3 Flat Tires in a Week – Perceived or Real Threats?

Coincidence or not?

I DON’T KNOW!

Seems highly suspicious but there are nails on the roadways, so theoretically you could get THREE FLAT TIRES from nail and screw punctures in a week.
Our 14 year old’s behavior – Threat or not?

I DON’T KNOW!

He does not seem to possess the skills to change his pattern of behavior.  His behaviors are worsening and have been terrifying.  He needs therapy.  We have tried therapy many times from home.  We have tried to find a placement outside of the home where he can work on his life.  We are running into dead ends.  And we are running out of time.

Yet God can do a miracle at any time in anyone’s life.

God can make dry bones arise and breathe.  He can make a donkey speak.

Does God often do these things?  No – God usually works providentially in the natural world of what we see and hear.  Like when God heals someone of cancer through chemo and radiation.  Providence.  The right doctor.  The right course of medicine decided by team of doctors.  The right place.

Sometimes God works supernaturally.  sometimes people are healed from heart issues without prescribed, planned, and executed medical intervention.

At 29, I had symptoms of a heart attack.   Fortunately, it was FARTS — haha — abdominal gas.  Who knew stomach gas  pressure could feel similar to a heart attack?  [Side note: Doctors know.   Haha!]  I was told to go to a cardiologist; just to be sure my heart was okay.  Well, it wasn’t.  And it isn’t.

At 30, my cardiologist recommended I go to the renowned Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida to have surgery to correct the severe MVP – mitral valve prolapse.  On a scale of 1 – 4, 4 being the worst, I have a level 4 MVP.  Go big or go home right?!  There is a significant amount of blood flowing backwards in my heart.  Not good.  This allows too much blood in one area, creating pressure and enlarging the heart.

That is what generally happens. The value in a heart needs to open and close properly to not allow backwards blood flow.  My valves, that should open and close like secure doorways, flap like the Grand Ol’ Flag on a breezy day.  I have seen the ultrasounds, the pictures, the videos.  There is clearly a problem.

At 30, I went to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL.  I was scrubbed in for surgery.  I was placed under anesthesia.  I was told I may be confused or forgetful coming out of anesthesia after surgery.

I was so confused after coming out from under the influence of anesthesia. My husband was there telling me I didn’t have the surgery.  I just looked at him thinking, “Oh, the anesthesia thing.  It sounds like he is saying ‘ya didn’t have surgery’ but that can’t be right!  My mother and sister are here from Tennessee caring for my 3 small children.  I have been planning this surgery for 7 months to be done in the summer when my teacher husband can be home to help in recovery.  I have traveled hundreds of miles to Shands Hospital.  I KNOW I WENT INTO SURGERY!!!!”

Again with the ‘ya did not have surgery thingy’.  ANESTHESIA IS WEIRD.  This is my first time being placed under it.  I don’t know what the heck is going on.

BUT APPARENTLY AT THE LAST MINUTE, DOCTORS DID A TEST AND THEN DID NOT PROCEED WITH THE OPEN HEART SURGERY REPAIR OF MY MVP. 

And now 16 years later,  same heart.  Not enlarging.  This is very atypical of level 4 SEVERE MVP.  Many women have a MVP. Lots.  Not so many women have surgeons tell them on their annual visits:

  1.   Yes, you have severe Mitral Valve Prolapse.
  2.   Yes, you can have surgery at any point  – cuz it is very severe.
  3.   We don’t have any idea why you heart has not enlarged .
  4.   Come look again at the monitor to see what I am talking about.  The blue color represents the backwards blood.  There should not be any.  You have a lot.

Maybe my heart is stretchy..

Oh, good segway back to healing.

