem” for him to solve like “I need socks. ” He can suggest she find them herself or go the route he finds easiest by getting her socks and being controlled by her game – the power play. She acts like she can’t do something, but really is the puppeteer.

My mornings with PTSD subside slightly with Klonipin, Lexapro and Effexor. Research days PTSD can’t be improved with medication. The secondary mental disorders of anxiety and depression from suffering with PTSD can be helped by prescription drugs, therapy, exercise, coping skills and other practices. I often start going through the litany of coping skills one by one hoping the fear gripping my heart and mind would release its death grip.

Music

Breathing – specifically box breathing

Tapping fingers one at a time to match breathing.

Yoga or exercise.

Cleaning – projects – organizing.

90% of the time I forget to eat until my support system so about that. Nausea is my morning meal. Activity us my lunch.

Calling or receiving calls from other sufferers of huge hurts helps. Isolation is a go-to self-protective measure that happens subconsciously. It is called an act if healthy choices to come call someone and put words to your hurts. There will be tears as you hear yourself tell the story of your encounter with the hell you went through or are still living in.

The hidden illness if PTSD makes you misunderstood. Often told to toughen up us NIT HELPFUL. Often told you are doing your little PTSD thing is NOT HELPFUL. (like this is a choice anyone would make-fun game? Not so much.). Often told that you aren’t acting logically us NOT HELPFUL. PTSD sufferers are acutely aware that their executive functioning – rational thinking is not the primary brain activity in triggered state. The brain shuts down. Like they government currently. No one is getting “paid.” No one is benefitting from fearful thinking. But it us occurring on a subconscious physical level.

I didn’t choose this.

No one diagnosed with PTSD choose this.

We beg to go back. We beg to unsee the horrors. We beg to o have our innocence restored. We beg to be normal again.

We desire to be the moms whose can focus on helping their kids navigate this scary world. I can’t. I haven’t. This hurts more than anything else.

We desire to be dads protecting our family instead of grieving them. The family lost as well. Mom and dad they previously laughed and played with are “gone.” Life us completely different after PTSD diagnosis. Mom might run at any given time. Dad may fight his demons in the living room.

Living with PTSD is hell. Living with someone who had PTSD is often torture. Worst is loving yourself with PTSD or loving someone with PTSD.