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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane....

...and wanted to go out on a positive note. Don't miss me too much over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, I'll have many adventures and lots of pictures to show you.
Here's a hint about where I'm going:







Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More of My Dysfunctionality

Yes, I totally made up that word.  You have my permission to add it to your vocabulary.  You're welcome.

Okay, these next items I'm working on.  They are incorrect beliefs and I know that.  I also have a good idea of why I think these things.  What I don't know is how to change them.  Maybe you can help with that.

1.  I have to be perfect all the time in all things and in everything I do.  I have to look as good as I can before I can go anywhere.  My house has to be perfect before anyone can come over.  My children have to look and behave perfectly at all times.  Our family must present a good image always.  If I'm not perfect, I'm not worthy and not lovable.

2.  If I attempt something and fail, I am a failure in all aspects of my life.

3.  I am not worthy of the better things in life.  I settle most of the time because I don't deserve better.

4.  If people could see into my heart and know the real me, they wouldn't like me.  I need to make others like me, even if it means putting on an act sometimes. 

5.  I must not be a good mother because my children don't always make good choices in their lives.  If I had done a better job of raising them, they wouldn't have any problems now as adults.

There ya go.  More of my warpedness (another made up word).  Feel free to pick me apart--but be nice, I'm sensitive. ;-)

Monday, April 12, 2010

My Foggy Belief Window--with an aside

Before I get started on how my belief window has cleared up, I want to tell you about my awesome anniversary!  One of the great things about being married so long is that you know each other so well.  Darrell is a great gift giver--he gives me presents and thoughtful mementos all the time.  I tell him that every day is Christmas and Valentine's Day.  Neither of us needs to wait till a specific day to buy a gift or show the other how much they're loved.  Our anniversary is no exception.

So, what did we do?  We had a lazy morning in bed watching old Westerns.  Then I went to get my hair straightened (one of his gifts) and Darrell made a trip to Nashville.  That afternoon I piddled around in the house while he was out in the garage.  We then ran some errands and went to dinner--at Chick Fil A!  Most of the nicer restaurants are super busy on Saturday nights and we didn't want to fight the traffic or crowds.  Besides, we go out to eat all the time (Darrell knows I hate to cook).  When the manager at Chick Fil A found out it was our anniversary, he gave us a stuffed cow!  Then we went home and just had a great night spending time together.

Okay, on to the belief window.  This will probably be long and so may come in installments.  However, we are leaving for a 2-week vacation this Thursday, so it may drag out longer than I originally intended.  For my family members who read this blog, please know that these skewed impressions came about long before you did, therefore none of it is your fault or responsibility!  (This means you, Sharon!)

So, boys and girls, did you do your homework?  Did you at least skim one or more of the links?  I hope so.  If not, I'll wait while you do that now.   la...la....la...la..la

Oh, back already?  Let's get started then!  I've thought and thought about the best way to present this so it'll make sense and not be too awfully long.  Here's what I'm gonna do:  just list my "beliefs" and how I came to that way of thinking, and what I've replaced that belief with.  We good?

1. "My own parents didn't want me, so I must not be lovable."  I believed this because my birth mother left my father and me when I was about 6 months old.  When my father couldn't take care of me, I went to live with my aunt and uncle at age 2.  I only saw my father twice in the next 15 years--he never called or wrote.  I saw my birth mother occasionally when she would come to visit from out of state.  She never wrote to me or called me, either.  She never acted like she was my mother when she visited.  Maybe she didn't want to confuse me or felt she had given up that privilege. 

I've replaced that belief with this: "My own parents couldn't take care of me and loved me enough to find people who could.  They loved me enough to let my aunt and uncle raise me and not get in the way.  They loved me enough to give away part of themselves and live with that decision for the rest of their lives.  My own parents wanted me and loved me."