My heart has been stretched “emotionally” and my mind has been stretched physically – to a breaking point – in which my brain developed PTSD.  My adopted daughter terrified me with her violent and explosive behavior.  She had to be held often to stop her from jumping out of the car.  She actually jumped out of the car while I was driving at 35 mph.  That is not good.  That signaled some serious problems.  She was kicking through wooden bedroom doors.  She threw mirrors.  The kicked out her window to run away.  She shoved berries into her mouth and asked if they would kill her.  She had an onset of Bipolar Disorder and has also been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, has low than average cognition, PTSD, and RAD – reactive attachment disorder.

I have a medical diagnosis of PTSD- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  My war is my adoption journey.

I was diagnosed with PTSD in the summer of 2016.  On my first visit to my therapist, he now states, “I strongly considered taking you to the hospital immediately.  You could barely form a sentence.  You were a hot mess!”  He did not actually call me a hot mess.  I am paraphrasing.

Fast forward to this school year 2017-2018.  Our adopted son is now displaying terrifying behaviors.  He has written many disturbing things like – “I WISH SUZANNE WERE DEAD”  in his closet, in  notes, on his bed frame, on the back of a picture frame.  I am Suzanne.  He put bleach in my drink as he washed the dishes- not with bleach though.  Although, he did tell his 18-year-old brother that the bleach was for “cleaning.”

Turns out the bleach our oldest son had seen *******  with was intended for me!

As we headed out the door,  I said to *******, “Let me go grab my water!”

He watched as I went to the kitchen.

He lied when I screamed WHAT THE [HECK OR BLEEP] – [I could have said either.] IS IN MY DRINK?

I couldn’t fathom bleach was in my drink.  I have been asked, “Didn’t you smell it?”  No, I did not.  I drank a sip to try to determine what ****** had put in my cup.  I assumed it was something gross from the fridge  and I wanted to know what it was.

He stood there.  Passively.  Lying.  “Nothing.”   That was all he would say.

My older son started questioning.  My 16 yr-old  started questioning.

WHAT DID YOU PUT IN MOM’S DRINK?

The wheels started turning in my oldest’s head.  Give me you cup Mom.  [Smells]  He screams ,”How could you?  I know what it is!  Tell everyone what you did.  Tell everyone what you put in mom’s cup!”

Pinned to the floor for my safety, he continued to lie.

I wanted my oldest son to hit ******.

When our oldest finally forced him to admit what he had done.  my mind did not want to process the fact that my adopted son had just put a known deadly chemical in my drink.

My oldest never hit him.   Never hurt him.  Never has.  And frankly, I don’t know why.  We aren’t that kind of family.  We have never hit our kids.

But this was HIT – WORTHY  in my book.

Nope.

I called my husband, shaking.. “What do I do?  We can’t call the police because of our daughter.  I don’t want ****** to affect her chances of reunification after all her hard work in therapy.”  My husband agreed.  We would look for a placement outside of the home and not call the police.

We have looked for a placement.  For months now.

My husband is like a warden watching ****** every minute of the day.  We have locks, alarms, cameras,  … and I generally don’t stay at home anymore.

So is he a threat to our safety?  DEFINITELY A THREAT.

WILL HE DO SOMETHING AGAIN?  I DON’T KNOW.

I AM SCARED EVERYDAY.

I HAVE RAGING PTSD SYMPTOMS that had subsided after years of therapy and prescription meds.

  • I have high blood pressure often.
  • I cry often because I feel abandoned by everyone.
  • I fear everyone hates me – including me family who loves me.
  • I go into flight mode.  I sometimes just bolt out the door and run for miles.  I often get in my car and just drive … away.  Any where but home.
  • I lock myself in my room when I am home.
  • I only use one cup and have it with me at all times.
  • I don’t drink anything from the kitchen.
  • I have horrible intrusive thoughts.
  • I feel like  gun is pressed to the base of my skull.
  • I shake a lot.
  • I often can’t speak correctly.
  • I feel angry because I can’t speak.  I stutter and can’t come up with the words I want to say.
  • I feel angry that this is the mother my biological kids know.
  • I feel sad because our family is ripped apart again. 3 years ago from our daughter and now our son.
  • I don’t cook anymore. I am barely home and the kitchen triggers me.  I used to love  clean kitchen.  Now the clean counters are the trigger because he had cleaned the kitchen and left only my cup  WITH BLEACH IN IT on the counter.

Need help again support system.

We need help.

 

 

 

Drip, Drip, Drip: Water and Absorbing Materials

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:

warden,

buffer,

protector,

bread-winner,

father,

public middle school teacher,

soccer training business owner,

judge,

parole officer,

psychologist / therapist/ counselor,

husband,…

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.

FUN TIMES!

 

 

 

 

Our Therapist Called It … “Protective Factors”

What stops an adoptive mom who has lived,  no, – existed, year after year, day after day, and moment by moment in fear, exhaustion, depression, desperation…

  • from just pressing her foot to the floorboard firmly and driving off the nearest bridge,
  • from taking more – way more, perhaps all – of the prescription pills she takes for her PTSD… she developed loving on her adopted kids,
  • from just sitting alone in the car, hiding out from the nightmare that lies behind the closed-door to the house and the closed garage door to the unknowing world, escaping to the places the radio takes her with the car running…

Our therapist called them – those reasons that keep some hurting mommas from committing suicide – “PROTECTIVE FACTORS”.  I nodded and asked her again, “protective factors huh?  That term makes a lot of sense.”  Those two words rolled around the places in my head.

I thought my own recovery.  I thought about my personal PROTECTIVE FACTORS.  I have joked with my husband about how wonderful death seemed compared to the insanely tough adoption journey we are on.  We can joke about suicide because we each have a lot of protective factors.  I have dealt with depression.  I currently take prescription medication for this beast.  Year after year of tooting a horn on December 31st thinking, “this year can’t possibly be as horrific as this last year has been!”, and it being worse than horrific makes for one weary soul.  I specifically remember having this thought in 2015 going into 2016.  I thought the same way on Dec. 31, 2016.  On January 1st, 2018,  I had learned to NOT think in the same manner…  because my circumstances might not get better this year.  Hoping in a good year,  a good day etc.  has set me up for failure on many occasions.  Now I just roll with it and hope only in God.  If I have a good day or week.. BONUS.  But if I don’t have a good day… well, I have been camped out there for quite some time, so I know I am going to be okay.  Funny what repetitive CRAP will do for you!

So what are my personal protective factors?

#1  I have ZERO PROBLEMS ASKING FOR HELP AND SUPPORT.  The moment we took a hard left turn on BIPOLAR DRIVE, I called our adoption support specialist.  She put me in contact with a foster mom mentor.  And if my support system suggested something, I did it.  It certainly couldn’t hurt and might actually help.  As my symptoms related to mental illness worsened,  I went to a doctor for medication and a counselor for therapy.  My husband looked at me and said “You need to see a doctor!”  My response was, “Yeah,  I probably do.”

#2  I have MAINTAINED CONNECTIONS TO SUPPORT SYSTEMS.  I have gone to adoptive parenting classes to learn about how to handle my kids with RAD – Reactive Attachment Disorder.  I have stayed in contact with some of those friends on Facebook.  I have made amazing sisterhood relationships with moms of RAD kids.  That is a population of moms who understand each others bizarre life circumstances.  When you are attacked as a “nurturing enemy” because your child’s biological mom completely SUCKED at mommy-ing, you need to hear you aren’t crazy or alone.  RAD adoptive kids push away from really awesome adoptive moms because that kind of relationship had gone horribly wrong at birth.  No one answered their cries.  No one feed them.  The mom who was supposed to be there wasn’t.  So a child with RAD will fight like a Tasmanian devil before she ever lets you get emotionally close to her.  Sabotage,  manipulation, lying and deceit are hallmarks of a RAD kid.  [GET INTO A SUPPORT GROUP IN YOUR AREA OR FIND A GROUP ON FACEBOOK!  SUPPORT GROUPS ARE INVALUABLE.]