What changed this belief:  Four years ago, my oldest daughter died unexpectedly.  Two months later, my birth mother Ann came to visit my aunt.  Since I hadn't seen Ann in over ten years, I went to see her.  Losing Shana had softened my heart considerably toward the world in general.  Plus Ann had lost her husband not long before and I knew she would understand my pain.  When I got out of the car, Ann came to greet me.  No words were spoken--she just wrapped her arms around me and held on.  That was the closest thing to a "mom" hug I'd ever had.  She whispered in my ear how much she loved me and how sorry she was about Shana.  My broken heart started to mend from that moment.  In the years since, we've spoken on the phone many times.  As I posted recently, she just came for a visit.  I've also spoken to my sisters Sharon and Connie.  I asked hard questions and they've all answered honestly.  Hearing of how they grew up and what they went through has let me know how much better off I was with my aunt and uncle.

2.  "The family I was adopted into sees me as an interloper and doesn't want me around."  While I wasn't officially adopted, this is the only way I can think of to describe the situation.  The aunt who took me in had 5 children of her own, and even grandchildren by the time I came to live with her.  Those children had been through some tough times while growing up--hunger, poverty, etc.  By the time I came along, all that was behind my aunt and we lived in a nice house.  My aunt had a good job, and my uncle was in the Army.  While we weren't extravagant, I never went without.  I had nice clothes, enough to eat, a bike, etc.  Some would say I was spoiled.  I basically grew up as an only child, since my aunt's youngest was 15 when I came to live with them.  All the others were already married.  I always felt they resented me because I was reaping the rewards of what they had helped build. 

I've replaced that belief with this: "I am considered part of the family.  They include me and want me around."

What changed:  My aunt (the one who raised me and I call Mama) was recently misdiagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  I spent a lot of time at the hospital and had several opportunities to talk to the family members I felt had resented me all this time.   I've come to realize lately that they weren't excluding me--I was excluding myself.  My tendency is to build a wall around myself and not let people in.  That way I can't get hurt.  Some people have cared enough about me to scale the wall or tunnel under it--or just keep chipping away till they get in.  Usually though I go around in a glass bubble--I can interact with people, but no hurt (or worse rejection) can get in.  I decided it was time to face my demons and talk to those involved openly and honestly.  Tears were shed, hugs were shared, and understanding was given.  Healing has begun.

That's enough for now.  I hope you'll stick with me on this.  Feel free to leave a comment.  I hope too this may help any of you who might also be looking through a foggy window.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's A Beautiful Morning....

Happy anniversary to my dear sweetheart--34 years together.  He is a wonderful husband.  In fact, he could teach classes!  He gets ribbed a lot about how good he treats me, but I'm not complaining.  And you know that old saying--if mama ain't happy.... He makes me very happy in all aspects and I try to do the same for him.  If you're so inclined and have a few minutes, here's our story:  

Hope you have a wonderful April 10--I'm planning to!

Saturday Shout Outs

Stand For the Red, White, and Blue

10 Things You Can Organize in Less Than 15 Minutes

How To Decorate a Frame With a Vintage Necklace  

The Ultimate Blog Party of Twenty Ten

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What Is a Belief Window?

Have you ever heard the term "belief window"?  Other than when I mentioned it in a post the other day, of course.  I've had more than a few epiphanies lately that I want to share with you--and will, soon--but first, I want to put these links up so you understand what I'm talking about before we get started.  Hope you'll take the time to read them--maybe you'll have an epiphany or two of your own!




Wednesday, April 7, 2010

First Random of April 2010!



Linking up once again with Lid at 2nd Cup of Coffee.  I love these questions and have met some very funny ladies whilst visiting the links.  You should try it!  C'mon!


1. Define a great relationship.  One where you can be yourself and feel accepted.  Where you don't have to put on a front, can say what needs to be said, and can hear what someone has to say to you without getting your panties in a wad.

2. Why is it called a "drive-through" if you have to stop? (Real question: What was the last food/drink you purchased at a drive-through?)  I love to go shopping with my daughter because we always go through the drive thru!  It's so much easier and doesn't waste time.  Let's see...last thing I bought...probably a quick trip through McDonald's for my usual: a regular hamburger, small fries, water, and apple pie (shhhh, don't tell).



3. As I type this, the Butler Bulldogs are getting ready to play in the NCAA championship game. Every Hoosier is hysterical about this except me. So in honor of the Bulldogs ... what is your favorite breed of dog? (I tried.)  Definitely a Yorkie--they are so cute.



4. If you had to move to a state besides the one you currently live in, where would you move?  This one is hard.  We lived in NC for about 12 years and still have good friends there.  But then again we have grandchildren in GA and LA--maybe somewhere halfway between them.



5. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?  My parents would be more affectionate and loving.  They're very stoic people.  I don't remember being hugged much or sitting on anyone's lap as a child (except my beloved grandmother--and so I try to emulate her with my grandchildren now).

6. Who's the funniest person you know?  Probably my dearest friend Kris

7. Did you get enough sleep last night?  When I was actually asleep, it was good.  But between the hot flashes, night sweats, tossing, turning, flipping, flopping--no, it wasn't enough.


8. What's the first thing you thought about this morning?  Crap, morning already!

9. Grilled or Fried? --HONESTLY  Please, is there really a choice? Fried!

10. Are you afraid of the dark?  Not if I'm at home

11.When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?  I was fickle.  Thought about nurse (till I found out about bed pans), teacher (then they did away with paddling), child psychologist (too much school involved).  Finally decided on being what I am now---a self proclaimed Queen Bee.  And I do believe I excel at it!


12. If you had one word to describe yourself , what would you choose?   insecure

Monday, April 5, 2010

Whew!

The past couple of weeks have been a roller coaster.  Full of ups and downs.  Some bad, but others good.  Quite the learning experience.  I've realized that a lot of my thinking has been skewed all these years.  My "belief window" has totally been fogged over.  I may not get everything out in this post, but I'll at least give you the gist of the past several days.

On March 19, my mother had a liver biopsy.  (Quick reminder: the woman I refer to as my mother is actually my aunt.  She's my birth mother's oldest sister and took me to raise when I was two.)  Mama had been having issues with itching under her skin for about a month and the doctors had been unable to find a cause.  So the biopsy.  She came through the procedure fine and was sent home--where she went into shock.  An ambulance was called, she was taken to the ER.  X rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, etc.  Sunday the 21st, the doctor tells us that my mother has pancreatic cancer and it may have spread to her liver.  If she chooses not to have treatment, the doctors give her 6 months--9 to 12 if she has treatment.  Being 92 years old, she says she's not going to go through all that medication and resulting side effects.  I don't blame her.

Late Monday evening, doc comes back in and basically says "oops, never mind".  It's not cancer at all, but some sort of stone and jaundice.  We had Mama's name on several prayer rolls and countless people praying for her.  Was this the miracle we were praying for?  Or ineptness on the part of the hospital?  I was choosing the latter until a dear friend reminded me of all the prayers going up.  Now I choose to believe that Heavenly Father blessed us with the miracle we were hoping for.

After several days and more procedures, it was determined that my mother had gall stones--even though her gall bladder had been removed ten years ago.  Be aware--even if you don't have a gall bladder, you still have the bile ducts and they still produce bile; therefore, you can still have gall stones.  Since they can't settle in the gall bladder, they attach to other places.  My mother's had formed a mass on her pancreas and thus looked like cancer on the tests.  After a scope to remove the stones, she was finally able to go home last Wednesday.  And while her recovery may be slow, at least it's not cancer.

Okay, when we were told she only had a few months to live, I called my birth mother and invited her to come down to pretty much say goodbye.  Out of the seven children, there's only three still alive: my mother, my birth mother, and another aunt who has Alzheimer's and doesn't know us anymore.  So my birth mother and oldest half sister came and stayed with us from Thursday to Sunday.  I haven't seen Ann (my birth mother) in almost four years (the time before that was 1994 and the time before that was 1972).  I hadn't seen Connie (my half sister) since 1968 or so.  I think we were all nervous at first.  I'd never had them in my home.  It was a good healing visit.  More about that in a future post.

On Saturday the 27th, Darrell drove to Georgia to meet our daughter and pick up her children.  They were on Spring Break last week and  stayed with us.  My birth mother got to meet three of my grandchildren.  It was quite an experience.  I had the best time with Melody, Elias, and Alexander last week.  They are such sweet kids--everybody says so, not just me!

I wish for so much more for them than they have right now.  I lay awake at night worrying about them and pleading with the Lord to take care of them.  Their emotional and physical well being weigh heavily on my heart and mind.  I try to remember the Serenity Prayer, but it doesn't always help.

Well, this has gone on long enough and I need to get busy.  More later.

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