I also have support from my family, a few close friends, my church and God.  I know God well.  And He is my most important PROTECTIVE FACTOR.  He says I am loved, I am worthy,  I am special,  and I am safe in His arms.  Thank God! Literally!

My daughters, Kylee and Haylee, are helpful.  And by that, I mean that they are MEAN.  Like, if you don’t understand what happens to a developing young lady around the age of 15, fair warning folks, it gets ugly.  I have been told my chewing on a carrot makes my daughter want to die.  Also eating cereal is a justifiable reason for screaming death threats at me.  Don’t eat cereal in front of my  16-year-old daughter.  It is a bad idea.  My 19-year-old is at college and is quite blunt.  When she calls home,  she does NOT want to talk about how I am doing.  So when she asks, “So, how’s it going, Mom?”,  she doesn’t really care at the moment (because she isn’t here and can’t help –  she says) what my actual state of “how’s it going” is, she wants to exchange pleasantries and talk about her life.  But their meanness has been a protective factor.  They don’t let me fall to pieces and hold me.  Most of the time.  They tell me to suck it up.  Most of the time.  [Side note: You can not ‘suck up’ PTSD.  It is an injury that needs healing and often needs help.]  So their meanness pushes me to exercise great emotional fortitude and strength and use my coping skills.

My husband’s love, grace, acceptance, and time are the bandages to my brain injury.  Just like Jesus,  Kyle extends to me gifts that I don’t deserve.  He gives them freely and unconditionally.  Some “Christians” struggle to give what has been freely given to them.  Some Christians have loved me conditionally.  Some friends – who are Christians – have abandoned me when the crap hit the fan… (it is definitely shit that hits the fan but I don’t want to offend those judgmental ‘Christians’ previously mentioned.)  This has been true of my family members too.  Some people just can’t handle the messiness of my life.  And I totally get it.  Because I can not handle the messiness of my life.  But if you have a messy life,  I know how you hurt.  And I offer you love, grace, acceptance, time and my heart that I hope you can hear and feel as you read my blog.  Just like my hubbie.  He is awesome.

My 19-year-old son’s steadiness helps.  My son is like a golden retriever.  He is reliable.  He is protective.  He is available.  He is present.  He always has my back.  But this personality type isn’t without flaws.  He has extended himself as the strong, unbreakable man who is exhausted from always being the strong, I GOT THIS guy.  He struggles with stress but he doesn’t show that much.

Celebrate Recovery – a 12-step Christian support program – similar to AA but not just for addicts – has changed my life.  Celebrate Recovery is for anyone with hurts, habits, or hang-ups.  I got hurts.  So I am in like Flynn.  (Who’s Flynn?)  I do not have addictive behaviors.  Doesn’t make me better – just isn’t my struggle.  For me, alcohol costs a lot of fricking money.  So I don’t buy it.  Therefore, I have not developed an addition to alcohol.  But I 100% understand why people get addicted to drugs, alcohol, bad relationships, do risky things, etc.  THEY HURT.  IT REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE.  I have been hurt so deeply that I have come to identify with all sorts – the other hurting people, the crazy, the angry, the alcoholic, the anything to avoid this pain person.  When someone talks about the crazy lady at Wal-Mart walking around the store singing, my thoughts are:  “Hey don’t bash her.  That could SO EASILY BE ME!”

If you haven’t noticed the name of this blog – it is CRAZY IS MY COPING SKILL.  I use fun and finding humor to get through life.  I will wear a llama costume to my son’s soccer practice to make him laugh.  And others.  And me!  It is a win-win in my book.  So don’t be surprised if I rewire my riding lawn mower’s whole electrical system by watching a 14-year-old do it on YouTube (because rewiring a riding lawn mower will distract me from the stealing of everything my 13-year-old can get his hands on if not watched on a baby monitor).   And if I am going to rewire the whole thing,  I should pimp this metal ride out.  And paint the riding lawn mower camo green with bright pink polka dots.  And name her Patricia (AKA Patty – actually my 16-year-old looked at the mower and said HER name was Patricia).  Patricia the Polka Dotted Beast.  And to make the maiden voyage of Patricia the Polka Dotted Beast insanelier bizarre (and funnier in a twisted way),  she killed a rabbit.  I know INSANELIER is not a word but I am using it here.  The acre of grass around my home had grown while I rewired the mower.  And bunnies had been born.  The bunnies in my neighborhood,  known as Jupiter Farms,  are delivered in a tall clump of grass.  That described my whole yard when I started mowing.  I had actually already rescued another tiny bunny from the chicken wire under the shed that I tried to escape through.  As I gently tried to get him out of his predicament (he couldn’t get through the opening in the chicken wire),  he made a squeal like a pig.  Who knew a rabbit could squeal like that?  I feared a giant momma rabbit bounding up behind me and exercising motherly protection of her helpless babe by ferociously attacking me.  I am not making any of this story up.  This totally just happened.  Me and Patty were just cruising along when a small bunny exited the lawn mower’s blade deck stage right.  It wasn’t her fault.  She is a BEAST.  It wasn’t my fault.  I couldn’t see it and wouldn’t kill a bunny.  But life in the Farms has taught me the circle of life.  We have had chickens killed by predators and who knows whate else so often that the innocent death of said bunny did bother me enough to make some one else pick him up but also make me laugh at the irony of this convoluted story.  Yep  CRAZY IS MY COPING SKILL.  LAUGH OR DIE.  Also a protective factor because I choose to laugh.

I run or exercise really hard when I am triggered.  PROTECTIVE FACTOR.  It completes the cycle of the FIGHT – FLIGHT – OR FREEZE MODE.   The chemicals dumped into my brain during a triggered response are there to protect me.  The survival mode kicks in and involves cortisol and adrenaline.  Until the chemicals are exercised out and I feel safe again,  I will be stuck struggling with PTSD symptoms:

  • countless intrusive thoughts
  • blood pressure elevated
  • sweating or feeling hot and flushed
  • manic thinking and talking
  • escape plan making
  • desiring to hide, run, fight…
  • shaking feeling all over – esp. teeth and hands
  • feeling like a bomb is strapped to my lower back
  • or feeling like a gun is pressed to the back of the base of my head.

I listen to the Bible on an app that reads the word of God to me.  The app is called Daily Audio Bible and it is free.  Lord knows I can’t read His word when scared to death.  I listen to my Spotify called Encouragement in Sadmess.  That was totally an accident in typing and M instead of an N but I think sadmess fits better than sadness in my situation.

I write also.  I scribble more often in a journal or notebook than on this blog.  I write sloppy and furious to record the things my brain does these days.  It is partly humorous.  It is partly sad.  But I want to record what I am going through.  I think that if I can tell one person that they are not alone, it will be worth the effort.

We adopted hoping to help.  I now write hoping to help.  And as another side note:  We are doing everything we can to help our adopted and biological kids.  It has meant that some of our kids do not live at home sometimes.  We all deserve to feel safe.  When that safety is destroyed,  I have learned to put up HEALTHY BOUNDARIES.   Our adopted kids will always be a part of our family if they choose.  But we may choose to have them live elsewhere to protect our safety foremost – and sanity secondly.

-Which is a losing battle I fear.  [sarcasm mixed with truth]  Sanity straddles a fine line between crazy and coping.  I blur the line sometimes!

SO I LIVE BY GETTING HELP AND SUPPORT, STAYING CONNECTED TO SUPPORT, KEEPING AN AGENDA, TEACHING KIDS IN CHINA ONLINE, BEING SILLY AND COPING”

1 day at a time-

WITH  2 years in recovery from hurts-

and 3 years of ‘every-flippin’ day” HELL-

and 7 years of our adoption journey-

and 13 years of trouble-free parenthood-

and 25 years of marriage-

and 30 years of BELONGING to Him.. Committed our lives to Jesus-

and 46 years of HIS BEST in my life!

 

[and our family therapist Crystal’s guidance…court ordered when our daughter went into state custody so she could get the help she needs and we could be safe from her out of control behaviors. She has given us many very helpful tools like EVEN THOUGH… THINKING while TAPPING,  HULA HOOPING,  BOX BREATHING,  and GUIDED MEDITATION.  Thanks Crystal.  We weren’t excited to have court ordered counseling by a highly dysfunctional Department of Children and Families.  We do love you and your therapy!  Flow!]

For REAL… PTSD Is In the BIBLE! And Coping Skills from SOLDIERS of the FAITH

“They were terrified!”  

Family members had been murdered.

Loved ones had also been killed.  They witnessed horrors.

They had CONSTANTLY lived in fear.  Better yet, the EXISTED IN SURVIVAL MODE.

Would they always be checking their shoulders… in fear of attack?

The breeding ground of PTSD.

 

The clues that point clearly to PTSD in the pages of God’s Word are:

#1- The woman were terrified.  Luke 24:5 NASB  [bewildered, terror, dread, astonishment, trembling, confused, their heads swimming, fled, gripped with fear- other translations and versions of this verse recounting the point in the resurrection story of Jesus Christ when Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of James, found the tomb empty.]

And #2 – they couldn’t reason.  Luke 24:6-7 Their brain could not make sense out of their reality.  They did not have access to frontal lobe of the brain where logical and executive thinking happens.  These symptoms experienced after incredible trauma describe PTSD. (Technically the symptoms last longer than a month for PTSD.  This is acute trauma.. But not so “cute”! Lol.)

Identical to the injury some soldiers come home with from war, people develop PTSD from many different types of trauma with varying levels of intensity in symptoms.  Currently, it is completely unknown as to why some soldiers develop PTSD while many others do not.  Recently, reading a article about factors that lead to the possible onset of PTSD went something like this:  the person had been hurt.  If a identifiable personality type or a previous hardship could help predict PTSD, our nation would pour massive amounts of dinero into a diagnostic tool.  Finding those who are most likely to be chronically stressed and preparing them ahead of time would relieve the incredibly burgeoning halls of VA hospitals across America.

So back to our Marys  – apparently a very common name in Israel.  These women had served on the battlefield… As followers of Christ.  This intrinsically meant trauma in the time of Jesus’ ministry.  The persecution of the early Christians is well-documented in and out of the Bible.   Tied to a stake, lit on fire, and used as a torch, Christians were the  “light” source for banquets of depravity.  They were the LIGHT in the DARKNESS.  [SIDE NOTE:  A person willing to die for his beliefs  is a TRUE believer – ya think? Yeah, I reckon.  Humans, by definition, are self-centered.  No one says, “Yeah, I like this churchy, Christian thingy.  And Jesus is a pretty cool dude.   So since I’ve got nothing better to do tonight,  I don’t mind being set of fire!”  Mary had been living through a literal hell on earth.  I’d say her stress level was “up there”!  From the gospel of Luke, our doctor mentions the ladies mental health at the time of finding Jesus not in the tomb.  He says, “they were terrified”.  Luke then speaks of the best coping skill humanity has been given,…”but then they remembered what He had said.”  Luke 24:8

There in lies a sweet ticket to stability.  When God’s words (everything in the Bible), collides with your fear-stricken heart and you do the exhausting work to override the natural physiological workings of the hijacked and terrified brain, the victim can move to survivor mode!  God holds the answer.  Because He has  power over everything.  No longer is it just my own will power struggling to believe I am loved and SAFE and not insane.  I have tapped into the power of the ONE who created everything.  He has ultimate authority.  And frankly we are most often powerless in the face of horror.

With grace and mercy, the Prince of Peace can and does offer the remedy to root issue. There really is danger in this world but we aren’t alone.  We have witnessed unspeakable acts of violence.  We have been abused in incomprehensible ways.  We have had normal overtaken by trauma.  Yet He holds us on the palm of His hand. PROTECTED. Our fears can be calmed.  It takes faith in  HIS POWER and the commitment to do the WORK.

What is the work you ask?  It is an effort put forth.  It is INCREDIBLY   harder than physical labor.  That’s easy-peasy compared to battling the intrusive thoughts of a PTSD brain.  When in danger, you naturally want to fight for your life – or run to somewhere safe!  Or you just freeze because of sheer terror.  I tend to go into flight mode first.  But if I can’t run, it’s 50/50 as to whether it’s “fight, flight or freeze”.  In freeze mode, I just cease to acknowledge the situation.  I disassociated.  You can talk to me.  And I hear your words you’re saying but they hold zero meaning to me.  You could warn me of a serious threat or promise me a million dollars if I were to say the word “green”.  Either way, I would remain unresponsive.  It’s not actually my volitional attempt to ignore you.  Simply, it’s the brain’s response to the very bad designed for our very good.  So talk all you want.  I am currently out of commission.

Housed within the skull is a greatly underused organ with massive potential.  Research says we use under 10% of the brain’s capabilities.  It’s actually cool to learn about the brain.  The functions of each part – frontal lobe, amygdala, brain stem, neurons… And my education relieves me of the stress that I am at fault or that I am bad because I have a mental illness.  I am not to blame.  (PS – PTSD peeps- You are not to blame.)

I have experienced a trauma that altered the way my cerebral stuff interacts with the world.  I am not to blame but I do have to do the work.  For myself, for those I love, and for the sake of Christ, I am determined to choose well.  I care about myself and I care about others.  I care foremost about my testimony as a Christian.  God has adopted me from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.  He has promised my eternal life.  He died to secure my eternal home in heaven.  I am loved.

So for His name’s sake, I WILL fight against the intrusive thoughts that REPEAT over and over:

  • RUN LIKE [BLEEEEP], OR
  • LOCATE ALL POSSIBLE ESCAPE ROUTES, AND
  • DON’T IMAGINE OR FANTASIZE YOU ARE LOVED, SO
  • PUT YOURSELF FIRST! (above your kids and husband who really do love you).

I choose to muster all my will and by God’s strength, kindness, and mercy, I manage to believe what God’s Word tells me is TRUTH.  I listen to REALITY from the creator of my brain.  I don’t listen to the lies that trauma tells.  My feelings are often wrong after PTSD.

  • I FEEL COMPLETELY ABANDONED.
  • I FEEL UNWORTHY OF LOVE.
  • I FEEL TERRIFIED.

Just like Mary did when she found another loved one brutally crucified, a crown of thorns were jammed on his head, his hands and side pierced, nailed to a wooden cross of humiliation, and placed in a tomb.  She was TERRIFIED.

“And then they [she]remembered that he had said this…”  [THE TRUTH – HIS WORD – THE BIBLE]

“And then she remembered that HE had said this…” [THE TRUTH – what God has provided as a source of help for all dealing and coping with mental health issues.]

“And then they remembered that HE HAD SAID THIS…” [Jesus’ words give the greatest relief and help in every situation especially stress and trauma.

EVEN COPING SKILLS FOR PTSD ARE IN THE BIBLE.

THANK YOU GOD. YOU ARE GOOD.  YOU HAVE ALLOWED TRAUMA IN MY LIFE FOR COMPLETELY UNKNOWN REASONS BUT I TRUST IN YOUR  GOODNESS.  YOU SAY YOU ARE WORKING ALL THINGS FOR MY GOOD SO THIS SEASON OF REALLY HARD MUST BE GOOD FOR ME.  THOUGH I CAN NOT SEE IT NOW,  I HAVE FAITH IN YOU ALONE TO RESTORE ME TO STABILITY.  I can’t do it.  I am so happy to trust that you can.  Thank you for the revelation of yourself to me- and anyone who wants to read the Bible.  The lies are my distorted thoughts and feelings about the crap I have been through.  The truth is God’s Word.

And His word says I am loved, secure, and protected forever.